The American Hotel & Lodging Association has tapped William “Chip” Rogers to succeed Katherine Lugar as president and CEO, effective in the new year.
Coming to AH&LA with 20 years' of industry/political experience, Rogers will step down from his post as president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), a position he has held since 2014.
In this role, he led a team of more than 30 staff members with an annual budget of $15 million and under his leadership, AAHOA has grown overall membership by 30 percent and revenue by 62 percent.
“I am truly grateful for my time at AAHOA and working with the great people who make up the association. I could not be more excited to work with the talented team and outstanding members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association,” said Rogers. “It is a special opportunity to join this industry leading organization. Katherine has established great momentum with a superb team. The recent victories with passage of short-term rental regulations in markets across the country are milestones. With the foundation of success established, I am confident that the AH&LA will continue to grow in impact and engagement.”
In addition to leading AAHOA, Rogers sits on the board of directors for the United States Travel Association (USTA), Community Leaders of America and the California Hotel & Lodging Association. Prior to joining AAHOA, Rogers served in the Georgia General Assembly for 10 years and was unanimously elected as Senate majority leader in 2008 and 2010.
“We are extremely excited for Chip to join and lead this dynamic organization,” said AH&LA Chair Mark Carrier, president of B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group. “Chip has done an outstanding job at AAHOA. This success is recognized by our stakeholders; brands, owners, management companies, state associations and independents. I have confidence that he will build on that success at AH&LA. Under Chip’s leadership, we are well positioned for the future.”
Incoming Chairman Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, added, “AH&LA is in a great position of stability and strength. Our members are engaged, our advocacy efforts are succeeding and—most importantly—we have a talented and dedicated team in place. With nearly two decades of experience advocating for the hotel industry, Chip will be a fantastic leader and build on our current momentum."
Rogers will work with AAHOA’s leadership through early 2019 to ensure a smooth transition and the success of ongoing projects and relationships.
“We thank Chip for his remarkable service to AAHOA and to our members," said AAHOA Chairman Hitesh (HP) Patel. "For more than a decade, hoteliers have known Chip, first as a state legislator who stood up for small-business owners, then as the architect of AAHOA’s government affairs department, and for the last five years, as our president and CEO. Under Chip’s leadership, AAHOA achieved extraordinary success by all measures. Our membership numbers, business relationships, industry reputation and advocacy presence grew exponentially because of Chip’s efforts," said Patel.
"I congratulate Chip on his new position as president and CEO of AH&LA," said AAHOA Immediate Past Chairman Bhavesh B. Patel, principal of ADM Hotels & Development. "I've known Chip for several years, and he is a true friend, not only to my family and me, but to all hoteliers. Our association is at its strongest point in its history. Earlier this year, we eclipsed 18,500 members. Our advocacy efforts in Washington and in state capitals are yielding real results for hoteliers...While it is tough to see Chip leave AAHOA, this is a great opportunity for the industry. I look forward to working with him to advance the interests of all hoteliers."
Rogers was selected after a comprehensive search conducted over the last several months. An AH&LA Search Advisory Group, comprised of the leading CEOs and executives of the major brands, owners and management companies representing a cross-range of the association’s members, conducted numerous in-depth interviews of each candidate. Ultimately, Rogers’ appointment was unanimously approved by the nominating committee and board of directors.
Coming from AAHOA, Rogers is no stranger to AH&LA, as the two organizations have worked together for years advocating on behalf of the entire hotel and lodging industry. Both organizations have held joint-advocacy days each year for the past several years, and AAHOA’s incoming chairwoman, Jagruti Panwala, currently sits on AH&LA’s board.
Rogers will join an existing AHLA team that includes Kevin Carey, EVP/COO; Brian Crawford, EVP/government affairs; and Rosanna Maietta, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), and EVP/communications and public relations. The appointments of Crawford and Maietta to EVPs were announced earlier this week.
"I have known Chip professionally over these many years, and more recently have gotten to know him personally through this intensive search process, and I couldn't be more convinced that AH&LA is in strong, steady hands under his leadership," said outgoing president and CEO Katherine Lugar. "Chip has both a knowledge of the hotel industry and the inner workings of Washington, and is the right person to lead the organization in the coming months and years."
Lugar is leaving AH&LA to lead the American Beverage Association.
As to whom will lead AAHOA as it celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2019 will be the industry's next big guessing game, and according to Patel, efforts already are underway. "Our association is at its strongest point in our history. We eclipsed 18,500 members earlier this year, our revenues continue to grow, and our position in the industry has never been stronger. We have begun a comprehensive search process to find our next CEO who will build on this tremendous foundation,” said Patel.