AHLA names exec committee, board of directors

The American Hotel & Lodging Association announced its 2024 officers, executive committee and board of directors.

Kevin Jacobs, Hilton’s CFO and president, Global Development, was named chair of the board; Vision Hospitality Group President and CEO Mitch Patel was named vice chair; Marriott International Group President, U.S. & Canada Liam Brown was named secretary/treasurer; and IHG Hotels and Resorts Chief Development Officer, Americas Julienne Smith was named chair of the AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees.

Jacobs succeeds RLJ Lodging Trust President and CEO Leslie D. Hale, who served as AHLA’s board chair in 2023 and will continue on the board as immediate past chair. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Chairman and CEO Jon Bortz continues as chair of the HotelPAC Advisory Council, and AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers continues as president and CEO of the board.

“It’s an honor to serve as chair and help build upon AHLA’s impressive record of accomplishments on behalf of the hospitality industry nationwide,” Jacobs said in a statement. “I look forward to helping AHLA advance policies in support of our incredible industry, deliver exceptional member services and communications support, and rally the industry around our shared priorities.”

Rogers said that AHLA's success in the industry can be credited "in large part" to the leaders on its board and executive committee. “We have assembled another slate of extraordinary executives in 2024. Their guidance and counsel will be instrumental to delivering advocacy victories for our members in 2024,” he continued.

AHLA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee include leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands, owners, real estate investment trusts, management companies, branded properties, independent hotels and state associations. New members for 2024 are:

AHLA Executive Committee:

  • Julie Arrowsmith, president and CEO, G6 Hospitality

AHLA Board of Directors: 

  • Kurt Alexander, president, Omni Hotels and Resorts
  • Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director, Global Head of Hotel Asset Management, Starwood Capital Group
  • Meghan Connolly, SVP/GM, Global Client Group, American Express
  • David Duncan, president and CEO, First Hospitality
  • Bryan Giglia, CEO, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.
  • Sarah Gulla, SVP, asset management, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (Hospitality Asset Managers Association)
  • Michael Jacobson, president and CEO, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
  • Alexi Khajavi, president, hospitality, travel and wellness, Questex, parent company of Hotel Management Magazine
  • Ayesha Molino, president and COO, ARIA and Vdara; chief public affairs officer, MGM Resorts International
  • Michael Morton, SVP brand management, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Vinay Patel, president and CEO, Fairbrook Hotels
  • Brad Rahinsky, president and CEO, Hotel Equities
  • Azim Saju, CEO and president, HDG Hotels
  • Scott Strickland, EVP, chief information and distribution officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (HTNG)
  • Shai Zelering, managing partner, Brookfield

AHLA is the largest hotel association in America and remains engaged in policy issues affecting hoteliers at all levels of government. In 2023, AHLA advocacy efforts led to:

  • A clarification in Paycheck Protection Program eligibility guidelines that will save hoteliers an estimated $14 billion
  • A $9 increase in the continental U.S. per diem rate that will generate an estimated $300 million for hoteliers
  • The release of an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year 2024