Washington D.C.-based American Hotel & Lodging Association appointed Kevin Carey as EVP and COO. According to AHLA, this newly-created position will ensure that the organization is positioned to build new revenue streams and enhance value creation for its 24,000-strong membership base.
Carey comes to AHLA from American Express where he held senior roles in the company’s payments and business travel units for more than two decades. Most recently, Carey served as MD for The Americas region and managed the largest strategic customers and revenue-generating region in the global business travel joint venture company formed in 2014. He intends to bring the hospitality industry experience he gained as a board and executive committee member in numerous local, state and national travel and tourism industry associations to his new roles.
Carey will focus on growth initiatives to better serve the organization’s large and growing membership. “Incredible changes are occurring in the lodging industry, as the industry landscape evolves and hotels invest in innovative new approaches to technology, guest services, loyalty programs and brand development and future workforce initiatives," Carey said in a statement. "I look forward to joining the dynamic AHLA team and working with Katherine to build on their many successes and guide the association to even greater heights in the future.”
Carey began his career in public affairs at American Express and was a member of the company’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C. for six years. After, he transitioned to a series of client management and sales leadership roles. Since 2016, Carey has been consulting with corporations, private equity firms and start-ups on payment strategies and online/mobile travel-related solutions. He also serves as an advisory board member at Johns Hopkins University and Penn State.
“Kevin is a highly respected industry executive and accomplished leader with deep commercial experience and long-standing relationships with U.S. and global travel and hospitality companies. He will play a critical role in providing strategic direction to grow AHLA’s membership, build new revenues and forge new strategic partnerships to propel our industry forward,” Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a statement. “At AHLA we’ve worked hard to pave a new path, sharpen our focus and effectiveness and drive unparalleled value to our members, and Kevin brings exactly the skillset and business background and will play a pivotal role in our future growth and success.”
Reporting to Lugar, Carey will join the executive team and will oversee operations, member relations and sales, conventions and events and revenue growth initiatives. He will also manage the affiliate Educational Institute. Teams led by Matt Maclaren, Kimberly Miles and Shelly Weir will support him. They will continue to play a pivotal role in developing and executing AHLA’s future opportunities and growth.