AAHOA names new chairman at annual convention

At the conclusion of the 2024 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Texas-based hotelier Miraj S. Patel was named the newest chairman of the AAHOA 2024-25 Board of Directors, the youngest person to hold this position in AAHOA’s 35-year history at 26 years old. 

“It is an honor to serve America’s hotel owners as the newest AAHOA Chairman,” Patel said in a statement. “I am committed to helping solve some of the industry’s toughest challenges with simple and straightforward solutions and to putting our members at the center of every decision we make.”

Patel is a second-generation hotelier who grew up in his family’s first 30-room independent property. He got his start in volunteer service at AAHOA by serving as a committee member for several years and joining the AAHOA Board of Directors in 2019 after being elected as Young Professional Director Western Division. He earned his Master's in Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Lodging Management from Johnson and Wales University in Miami. Today, Patel is president of Wayside Investment Group, a Texas-based company that specializes in opportunistic investments in the lodging and hospitality real estate sector.

“Serving as the youngest Chair in the association's history further demonstrates AAHOA’s commitment to fostering the growth and success of the next generation,” he said. I’m always encouraging young professionals not to let age determine success. Many times, people may say you’re too young, but that is absolutely not true. There are so many folks who are young but still do whatever it takes to find success. If you never try, you’ll never know what you’re capable of achieving.”

“On behalf of the entire AAHOA organization, we congratulate Miraj on becoming AAHOA’s newest Chairman,” AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake added. “We look forward to working under his leadership to continue to advance the industry and position AAHOA as the only true voice of hotel owners in the nation. Miraj has an incredible passion for serving the industry and members of AAHOA, and, like those who have come before him, we know he’ll have a significant positive impact on AAHOA in the years ahead.”

“I promise to lay the foundation for a tomorrow that reflects the aspirations, needs and challenges of today,” Patel said. “I am where I am today because of AAHOA, and it’s incredibly reassuring to know the same is true for so many other AAHOA Members. As Chairman of AAHOA, I will strive to work alongside the 2024-25 AAHOA Board of Directors to shape a future where we are pioneering new ways of thinking, a collaborative spirit and results for AAHOA members.”

The convention set a record level of exhibiting vendors and recorded nearly 6,500 attendees.

Miraj Patel spoke about the next generation of hospitality leadership as part of AAHOA's Helping Young Professionals Evolve conference in February. Take a look at what he—and other AAHOA leaders—had to say in Hotel Management's special HYPE e-book.