AHLA announces officers, board, executive committee for 2023

The American Hotel & Lodging Association announced its 2023 officers, board of directors and executive committee, which include top leaders representing all segments of the hospitality industry.

RLJ Lodging Trust President and CEO Leslie D. Hale was named chair of the board; Kevin Jacobs, Hilton chief financial officer and president, global development, was named vice chair; and Aimbridge Hospitality President and CEO Michael J. Deitemeyer joins as secretary/treasurer. RLJ Lodging Trust Chief Operating Officer Tom Bardenett will remain chair of the AHLA Foundation board of trustees.

Hale succeeds Apple Hospitality REIT CEO Justin Knight, who has served as AHLA board chair for the past year and becomes immediate past chair.

“AHLA’s executive committee and board have always attracted hospitality’s best and brightest, and I am humbled and honored to be able to lead this amazing group in 2023,” said Hale. “I am excited to build upon AHLA’s strong legacy of success on behalf of our industry and eager to work with my fellow board members to help AHLA accomplish the many important objectives in its strategic plan, including growing the hospitality workforce, achieving advocacy wins and highlighting hotels’ leadership on sustainability and diversity.”

“Each year, AHLA brings together a cross section of the top minds in hospitality to serve on its executive committee and board, and this year is no exception,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “This esteemed group of leaders will help AHLA reach new heights in 2023, as we continue delivering unparalleled ROI for members by racking up policy victories at all levels of government and providing top-notch member services and communications support.”

AHLA has played an increasingly critical role on behalf of the hotel industry, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last two years, AHLA has grown from 44 to nearly 70 employees, as the organization continues to serve as the singular voice of America’s hotels and remains deeply engaged in policy issues affecting hoteliers at all levels of government. AHLA is the largest hotel association in America, representing more than 30,000 members from all segments of the industry nationwide, including global brands, 80 percent of all franchised hotels and the 16 largest hotel companies in the U.S. In addition to hoteliers, AHLA membership includes partner state associations, industry vendors and suppliers, hospitality students and those who teach and mentor them. 

The AHLA board of directors represents leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands, owners and real estate investment trusts, management companies, independent hotels and state associations. New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2023 are:

  • Julie Arrowsmith, president and interim CEO, G6 Hospitality
  • Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president, The Walt Disney Company
  • Carol Dover, president and CEO, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
  • Gregg Forde, president and COO, Island Hospitality Management
  • Kristie Goshow, chief commercial officer, KSL Resorts
  • Naveen Kakarla, president and CEO, Hersha Hospitality Management
  • Pete Sams, chief operating officer, Davidson Hospitality Group
  • Walt Sheffler, SVP, Avendra Hospitality and Europe, Avendra
  • Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Derrick Yee, vice president of asset management, Placemakr

Additionally, AHLA welcomed four new members to its executive committee, which serves as the association’s core governance body and guides its policy agenda. New representatives on the executive committee are:

  • Thom Geshay, CEO and president, Davidson Hospitality Group
  • Mark S. Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Patrick Pacious, president and CEO, Choice Hotels International
  • Ben Seidel, president, Real Hospitality Group