Katherine Lugar, AH&LA

Katherine Lugar, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association

Having spent more than 20 years working in private-sector public affairs in Washington, D.C., Katherine Lugar stepped into the role of president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association with the goal of using the legislative process to improve the lives of hoteliers across the U.S. Achieving that goal isn’t something that can be done by accident, and Lugar said she strives to set high expectations for her employees while reminding them to stay focused on their core mission of helping hoteliers. “As leaders, we have to set the tone and create the culture within our organizations,” Lugar said. “We have to praise success, provide encouragement and offer support when it’s needed.” As someone whose life has revolved around advocacy, Lugar said she looks at influence both quantitatively (“Have we achieved the results we wanted to achieve?”) and qualitatively (“What kinds of stories are we hearing from industry leaders and people on the ground?”). However, no man—or woman—is an island, and Lugar said she didn’t get to this point on her own. She credits her success to the number of voices and perspectives that have informed her decision-making, and she has used them to feed her gut instinct. “The biggest mistakes I’ve made were when I knew the right answer to something and I didn’t listen because I wanted to make someone else happy,” Lugar said. “In an industry as diverse as ours, there are a lot of different opinions. Do a lot of listening, and find common ground.”

Katherine Lugar, AH&LA

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