Virginia Hotelier Vinay Patel Named Chair of AAHOA Board of Directors; Five Indian Americans Presented Awards
Vinay Patel, president of Fairbrook Hotels. (Fairbrook Hotels photo)
India-West Staff Reporter
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association announced on Aug. 7 that Virginia Indian American hotelier Vinay Patel is the new chair of AAHOA’s Board of Directors. Patel became chair at the conclusion of the 2021 AAHOA Convention and Trade Show, said a press release, which was the first major convention in Dallas since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Serving America’s hotel owners as the AAHOA chair is an honor, and I look forward to working with AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members on the road to recovery,” Patel said. “Industry estimates continue to project a full recovery sometime in late 2023 or 2024. Coming together as an industry is paramount to economic recovery, especially as new variants threaten to inhibit the reopening of America. I am confident that AAHOA’s enhanced advocacy and education efforts as well as the implementation of our new strategic plan will help our industry get back on track.”
Patel plans to focus on elevating the association’s advocacy and engagement at the state and local level including coordinating political education efforts with the American Hospitality Alliance. “We must be united in our advocacy efforts, especially as we engage with local governments,” Patel said.
In his inaugural address, Patel highlighted the importance of the industry’s collective efforts to keep the lights on during the pandemic as well as the necessity of remaining optimistic about the recovery and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. “We are in uncharted territory as a country as we emerge from this crisis. In a way, we are all letting our eyes adjust to the sunlight after spending more than a year in the darkness. It will be challenging. It will be frustrating. But AAHOA is here to help guide us as we rebuild, reinvest, and recover.”
Patel joined AAHOA in 1993 and has served on its board since 2014. AAHOA members elected him as secretary in 2018. He is the president of Fairbrook Hotels, which owns and operates 11 properties including IHG, Hilton, Radisson, Choice, and Wyndham brands.
Patel also serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association and is the president of the Herndon Hospitality Association.
In related, news, AAHOA Aug. 6 announced its award winners during its convention, recognizing achievement and excellence in the hospitality industry. The winners received their awards on the main stage during the general session.
The 2020 award winners are: AAHOA Award of Excellence: Nanda Patel; Cecil B. Day Community Service Award: Mitesh Jivan; IAHA Independent Hotel of the Year: Hotel Lexen; Outreach Award for Philanthropy: Masudur Khan; Outstanding Women Hotelier of the Year: Priti Patel; Outstanding Young Professional of the Year: Saajan Patel; and Political Forum Award for Advocacy: Bijal Patel.
“Each year, AAHOA recognizes and honors hoteliers who go above and beyond in service to the hospitality industry,” said Biran Patel, immediate past chairman Biran Patel. “During such a challenging year, these individuals made significant contributions to the industry and to AAHOA. We are all honored to highlight their service and commitment to excellence.”