Quarterly Newsletters

Open Doors: The Inaugural Foundation Newsletter

A Message from Katherine Lugar, AH&LA, President & CEO

 

KLugar.JPG?r=1464893667457Our industry is successful because of its people. From dishwasher to front desk agent, to general manager up to CEO, every individual plays a vital role in making us stronger. A critical component of this industry and our AH&LA is supporting current and future talent. That's why the work of AH&LEF is so critical to what we do every day. By creating career pathways and showcasing the latest research, the Foundation opens doors to news possibilities for so many. And they have a great story to tell. I am pleased to announce AH&LEF's new newsletter, Open Doors, as a means to share those stories with you on a regularly, quarterly basis. We are excited to feature our impactful donors, star scholarship recipients, cutting edge research, and industry leaders. Since its inception, the Foundation has made significant contributions to our industry by awarded more than $20 million in scholarships research grants, and investments in key programs. And because AH&LEF relies solely on contributions from individuals and companies just like you, I want to thank you for your tremendous support! We thank you for your commitment to AH&LEF, AH&LA and the future of our industry.

Quarterly Newsletter June 2016
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WHAT HAVE WE DONE WITH YOUR MONEY?

 

A Message from AH&LEF's President

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SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT:

 

Eugenia Gonzales

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CEO PROFILE:

 

Meet Kirk Kinsell

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ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN 2016:

 

Carlson's

Record Gift

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A Message from AH&LEF's President Joori JeonOPEN DOORS
What Have We Done With Your Money?

We are a tight-knit community of industry leaders who owe our success in this business to mentors and teachers. That's why we're so passionate about helping the next generation of hospitality professionals complete their education and get a good start in the industry. We need them as our next managers as much as they need us to set them on the right career path.


OPEN DOORSNo more is that evident than in the financial contributions we get from you and the enthusiastic involvement of so many in our activities. We reflect and look ahead to continuing this momentum. Foremost, the Foundation couldn't have done it without you. AH&LEF is funded solely from voluntary gifts, which is above and beyond association dues. Because of you, countless lives have been changed. We are grateful for every single gift!


Throughout the last year we've have meaningful discussions with multiple stakeholders. It reaffirmed our shared belief in what we do and its importance to the future of the industry. This inaugural digital newsletter (Open Doors) was inspired by all who support us and is an extension of our thanks. You can count on Open Doors to keep you posted on the latest at AH&LEF.


In 2015, the Foundation distributed more than $1.25 million toward scholarships, educational programming, workforce development, cutting-edge research projects and grants.


A record $730,000 was awarded in academic scholarships to 380 promising hospitality management students attending 98 colleges and universities across the country.


Six grants were funded to educate the public in areas such as lodging tax rates, impact of hotel on communities, and short-term online rentals. Many don't realize the recent study in collaboration with the Center for Hospitality Real Estate Strategy in the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State University "From Air Mattresses to Unregulated Business: An Analysis of the Other Side of Airbnb" was funded by the Foundation.


By empowering the next generation of hospitality leaders and investing in crucial industry research, your contributions change our industry from the bottom up and the top down.

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2015 AH&LEF Programs At A GlanceOPEN DOORS
  • $730,000  Academic and professional development scholarships, and alumni program
  • $273,000 Research grants
  • $200,500 Workforce development and school-to-career initiatives
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2016 Annual Giving CampaignOPEN DOORS
Carlson's Record Donation
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Carlson.jpg

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and The Carlson Family Foundation Donates $40,000
 

THANK YOU CARLSON! A tremendous thank you goes to Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and the Carlson Family Foundation for kicking off this year's 2016 Annual Giving Campaign with the largest donation in the campaign's history!
 
In their seventh consecutive donation, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and the Carlson Family Foundation donated a record-breaking $40,000, which will be geared toward funding key programs that develop our industry's current and future talent and provide research funding to better promote and position our industry.
 
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in partnership with the Carlson Family Foundation, collectively donated more than $1.3 million to AH&LEF, including its last two major capital giving campaigns. Thank You Carlson for all you do!
 
Read the full press release here. 


AH&LEF is the industry's charitable foundation, funded solely by voluntary donations. Make it one of your charities of choice. Your support helps guarantee the future of our industry. Donate now

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Scholarship SpotlightOPEN DOORS
3 Questions for Eugenia Gonzales
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The luckiest among us figure out early in life that working in hospitality is the right career for us. Eugenia Gonzales, 24, is a three-time AH&LEF scholarship recipient who love of travel, people and cultures propelled her into the hotel industry. Eugenia loves sharing her love of adventure and dance at work, where she is able to offer her guests and clients tips on things she has tried: bungee jumping, skydiving, scuba with whale sharks, and Latin dance. We recently caught up with Eugenia, who is a Business Development Sales Manager at the Hilton Orlando.   Eugenia_Quote.jpg?r=1464876245393
  1. Who was your most important mentor and what lessons did you learn?
    My dad, Reinaldo Gonzalez, has had the biggest impact on me! As my most important mentor, he taught me hard work, a love for learning, integrity, kindness and compassion. Through his teaching I have developed emotional intelligence which has helped me greatly in my professional career.
  2. What did the scholarships from AH&LEF do for you?
    To say great things have come from my AH&LEF scholarships is truly an understatement. The Foundation scholarships were a tremendous financial relief. I didn't have to work full time to cover my tuition, and was able to get involved in learning opportunities beyond the classroom—Honors College, resident advising, and managing important events like Gourmet Night and Hall of Honor. I also studied abroad in Hong Kong for a semester. 
  3. What do you see in the future for those who work in hospitality?
    With globalization, the world is becoming smaller and economies are becoming smaller as well. With the rise of the sharing economy, the hotel industry faces many new challenges and opportunities due to competition. I travel a lot myself—I've visited more than 15 countries form Austria to Vietnam and Bulgaria. You can travel almost everywhere, book immediately, and find information at your fingertips. Some of the conventional ways we go about hospitality will have to change. We have to be the best and tell people we are the best to win our guests one at a time.
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CEO ProfileOPEN DOORS
Meet Kirk Kinsell
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Focusing on People is at the Core of Kinsell's Leadership Style

 

President & CEO of Loews Hotels & Resorts, a fourth generation hotelier and 35-year industry veteran who developed and launched some of the most profitable and fastest-growing hotel brands, Kirk Kinsell serves AH&LEF Board of Trustees as Vice Chairman.
 
Kirk embodies the hospitality industry and its high standards of excellence. He is known for getting close to every level of the business, keeping a rigorous schedule meeting individual teams, from business service and reservation centers to expansive properties.
 
Traveling, touring properties, and getting to know people are the best ways to learn how to be innovative and present in the company. Kirk told Lodging Magazine that the most gratifying experiences in his career come from the "legacy of the people and the lives we touch."
 
"I think each of us has a responsibility to give back to the industry to recognize what it has provided, the privilege of the opportunity to lead people in our greater tour and travel business," Kirk explains. "I am mindful that people are the focus in terms of how we deliver our brand, how we craft our strategy, and how we approach our markets."
 
He says it is more important now than ever to give to AH&LEF because of the high demands on our workforce coming into the industry and needing economic support for their professional development.
 
Kirk leads by example. He not only increased his Annual Giving contribution this year to the Leadership Level with a gift of $10,000, but also made a personal pledge of $100,000 to a major AH&LEF fundraising effort, which will be publicly announced in a few months. He is a firm believer in nurturing talent. The current and future workforce are a critical component of delivering great guest experiences. "Talent has to be a number one priority for all of us in the hotel industry and supporting students as future leaders is all of our responsibility."
 
Kirk graduated from University of California, San Diego, and holds a Master of Professional Studies degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

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AH&LEF Calendar of EventsOPEN DOORS
May
May 1
Academic Scholarship Application
May 16
Board of Trustees Meeting
May 17 -18
Legislative Action Summit
June
June 15
Research Application
July
July 1
Professional Development Scholarship Application
August
August 28 - 31 
AH&LEF Golf Classic
September
September 15
Research Application
October
October 1
Professional Development Scholarship Application
November
Big Apple Auction
November 13 - 15
HX: The Hotel Experience
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Connect With UsOPEN DOORS

Phone: 202-289-3180

Fax: 202-289-3199

E-Mail: foundation@ahlef.org

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Joori Jean, CPA, CAE
President & COO, AH&LEF
Executive Vice President &
Chief Financial Officer, AH&LA
Chief Executive Officer, AH&LEI
Responsible for raising the Foundation's profile as the premier charitable fundraising engine of the industry.
Michelle Poinelli
Senior Vice President
Oversees the day-to-day operations including fundraising initiatives and program administration.
E: mpoinelli@ahlef.org
P: (202) 289-3181
Bethany Perryman
Manager
Primary contact for scholarship inquieries.
E: bperryman@ahlef.org
P: (202) 289-3134
Diana Majano
Coordinator
Provides administrative support to the Foundation.
E: dmajano@ahlef.org
P: (202) 289-3138
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October 2016

 

Quarterly Newsletter October 2016
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Announcing $8M Capital Campaign

 

We are more than 75% to goal! 

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Donor Spotlight

 

Hear What Our Supporters Have To Say

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CEO Profile

 

Meet Harry Javer

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Above & Beyond Award

Minaz Abji recieves Humanitarian Award at Lodging Conference.

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Opening Doors to OpportunityOPEN DOORS
Announcing AH&LEF's $8M Capital Campaign

Last week at The Lodging Conference, the Foundation publicly announced a capital initiative that will provide $8 million in funds for its academic and professional development scholarships and critical industry research. So far, Opening Doors to Opportunity has received more than $6 million in pledges from industry executives and companies committed to funding the future.


The first capital campaign in more than 15 years, we have achieved more than 75% of our $8 million goal. The Campaign Executive Committee – comprised of 14 industry executives and led by Kirk Kinsell, President & CEO of Loews Hotels & Resorts – anticipates raising the remaining funds by December 31.  

  Kirk_Campaign.jpg?r=1475165719911

©Gary Kane / Lodgingconference.com

 

To date, Host Hotels & Resorts is the campaign's lead donor generously pledging $500,000 over five years. Similarly, corporate donors pledging a minimum of $250,000 include: Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, the Ashford Group of Companies, FelCor Lodging Trust, LaSalle Hotel Properties, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Loews Hotels & Resorts, USA Today, and Wyndham Worldwide.


Additionally, many industry executives have been leaders in driving the campaign through large personal donations. They include American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) board member, Robert A. Alter, President of Seaview Investors, LLC; AH&LEF Chairman, Minaz Abji, EVP Asset Management at Host Hotels & Resorts; and AH&LEF Trustee, Kirk Kinsell, President & CEO of Loews Hotels & Resorts. The Alter family committed $250,000 and Kinsell and Abji each pledged $100,000. A full list of donors is available here.


piechart.jpgOpening Doors to Opportunity will provide $4 million in academic scholarships for hospitality management students; $2 million in professional and workforce development scholarships for more than 4,000 current associates seeking to obtain a professional certification; and $2 million to fund several dozen new studies that will support companies and state associations across the profession.
"At the core of our industry is our people and ensuring that we nurture the future of our industry is crucial to our collective success," said Katherine Lugar, President & CEO of AH&LA. "This is an exceptional time to be in hospitality and supporting the Foundation equips our industry's future leaders with the tools and skills needed to keep pace with these exciting developments."  

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Watch a quick, 3 minute video about Opening Doors to OpportunityOPEN DOORS
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Donor SpotlightOPEN DOORS
What Our Supporters Are Saying

Kirk-square.jpg"Talent has to be a number one priority for all of us in the hotel industry, and supporting research and exceptional students as future leaders is all of our responsibilty"  
Kirk Kinsell
President & CEO, Loews Hotels & Resorts

       

BobAlter.jpg?r=1475090194432"The future of the Hospitality industry is dependent on the education of our future generations. The Robert A. Alter family is honored to support scholarships to continue the education of our youth and future generations of students."
Robert A. Alter
President of Seaview Investors, LLC

         

ProtectABed.jpg?r=1475090236275"Protect-A-Bed supports the development of the future leaders to the hospitality industry. Protect-A-Bed views this opportunity as a win for all involved: our youth, who will become the future decision makers in the industry, the AH&LA for the reasons stated above, and Protect-A-Bed, as we lead by providing innovative, wellness products to the hospitality industry."
Sandra DiVito
Vice President, Hospitality & Healthcare, Protect-A-Bed 

   

Walter_headshot.jpg?r=1475164862609"When asked to support the Opening Doors to Opportunity campaign we readily accepted the chance to participate! The Foundation supports companies like Sage Hospitality with a pipeline of quality individuals to hire and resources for our employees to pursue professional development, leadership development is one of Sage's core values. We felt it was important to lend our support and show our peers and customers that the Foundation not only supports our company, but our entire profession."
Walter Isenberg
Co-Founder, President & CEO of Sage Hospitality

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CEO ProfileOPEN DOORS
Meet Harry Javer

Lifelong New Yorker Harry Javer is known as a go-getter who has transformed the conference and events business as President of The Conference Bureau, Inc. and Co-Founder and Producer of The Lodging Conference. He counts among his personal traits hard work, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a love of music. That passion took him from his first job of producing concerts and seminars in college to running an innovative business focused on bringing professional people together in an environment where they are able to achieve great things.


Javer has led the Foundation's Annual Giving Campaign for four years, raising more than $655,000. "No matter which industry you're involved with, it's important to give back. Hospitality is certainly no exception. It's great to get to the top, as so many in our industry who support the Foundation have. But it's also important to throw down that ladder so somebody else can climb it."


Harry_Javer.jpeg?r=1475090423435Javer has first-hand experience with the impact AH&LEF's scholarships make. "I've come across hundreds of students who have benefited from the scholarships provided by the Foundation. In many cases, these young men and women are the first ones to attend college and they help support their families working part-time jobs. The money we raise for scholarships really makes a difference. The hospitality industry is constantly looking to attract the best and the brightest people for its careers, and we want them to remain in the industry."


Born and raised in Brooklyn, Javer attended Stonybrook University in Long Island, then moved to Manhattan after college and never looked back. An avid music lover and fan of The Boss, Javer boasts attendance to more than 150 Bruce Springsteen concerts. He also plays competitive softball.


"I've been in the event business for 35 years," says Javer. "In 1994, I started attending many hospitality events but noticed something: none of them were truly 'five stars' in terms of location, networking, food and drink, or relaxation. Those things matter to people and to having successful events." That's when he launched the Lodging Conference, which has been an industry game-changer for more than two decades.


Javer believes the hospitality industry is "like no other." The huge amount of opportunity and growth potential is one of the industry's best traits. "There are few industries where you can start at the bottom and make it to the top. It's amazing how many people started as a dishwasher, cleaner, or administrative assistant and rose to C-level positions. That means for young people that the industry holds great opportunities if you're willing to work hard. There is enormous possibility to thrive, move forward, and build a career." Plus, Javer adds, "it's just a lot of fun!"

 

IMG_1878.jpgJaver names his father as one of his mentors and biggest supporters. An entrepreneur for more than four decades, Javer's father has always been his sounding board. "He always told me 'the harder you work the luckier you get'." In the hospitality industry, Mike Leven, hotelier icon and founder of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), has been Javer's mentor for 20 years. "His reputation is tremendous," says Javer. "He's won every award you can imagine. He is somebody who believes that you have to give back and he does that."


What's next for Harry Javer? He's looking forward to a change-making a few years ahead. "Technology has enabled the industry to move forward and has helped to make branding smarter," he says. "At the same time, technology also presents challenges like consumer transparency and new competition. Also, regulatory changes along with industry consolidation are happening now. The next 24 months are going to be interesting."

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AH&LEF Funds The FutureOPEN DOORS
In 2016, AH&LEF granted  383 academic scholarships, totaling a record $849,500!
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Above & Beyond AwardOPEN DOORS
Minaz Abji Receives Humanitarian Award

Minaz_KL_award.JPG?r=1475241974672Minaz Abji, Executive Vice President of Host Hotels & Resorts, received the 2016 Above and Beyond Humanitarian Award. The award was presented at the Lodging Conference on Wednesday, September 28.


This award is given to a hospitality leader who demonstrates a commitment to the industry and the community.


Abji has served as a member of AH&LEF's Board of Trustees since 2006 and has been elected Chairman each year since 2007. In addition, he has also been on several AH&LA committees.


"I am humbled to receive this award and am grateful for the opportunities the hospitality industry has afforded me. I am passionate about giving back to educating the next generation," said Abji.


"It's so important to give back to the industry and nobody has given more," said Harry Javer, producer and founder of The Lodging Conference. "I've had the pleasure of working with Minaz at AH&LEF and he is an industry treasure. His hard work, dedication and leadership has helped the Foundation to reach some tremendous goals over the past 10 years. His tremendous efforts will continue to bear fruit for years to come. The industry needs more people like Minaz."

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AH&LEF Calendar of EventsOPEN DOORS
May
May 1
Academic Scholarship Application
May 16
Board of Trustees Meeting
May 17 -18
Legislative Action Summit
June
June 15
Research Application
July
July 1
Professional Development Scholarship Application
August
August 28 - 31
AH&LEF Golf Classic
September
September 15
Research Application
October
October 1
Professional Development Scholarship Application
November
November 13 - 15
HX: The Hotel Experience
November 13 
AH&LEF Scholarship Committee Meeting 
November 13
Scholars Alumni Luncheon 
November 14
AH&LEF Board of Trustees Meeting
November 16
Big Apple Auction Ends
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Connect With UsOPEN DOORS

Phone: 202-289-3180

Fax: 202-289-3199

E-Mail: foundation@ahlef.org

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2016 Annual Giving Campaign Leaders
Carlson
Carlson Family Foundation
The Handlery Foundation
Host Hotels & Resorts
Minaz Abji
Carlson
Carlson Family Foundation
The Robert Alter Family
Kirk Kinsell
Carlson
Carlson Family Foundation
The Handlery Foundation
Host Hotels & Resorts
Minaz Abji
Carlson
Carlson Family Foundation
The Robert Alter Family
Kirk Kinsell
Carlson
Carlson Family Foundation
The Handlery Foundation
Host Hotels & Resorts
Minaz Abji
Carlson
Carlson Family Foundation
The Robert Alter Family
Kirk Kinsell
Host Hotels
National Restaurant Association
Robert Alter Family
Ashford
Best Western
Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
LaSalle Hotel Properties
LaQuinta Inns & Suites
Lowes Hotels and Resorts
Marriott International
https://www.venetian.com/
USA Today
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Host Hotels
National Restaurant Association
Robert Alter Family
Ashford
Best Western
Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
LaSalle Hotel Properties
LaQuinta Inns & Suites
Lowes Hotels and Resorts
Marriott International
https://www.venetian.com/
USA Today
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Host Hotels
National Restaurant Association
Robert Alter Family
Ashford
Best Western
Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
LaSalle Hotel Properties
LaQuinta Inns & Suites
Lowes Hotels and Resorts
Marriott International
https://www.venetian.com/
USA Today
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts