Quarterly Newsletters

August 2017

   

Quarterly Newsletter August 2017
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A Message from AHLEF

 

Your Research Dollars at Work

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Industry Leader Profile

 

David Kong

   
Read More
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Professional Development Scholarship Spotlight

 

Four Questions for Pranav Batra

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Annual Giving

 

2017 Annual Giving Campaign Kickoff

Read More
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A Message from AHLEFOPEN DOORS
Your Research Dollars At Work

Research is vitally important to our industry. It helps us identify and address the most pertinent issues we face. It also provides the impressive data we use to promote the industry. Since 1995, AHLEF has granted more than $3.6 million to fund research projects. In the last five years alone, our donors have enabled us to increase research funding by 150%.

OPEN DOORSOne of our most valuable accomplishments was funding the first-ever economic impact analysis of the U.S. hotel industry. AHLA utilized this data to create the powerful national awareness campaign, Dreams Happen Here. The campaign showcases the depth and breadth of our industry, the 8 million jobs it supports across the country, and the nearly $600 billion it contributes annually to the U.S. economy. AHLA launched the campaign early this year with several hospitality events, including an AHLA-branded food truck that promoted many of the eye-opening industry statistics generated by the Foundation's research to staffers on Capitol Hill.

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Our food truck told the industry's story and served cookies and coffee to more than 1,500 people on Capitol Hill

 

Thank you to all our donors who make it possible to fund our industry's cutting-edge research. Check out AHLEF's most recent releases, which can be found in AHLA's Research Center:

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Industry Leader ProfileOPEN DOORS
Meet David Kong: From Busboy to CEO

David Kong's story is legendary in the hospitality industry. It has taken him from busboy to president and CEO of Best Western International. His award-winning, 40-year journey of personal growth and professional success has inspired thousands of hospitality careers.

 

David grew up modestly in Hong Kong. Family took center stage on Sunday afternoons when his father took the entire family to a nice lunch. "The best restaurants were in hotels, so I spent many happy times at hotels, and that's where I decided hotels were going to be my career."

OPEN DOORSAfter immigrating to the U.S., David enrolled in the Travel Industry Management School at the University of Hawaii in 1970. While he was a full-time university student, he began working a succession of jobs in the hospitality business he loved: busboy, dishwasher, housekeeping staff, front desk clerk, all the way to assistant manager of a 400-room resort by his senior year. He was also working to master the English language. "Those first years were a blur," he said. "If you asked me what music was popular at that time, I couldn't tell you!"

 

His incredible work ethic, talent, and curiosity paid off. David now heads the company he drove to become the industry's leader in the Internet, mobile and social media space. He is also devoted to giving back to the industry. Kong is a long-time active member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and served as chairman of its board of directors in 2010. Best Western International has been a long-time supporter of AHLEF, donating to its Annual Giving Campaign for the past 10 consecutive years and more recently pledged $250,000 to its Opening Doors to Opportunity capital campaign. David also served on the Opening Doors Executive Committee and made a $25,000 personal pledge.

 

David believes fiercely in the opportunities the hospitality industry offers. "The first thing we need to do is attract new talent into our industry, which is one that offers many avenues for people to dream and grow their careers," he said. "Hospitality is an exciting business and a dynamic industry. This industry gave me a lot of opportunities and empowered me to dream boldly, provide a good living for my family and find personal fulfillment."

 

To David, supporting students is hugely important. "I know firsthand how demanding it is to go to school full-time and work full-time," he said. "Any assistance we can provide for students to focus on their education and build a career in the industry is the least we can do to help them and to give back to the industry."

 

To the young professional just starting out, David offers this advice: "Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Early on in my career, I would get upset when I saw less competent people get promoted or given new opportunities before me. Most of those individuals eventually failed because they had no substance. Work hard, think progressively and be a team player. You will be noticed."

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Professional Development Scholarship SpotlightOPEN DOORS
Four Questions for Pranav Batra

Pranav BsqLMHd3ewemvoXyw0iao6AMpQAAAAASUVORK5CYII=atra was born and raised in India where his family owned a hotel. Pranav's passion for hospitality developed at an early age, and he has worked in a wide range of hospitality positions. When he was a chef at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, the general manager saw his management potential and transferred him to the front desk. Pranav then started climbing the career ladder and eventually got his MBA in Hospitality Management in Switzerland. He is now Director of Six Sigma at W Hotels in New York City.

 

Pranav completed two certificates with scholarships for professional development from AHLEF. The Certified Hotel Facilities Executive (CHFE) in 2014 and Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE) in 2015.

 

What do you like most about your work?

My favorite thing is meeting new people, including guests and employees. Working in hospitality, you have to stay on top of how guest and employee expectations change. Understanding people and learning from them helps me do a better job.graphic(1).png

 

Who was your most influential mentor?

Nona Destreza, who is now at our corporate office. We worked together at the Sheraton here in New York and that was an eye-opening experience. That hotel has more than 400 employees and I met a lot of different people from different backgrounds. The volume was so high that I had to learn to be flexible with my style to manage projects. Nona taught me how to approach people, work with them, have patience. 

 

How did the AHLEF scholarship impact your career?

The certificates I was able to complete with the help from the Foundation pushed me forward in my career. The positive experience with AHLEF motivated me to pursue the second certificate. Both certificates have helped me be a much more effective leader.

 

What do you see in the future for yourself and for the hospitality industry?

My personal goal is to open and operate my own hotel, a property that puts a premium on personal service and connections. Today, with technology becoming ever more prominent in our society, I truly believe personal connections are still the key to unmatched hospitality. At the end of day, guests remember great service experiences and the employees who provide them, not enhanced technologies.

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Annual GivingOPEN DOORS
2017 Campaign Kickoff

AHLEF's annual giving drive kicks off this summer encouraging AHLA members to contribute to this critical campaign that drives our industry in significant ways: disbursing scholarships to aspiring hospitality students, empowering our current employees through training and resources, and commissioning valuable research.

 

Harry Javer, president of The Conference Bureau and co-founder of The Lodging Conference, has chaired the Annual Giving Campaign since 2013. This campaign delivers essential unrestricted contributions. Those funds provide ongoing support for AHLEF and its programs, allowing us to fulfill our mission to help build careers that improve lives and strengthen the lodging industry.

 

To donate, click here and join the thousands of AHLEF benefactors that have provided valuable resources to the industry's sole fundraising body.

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Watch a brief video about the annual giving campaign and its benefits to young hoteliersOPEN DOORS
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Donor SpotlightsOPEN DOORS

The Handlery Foundation contributed $10,000, the third time this long-time supporter of AHLEF has given at the Leadership Level. The Handlery Foundation has also supported AHLEF through contributions to an endowed scholarship fund and previous capital giving campaigns.

   

Handlery.jpg"My father Paul served as one of the early trustees of AHLEF and was instrumental in shaping its future," said Jon Handlery, President of Handlery Hotels. "He spearheaded the Foundation's first major fundraising initiative, securing long-term support for hospitality scholarship and educational programs for our industry. It is my family's mission to follow in our father's footsteps and continue his vision of giving back to the hospitality industry."

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Marcus Hotels & Resorts donated $5,000, its first contribution at the six-diamond level. The company has been a long-time supporter of the annual giving drive and we thank them for stepping up their level of support this year.

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Kirk Kinsell gave $5,000, marking his fifth consecutive personal gift at the six-diamond level or higher. Additionally, Kinsell made a personal pledge of $130,000 to AHLEF's Opening Doors to Opportunity, the capital campaign he chaired and that raised more than $8.2 million. A fourth-generation hotelier who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years, Kirk is Secretary/Treasurer of AHLEF's board of trustees and a long-time, active member of AHLA.

 
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Watch a short video honoring Kirk Kinsell at AHLA's 2017 Leadership SummitOPEN DOORS
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AHLEF Calendar of EventsOPEN DOORS
August 27-30
 
AHLEF Golf Classic
 
October 1
 
Professional Development Scholarship Application
September 15
 
Research Application
November 12-13
HX: The Hotel Experience
Big Apple Auction
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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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March 2017

   

 

Quarterly Newsletter February 2017
OPEN DOORS

A Message from AHLEF's President

 

More than $8M raised in Captial Campaign

Read More
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Industry Leader Profile

 

Meet Minaz Abji 

Read More
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Scholarship Spotlight

 

3 Questions for Alison Hoyt

Read More
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Opening Doors to Oppourtunity

 

Thank You Donors! 

Read More
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A Message from AHLEF President Joori JeonOPEN DOORS
A Review of AHLEF's Accomplishments – More Than $8 Million Raised!

For the past 18 months we have been engaged in a capital initiative entitled Opening Doors to Opportunity to raise monies for AHLEF's academic and professional development scholarships and critical industry research. I'm pleased to report that we have surpassed our goal and raised $8.28 million through the incredible generosity of just 120 donors. Because of these companies and individuals, countless lives have been changed. We are grateful for every single gift! A full list of donors is available here and the press release is here.

 

OPEN DOORSAs these pledge payments are fulfilled over the next few years, the infusion of capital will elevate AHLEF's programs to the next level.

In 2016, the Foundation distributed approximately $1.5 million. A record $849,000 was awarded in academic scholarships to 383 promising hospitality management students, which is an increase of $119,000 from last year. Eight grants were funded to educate the public in areas such as lodging tax rates, impact of hotel on communities, and short-term online rentals. Increasingly, AHLEF's grants have become instrumental in providing critical data to help AHLA address the most pertinent issues facing our industry. One of our biggest accomplishments was funding the first-ever economic impact analysis of the U.S. hotel industry conducted by Oxford Economics. 

 

By empowering the next generation of hospitality leaders and investing in crucial industry research, your contributions are already having a tremendous impact on our industry. I can't wait to see what we can accomplish over the next few years with this infusion of new capital through the generosity of industry donors!

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2016 AHLEF Programs at a Glance OPEN DOORS
  • $305,000 Research Grants
  • $849,000 Scholarships
  • $196,500 Workforce Development/School-to-Career/Professional Development Initiatives
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Industry Leader ProfileOPEN DOORS
Meet Minaz Abji

Executive Vice President Asset Management at Host Hotels & Resorts, Minaz Abji is a hospitality leader with 40+ years of hotel operation experience in Canada and the United States. The Uganda native immigrated to Canada as a refugee and worked his way up at the front desk of the Westin in Toronto.

 

From his humble start, Abji quickly absorbed know-how in all aspects of hotel management and operations – food and beverage, events and rooms. He achieved his intended goal and became General Manager after eleven years.

 

Abji said the old yarn about working hard bringing rewards remains the best advice for young professionals. "I always believed, 'if I just work hard, established goals and had a can do attitude; that the company will promote me. And they did."

 

Minaz.pngAbji's dedication for a career in hospitality started when his father asked him at age 16 what he wanted to be. Other young people his age, said his father, had already chosen careers- accountant, lawyer, doctor. Abji recalls his father's words: "You will not be a successful person if you do not choose a path."

 

"I met a friend that week at a hotel for soda and a snack. As I was waiting for my friend to arrive, I saw a confident man walking around conversing with staff and guests. He looked sharp, wearing a navy jacket and grey pants. I looked at him and surroundings and decided that's what I wanted to do with my life. I went home and told my father who was happy about my decision and sent me to North Wales College for Hotel Management."

 

Abji has served as a member of AHLEF's Board of Trustees since 2006 and has been elected Chairman each year since 2007. Besides his passion for the industry, there are other reasons why Abji is a huge supporter of AHLEF's mission. He has been a long-time Annual Giving Campaign donor, donating $10,000 for the past five years. As Chairman, his passion was instrumental in launching an $8 million capital campaign, Opening Doors to Opportunity, and he personally donated $100,000. He considers giving back to the industry his duty.

 

As the son of a Ugandan family with Indian ancestry, Abji knows first-hand what it means to have limited resources. When Indian people were expelled from the East African country in the 70s, his family came to Canada as refugees. He recalls, "All of our wealth was taken away. We had no money. I had to work weekends and borrowed money to go to school. What I appreciated was that the school had scholarships. I'll never forget when I got 500 dollars from the FB Bradley Meat Company. Those 500 dollars were a life-changer for me. I was amazed by the fact that a company that didn't even know me would support me!"

 

"When one person gets an education, amazing changes happen that transform whole families. By making education – and a career in the best industry in the world - possible for so many students, many of them the first in their families to attend college, the Foundation does a great and important job."

 

To the young professional just starting out, Abji offers this advice: "I would say – before you join any hotel company, find out if they promote from within. That is important. Second, have a ten- year plan on what you want to achieve and look at that on a weekly basis. And third, when you go into the workplace have a positive attitude, be thoughtful and kind to everyone you meet. If you do all that, you will be promoted and richly rewarded."

 

Minaz Abji holds a MBA from Rockhurst University and an AMP from Harvard Business School.

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WATCH A SHORT VIDEO IN HONOR OF MINAZ WHICH WAS FEATURED AT AHLA's 2016 LEADERSHIP DINNER OPEN DOORS
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Scholarship SpotlightOPEN DOORS
3 Questions for Alison Hoyt
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Alison Hoyt is an energetic young woman who was literally born to work in the hospitality industry as she is the fifth-generation of her family to be involved in their resort's business. Her passion for hospitality exceeds the human race; she is on the Board of Directors for a non-profit giant breed dog rescue group in Colorado. She has also been a true ski enthusiast since she was four years old.

 

Alison received the AHLEF American Express scholarship three times during her undergraduate studies at Cornell University and is now Director of Consulting and Analytics at Hotel Market Data and Benchmarking.

 

When did you start thinking about a career in the hospitality industry?

I was raised in New Hampshire where my family owns and operates Purity Spring Resort in Madison. I was always surrounded by my own family and returning resort guests that became my extended family. When I was of true working age -- assisting my aunt with napkin folding started well before--, I started waitressing in the dining room during the summer and selling lift tickets at the ski mountain in the winter. When I was accepted to the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, I knew there was no better place to continue my hospitality education.

 

What do you see in the future for yourself and the hospitality industry?

I believe in taking opportunities as they come and what's most important to me is making sure I am continually learning, being challenged, and motivated by work I love doing in the ever-changing hospitality industry. Especially given my current position, I think data will continue to guide solutions and technology will evolve the way the hospitality industry does business – with guests, employees, and clients.

 

What did the scholarship from AHLEF do for you?

The scholarship funds I received from AHLEF made an incredible difference for me not only during college but also for my post-student life. It significantly helped ease the huge burden of graduating with student loans. I have been diligent about paying off my student loans, and five years' post-graduation my student debt will be repaid – thanks to organizations like AHLEF.

Opening Doors to OpportunityOPEN DOORS
Thank You to Our Donors!
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Since June 2015, AHLEF has been raising $8 million through the Opening Doors to Opportunity capital campaign to provide $4 million in academic scholarships to hospitality management students; $2 million in professional development scholarships to current industry associates; and $2 million in funding for critical industry research. A limited-time, industry-wide effort, the campaign has already raised more than $8 million from 120 individual and corporate donors. The Foundation's first campaign in more than 15 years, the AHLEF team is very grateful to the 15 industry executives, led by Kirk Kinsell, who tirelessly requested these important funds. As the campaign's active fundraising period comes to a close, the Foundation looks forward to stewarding these funds to better serve as the industry's only dedicated charitable organization, building the pipeline of talent and providing the research necessary to track this rapidly changing profession.

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National Recognition:

Thanks to several generous individuals and corporations, Opening Doors to Opportunity received national recognition through its public launch at the Lodging Conference; publication in USA Today, Lodging Magazine, and Hotel Business, and presentations at the ALIS conference.

Individual Supporters as of 2/16/17

Funds Raised: $895,200

$250K - $299K

Robert A. Alter Family

 

$100K-$149K

Minaz Abji

John Belden

Kinsell Family

 

$50K-$99K

Jim & Adele Abrahamson

Geoff & Leslie Ballotti

Steve & Bonnie Holmes

 

$25K-$49K

Mark & Cheryl Carrier

Dimond Family Foundation

David Kong

Jim Leahy

Katherine G. Lugar

Under $25K

Jeffrey Brown

Vijay Dandapani

Lynne Dougherty

Terri Haack

Deborah Herman

Michael Hoffman

Joori Jeon

Mark Laport

Christopher Ostapovicz

Allen Ostroff

Leslie Pchola

Jim Reeder

Javier Rosenberg

Steve Rushmore

 

Corporate Supporters as of 2/16/17

Funds Raised: $7,382,783

$300K-$500K

Host Hotels & Resorts

National Restaurant Association

 

$250K - $299K

Ashford Group of Companies

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Hilton

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

La Quinta Inns & Suites
LaSalle Hotel Properties

Loews Hotels & Resorts

Marriott International

The Venetian

USA Today

Wyndham Worldwide

 

$150K-$249K

Aimbridge Hospitality

FelCor Lodging Trust

Hersha Hospitality Trust

Trump Hotel Collection

 

$100K-$149K

Accor Hotels

Caesars Entertainment

Davidson Hotels & Resorts

HEI Hotels & Resorts

Highgate

IHG

Omni Hotels & Resorts

PSAV, Presentation Services

Sage Hospitality

STR

Summit Hotel Properties

Sunstone Hotel Investors

Westmont Hospitality/Red Roof Inns

 

$50K-$99K

Crestline Hotels & Resorts

DiamondRock Hospitality

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Hospitality Ventures Management Group

Interstate Hotels & Resorts

JHM Hotels

JLL

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust

Pyramid Hotel Group and Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group

Red Lion Hotels Corporation

REM Hospitality

Royal Cup Coffee and Tea

Ryman Hospitality Properties Foundation

$50K-$99K Continued

Shaner Hotel Group

The Broadmoor

The Chartres Lodging Group

The Lodging Conference

Two Roads Hospitality

Vision Hospitality Group

 

$25K-$49K

BRE Select Hotels

Dimension Development Company

Extended Stay America

G6 Hospitality

Montage Hotels & Resorts

Northcott Hospitality and AmericInn

Oracle Hospitality

Protect-A-Bed

Serta Simmons Mattress Company

Spire Hospitality

The Breakers Palm Beach, Inc.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Hotel Group

Towne Park

Waterford Hotel Group

 

Under $25K

Apple Core Hotels

Apple Hospitality REIT

Beaver Run Resort Breckenridge

California Hotel & Lodging Association

CCS

CLA Foundation

Educational Foundation of Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts

Hotel Ave Value Enhancements, Inc.

Hotel Business

Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

Lodging Magazine

Maine Innkeepers Association

Marshall Hotels & Resorts

Massachusetts Lodging Association

Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association

Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association

Pinkowski & Compamy

Schahet Hotels Inc.

Sebasco Harbor Resort

Sonifi Solutions

Standard Textile Co., Inc.

Sysco Guest Supply/Sysco Corporation

Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association

TradeWinds Island Hotels & Resorts

Vesta Hospitality

Washington Hospitality Association

Xenia Hotels & Resorts

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AHLEF Calendar of EventsOPEN DOORS
March
March 15
Research Application
April
April 1
Professional Development Scholarship Application
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 27 - 30
AHLEF Golf Classic
September
September 15
Research Application
October
October 1
Professional Development Scholarship Application
November
Big Apple Auction
November 12 - 14
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

 

October 2016

 

Quarterly Newsletter October 2016
OPEN DOORS

Announcing $8M Capital Campaign

 

We are more than 75% to goal! 

Read More
   
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Donor Spotlight

 

Hear What Our Supporters Have To Say

Read More
     
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CEO Profile

 

Meet Harry Javer

Read More
     
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Above & Beyond Award

Minaz Abji recieves Humanitarian Award at Lodging Conference.

Read More
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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.  

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©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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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

Read More
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SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT:

 

Eugenia Gonzales

Read More
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CEO PROFILE:

 

Meet Kirk Kinsell

Read More
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ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN 2016:

 

Carlson's

Record Gift

Read More
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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
OPEN DOORS
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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2017 Annual Giving Campaign Leaders
Minaz Abji
Atrium Hospitality
Jim Burba/Bob Hayes
Chartres Lodging Group
The Handlery Foundation
Allen C. Hermansen Charitable Remainder Trust
Hotel Business
Hotel Management
Kirk Kinsell
Paul & Jill Kirwin
Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Randy Smith
Minaz Abji
Atrium Hospitality
Jim Burba/Bob Hayes
Chartres Lodging Group
The Handlery Foundation
Allen C. Hermansen Charitable Remainder Trust
Hotel Business
Hotel Management
Kirk Kinsell
Paul & Jill Kirwin
Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Randy Smith
Minaz Abji
Atrium Hospitality
Jim Burba/Bob Hayes
Chartres Lodging Group
The Handlery Foundation
Allen C. Hermansen Charitable Remainder Trust
Hotel Business
Hotel Management
Kirk Kinsell
Paul & Jill Kirwin
Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Randy Smith
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