WASHINGTON (January 13, 2022)The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced its 2022 Officers, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, which includes top leaders representing all segments of the hospitality industry at a pivotal time for the industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming on the heels of record membership and engagement over the past two years, AHLA is launching a new strategic plan to guide the future of the association.

Justin Knight, CEO of Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc., was named chair of the board; Leslie D. Hale, President & CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust, was named vice chair; Kevin Jacobs, CFO & President of Global Development at Hilton, joins as secretary/treasurer; and Tom Bardenett, Executive Vice President, Asset Management at RLJ Lodging Trust, becomes chair of the AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees. Knight succeeds Mark S. Hoplamazian, President & CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, who has served as chair for the past year and becomes immediate past chair.

“It is an incredible honor to be appointed Chair of the AHLA Board and build on the accomplishments of my predecessors to revive our industry and, more importantly, our workforce,” said Knight. “While our industry has a long way to go to regain what was lost during the pandemic, I am optimistic about the future of the hotel business and our association. Our strategic plan will guide AHLA into the next chapter, as we continue strengthening our industry and our workforce, and showcasing our leadership on important issues like human trafficking prevention, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).”

“As we look ahead to 2022 and beyond, I’m incredibly proud of the depth of experience our Officers, Executive Committee and Board members bring to the table, and that these individuals represent the most diverse group of leaders in our association’s history,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “We are grateful to these individuals for volunteering their time and energy to ensure that AHLA and our industry are successful as we continue moving toward recovery.”

Knight takes the helm of AHLA at a critical juncture for both the industry and the association, whose membership roster recently surpassed 30,000 members for the first time and includes 80% of all franchised hotels and the largest hotel companies in the U.S. In addition to hoteliers, AHLA membership includes our partner state associations, industry vendors and suppliers, hospitality students and those who teach and mentor them.

AHLA and the hotel industry also continued its record engagement with policymakers, growing our HotelsACT grassroots network to nearly 60,000 people—putting a human face on our industry and impacting important policy decisions in Washington and in state capitols and city halls throughout the country.

The AHLA Board of Directors represents leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands, owners and real estate investment trusts (REITs), management companies, independent hotels and state associations. Click here to view the 2022 AHLA Board of Directors.

New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2022 include:

Mark Carrier, President, B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group  

Antoine Chahwan, President Hotel Operations, Americas East, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Greg Friedman, Managing Principal, Chief Executive Officer, Peachtree Hotel Group  

Greg Juceam, Chief Operating Officer, ESA Management LLC  

Daniel Kornick, Chief Information Officer, Loews Hotels & Co. (representing HTNG)  

James Merkel, CEO, Rockbridge Holdings  

Lynn D. Minges, President & CEO, NCRLA (representing ISHA)  

Ravi Patel, President, Hawkeye Hotels 

Keith Pierce, EVP, President Franchise & Development, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation 

Amb. Gordon Sondland, Founder and Chairman, Provenance Hotels  

Jonathan Stanner, President & CEO, Summit Hotel Properties, Inc.  

Richard Stockton, President & CEO, Braemar Hotels and Resorts  

Larry Trabulsi, EVP & Managing Director, CHMWarnick (representing HAMA)  

Additionally, AHLA welcomed five new members to its Executive Committee, which serves as the association’s core governance body and guides its policy agenda. Click here to view the 2022 AHLA Executive Committee.

New representatives on the Executive Committee include:

Lawrence Cuculic, President & CEO, Best Western International, Inc.

Michael J. Deitemeyer, President and CEO, Aimbridge Hospitality

Carlos R. Flores, President & CEO, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation

Sheila C. Johnson, Founder & CEO, Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Mitch Patel, President and CEO, Vision Hospitality Group Inc.

AHLA’s success would not be possible without the support of its partner organizations. The AHLA Premier Partner Program offers industry suppliers and service providers high-value opportunities to engage directly with AHLA members at an executive level and increase brand visibility. Visit for a full list of our Premier Partners.


MARKHAM, ONTARIO, January 11, 2022 — Hoteliers today are doing a lot more with a lot less. Staffing and budgets continue to shrink while guest demands rise. The only salvation is technology innovation. As the undisputed heartbeat of the hotel, the property-management system must continue to evolve if the asset is to remain strong and withstand future economic attacks. Just to survive, the PMS must be flexible and feature-rich to adapt to market changes and meet guests’ ever-changing expectations, and it must be secure to protect guest and staff data, as well as the property’s reputation. Maestro, the hospitality industry’s most trusted and proven provider of cloud and on-premises Web and Mobile property-management systems, said hoteliers cannot become complacent and assume that their property-management systems – even with some COVID-era enhancements – are equipped to help operators thrive in today’s new normal.

According to the newly-released 2022 Lodging Technology Study, 81 percent of respondents say they believe their guest-facing technologies are either on par or better than competitors. Although respondents are planning to adopt new technologies that guests demand — such as contactless payment systems (74%), mobile reservations (68%), mobile check in (55%), two-way messaging (54%), and mobile room key (42%) — Maestro President Warren Dehan said these solutions are just the tip of the innovation investment iceberg.

“People have short memories and guests have a thirst for travel,” Dehan said. “When travel returns to pre-COVID levels, it’s critical that operators don’t assume they are out of the woods and put budgeted technology investments back on hold. Collectively, hoteliers must evolve with guest and market demands if they are to weather this storm and be fortified for what is yet to come. It will never be ‘business as usual’ again. Hoteliers must use this time to invest in their own roadmaps for success, and that means adopting best practices from other industries to ensure preservation.”

Dehan offers 5 predictions for the evolution of the hotel PMS in 2022 and beyond:

  1. Contactless technology is not going away; it will become more prevalent within the PMS — No one wants to get sick again. The more sensitive hoteliers become to what guests want in terms of protecting health and safety without giving up their needs for service, the faster the industry will recover. Contactless and touchless tools will remain important to attract and retain customers. The hotel’s PMS must be enhanced with guest-facing mobility products, such as omnichannel reservations (mobile web, desktop, app, etc.), two-way text messaging, a contactless payment portal, mobile check-in/out, mobile key, and digital registration cards. Many travelers will want to self-manage and control their stay experiences, and that includes avoiding the front desk and checking-in curbside via their phones or hotel-provided tablets/kiosks. As the labor shortage lingers, equipping staff with tablet technology will proliferate, as fewer workers cannot be tethered to a fixed spot in the hotel. With fewer people assuming more tasks, ensuring that they have portable access via tablet to the PMS will be key. Maestro has the contactless tools in place today to accomplish all these tasks and meet guests evolving contactless demands.
  1. Data security will include two-factor authentication at login — As employees continue to work remotely (such as administrative staff, central reservation teams, and concierge), they will require extra protection when logging into the system at the start of their shifts. In the same way that online banking requires added security measures, so too will hotels. For example, when a front-desk clerk logs in, the person will receive an authentication code via smartphone or email to verify the login credentials. This will discourage workers from sharing passwords, and it will prevent employees from logging in as someone else and committing unscrupulous acts or at minimum help the operator meet that aspect of their PCI obligations. According to the 2022 Lodging Technology Study, 68% of hoteliers plan to enhance data security, and 58% plan to enhance privacy of guest and staff data this year. Maestro has a collection of existing security features and measures standard in its cloud-hosted and on-premises solution to help operators secure their data. To further these efforts, Maestro has introduced two-factor authentication in its upcoming version as an optional layer of protection. While this already exists at big brand enterprises, it is a new security measure among the independent hotel market, and Maestro is leading the way.
  1. Support for additional payment products will be required, along with the ability for the PMS to support digital tipping and engage guests with payment installment options to make investing in travel more palatable — Hoteliers require simplicity when processing credit card transactions. Maestro has always been interested in providing its clients with choices, and the more gateway payment products the PMS can support, the easier it will be to support the diverse payment needs of independent hotels. Also, in today’s cashless economy, digital tipping is proliferating to reward employees for exceptional service when cash is not available. According to the 2022 Lodging Technology Study, 65% of hoteliers see contactless tipping as an emerging technology worthy of investment. Ensuring that the hotel PMS can support digital tipping when payments are not directly tied to the payroll system or employee payment cards will start to come of age. Finally, the PMS should be able to support installment payments for future stays. An integration is being implemented now to allow the Maestro online booking engine to invite guests to sign up for a Visa card that ties their stay with easy installment payments. Guests pay for their stays in installment payments with the whole stay prepaid to the hotel, but with multiple payments by the guest. Payments will be processed per usual, with the hotel receiving payment in full for the reservation in advance. This pay-for-stay-over-time differentiation model will soon become a seamless part of the reservation process, as guests will be eager to travel and looking for conveniences to choose one hotel over another.
  1. The PMS will need to support more OTA channel integrations — Guests have more choices than ever before in how they book their hotel accommodations, whether its directly through the hotel website or via one of the many supported central-reservation system providers such as Pegasus/TravelTripper, SynXis/Sabre, iHotelier/Travelclick, Inntopia, etc., via owner direct channels like VRBO, or through one of many OTA channel partners, such as Expedia,,, etc. Channel providers are doing a lot of direct-to-consumer marketing today, and we are seeing a shift in booking habits. To support these bookings, hoteliers must ensure that their PMSs have robust channel integrations to support relevant packaging, activities, and payment methods.
  1. PMSs will require robust integration to the major Customer-Relationship Management platforms — As the travel industry moves towards recovery, hoteliers are relying more and more on CRM platforms to help their teams with more aggressive marketing efforts. In addition to sales tracking, programs like Salesforce, when integrated with the hotel PMS, can eliminate redundant data input once prospects become customers. For example, Maestro PMS can extract data in Salesforce to create a guest record and the data then flows throughout the guest journey. In the future, two-way integration will enable Maestro to send guest data back to Salesforce and update the customer record with guest reviews, so the sales team can look solely to Salesforce to see how happy their customers are vs. having to go into the PMS. With many clients now looking to Salesforce to manage their sales efforts, we see CRM integrations as a positive initiative to help streamline the process.

“As optimism continues to build over hospitality performance in 2022 and beyond, hoteliers must arm themselves with tools that will help them optimize efficiency and do more with less,” Dehan said. “What the future holds is still unknown. Whether the industry moves to more digital guest services (52% of hoteliers say their guests increasingly prefer digital service encounters over encounters with staff – 2022 Lodging Technology Study) or hoteliers maintain the status quo and continue to operate as is, Maestro can help. We’ve got the most relevant, in-demand products backed by unprecedented service. We’re flexible in deployment options in the cloud, server based, or private cloud with a sophisticated and mobile web browser PMS suite of solutions, and we maintain our ‘power to choose’ a la carte approach to model your PMS solution exactly as you need, property by property. As the industry’s most responsive problem solvers, Maestro is here to anticipate concerns of tomorrow by meeting hoteliers’ needs today. That’s what hospitality is all about.”


Rossland, British Columbia, CANADA – January 10, 2022 –  The Josie Hotel is excited to announce Kelowna native and avid skier David Curell as the new general manager at Rossland’s boutique ski-in, ski-out hotel.

Regularly ranked among the best ski hotels in North America, the 106-room property sits at the base of RED Mountain Resort, the legendary, independent, 3,850-acre (1,558-hectare) winter and summer playground. Home to The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge, The Josie Hotel will be the third B.C. hotel in the Marriott’s Autograph Collection and is the ninth Canadian hotel in the Autograph Collection that embodies an eclectic, contemporary and authentic brand.

Curell’s hospitality experience includes two openings, one transition and 12 years of experience in North America, all with market-leading luxury boutique hotel companies.

He brings a dynamic, team-focused and results-oriented leadership style to The Josie Hotel team. His greatest training ground was the (then) AAA, five-diamond Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver.

Curell’s seasoned resume includes managing prestigious hotels such as The Opus Hotel Vancouver, Hotel Vitale San Francisco, the Clift San Francisco, Viceroy Santa Monica, Fogo Island Inn Newfoundland, Cuixmala Eco Resort Mexico and Autograph Collection by Marriott. He was most recently the general manager of Versante Hotel.

“I’m delighted to be working with the Josie team, and to welcome guests to The Josie Hotel under the Autograph Collection Hotel umbrella,” said Curell. “I’m committed to taking the Hotel forward into its next chapter. I intend on being actively involved in the community, and I know that’s something the team does a fantastic job of, from getting involved with community events, to working with local producers.”

The Josie Hotel joins Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotel family, with RED Mountain Resort now open for the 2021/22 ski season. Be sure to purchase your IKON season pass at and plan your stay at The Josie Hotel at Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to book their stay with their Bonvoy points directly on the site.


OAKLAND, N.J. – January 4, 2021 – Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, announced today that its new UV-free antimicrobial LED lighting solution has been named one of the most innovative solutions in the industry by Architectural SSL magazine.

The Product Innovation Awards recognizes innovative LED and solid-state luminaires and fixtures on the market. A distinguished panel of 13 designers and lighting specialists skilled in product evaluation judged and evaluated all products and systems. Manufacturers received awards for products with attributes, qualities, functionality and performance beyond industry standards—all attributes shared by ActiveCLEAN™.

“We are grateful to Architectural SSL magazine for honoring our innovative, 405-nanometer lighting solution, which kills bacteria and viruses including COVID-19,” said Bill Plageman, Amerlux’s VP of Marketing and Product Management. “Unlike traditional UV lighting, ActiveCLEAN™ provides comfortable, crisp-white illumination that meets the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard for continuous, unrestricted use around people. These award-winning attributes make it an attractive addition to any workplace looking to better protect their most valuable assets—their employees and their customers.”

Judges echoed similar sentiments, saying in the magazine’s latest issue that ActiveCLEAN™ provides “a great defense against pathogens and bacteria.”

“And because this wavelength is outside the UV spectrum, it exceeds IEC standards for continuous, unrestricted use around people—a very important consideration,” said Jim Crockett, Editor at Large at Architectural SSL. “Testimonials from already adopted customers were convincing. For example, at the headquarters of a global financial management company, a study conducted in a busy corporate break room there showed that the ActiveCLEAN™ technology reduced bacteria across five of the room’s most widely used surfaces: a toaster, refrigerator, sink, water cooler and trash can.”

ActiveCLEAN™ was also named one of the best lighting products of 2021 by Architectural Record magazine in its December issue.

How ActiveCLEAN™ Provides a Continuous Clean Sweep

ActiveCLEAN™ pairs commercial-grade LED lighting engineering with new UV-free, 405-nanometer antimicrobial lighting technology to continuously kill* 90% or more of bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The proprietary technology is ideal for high-traffic environments where people congregate, such as bathrooms, conference rooms, lobbies, collaboration spaces, kitchenettes, classrooms, airports, supermarkets and doctor’s exam rooms.

Currently available in Amerlux's Linea and Grüv LED family of luminaires, ActiveCLEAN™ offers two modes for providing robust, antimicrobial surface cleaning around the clock:

  • Single modeutilizes white Antimicrobial+Light™ to provide uninterrupted antimicrobial activity and comfortable task and ambient lighting in 3000K or 4000K with 80 CRI during standard working hours..
  • Dual modepairs white Antimicrobial+Light™ with Enhanced Antimicrobial Light™, doubling the antimicrobial dosage in a single LED light diode. Because of its violet hue, usage during after-hours or vacancy periods is recommended. Dual mode is only available in fixtures with a 2.5" or greater aperture size.

For more information about the company’s lighting solutions, call Amerlux at 973.850.4342 or visit


The Coalition of hardest-hit businesses welcomes the passage of Bill C-2, an act to provide additional support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel and tourism sector has been disrupted by border closures, travel bans and the loss of international and domestic travellers. A survey of Coalition members earlier this year found that up to 60 per cent of them did not expect to get through the winter without extensive government assistance. This support couldn't come at a bigger time, as Coalition members in the travel, hospitality and major events sectors face new challenges and setbacks due to the Omicron variant.

"Our members and employees need this program to survive as the challenges of the pandemic persist until next year," said Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Co-Chair of the Coalition of hardest-hit businesses. "This is an investment in a sector that will bounce back strongly if given the opportunity. It will also help keep people in the workforce who would otherwise be laid off – many of whom are the most vulnerable in Canada, including women, youth and new Canadians. »

"We are grateful for the swift passage of this bill. Our members have lost two years of activity and are at a breaking point. The government's support to date has been critical to our survival and without the additional support of Bill C-2, we would have seen the loss of a key travel infrastructure that is at the heart of the Canadian economy," said Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada (CHA) and Co-Chair of the Coalition of hardest-hit Businesses.

The Coalition is grateful for the extensive support the sector has received from all Members of Parliament in the House of Commons and Senators.


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