Pennsylvania hotelier Jagruti Panwala is the new chairwoman of AAHOA, the world’s largest hotel owners association. Panwala became chair during the association’s 2019 Convention and Trade Show which was held at the San Diego Convention Center. Panwala is the first woman to lead the association in its thirty-year history.
“I am humbled and honored to serve the more than 18,500 hoteliers of AAHOA as Chairwoman. As an association, our success is a collective effort, and we will continue to build on AAHOA’s thirty years of industry leadership. We are at the strongest point in our association’s history. I am confident that we will continue to grow by inviting more hoteliers into the fold, expanding our vast educational offerings, and bringing industry partners and hoteliers together.”
Over the next year, Panwala said she will focus on bolstering AAHOA’s advocacy efforts at the state and local level, building out the association’s political action committee, and encouraging more hoteliers to seek leadership roles within AAHOA and the hospitality industry. “We must speak with a collective voice against those who seek to harm the foundations upon which our industry is built. America’s hoteliers face significant challenges. Short-term rentals are seeking special laws, such as secret tax agreements, that fly in the face of free enterprise. Unscrupulous lawyers intent on exploiting small business owners continue to abuse the ADA by filing frivolous lawsuits against hoteliers. We will fight for a level playing field with short-term rentals and work with a diverse coalition of hoteliers and disability rights advocates to address drive-by lawsuits. AAHOA will continue to advocate for smarter laws and regulations that benefit hoteliers, guests, and our communities.”
In her inaugural address to AAHOA members, Panwala thanked AAHOA’s founders, past chairs, and members for their decades of dedicated work. “You are responsible for all that AAHOA is today and will become in the future.”
Chairwoman Panwala joined AAHOA in 2001 and served on the AAHOA Board of Directors as Female Director Eastern Division. AAHOA members elected her as Secretary in 2016. She is the President & CEO of Wealth Protection Strategies. Panwala is an AAHOA Certified Hotel Owner (CHO). She is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania and holds a degree in economics and finance.
“We are fortunate to have our new Chairwoman, Jagruti Panwala, leading the way as AAHOA enters its fourth decade as the voice of America’s hotel owners,” said AAHOA Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey. “Her success in the hospitality and financial services industries is a testament to the determination and relentless pursuit of excellence with which she approaches her work. From testifying before Congress to collaborating with brand executives and industry partners, Jagruti’s knowledge of the hospitality industry and understanding of hoteliers’ needs will serve our association well.