Florida hotelier Bharat Patel, CHO, CHIA, is the new Chairman of AAHOA’s Board of Directors. Patel became chairman at the conclusion of the 2023 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles, CA., which set a record level of booth sales for the Trade Show, making it the largest in AAHOA history.
“I am honored to serve America’s hotel owners as the newest AAHOA Chairman,” Patel said. “Like the theme from AAHOACON23, I look forward to honoring the past and creating a bolder future by working with AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 Members to ensure we reestablish strong partnerships with our state associations, grow the AAHOA PAC to new record levels, and make advocacy front and center to AAHOA’s mission and vision.”
Patel has been an active member of AAHOA since 2008. He served as an Ambassador for several years before his election to the Board of Directors as the Regional Director for Florida in 2015.
Bharat is a second-generation hotelier who learned the hotel business through hands-on experience at properties owned by his parents. Today, he is Partner at Gulf Coast Hospitality, a company based in Sarasota, Fla.
From a young age, I wanted to make a difference, which is why I wanted to join AAHOA,” Patel said. “AAHOA Leadership meets with legislators at the highest levels of government, and we’re doing so while simultaneously showing the industry, and beyond, that representation matters.”
Bharat plays an active role in his community and previously served on the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Board of Directors, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Hotel and Restaurant Advisory Council, the Sarasota County Tourism Development Council, and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Advisory Board.
“Congratulations to Bharat Patel on becoming AAHOA’s newest Chairman,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “Working alongside you as Vice Chairman over the past year has been a pleasure, and I am looking forward to all that you will accomplish in the year ahead.”
Patel is a graduate of the University of Florida and resides in Sarasota with his wife, Manisha, and their two children.
“My main focus is all about AAHOA priorities, strategic planning, and laying the path for the future of AAHOA,” Patel said. “We will continue to create educational and networking opportunities for the next generation, create new revenue streams for AAHOA, new sponsorship opportunities, and focus on how AAHOA can provide more value for our members and loyal industry partners for years to come.”
Rahul Patel of Bradenton, Florida, is the new AAHOA Secretary. Patel is the Proprietor of Wisdom Group, LLC.
AAHOA Members also elected the following ten members to the Board of Directors:
- Arkansas Regional Director: Danny (Chintu) Patel
- Florida Regional Director: Chetan (Chris) Patel
- Georgia Regional Director: Vikesh (Vik) Zaver
- Greater Los Angeles Area Regional Director: Naresh (ND) Bhakta
- North Central Regional Director: Bhavesh N. Patel
- North Pacific Regional Director: Ankit Panchal
- North Texas Regional Director: Dhiren Masters
- Director at Large Western Division: Nalin (Neil) Patel
- Young Professional Director Eastern Division: Dylan Patel
- Women Hoteliers Director Eastern Division: Purnima Patel
“Congratulations to our new AAHOA Secretary, Rahul Patel, and all of our newly elected board members. It is truly encouraging to see so many members volunteering to serve America’s hotel owners,” said incoming AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel. “Together, we are continuing to showcase the value and importance of AAHOA, the largest hotel owners association in the world, and I am thrilled to start working alongside the new AAHOA Officers, our Board of Directors, and the entire AAHOA Team.”
“Congratulations to Rahul Patel and to all our newly elected board members. These individuals are excellent additions to the Board of Directors of America’s premier hotel owners association,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “I am thankful for their dedication to our members and to the hospitality industry, and it is truly an honor to work with our Officers, Board of Directors, and the entire AAHOA team as we continue to lead this industry as the largest hotel owners association in the world.”
AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the nation, with Member-owned properties representing a significant part of the U.S. economy. AAHOA’s 20,000 members own 60% of the hotels in the United States and are responsible for 1.7% of the nation’s GDP. More than one million employees work at AAHOA member-owned hotels, earning $47 billion annually, and member-owned hotels support 4.2 million U.S. jobs across all sectors of the hospitality industry. AAHOA’s mission is to advance and protect the business interests of hotel owners through advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community engagement.