AAHOA Secretary Selected to Speak on NEWH Panel

ATLANTA, February 9, 2017 – Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Secretary Jagruti Panwala is scheduled to be speaker on the panelist at the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) Leadership Conference in Denver. The NEWH Conference is held biannually and promotes the development of hospitality industry careers, innovation, and education.

Panwala, a longtime hotelier, will take the NEWH stage as part of the Hotel Remix: Reinventing the Modern Stay Experience panel. The panel will explore hot-button issues in hotel development as well as trends in hotel design and amenities. She will be joined on the panel by Larry Broughton, broughtonHOTELS; John Hogan, Full Service Core Brand Hotels; Joseph Khairallah, Marcus Hotels & Resorts; and Jeanne Starling, MGM Resorts International. Hotel Management Editor at Large, Rouse Media President, and “No Vacancy” podcast creator Glenn Haussman will moderate.

NEWH will be held Feb. 9-11 at The Marriott City Center. For more information, please visit NEWH.org. Founded in 1989, AAHOA is the largest hotel owner’s association in the world, with more than 16,000 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States.

Jagruti Panwala was elected as the first ever female Secretary of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) during the four-day annual convention held last year at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Bruce Patel was elected as the new chairman of AAHOA, while Chip Rogers continues to serve as the President of & CEO of the three decades long organization.

Jagruti Panwala succeeded to chair of AAHOA in 2019, a first for the 27-year-old organization founded by hoteliers to fight ethnic and racial discrimination in the U.S. hospitality industry. Begun by fewer than 100 hoteliers in 1989, AAHOA has more than 15,000 members and ended 2015 with $11.4 million in revenue.

Panwala is a businesswoman in Ivyland, Pennsylvania, where she is part of a family hotel company and president and CEO of Wealth Protection Strategies, an investment management business she founded in 1999. She has been active in AAHOA for more than a decade, holding leadership positions since 2011 when first elected female director at large, eastern division. Re-elected in 2014, she has also co-chaired the Women’s Hotelier Committee for five years and served on the strategic planning committee for two years. She testified to Congress against proposed harmful labor laws. Her focus repeatedly has been getting more women, independent and young hoteliers involved. In 2011, she received the prestigious AAHOA Chairman’s Award of Excellence.

She is a second-generation hotelier who migrated from Surat, India, with her parents when she was a teenager. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Panwala said the message she wants to AAHOA members to hear is that getting involved in the association can make a difference in their lives and in their businesses. “I want all of our members to value their membership and to get meaningful benefits from AAHOA.  But to get more out of AAHOA, you must put more into AAHOA – not just by attending meetings, but by taking courses, by serving on committees, and by being an ambassador, for example. I learned that first-hand.

“It’s why I want more members to participate; it’s why I will continue to champion those things that make it worth both your time and your money to be an active member of AAHOA. My new position represents trust by the members that is special and sacred, so I intend to serve in a way that justifies this faith in me – serve in a way that makes all of us proud to be part of the hospitality industry and to be members of AAHOA.”  AAHOA in recent years has leveraged its power and influence on Capitol Hill and is expanding its legislative advocacy to state and local levels.

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