- Also elected was Kamalesh (KP) Patel of Santa Cruz, California, who was named the new secretary.
Indian American hotelier Nishant (Neal) Patel of Texas has become the youngest chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Board of Directors on the final day of its annual Convention & Trade Show in Baltimore, Maryland.
“I’m thrilled to be stepping up to the role of chairman and honored to serve as the association’s youngest chairman in history,” he said in an AAHOA press release. “AAHOA has gone through a lot of changes over the past year, and I’m looking forward to helping lead this great organization into the future.”
He became an AAHOA Member in 2012 and soon volunteered to serve as an AAHOA Ambassador. He joined the group’s Board of Directors in 2016 after being elected as the Young Professional Director Western Division, a position he held for three years.
Patel grew up in Surat, and nearly two decades ago, his family left everything they knew to start a new life in Mississippi.“Like the majority of AAHOA Members, we were in search of the ‘American Dream,’” Patel said. “My parents wanted to create a better life for their children and leave a legacy that generations to come would be proud of.”
Patel is a second-generation hotelier who grew up in the industry wearing many hats as he helped his family run their first 20-room independent property in Laurel, Mississippi.
The Austin-based Patel is the managing partner of Blue Chip Hotels, which owns and operates multiple hotels. Blue Chip Hotels has more than 1,200 rooms in several states among both branded and independent properties.
Patel is inspired to give back to the hospitality industry through service. He serves on the HITEC Advisory Council and promotes organ donor awareness through his volunteer work with Samaj Saves Lives.
Also elected on the final day of the three-day event was Kamalesh (KP) Patel of Santa Cruz, California, who was named the new secretary. He is the CEO of Aarav Hospitality, LLC, and AKS Hospitality, LLC.
“I’m thrilled to welcome our new AAHOA secretary and all of our newly elected board members,” incoming Chairman Nishant Patel said in a press release. “Over the last 30 years, our volunteer leaders have worked tirelessly to make AAHOA a leading hotel association in the U.S. and advocate for initiatives that help the hospitality industry thrive.”
Also elected to the Board of Directors were: Alabama Regional Director: Sanjay M. Patel; Central Midwest Regional Director: Arti Patel; North Carolina Regional Director: Pinkesh Patel; Northeast Regional Director: Preyas Patel; Northwest Regional Director; Taran Patel; Upper Midwest Regional Director: Kalpesh Joshi; Washington DC Area Regional Director: Deepak Patel; Director at Large Eastern Division: Pinal Patel; Director at Large Western Division: Hitesh Patel; and Young Professional Director – Western Division: Tanmay Patel.
The group also recognized achievement and excellence in the hospitality industry with its annual awards. Vimal Patel, president and CEO, QHotels Management, received the AAHOA Award of Excellence for demonstrating strong leadership, high standards of excellence, and making a significant contribution to the lodging Industry. The Cecil B. Day Community Service Award went to Manhar (MP) Rama, CEO of Sima Hospitality, and AAHOA past chair, for demonstrating a strong commitment to serving his community. Babu Patel of Trustmark Park Hospitality was given the Outreach Award for Philanthropy for helping humanity through philanthropic and charitable activities, domestically or overseas. Pinky P. Bhaidaswala of SSN Hotel Management, LLC, was given the Outstanding Woman Hotelier of the Year Award; while Armaan Patel of AGA Hotels and Taran Patel, Managing Principal, A1 Hospitality Group were presented the Outstanding Young Professional Hoteliers of the Year Award.
More than 450 companies exhibited at this year’s trade show, which featured 10 education sessions and three networking events. The four-day event included networking events, panel discussions, training sessions and entertainment.