Virginia Hotelier Vinay Patel Named New Chair of Asian American Hotel Owners Association
- During its 4-day convention, the group elected 12 members to its board of directors and Miraj S. Patel as Secretary.
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association or AAHOA has named Virginia hotelier Vinay Patel chair of its Board of Directors, while Houston-based Wayside Investment Group president Miraj S. Patel was elected secretary, on Aug, 6, the final day of the 2021 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. With nearly 20,000 members owning 60 percent of hotels in the United States, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world.
“Serving America’s hotel owners as the AAHOA Chair is an honor, and I look forward to working with AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members on the road to recovery,” Patel said in his inaugural address, per an AAHOA press release. “Industry estimates continue to project a full recovery sometime in late 2023 or 2024. Coming together as an industry is paramount to economic recovery, especially as new variants threaten to inhibit the reopening of America,” he said. “I am confident that AAHOA’s enhanced advocacy and education efforts as well as the implementation of our new strategic plan will help our industry get back on track.”
He told the gathering that he plans to focus on elevating the association’s advocacy and engagement at the state and local level including coordinating political education efforts with the American Hospitality Alliance. “We must be united in our advocacy efforts, especially as we engage with local governments,” Patel said. “I am also committed to broadening our outreach to lawmakers who have not necessarily engaged on the issues we champion.”
He highlighted the importance of the industry’s collective efforts to keep the lights on during the pandemic as well as the necessity of remaining optimistic about the recovery and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. “We are in uncharted territory as a country as we emerge from this crisis. In a way, we are all letting our eyes adjust to the sunlight after spending more than a year in the darkness. It will be challenging. It will be frustrating. But AAHOA is here to help guide us as we rebuild, reinvest, and recover.”
Patel joined AAHOA in 1993 and has served on its board since 2014, and was elected secretary in 2018. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association and is the president of the Herndon Hospitality Association.
Miraj Patel is a second-generation hotelier who began his career in hospitality from a young age growing up in his family’s first 30-room independent property. He is currently the president of Wayside Investment Group, a Texas-based company that specializes in making opportunistic investments in the lodging and hospitality real estate sector.
AAHOA says over the years, Miraj Patel “has exemplified a strong track record of leadership in the industry. Aside from his devotion to the hospitality industry, he is a firm believer in giving back to the community,” and serves on various industry associations and charitable organizations, and continues to seek opportunities to make a positive difference.”
Miraj Patel earned his Master’s in Business Administration, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Lodging Management from Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida.
Along with the chair and secretary, 12 members were elected to the Board of Directors:
Female Director Western Division: Tejal N. Patel; Gulf Regional Director: Vimal Patel; Mid Atlantic Regional Director: Mahendra (MZ) Patel; Mid South Regional Director: Harikrishna (HK) Patel; North Pacific Regional Director: KP Patel; Northeast Regional Director: Sunil (Sunny) Patel; South Carolina Regional Director: Fenil Desai; South Central Texas Regional Director: Kiran (Kevin) Patel; Southeast Texas Regional Director: Ailesh Mulji; Southwest Regional Director: Dharmesh Ahir; South Pacific Regional Director: Mike Riverside; and Upper Midwest Regional Director: Mehul (Mike) Patel.