Payne turned back a challenge from Robert Bennett of Biloxi, Miss., who released his supporters shortly before the balloting. Payne then captured all of the 2,503 votes.
Payne will become the third Minnesotan to lead the national association. The first was Roy Watson of the Kahler Corporation, Rochester, and the second was Neil Messick, General Manager, Radisson South, Bloomington.
Payne currently serves in a number of positions for AH&MA and MH&LA. He is Chair of AH&MA's International Council of Hotel-Motel Management Companies, a position he has held for three years. He is also a member of the Association's Audit, Credentials and Certification Committee and he serves as a Trustee of the AH&MA's Educational Institute, a non-profit educational foundation. This year, Payne was named AH&MA's Economy Lodging Operator of the Year. Payne was president of the MH&LA in 1996 and remains an active director. He has served on the Legislative Committee and is an active participant in the Association's Grassroots Action Network. Payne is a past Co-Chair of the MH&LA Grassroots Committee and a past Chair of the Membership Committee.
His company owns and manages hotels throughout the country and consults for other owners and managers. It is currently involved with 11 hotels, of which it manages five and has a significant equity interest in two. After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Payne began his hospitality career as a management trainee with Inter-Continental Hotels. He has worked for several hospitality-focused accounting firms and has served in numerous management positions with hotel management companies.
The AH&MA, founded in 1910, is a federation of state lodging associations throughout the United States, with some i 1,000 property members, representing more than 1.4 million guest rooms. Its affiliate, the Minnesota Hotel & Lodging Association, has more than 700 hotels, motels and B&Bs from across Minnesota in membership, representing 40,000 rooms. AH&MA and MH&LA provide education, regular communications and marketing services as well as strong government affairs programs locally and nationally on behalf of the industry.
The MH&LA is part of Hospitality Minnesota-Minnesota's Restaurant,
Hotel & Resort Associations. Hospitality Minnesota is one of Minnesota's
largest business trade associations with a membership of some 4,000 hospitality
businesses statewide representing hotels/motels, B&Bs, restaurants,
resorts, campgrounds and their suppliers.