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The American Hotel & Lodging Association Names the Recipients of the
2008 State Leadership Awards for Outstanding Leadership

Leo Vogel Presented with the John Whitaker Award

Washington, April 14, 2008 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) announced the winners of the 2008 State Leadership Awards today during its annual Legislative Action Summit (LAS).   This award, formerly known as the Most Valuable Volunteer Award, was created in 1998 to honor the many volunteers who help strengthen both AH&LA and their partner state associations. 
“Each recipient’s innovation and motivation has had an influential role in advancing the industry on the state and national level,” said AH&LA president/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.  “We are proud to honor and acknowledge their outstanding leadership in the hospitality community.”  
The award was presented to the following:
Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association:
Todd Wilson – General Manager, Doubletree Guest Suites, Phoenix, Ariz.

Arkansas Hotel & Lodging Association:
David Smith – General Manager, Red Apple Inn, Heber Springs, Ark.

California Hotel & Lodging Association
Wes Tyler – General Manager, Chancellor Hotel on Union Square, San Francisco, Calif.

Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association
George Fischer – Vice President, Destination Hotels & Resorts/Inverness Resort & Conference Center, Englewood, Colo.

Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association
Kevin Kobishop – General Manager, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, Ga.

Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
Ron Vlasic – Director of Operations/General Manager, Kimpton Hotels of Chicago/Hotel Allegro, Chicago, Ill.

Iowa Lodging Association
Tom Murray – General Manager, Country Inn & Suites, Clive, Iowa

Maine Innkeepers Association
Robert Smith – Owner/Lighthouse Keeper, Sebasco Harbor Resort, Sebasco Estates, Maine

Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association
Peter Komar – General Manager, Lodgian, Holiday Inn Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md.

Montana Innkeepers Association 
Maria Pochervina – General Manager, Holiday Inn Express Butte, Butte State, Mont.

New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association
Victor Nelson – General Manager, Ramada Inn Geneva Lakefront, Geneva, N.Y.

North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association
Thomas B. Ruff – Senior Vice President, The Biltmore Company, Asheville, N.C.

Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association
Alan Howe – General Manager, Hilton Columbus at Easton, Columbus, Ohio

Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association
Joe Geis, CHA – General Manager, Sleep Inn & Suites, Edmond, Okla.

Oregon Lodging Association
Chris Erickson – General Manager, Heathman Hotel, Portland, Ore. 

Rhode Island Hospitality & Tourism Association
Angelo DePeri – General Manager, Renaissance Providence Hotel, Providence, R.I.

Tennessee Hotel & Lodging Association
Bard & Rhonda Edrington – Owners, Foliage Design Systems, College Grove, Tenn.

Texas Hotel & Lodging Association
James Walsh – General Manager, Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, Texas

Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association
Jenifer N. Jackson, CLM – General Manager, Comfort Inn Harrisonburg, Harrisonburg, Va.

Washington State Hotel & Lodging Association
Tom Dezutter – General Manager, Doubletree Guest Suites, Seattle, Wash.

Wisconsin Innkeepers Association
Scott Krause – General Manager, Heidel House Resort & Evensong Spa, Green Lake, Wis.

Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association
Mark Demple – General Manager, Holiday Inn Sheridan, Sheridan, Wyo.

Award recipients are determined by AH&LA’s partner state associations. 

Also Outstanding Hotel Supplier Honored By Peers with National Award
The American Hotel & Lodging Association honored Leo Vogel, MHS, senior vice president of sales and marketing for American of Martinsville, with the John Whitaker Award, presented to an outstanding hotel supplier for his dedication to and innovation within the hospitality industry.  Vogel accepted the award at AH&LA’s Legislative Action Summit in Washington, D.C., April 14, 2008.
Vogel, who currently sits on the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation’s (AH&LEF) Golf Classic Committee, has been one of the most consistently active AH&LA members for more than 15 years.  He was one of the first AH&LA allied members to achieve MHS certification, a designation that recognizes the expertise required of a hotel supplier. 
This award was inspired by John Whitaker, a long-time hospitality veteran who died suddenly last year.  Whitaker was the international sales manager for SICO America Inc. and his dedication to AH&LA, and to the industry, was demonstrated by regular participation in association events, his role as chairman of the Allied Executive Committee, and his ongoing support of the AH&LEF.
“It’s an honor for our association to recognize not one, but two, outstanding professionals whose contributions have shaped initiatives within our association and, in fact, the whole industry,” said AH&LA president/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.  “While John is missed by many, we are proud to honor Leo Vogel, who maintains the same high level of enthusiasm for the future of the hospitality community.”  
Vogel was elected for this honor by his peers on the AH&LA Allied Executive Committee.  

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.


Jessica Soklow
(202) 289-3153

Also See: Cindy Clark, Director of Human Resources at The Broadmoor, Awarded a Most Valuable Volunteer Award by the AH&LA / July 2003


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