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The American Hotel & Lodging Association Recognizes
Matthew Schwarz As an Outstanding Hotel Supplier

Washington, D.C., March 31, 2009 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has awarded Matthew Schwarz, MHS, president and general manager of Courtesy Products, the 2008 John Whitaker Award.  This annual honor is presented to an outstanding hotel supplier for their dedication to and innovation within the hospitality industry.  Schwartz accepted the award during AH&LA’s Legislative Action Summit in Washington, D.C. on March 16.  
Schwarz has more than 19 years of experience as a vendor to the hospitality industry and has been a member of AH&LA for 11 years.  He currently sits on the association’s board of directors and plays an active role on the Allied Executive Committee (AEC), serving as the committee’s immediate past chairman.  Under his leadership, Schwarz developed and implemented new goals, bringing more focus and purpose to the AEC and their initiatives.  He also created the first New York Hospitality Leadership Forum Allied seminar, an annual seminar that offers hospitality vendors the chance to further their industry supplier knowledge while attending the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show.  

(L-R) 2007 JWA recipient, Leo Vogel, Matt Schwarz, Joe Martin and Joe McInerney
This award was inspired by John Whitaker, a long-time hospitality veteran who died suddenly in 2007.  Whitaker was the international sales manager for SICO America Inc., and his dedication to AH&LA and the industry was demonstrated by regular participation in association events, his role as chairman of the AEC, and his ongoing support of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF).  Schwarz was elected for this honor by his peers on the AEC.  
“It is an honor to extend this award to a member who has proven himself a leader within the industry through his professional contributions and personal dedication,” said AH&LA president/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.  “I am thrilled that the second award honoring John has been given to a person who shares the same drive and devotion to the hospitality industry that he did.” 

Last year, AH&LA honored Leo Vogel, MHS, with the first John Whitaker Award.  Senior vice president of sales and marketing for American of Martinsville, Vogel has been an active AH&LA allied member for 15 years and was one of the first members to receive his MHS certification.  He currently sits on AH&LEF’s Golf Classic Committee, and has been a regular attendee at AH&LA events throughout the past years. 

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: 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 / April 2008



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