News for the Hospitality Executive
David Kong Inducted as 2010 AH&LA Chairman
Nancy Johnson, EVP and Chief
Development Officer for Carlson
Hotels Worldwide, Elected Incoming Secretary/Treasurer
New York, November 10, 2000 — During his inaugural speech last night at New York’s Waldorf=Astoria hotel, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) incoming chair David Kong, president/CEO of Best Western International, told an audience of industry leaders that his priorities lie in using the collective power of the industry players to emerge stronger and better in 2010. The evening was also the kick-off to a year-long celebration of AH&LA’s centennial (1910-2010).
Kong noted that before the association was founded in 1910, it was every man for himself. At the first meeting of the American Protective Association, a group of 60 maverick hoteliers met because they saw the need to collaborate. “With so many specialized organizations having formed since then, we need to find a way to harness our power, to be better aligned, coordinated, and integrated for the voice of the industry to be heard in Washington. There are many important battles ahead of us at the local and national level, and we need to synergize and find ways to work together more effectively to protect our industry,” said Kong.
As someone who began his career as a busboy and dishwasher, David sees the importance of positioning the industry as a wise career choice for future leaders. “To me it’s crucial to make an impact on people and to leave a legacy for having made a difference in someone’s life.” AH&LA is using several events, including the Stars of the Industry awards competition and National Groundhog Job Shadow Day to celebrate industry legacies and reach out to 100 schools in 2010, respectively.
“As we get ready to launch into 2010, I feel energized by the opportunities ahead for the hotel industry. For the past 100 years we have weathered world wars, depressions and many recessions, but we always emerge better and stronger and it will be this way again. What a tremendous mile post it is to reach 100 years. A lot has changed since 1910, but the essence of our business has not,” concluded Kong.
The evening included a video highlighting AH&LA’s past, and each attendee received a copy of A Century of Hospitality, a book celebrating the growth of the association and the industry.
With more than 39 years experience as a hospitality industry leader and innovator, Kong has served as president and CEO of Best Western International since 2004, spurring years of double-digit reservations system revenue growth and the brand’s highest member satisfaction levels. Before Best Western, Kong's managerial career spanned with top hotel brands, including Hyatt Hotels; Omni International; Regent International; and Hilton Hotels. Kong came to Best Western from KPMG Consulting's hospitality and real estate practice.
He is the 2007 recipient of the Lifetime Hotelier Leadership Award, presented by Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management for service to the hospitality industry.
Other 2010 AH&LA officers include Vice Chair John Campbell, general manager of La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc.; Secretary/Treasurer Nancy Johnson, executive vice president/chief development officer, Carlson Hotels Worldwide; and Immediate Past Chair Joe Martin, owner/operator, Stillwater Hospitality. These hoteliers are led by AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA. For more information on AH&LA and to receive a copy of Kong’s complete inaugural address, please contact Kathryn Potter at email@example.com or (202) 289-3130.
Serving the hospitality industry for 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.
|Also See:||Bjorn Gullaksen and Nancy Johnson Assume New Executive Vice President Roles at Carlson Hotels / January 2006|