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Nancy Johnson Inducted as 2012 AH&LA Chair

John Fitzpatrick Elected as Incoming Secretary/Treasurer
to be Association Chair in 2014

New York, NY, November 14, 2011 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) inducts  Nancy Johnson, CHA, executive vice president and chief development officer for Carlson Hotels Worldwide – the Americas, Carlson Hotels Worldwide as Chair and elects John Fitzpatrick, president/CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, North America, as incoming secretary/treasurer of the board of directors. 

Nancy Johnson, CHA, executive vice president, development, Carlson Hotels, Americas, outlined her agenda for the coming year at the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Inaugural Gala held at the Mandarin Oriental Sunday, November 13.
As the founder of Women in Lodging (WIL), Johnson told the gathering of industry leaders, “When I looked at the hotel industry, I knew there were many accomplished women executives, the problem was they were not visible.  I believed if we did not set up role models for our women employees and hospitality students, they would not look at the hotel industry as having potential for a long-term career and the industry would be deprived of valuable intellectual capital.”
She asked her industry peers “Are we as an industry and organization doing what we should to prepare and shape our future in a positive way?  During the next 12 months we will be looking at how AH&LA can restructure to better meet the needs of an ever-changing industry and workplace, putting razor like focus on what matters most to our members.”

She stressed she’d like her term to be about putting programs in place for growth and opportunity for young people about to begin their careers and those who will soon be seeking careers.  Another key item on her platform is the importance of industry involvement on Capitol Hill.  “Our voice has been heard loud and clear in Washington on almost 30 separate issues that will shape our future, but I would consider one of the most important accomplishments to have happened behind the scenes – the creation of the Discover America Partnership.”

Johnson oversees business development efforts for Carlson Hotels’ select service hotel brands in the Americas including, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Park Inn by Radisson.  In addition to her many years of leadership in development for Carlson Hotels, she previously led Franchise Operations for full-service hotels and has served as executive vice president and brand leader for the company’s select service brands.  Carlson’s other lodging brands include Radisson® and Park Plaza®.

Before joining Carlson, Johnson was vice president and chief operating officer at Hospitality Development Corporation, and was employed with Brutger Companies, Inc., where she held various leadership positions.

Johnson is a member of several AH&LA committees, including the Economy Lodging Council, the Governmental Affairs/HotelPAC Committee, and the Women in Lodging Executive Council, as well as the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation board of trustees.  Johnson also serves on the board of directors of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association and on the board of directors for The Travel Partnership Corporation (TTPC), a consortium of travel industry organizations representing all key segments of the industry.

An AH&LA member since 1991, John Fitzpatrick is selected as incoming secretary/treasurer of the board of directors and will serve as association chair in 2014.

Fitzpatrick has almost 30 years of experience in the hotel industry, beginning in Ireland, where the Fitzpatrick name is synonymous with hospitality.  He attended the prestigious hotel management course at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and then, after honing his skills with two major hotel organizations in Chicago, John returned to Ireland to work at family hotels in Dublin and Bunratty. He opened his first New York hotel in 1991, and for most of the past two decades has overseen the operation of two very successful hotels in New York.

Fitzpatrick is a member of the AH&LA Governmental Affairs Committee, and is serving a third term as chairman of the Hotel Association of NYC, an AH&LA partner state association comprised of approximately 250 hotels with more than 70,000 guestrooms.  He is also on the boards of both the American Ireland Fund and the Ireland-US Council.

He started a foundation 20 years ago in memory of his late parents that has generated more than $1.4 million for charities that include the Paul Newman’s Barretstown Gang Camp (Co. Kildare), the Corrymeela Reconciliation Centre (Co. Antrim), PeacePlayers International, and the Integrated Education Fund.

Fitzpatrick has been honored for both his business acumen and philanthropic work.  He is the recipient of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was recognized for his contributions to the peace process in Northern Ireland by being invested with an honorary OBE by Her Majesty the Queen.  In 2010, Irish America Magazine recognized him with its most prestigious award, “Irish American of the Year,” and in 2011, he was included on the magazine’s “Business 100” list.  This year, Fitzpatrick was the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Science and Economics from Queen’s University in Belfast.

“John has long been active at the state and national level,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joe McInerney, CHA.  “I have worked closely with John via the Venture Board for several years and am looking forward to his expertise and leadership as AH&LA continues to scrutinize how to best meet the needs of our ever-changing industry.”

The inaugural gala is presented by American Express along with Carlson, France 24, Heartland Payment Systems, and Sealy, Inc

In addition to Johnson and Fitzpatrick, 2012 AH&LA officers Vice Chair Ronald Vlasic, regional vice president of hotels, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants; and Immediate Past Chair John Campbell, general manager of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, La Jolla, California.  These hoteliers are led by AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.

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.


Kathryn Potter

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