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AH&LA Launches Women in Lodging (WIL) Connect National Competition

To Serve as Membership Drive for the WIL Initiative While Highlighting
Women Who Work Across a Variety of Operational Areas

Washington, March 4, 2013 – In honor of National Women’s Month, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has launched a Women in Lodging (WIL) Connect national competition that serves the dual purpose of highlighting women in the industry and urging industry professionals to join the WIL initiative.  Beginning in March and continuing each month through the end of the year, three to five women in a variety of operational areas, including general managers, human resources, sales/marketing, and sustainability, will be highlighted.

As an added incentive to increase membership, two new WIL members will have the opportunity to have lunch or dinner with WIL Founder Nancy Johnson, chief development officer, the Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group or Brooke Barrett, co-chief executive officer, Denihan Hospitality Group.  The state chapter that adds the most new members by November 1 will have the opportunity to select one member, with the other being randomly selected from among all new WIL registrants.

WIL Connect has been active on several fronts:
  • Several state WIL chapters have organized WIL legislative events, including New York (March 5), Illinois (March 6), Florida (March 13), and California (March 21).  The Texas WIL chapter’s February event featured Lara Keel with the Texas Lobbyist Group and drew more than 60 women from around the state,
  • The AH&LA Under 30 Gateway and WIL Connect have launched a new mentorship program, matching seasoned executives with newer lodging professionals.  Once applications are received, individuals will be matched with the best possible candidate in their area to help establish the new relationship.
  • WIL Connect has partnered with Niagara University to provide a series of targeted Webinars.  The first, Leading a Team – Leadership through Action, will take place Thursday, March 14 from 3:30-4:30pm (EST).
WIL is a free membership group to anyone employed at an AH&LA member organization, offering resources for women to accelerate their careers, including events, a national newsletter, and mentoring opportunities.  State chapters provide a new level of networking and educational opportunities, and involvement is included with the national membership.  Currently there are more than 2,000 members.

Complete details on the membership campaign, mentoring program, WIL Webinars, and information regarding joining this growing initiative are available at  To suggest someone to be highlighted, contact Kathryn Potter, senior vice president of marketing/communications.

About the AH&LA
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.

For more about AH&LA, visit

Kathryn Potter
[email protected]

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