Thirty Easy Ways To Support Your Industry
(List provided by the Florida Hotel & Motel Association.)


by Kirby D. Payne, CHA

Kirby  D.  Payne,  CHA  is  President of Minneapolis based  American  Hospitality  Management Company,  a growing hotel investment, management and consulting firm.   Payne is also Secretary Elect of the American Hotel & Motel Association, and Chair of the  AH&MA's  International Council of Hotel-Hotel Management Companies.  Additional  articles can be found on the internet at

In a recent conversation with Bill Fisher,  President of the American Hotel & Motel Association (AH&MA) about membership and the value of membership,  Bill made a comment which I thought was particularly noteworthy.   He said, "The industry and its trade associations can only be  as strong as those in the industry let it be."   The first step in supporting the industry is joining a state association affiliated with the AH&MA.   The second step is being active in taking advantage of its benefits, volunteering time on its committees and being an active leader so the association addresses the issues you feel are important. 

When  you  avidly support the AH&MA and its affiliated state associations,  great  things happen:  You grow professionally; you advance the well-being of your industry; and,  you generate renewed enthusiasm for your own job or profession. 

The  best  news  is  this:  You can support the work of your  industry's  trade  associations almost any time,  with modest effort on your part.  Here are 30 ways to do just that.  (Not all programs and benefits are available in all states.) 

1.  Take advantage of association programs designed to improve your bottom line,  pare your expenses and extend your education. 

2.  Independent hotels & motels and smaller management companies can expand the benefits offered employees with the state association's insurance, retirement and other benefit programs where they are available. 

3.  Update your workers'  compensation insurance program and risk-management policies by comparing your current carrier to the association's partner in your state. 

4.  Observe  national  and  state Tourism Week (usually in May) with special  recognition  or "thank you" promotions for guests and employees. 

5.  Many  state association have school-to-work programs to area high schools and their  students.   Support  them and promote them so young people think of our industry as a possible career just as you did when you started. 

6.  Make  a tax-deductible donation to association's educational trust fund and the AH&MA's American  Hotel  Foundation  which supports scholarship and industry  research  like  the Best Practices survey currently underway. 

7.  Drop  a  note to your state association's conference coordinator offering ideas for the  next events.  They are, after all, your events! 

8.  Call  your  state  association's  headquarters or the AH&MA's resource  center  when  you need information on a topic of interest; and, say "thanks" after you receive it. 

9.  Keep  the  names of your state's association officers and staffers handy.   When you  meet someone who might be a prospective member, pass the names along right away. 

10.  Send news releases and other positive information about yourself or your business to both your  state  association's publications director and Phil Hayward,  Editor of  Lodging,  the AH&MA's management and trade magazine. 

11.  Display  your  membership plaque at your place of business,  along with  any  association awards you've received. 

12.  Let  your  employees  know  about continuing  education  and  certification  opportunities available in their areas of responsibility, through the Educational Institute, now located in Orlando.   Consider  paying  for  their  courses  (when  they  pass  them)  and  giving  pay increases when they complete certification programs. 

13.  Renew your annual membership promptly. 

14.  When  you  have occasion to meet legislators and other public officials,  speak  about  the value of tourism to local, state and national revenue coffers ($67 Billion in taxes in 1996).  Support   both   your   state  association's  Political  Action  Committee   (PAC)   and   the AH&MA's  AHMPAC  by giving any amount.   It is your right and obligation to speak out and  the  two best ways to do that are directly to legislators in person or in writing and  by donating to our PACs. 

15.  Volunteer to serve on one committee and there are plenty of them at the state and national level  to  keep an organization like our running smoothly.   You will influence  the  issues  important to you by serving on a committee! 

16.  When colleagues make the news,  drop them congratulatory notes (if the news is good) or notes of encouragement (if the news is bad). 

17.  Pass along copies of relevant newspaper or periodical articles to other members. 

18.  Schedule lunch with a nearby  member (or non-member) every once in a while. 

19.  Leave your association publications in your office waiting area for others to read. 

20.  Write  a  "letter to the editor"  of your state association's trade journal or Phil Hayward  at LODGING  or any other trade publication on a topic near and dear to you about the  lodging industry or what they may have recently published. 

21.  Encourage  properties or companies related to lodging to become members in their appropriate categories.   Always give Allied Members an opportunity to quote along with other vendors.  They are supporting us, we should support them. 

22.  Offer to serve as a mentor to an association newcomer or a student considering a career in hospitality. 

23.  Mention  your association's (industry's) deeds and principles whenever you speak in front of   civic or business groups.   These include our supporting over 6.8 million jobs,  paying over  $121.6  Billion in salary and wages and creating nearly 200,000 new jobs a year  for our national economy. 

24.  Publicize your association affiliation when participating in media-covered events. 

25.  Schedule  upcoming  dates  for association activities-chapter  meetings,  national  conventions, committee meetings-and block out time for professional reading and study. 

26.  Evaluate  your  participation in association activities from time to time.   What  have  you done well?  Where can you improve? 

28.  Add association membership and certification to your biography or resume. 

29.  Encourage  subordinates  you are developing to attend industry trade events and  to  serve on  committees,  too,  so they learn valuable leadership and civic skills that will serve you and them well as they grow in this industry. 

30.  When  considering purchases of products and services,  please consult the various  annual Buyer's  Guide for your state association and the AH&MA and encourage vendors to participate  in  association membership and trade shows.   Recognize Master Hotel  Suppliers (MHS) just as you would CHAs.

Our  industry is a great industry with proud traditions.   It is a profession that people  look up  to in every community.   We are the hosts,  the civic leaders and in many cases the shapers of some  local  opinion for both the public and our government leaders.   We do this individually  in our communities and as we develop skills we do it at the state and national level.  Our trade associations facilitate that effort. 

Our trade associations are not a club,  but a commitment to profit.  Your properties' memberships  in their respective state associations and the AH&MA provides opportunities for generating  business  for all hotels on the international,  national and local levels.   Forty-eight  million room nights per year are filled via listings in the AH&MA's directory,  the OAG Business Travel Planner  Hotel  &  Motel  Redbook.   AH&MA's  state  associations  help  fill  millions  of  rooms through  their  effective  directories which are distributed at convention and visitors  bureaus  and state welcome centers.  And finally, our strong and unified voice helps increase national and state tourism  budgets.   Because  growth  is the key to a prosperous hospitality  industry,  our  primary focus is to help you keep costs down and profitability up. 

For information about the American Hotel & Motel Association, affiliates and the various member state associations and their programs call 202-289-3100 or go

Also See: Do Your Share, Join Your Resort or Hotel & Lodging Association / Kirby D. Payne, CHA
For additional information, contact: 
Kirby D. Payne at the firm 
American Hospitality Management Company
1500 South Highway 100, #375
Minneapolis, MN 55416 
Phone: 763-591-7640 Fax: 763-591-1593 

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