AAHOA announces speakers for 2020 convention

Experts and industry leaders will participate in the virtual event

Cecil Staton, president and CEO of AAHOA, will join leaders of other associations, such as the U.S. Travel Association and American Hotel & Lodging Association, in speaking at the association’s virtual 2020 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show.

AAHOA HAS ANNOUNCED the list of speakers for its 2020 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show. The show, scheduled for Aug. 11 to 13, will be held virtually for the first time.

The list includes experts in the industry as well as hoteliers.

“As hoteliers adjust and adapt to the new realities posed by COVID-19, AAHOA is proud to bring our members some of the best minds in the industry to talk about the road to recovery,” said Cecil Staton, AAHOA’s president and CEO. “I am looking forward to hearing from the insightful and accomplished leaders we’ve assembled for this year’s convention.”

Staton is among the speakers, along with Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, and Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, who will discuss the industry’s response to COVID-19, advocacy efforts and the road ahead.

Harris Rosen, Florida’s largest independent hotelier and president and CEO of Rosen Hotels and Resorts, and Horst Schulze, cofounder of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Corp. are featured speakers.

Other speakers include:

  • Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO
  • Adam Sacks, the president of Tourism Economics;
  • Mit Shah, founder and CEO of Noble Investment Group
  • Jamie Lane, senior research director of Econometric Advisors and CBRE Hotels Research
  • Amanda Hite, president and CEO of STR
  • Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder of Kalibri Labs
  • Justin Knight, president and CEO of Apple Hospitality REIT
  • DJ Rama, president and CEO of Auro Hotels
  • Kenneth H. Fearn, founder and managing partner of Integrated Capital LLC
  • Sima Patel, CEO of Ridgemont Hospitality
  • Jennifer Miller of Hamilton, Miller and Birthisel, LLP
  • JR Patel, president and COO of Helix Hospitality
  • Harshil Patel, vice president of Champion Hotels
  • Raj Patel, chief development officer of Hawkeye Hotels
  • Jatin Desai, managing principal and CIO/CFO at Peachtree Hotel Group
  • Teague Hunter, president and CEO of Hunter Hotel Advisors

“The economic impact of this pandemic is greater than 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis combined. That is why we are bringing together some of our industry’s most seasoned hoteliers and luminaries in the field of economic research,” said AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel. “I think the speakers at this year’s convention will offer valuable context and insight that may help ease some of the uncertainty that is plaguing our industry.”

AAHOA announced the virtual format for the convention on June 24 after the Florida Department of Health announced its new guidelines on June 20. The convention, which had already been rescheduled from April to August as a result of the pandemic, was to be held in Orlando, Florida.