Heyl is AAHOA’s VP of government affairs

Previously he held several political advocacy positions

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Dean Heyl

Dean Heyl is AAHOA’s new vice president of government affairs. Previously, he served as the U.S. Department of Labor’s director of the Office of Public Liaison.

In his new position, Heyl will be part of AAHOA’s executive leadership team. He previously served as the International Franchise Association’s chief legal officer and for the Direct Selling Association as a state and federal lobbyist. His other earlier positions include executive director of the Coalition for Affordable Accounting and as a senior advisor to the Idaho Attorney General and governor. From 2008 to 2011, he was a member of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council.

Heyl will lead AAHOA’s lobbying and advocacy efforts to support hoteliers as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Cecil Staton, AAHOA’s president and CEO.

“Hotel owners across the country are struggling. The issues confronting them are complex, and we must continue to educate lawmakers about what they can do to help these small business owners come out on the other side of this pandemic,” Staton said. “From labor and taxation issues to franchising and economic relief, Dean’s experience will be critical to supporting AAHOA’s ongoing advocacy efforts. His previous work with several national and international associations is an invaluable asset to our government affairs efforts.”

Heyl said he as happy to bring his expertise to AAHOA.

“I have been fighting for entrepreneurs for more than 20 years and look forward to doing the same for AAHOA Members. AAHOA’s bold vision statement to be the foremost resource and advocate for America’s hotel owners resonated with me,” he said. “I look forward to building upon AAHOA’s excellent government affairs foundation and helping the nation’s hoteliers progress on the road to recovery.”

In February, Michael Forrest joined AAHOA as vice president of franchise relations and Ashli Johnson became the association’s new vice president of education.