Req Number: KU424
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posted: 2/26/2019
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Education
Job Type: Permanent

Our client, AAHOA, seeks a President & CEO. This individual will be a strong, charismatic, and progressive advocate who will work with members to advance policy priorities on behalf of the industry.


Asian American Hotel Owners Association, AAHOA, is the largest hotel owners association in the world. The over 18,500 AAHOA members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States. With billions of dollars in property assets and hundreds of thousands of employees, AAHOA members are core economic contributors in virtually every community. AAHOA is a proud defender of free enterprise and the foremost current-day example of realizing the American dream.

The association is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and operates on a $15 million annual budget with a staff of 40 full time employees. Past President have included Chip Rogers and Fred Schwartz. It has a Board consisting of 34 members, almost all of which are elected by the membership at annual elections. In addition to its annual national convention and trade show which attracts over 7,000 industry professionals, AAHOA hosts over 200 events per year, with 20 regional conferences and trade shows, educational workshops, events at major brand conferences, and numerous town halls and events for young professionals, and women and independent hoteliers each year.

Founded in 1989 by South Asian hoteliers seeking to overcome discrimination by banks and insurance companies, AAHOA grew into an industry leader and a voice for all hotel owners nationwide. Its advocacy efforts, professional development tools, member benefits, and community engagement serve not only AAHOA members but also the broader hospitality industry. The association will mark its 30th anniversary at its 2019 convention in April in San Diego, CA.


The President & CEO will serve as a strategic leader and spokesperson for AAHOA, partnering with the board of directors and staff to address the evolving needs of members and the broader industry. The President & CEO will demonstrate strong political and business acumen to serve as the industry’s leading advocate, while overseeing the association’s operations, and providing effective management of the staff.

Specifically, the President & CEO is responsible for the following:

  • Board Relations. Serves as a non-voting member of the officers and is accountable to the Board of Directors. Builds and maintains a collaborative and transparent relationship with the Board, providing regular updates on progress toward achieving commitments and execution of the strategic plan.
  • External Affairs. Serves as a visible and dynamic spokesperson and proactively represents AAHOA’s members before a wide range of constituencies including policy makers, the media, peer associations, and other external stakeholder groups. Builds and supports coalitions to advance the organizations priorities for the hotel industry.
  • Advocacy/Public Policy. In conjunction with the board identifies and prioritizes critical public policy issues and positions impacting the industry. Develops, maintains, and strengthens relationships with government officials to advance policy priorities and advocate on behalf of membership before key government bodies. Anticipates the political, social, and economic issues that will affect members.
  • Leadership. Leads professional team of 40 people who demonstrate a commitment to excellent member service and delivery of best in class events, and access to education, mentorship and thought leadership. Recruits, develops, and retains a strong, motivated staff while maintaining a culture of customer service and accountability.
  • Financial & Operational Oversight. Develops and ensures a balanced budget annually that is aligned to the strategic goals of the organization. Develops strategies to enhance the overall financial health of the organization and provides fiscally responsible administration to grow the organization’s financial position.


AAHOA is seeking a leader of high ethical integrity, with the relevant experience and familiarity with the industry to advance the organization’s mission and impact with members. S/he must have a minimum of 10 years of executive-level leadership experience in an organization of comparable size and complexity. The President & CEO will be a strong, charismatic, and progressive advocate who will work with members to advance policy priorities with government officials.
Specific experience and qualifications will include:
  • Experience within the hotel and lodging industry and/or the passion for the business, legislative, and regulatory issues facing members.
  • A visionary leader, capable of identifying emerging trends and serving as an effective advocate for AAHOA’s public policy priorities. A reputation for successfully operating in a bi-partisan manner.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and relationship building skills, including the ability to relate well to a wide range of constituencies. Possesses political savvy and diplomatic skills.
  • A natural understanding of people, relationships, and politics. Demonstrates emotional intelligence, tact, and cultural sensitivity.
  • A track record for effectively leading the development and execution of a strategic plan in conjunction with a Board of Directors and staff. Transparency in communicating progress towards organizational goals and key priorities.
  • Proven management, business, and financial acumen with an organization of similar scale and complexity. Demonstrated experience for attracting top caliber talent, and empowering and developing a high performing team to ensure cohesiveness around operational goals and objectives.
  • Gravitas, and stellar communications skills, with an ability to serve as the principal spokesperson before the media, government officials, and member companies.
  • Operates with the highest level of integrity and character, demonstrating high moral and ethical behavior.


An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university is required. An advanced degree and/or pertinent experience is preferred.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract the most qualified candidates.



Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.





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