The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today announced the appointment of Chandler Smith as vice president of communications specializing in government affairs. Smith, former Communications Director for Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), will work closely with the government affairs team to promote the association’s advocacy efforts with national, regional and Hill press. She will also be responsible for developing media strategies to gain more attention for the lodging industry’s significant contributions to job growth and the billions of dollars it adds to the nation’s economy every year.
“Chandler is an excellent addition to our communications team with a solid background in policy and media relations,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AH&LA. “As Congress comes back to work and with elections on the horizon, this is a vital time for our industry to be front and center on debates that directly affect our employees and small business hotel owners alike. With Chandler’s extensive Hill experience, we are better equipped to inform those debates.”
Smith, who will join AH&LA on September 8, served as Senator Heller’s director of communications for the past two years, providing strategic and media support and serving as a spokesperson for national, regional and Hill outlets. Prior to that, she worked as Communications Director for his 2012 Senate campaign after having served as press secretary. Previously, she worked as press secretary for the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and as deputy press secretary for Senator Richard Burr. Smith also spent three years working for the global non-profit One Campaign as a media coordinator.
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.