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AHLA Foundation Establishes No Room for Trafficking Advisory Council 

July 11, 2023

WASHINGTON  – The AHLA Foundation announced Tuesday its inaugural No Room for Trafficking (NRFT) Advisory Council, which includes top leaders from across the hotel and lodging industry.

AHLA Foundation’s No Room for Trafficking program aims to unite the industry around collective anti-trafficking efforts that meet the needs of today’s hospitality employers, employees, and the communities they serve, according to a press release. In their role, NRFT Advisory Council members help champion and shape the hotel industry’s unified efforts to support human trafficking survivors with critical resources on their path toward empowerment and self-sufficiency, while uniting and inspiring the industry in the continued fight against trafficking. NRFT Advisory Council efforts include the development and oversight of the NRFT Survivor Fund, which will provision community-based organizations with the resources they need to engage and support human trafficking survivors. 

NRFT Advisory Council members include:

  • Co-Chair: Farah Bhayani, general counsel and chief compliance officer, G6 Hospitality, LLC
  • Co-Chair: Joan Bottarini, chief financial officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Jay Caiafa, chief operating officer, The Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Paul Cash, general counsel and chief compliance officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
  • George Limbert, president, Red Roof Franchising, LLC
  • Katherine Lugar, executive vice president of corporate affairs, Hilton
  • John Murray, president and CEO, Sonesta International Hotels
  • Mitch Patel, president and CEO, Vision Hospitality Group
  • Kelly Poling, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Extended Stay America
  • Tricia Primrose, executive vice president and chief global communications and public affairs officer, Marriott International
  • Marsha Ray, senior vice president of operations, Aimbridge Hospitality
  • Ben Seidel, president and CEO, Real Hospitality Group
  • Simone Wu, senior vice president and general counsel, Choice Hotels International

“The esteemed group of leaders we’ve assembled as part of our inaugural NRFT Advisory Council underscores the hotel industry’s deep commitment to fighting human trafficking,” said AHLA Foundation President Anna Blue. “With their leadership alongside AHLA and the AHLA Foundation’s steadfast commitment to this effort, we will continue to work across our industry on critically important human trafficking prevention efforts.” 

Today’s announcement builds on the hotel industry’s ongoing commitment and work to prevent human trafficking and support the economic stability of human trafficking survivors. 

AHLA Foundation’s NRFT program has supported free anti-trafficking training for hundreds of thousands of hotel employees since 2020 through a partnership with ECPAT-USA while building awareness of this issue across the industry and its stakeholders. Additionally, AHLA Foundation in 2022 announced expanded efforts to support trafficking survivors through the industry’s first-ever Survivor Fund, which has raised $3.4 million since its inception. AHLA Foundation will match NRFT Survivor Fund contributions up to $5 million as part of its continued commitment to combatting this issue.

Later this summer, the NRFT Advisory Council will announce the inaugural NRFT Survivor Fund grantees at the second annual NRFT Summit.

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