Changes At The Top

By Dennis Nessler | January 20, 2022

This week has been marked by a number of high-profile changes in the executive ranks within the lodging industry with the most significant, and surprising, being the announcement that AAHOA President & CEO Ken Greene will be departing the association next month.

Greene was brought on as Interim President & CEO in June of 2021 and dropped the interim title in September. Greene is leaving AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) for another career opportunity with IBF Hospitality, headquartered in Dallas, TX, and his last day at AAHOA will be Feb. 11. The AAHOA Board of Directors will immediately begin its search for his replacement.

While at AAHOA, Greene oversaw the association’s return to in-person events, helped the organization build upon its strategic plan, and made strategic hiring decisions—impacting company culture that will last well beyond his tenure, according to AAHOA.

Meanwhile, another long-time industry association, the ISHC (International Society of Hospitality Consultants), has announced through its Board of Directors the promotion of Andrea Belfanti from executive director to CEO, effective immediately.

Under Belfanti’s leadership, the Society has sustained robust growth in membership through attracting the highest levels of talent, most notably an expansion in Europe, among other key international markets, according to the ISHP.

In addition to adding some 27 hotels to its growing management portfolio earlier this week, Aimbridge Hospitality also named will Loughran president of Evolution Hospitality, the company’s lifestyle division.

With a focus in management, marketing, operations and business development, Loughran’s expertise in leading soft branded and independent hotels has been a key component in the expansive growth of Evolution Hospitality, according to the company. He most recently was COO of Evolution.

Meanwhile, Dallas-based NewcrestImage will transfer its existing hotel management agreement rights on 27 hotels to Aimbridge in exchange for a minority stake in the company. As part of the deal, Mehul Patel, Chairman and CEO of NewcrestImage, will join the newly formed Aimbridge Hospitality CEO Advisory Board.

Finally, Remington Hotels announced Benjamin Howell as divisional vice president of operations. In this role, Howell will be responsible for overseeing the operations of 12 – 15 full and select service properties in the Midwest Region.

Howell—who has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry—joins Remington Hotels from various multi-unit roles with Sonesta Hotels and Resorts, Aimbridge Hospitality, and Widewaters Hotels. He spent the first ten years of his career with Remington Hotels, rising from manager to general manager. Specifically, NewcrestImage and Aimbridge will build on their respective strengths, with NewcrestImage developing and acquiring new hotels and Aimbridge further building on its value added services as one of the largest global hotel operators. NewcrestImage has acquired minority ownership in Aimbridge Hospitality.



Dennis Nessler

Dennis Nessler brings more than 28 years of editorial experience, including some 17 years in the hospitality industry. He covers the industry editorially but moderates various high-level panel sessions at hospitality events and frequently conducts one-on-one interviews with C-level executives.

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