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SAN ANTONIO, April 14, 2017 — Members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) elected Texas hotelier and current North Texas Regional Director Biran Patel as the association’s new secretary today at the group’s annual convention and trade show. “This election was an exciting and very rewarding experience, and I am deeply honored to have been chosen to serve as an AAHOA officer for the next four years,” Patel said after the result was announced.

Patel defeated Cabot, Arkansas, hotelier and Director at Large Jayesh (Jay) Lallu in the election. “I would like to congratulate Jayesh Lallu, my extremely worthy opponent, on a well-run race, and to sincerely thank the AAHOA members for their confidence in my ability to one day lead this association as chairman,” said Patel.

Officers are elected to the position of secretary, and ascend through the treasurer and vice chairman roles before becoming chairman. Patel will become chairman at the 2020 AAHOA convention.

AAHOA hosted its largest annual convention to date last week while its leadership chronicled much of the association’s recent progress, which included continued membership growth, additional educational efforts and, most notably, substantial advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.

A second-generation hotelier, Patel began his career in the hotel industry as a teenager while his family lived at the hotel they owned. A member for more than 15 years, Patel has served on five AAHOA committees, was previously an AAHOA regional ambassador and has led North Texas as regional director since 2014. He lives in Irving, Texas.

“Biran has repeatedly proven his dedication both to AAHOA and to the hotel industry in general,” said AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “I am delighted to welcome him to the officer ranks and look forward to his continued invaluable contributions to our association.”

Other successful candidates at this year’s AAHOA elections include Piyush Patel (Director at Large); Lina Patel (Female Director at Large – Eastern Division); Purvi Panwala (Young Professional Director at Large – Eastern Division); Nitin (Nick) Patel (Alabama Panhandle Regional Director); Bharat Patel (Florida Regional Director); Girish (Gary) Patel (Gulf Regional Director); Naresh (Nick) Patel (North Central Regional Director); Sunil (Sunny) Patel (Northeast Regional Director); and Mayur (Mike) Patel (North Texas Regional Director). Georgia Regional Director Kapil (Ken) Patel, South Carolina Regional Director Mahesh (Mike) Patel, and Washington District Regional Director Vinaykumar (Vinay) Patel were re-elected.
Taking place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, the event drew some 6,500 attendees. AAHOA Chairman Bharat (Bruce) Patel, who is now Immediate Past Chairman, framed the group’s progress.  “The position of AAHOA in our industry has never been higher, the relationship with AAHOA partners has never been stronger, and the value to AHHOA members has never been better. The records we achieved and the industry recognition that follows are a powerful reminder that AAHOA now has both strength and responsibility,” he said.

Patel continued, “Because of the incredible determination of your AAHOA Board of Directors; the dedication of more than 200 ambassadors; the hard work of the AAHOA staff; and most importantly, the support of over 16,500 members, we are realizing our dream. We’re accomplishing our mission, which is to be the voice of America’s hotel owners,” he said.

Patel noted one of the highlights of the group’s accomplishments is the fact that it raised $1,087,725 in PAC (Political Action Committee) donations for the two-year period. He further added that in 2016 more than 1,100 members contributed to the AAHOA PAC, more than 50 percent more than the year before.

Chip Rogers, AAHOA President and CEO, put the accomplishment into perspective for the association, which was founded in 1996. “One year ago Bruce Patel challenged the AAHOA Board and the AAHOA team to do something honestly none of us thought was possible at the time. We set that goal to raise $1 million in PAC donations for the two-year cycle. To put this into perspective if you take all the PAC money that has been raised since PAC was created in 1997 that total was about 938,000 dollars. The goal we were seeking to reach was to raise more in two years than the previous 18 years combined,” he said.

Founded in 1989, AAHOA (www.aahoa.com) is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with more than 16,500 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States. For more information on the 2017 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show, please visit AAHOA.com.

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Born and educated in India, Ajay Ghosh came to the United States to pursue his higher studies in Journalism in 1997. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the School of Journalism at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, his life as a professional journalist began in the summer of 1999 in New York City. Starting as a reporter for India Post, he worked as the New York Bureau Chief of Indian Reporter and World News from 2000 to 2005. Having a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Ajay writes on social and other issues for TheIndianEye.net