Miraj S. Patel, MBA, CHO, CHIA, has been appointed as the Chairman of the AAHOA Board of Directors for the term 2024-25, making him the youngest person to hold this position in the association’s 35-year history.

The announcement was made at the end of the 2024 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, FL, which saw a record-breaking number of exhibitors and nearly 6,500 attendees. Patel, a second-generation hotelier with a strong background in hospitality, expressed his gratitude and dedication upon taking on his new role.

“It’s a real honor to serve as the newest AAHOA Chairman,” Patel said. “I’m committed to tackling some of the industry’s toughest challenges with straightforward solutions and making sure our members are at the heart of every decision we make.”

Patel’s journey in hospitality began at a young age, growing up in his family’s first 30-room independent property. His passion for the field led him to volunteer with AAHOA, eventually leading to his election to the AAHOA Board of Directors in 2019 as the Young Professional Director for the Western Division.

“Being the youngest Chair in the association’s history shows AAHOA’s dedication to supporting the growth and success of the next generation,” Patel emphasized. “I always tell young professionals not to let age hold them back. If you never give it a shot, you’ll never know what you can achieve.”

As the current President of Wayside Investment Group, a Texas-based company specializing in lodging and hospitality real estate investments, Patel brings a wealth of experience and leadership to his new role. Apart from his professional work, he is actively involved in various industry associations and charitable organizations, embodying a spirit of giving back to the community.

Laura Lee Blake, President & CEO of AAHOA, congratulated Patel on his appointment, expressing confidence in his ability to lead the association forward. “Miraj has an incredible passion for serving the industry and AAHOA members,” she said. “We’re excited to work under his leadership to continue advancing the industry and establishing AAHOA as the true voice of hotel owners in the nation.”

In his closing statements, Patel reiterated his commitment to shaping a future that addresses the needs and challenges of today’s hotel owners. “I owe so much of where I am today to AAHOA, and it’s really reassuring to know the same is true for many other AAHOA members,” he affirmed.

AAHOA, as the largest hotel owners association globally, represents member-owned properties that make up a significant portion of the U.S. economy. With 20,000 members owning 60% of the nation’s hotels, AAHOA plays a crucial role in the hospitality industry. The association’s mission is to advance and safeguard the business interests of hotel owners through advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community engagement.