Six hoteliers recognized for achievement and excellence in the hospitality industry with 2022 awards
Texas hotelier Nishant (Neal) Patel, who grew up in Surat, India, and came to Mississippi with his family nearly 20 years ago, is the new chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.
Patel became chairman at the conclusion of the 2022 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Baltimore from April 12 to15. It was the second major convention AAHOA has held since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If you’ve ever wondered to what extent AAHOA serves its membership, I am a perfect example,” said Patel, a second-generation hotelier, in a statement as cited by hotelmanagement.net.
Read: Five Indian Americans among AAHOA 2020 Award Winners (August 18, 2021)
“My parents didn’t have the opportunity to have AAHOA as a resource, but thankfully, when I took over the family business, AAHOA was there for me as I navigated the hospitality industry. AAHOA provided me with the educational tools I needed to run a hotel successfully.”
“Like the majority of AAHOA Members, we were in search of the ‘American Dream,’” said Patel, who grew up in the industry, wearing many hats as he helped his family run their first 20-room independent property in Laurel, Mississippi.
“My parents wanted to create a better life for their children and leave a legacy that generations to come would be proud of.”
“My parents always told me that if you don’t try, you won’t succeed. If you talk too much, you’re not learning,” Patel said. “As I step into my new role, my focus is on our members and serving them well. Going forward, I will be the facilitator to make things happen.”
“AAHOA helped us create generational success,” Patel said. “After all that AAHOA has given me and my family, I’m looking forward to serving this great organization and giving back to the AAHOA community through listening, learning, bringing new ideas to the table, and enacting change at every level of the organization.”
These days, Patel calls Austin home and is the managing partner of Blue Chip Hotels, which owns and operates multiple hotels. Blue Chip Hotels has more than 1,200 rooms in several states among both branded and independent properties.
Patel became an AAHOA member in 2012 and soon volunteered to serve as an AAHOA Ambassador. He joined AAHOA’s board of directors in 2016 after being elected as the young professional director, Western division—a position he held for three years.
Patel also serves on the HITEC Advisory Council and promotes organ donor awareness through his volunteer work with Samaj Saves Lives.
The association also recognized six hoteliers for achievement and excellence in the hospitality industry with its annual awards. The 2022 award winners are:
The AAHOA Award of Excellence: Vimal Patel, president and CEO, QHotels Management, AAHOA Ambassador, Gulf Region
The Cecil B. Day Community Service Award: Manhar Rama, CEO, Sima Hospitality; AAHOA past chair (2005-2006)
The Outreach Award for Philanthropy: Babu Patel, Trustmark Park Hospitalit.
The Outstanding Woman Hotelier of the Year Award: Pinky Bhaidaswala, SSN Hotel Managemen.
The Outstanding Young Professional Hoteliers of the Year Award: Armaan Patel, AGA Hotels; and Taran Patel, managing, A1 Hospitality Group and AAHOA Ambassador, Northwest Regio.
Also at the convention, Kamalesh (KP) Patel of Santa Cruz, California, was named the new AAHOA secretary. Patel is the CEO of Aarav Hospitality and AKS Hospitality.
AAHOA members also elected the following 10 members to the board of directors:
Alabama regional director: Sanjay Patel
Central Midwest regional director: Arti Patel
North Carolina regional director: Pinkesh Patel
Northeast regional director: Preyas Patel
Northwest regional director: Taran Patel
Upper Midwest regional director: Kalpesh Joshi
Washington, D.C., Area regional director: Deepak Patel
Director at large Eastern division: Pinal Patel
Director at large Western division: Hitesh Patel
Young professional director – Western division: Tanmay Patel