Bringing more than 160 Board members, Ambassadors and leaders from across the country, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) converged in our nations capital for the annual Congressional Day & Capitol Hill Reception on September 14, 2011.
AAHOA attended more than 75 in-person meetings with their Members of Congress and congressional staffers to strongly promote increasing credit access for small business owners, “common sense” regulatory reform, and pro-growth tax reform, as well as oppose tax-exemption legislation for online travel companies (OTCs).
In addition to the Congressional meetings, the AAHOA Officers and other leaders met with high-ranking officials from the International Franchise Association (IFA) to discuss coalition efforts that would focus on expanding credit and capital availability for hoteliers and small business owners. Later that morning, they sat down with officials from the FDIC to address the credit crisis and concerns arising from loss-sharing agreements entered into between the FDIC and large financial institutions that acquire failed banks. A meeting was also conducted with Ken Feinberg and Bill Mulvey who represent BP Oil to address claims stemming from last year’s Gulf oil spill and the needs of those hoteliers affected by the tragedy.
AAHOA hosted a luncheon in honor of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in the historic Dirksen Senate Office Building. The special guest speakers included Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Arun K. Singh for India to the United States; U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D–NY); U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R–CA); Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alyssa Ayres; Mark Brunner, senior aide to Sen. Mark Warner (D–VA), who is Co-Chair of Senate India Caucus; and a staff representative for U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke (D–MI).
Following the luncheon, a select group of AAHOA leaders met with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to address pressing concerns with the credit crisis and how to help small business owners lead the economic recovery efforts.
AAHOA’s evening reception was held at the prestigious Capitol Hill Club. The long list of Congressional representatives who addressed the attendees included long-time friends of AAHOA, as well as those who currently serve on the House Small Business Committee and support the work of our members:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R–SC) U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R–CA)
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R–CO) U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R–NC) U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R–GA)
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R–WA) U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R–SC)
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R–CO) U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R–IL) U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros–Lehtinen (R-FL) U.S. Rep. Tim Scott (R–SC)
U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R–TX) U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R–CO)
“When it comes to political advocacy, if you don’t have a seat at the table then you’ll be on the menu,” said AAHOA Chairman Hemant Patel. “Our presence in Washington this week continued to reinforce the fact that AAHOA is a major player when working with our elected officials to make sure we are heard on Capitol Hill.”
“With a tremendous turnout from our association’s leaders and representatives, this year’s Congressional Day and Capitol Hill Reception allowed us to deliver a powerful and clear statement to our elected officials on behalf of the hotel industry and small business owners across the United States,” said AAHOA President Fred Schwartz. “The overwhelming support we received further emphasizes the impact that we continue to make.”
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is THE voice of owners in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1989, AAHOA is now one of the fastest-growing organizations in the industry, with more than 10,000 members owning 20,000 hotels that total $128 billion in property value. AAHOA members employ 578,600 full- and part-time workers with a $9.4 billion payroll. AAHOA Officers include Chairman Hemant D. “Henry” Patel; Vice Chairman Alkesh R. Patel, CHO; Treasurer Mehul B. “Mike” Patel, CHA; Secretary Pratik R. Patel, CHA, CHO; and President Fred Schwartz, each of whom works closely with a 34-member Board of Directors to provide direction for the association. AAHOA is dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of its members by inspiring excellence through programs and initiatives in advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community involvement.