050 | Jagruti Panwala for AAHOA Secretary


Jagruti has been active in AAHOA for over a decade, holding leadership positions since 2011 when first elected Female Director At Large, Eastern Division. Re-elected in 2014, she has also co-chaired the Women’s Hotelier Committee for five years and served on the Strategic Planning Committee for two years. She testified to Congress against proposed harmful labor laws. Her focus repeatedly has been getting more women, independent, and young hoteliers involved. In 2011, she received the prestigious Chairman’s Award of Excellence.

Her unique perspective about the concerns of members includes being a second-generation hotelier with “hands on” experience in all phases of management and operations. Her understanding of the marketplace is further shaped as President and CEO of Wealth Protection Strategies, an investment management firm founded in 1999.

Born in Surat, India, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Jagruti is one of three candidates running for the AAHOA Secretary position in the upcoming Board of Directors election. I’m featuring interviews with all three candidates, asking each the same questions, to give the Lodging Leader listeners a sneak peak into where they stand on key issues facing our industry, and an opportunity to see a side of them you might not see elsewhere.

In This Episode, Jagruti Talks About:

  • Her current role on the board, how long she’s served, and why AAHOA is important to her.
  • Leadership and what she feels makes an effective leader. We talk about legislative awareness, how laws at the local, state and federal level can drastically impact our businesses, and her plan to encourage proactive participation by our industry professionals.
  • Relationships with franchisors, the need for more balanced franchised agreements, and how she plans to address accountability for the Franchisors.
  • The committees she has served on with AAHOA, which one she is most proud of, and why.
  • Vendors, the integral part they play in AAHOA’s financial stability, and her plan to strengthen relationships with them.
  • The challenges AAHOA has faced over the last couple years that threw the association into the spotlight, and what she did during this time to uncover the truth and make sure that AAHOA was protected.

Resources & Links

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.

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