AH&LA Honors Allied Member, Hoteliers from Across the Country with Awards

  • AH&LA
  • 03.16.10
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) announced the winners of the 2009 John Whitaker Award and 2010 State Leadership Awards during the first day of the association’s annual Legislative Action Summit (LAS). 

Hans Disch, vice president, general manager of lodging for domestic North America and Latin America, Dometic, LLC, received the 2009 John Whitaker Award, which is presented to an outstanding hotel supplier for his or her dedication to and innovation within the industry.  This annual honor is named for a long-time hospitality veteran who served as international sales manager for SICO America, Inc., who died suddenly in 2007.  Disch was selected for the honor by his peers on the AH&LA Allied Executive Council. 

The State Leadership Awards, formerly known as the Most Valuable Volunteer Awards, were created in 1998 to honor standout members in each partner state association who help implement and strengthen programs. Award recipients, who are chosen by AH&LA’s partner state associations, included the following:

  • Arkansas Hospitality Association:
    Larry Farrar - general manager, Hilton Metro Center, Little Rock
  • California Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Bhupen Amin - chief operating officer,  Lotus Hotels & Investments, Inc., Walnut Creek
  • Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Cindy Johnson - director of human resources, The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs
  • Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association:
    Carlos Molinet - general manager, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Fort Lauderdale
  • Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Robert Woolridge - general manager, Marriott Atlanta Airport Gateway, Atlanta
  • Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Fred Orr - general manager, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel, Honolulu
  • Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Andrew Schwebel - general manager, Chicago’s Essex Inn, Chicago
  • Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Phil Ray - general manager, Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis
  • Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Michael Henningsen - vice president, Plamondon Hospitality Partners, Frederick
  • Massachusetts Lodging Association:
    John Murtha, CHA - general manager, Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston
  • Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association:
    Cindy Bowen - general manager, Lexington Lansing Hotel. Lansing
  • Montana Innkeepers Association:
    Steve Wahrlich, CHA - owner, Best Western Clock Tower Inn. Billings
  • New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association:
    John Irvin - general manager, The Otesaga Resort Hotel & The Cooper Inn. Cooperstown
  • North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association:
    Doyle Parrish - owner/partner, Summit Hospitality, Raleigh
  • Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Joe Martin, CHA - owner, Stillwater Hospitality, LLC. Stillwater
  • Oregon Lodging Association:
    Marc Dryden - owner/partner, Best Western Inn at Face Rock, Bandon
  • Pennsylvania Tourism & Lodging Association:
    James C. Miles - vice president, Hershey Resorts. Hershey
  • Rhode Island Hospitality Association:
    Walter Andrews - general manager, Newport Marriott Hotel & Spa, Newport
  • Texas Hotel & Lodging Association:
    Al Deberry - area director, East Central Texas, Tharaldson Lodging, Flower Mound
  • Vermont Hospitality Council:
    Sheri Baraw Smith - general manager, Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, Stowe
  • Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association:
    Patrick M. Foley, CHA - general manager, Baywood Hotels, Alexandria
  • Wisconsin Innkeepers Association:
    Kirk A. Drusch, CHA - vice president and general manager, Brookfield SuitesHotel & Convention Center, Brookfield
  • Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association:
    John Eastman - owner, Inn on the Creek, Jackson



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