Introducing the New Board for the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA)

  • Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association
  • 11.28.11
The Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) is excited to announce its new Governor and Advisory boards to address the needs of the organization’s growing membership and its role as a driving force in the hospitality industry.

“The Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association is the first and only association to unite the world's collection of boutique and lifestyle independent properties, small brands and the suppliers that sustain them,” said BLLA founder, Frances Kiradjian. “We’ve attracted an incredible international team of dedicated and highly experienced individuals to help guide and grow the efforts of the organization while providing benefits to our members, clarity to the sector and leadership to the industry,” she said.

The new Board gathered at the Hotel Wales New York, a boutique BLLA member hotel.  Key items on the agenda included organizing tactical programs and processes while focusing on the main Strategic Management Plan, Vision and Mission of the association. Through the guidance of the BLLA Board Liaison, Ken Springer, board members agreed that one of the top outcomes of the BLLA is to offer its members the chance to take control of their industry to determine how it’s defined and represented, and how it will grow and evolve in the future.  Doing this, will ensure that the boutique and lifestyle sector reaps the rewards it deserves. The event was sponsored by VOA Associates, a BLLA supplier member. 

The biggest, and probably most controversial, subject on the table during the meeting was what ‘independent’ is defined as in the context of independent boutique and lifestyle hotel properties and small brands, which represent the core membership of the association.

“We’ve talked extensively about what it means to be a boutique or lifestyle property, collection or brand,” said Frances Kiradjian. “It’s our job to help define the industry, but also to translate that down to the consumer level and communicate those benefits to travelers,” she added. “In addition, it is our job to help travel agents and the corporate travel community to decipher what is really boutique and lifestyle from what isn’t.”  BLLA’s year-long research project on the definitions is about to be released.

The BLLA Boards consist of the following  members and their affiliations:
FOUNDER & CHAIR: Frances Kiradjian, Los Angeles, CA
BOARD LIAISON: Ken Springer – MileMarker, Santa Barbara, CA


Christophe Vielle - GCP Hospitality, Bangkok, Thailand
Ingrid Summerfield - Joie de Vivre Hospitality, San Francisco, CA
John Russell - Advaya Hospitality, Atlanta, GA
Nelson Migdal - Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Washington, D.C.
Tom LaTour - LaTour Signature Group, San Francisco, CA


Aileen Canta - A.F. Canta, Inc., Newport Beach, CA
Alan Barmaper - Barmaper & Associates, Los Angeles, CA
Alan Young - Infor Softbrands, Ontario, Canada
Becka Chester – Hospitality Design Specialist, Santa Barbara, CA
Bernie Otis - Bernie S. Otis Consulting, Sherman Oaks, CA
Cees Houweling - N|A Concepts, Uruquay
David Beedie - Ovation Corporate Travel, Los Angeles, CA
Deborah Herman - Fabric Innovations, New York & Miami, FL
Edward Kaen - The Keating Hotel, San Diego, CA
Johanne Brierre - Trendy Tripping, New York, NY
Kerry Flowers - Genre Hotels, Los Angeles, CA
Mark Pratt - VOA Associates, Chicago, IL
Mark Skinner - Highland Group, Atlanta, GA
Markus Stebich - Stebich Hospitality Solutions, Dubai & Cologne, Germany
Michelle Finn – Michelle Finn Associates, Chicago, IL
Nile Tuzun - NILEbrand International, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Pedro Colaco - Guestcentric, Fairfield, N.J. & Lisbon, Portugal
Richard Roaenberg - The Grape Leaf Inn, San Francisco, CA
Stephen Robbins - Principia Hospitality, San Antonio, TX
Stuart Greif - J.D. Power & Associates, Westlake Village, CA
Tim Dixon - The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee, WI
Yasmine Mahmoudieh - Mahmoudieh Concepts, Berlin, Germany & London, U.K. 

The Advisory Board’s primary objectives are strengthening and expanding the benefits offered to members, building upon the association's knowledge library, strengthening the association's internal resources, increasing membership and promoting the boutique and lifestyle lodging industry.  The Advisory Board will use their respective experience and skills to insure the activities of the Association fully align with these strategic objectives.

“While the Governing Board is tasked with serving as executive advisors as well as assisting the Board Founder directly in her efforts at managing the ‘business of an association’, the Advisory Board is asked to develop and manage projects that align with the five objectives above,” said Board Liaison, Ken Springer.  “More importantly, however, we spent considerable time in looking at the value chain and profit model of the Association and identified numerous ‘Areas of Expertise’ that we felt needed representation and, therefore, based our Advisory Board around those areas.  These efforts provided an excellent and diverse set of skills critical to the boutique and lifestyle lodging industry.”
The Advisory Board was installed just prior to one of the BLLA’s annual events, the Boutique and Lifestyle Hospitality Awards, presented at the Hospitality Design Boutique Show in Miami, Sept. 13-14, 2011.


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