Leslie Hale, President and CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust, to Headline the Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series at the 35th Hunter Hotel Investment Conference

Hunter Investment Conference
12.6.2023
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Leslie Hale, President and CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust, to Headline the Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series at the 35th Hunter Hotel Investment Conference

Hunter Investment Conference
12.6.2023
Share

Ms. Hale is the President and CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust , one of the premier public companies in the lodging and hospitality sector. Before joining RLJ in 2005, she held senior positions with GE in their Commercial Finance Group and Real Estate Strategic Capital Group. Previously, Ms. Hale was an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, advising on mergers, acquisitions, and corporate finance. Ms. Hale earned a BBA from Howard University (summa cum laude) and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Goldman Sachs and Toigo Fellow.

A widely respected thought leader, Ms. Hale is the first African American woman to lead a publicly listed real estate investment trust. She serves on the board of directors for Delta Airlines, is a trustee of Howard University, and is a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She is currently the board chair for the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

“I am honored to join Mit, Georgia State University, and the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference for the 10th Annual Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series. Reflecting on my professional journey, I have immense gratitude for the depth and breadth of experiences that have shaped me and the invaluable friends and mentors who have guided me along the way. I am excited to share a few of the many lessons I have learned with those who will lead us into the future,” said Ms. Hale.

The Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series was established and endowed in honor of Dr. Bharat Shah at Georgia State’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration, J. Mack Robinson College of Business. An immigrant to the United States who was inspired by the transformative power of education, the vision for this series is to share the intimate and diverse personal journeys of icons whose stories of struggle, perseverance, commitment, and faith have led to the realization of the American Dream.

“Leslie and I have been close friends for many years. She is a trailblazer who has continually shattered ceilings in the corporate world, epitomizing vision, resilience, and excellence. Her contributions continue to shape the hospitality industry and inspire our next generation of leaders,” said Mit Shah.

Over the years, Mit has brought us into the living room for candid conversations with his father, Bharat Shah; the late Mark Elliott, President of Hodges Ward Elliott; Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Tom Baltimore, President, Chairman, and CEO of Park Hotels & Resorts; the late Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International; Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton; Vince Carter and Grant Hill, world-renowned NBA and NCAA basketball legends, business leaders, and philanthropists; Sara Blakely, Founder and Executive Chairwoman of SPANX, and Jesse Itzler, NY Times best-selling author and entrepreneur; and Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

“With her remarkable journey in the hospitality industry and impactful leadership at RLJ, Leslie is a perfect fit for the 10th Annual Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series. We are thrilled to welcome her to the main stage at HUNTER, where she will undoubtedly inspire and enlighten our attendees with her story. As HUNTER approaches its 35th year, the Bharat Shah Leadership Speaker Series remains a cornerstone at the conference as it connects our industry by highlighting the diverse paths to success," said Lee Hunter, Chairman of the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference and Chief Operating Officer of Hunter Hotel Advisors.

Leslie Hale and Mit Shah will take the main stage of the HUNTER Conference on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 12:30 p.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The session is open to registered attendees, special guests, and Georgia State University students.

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