Patel Named 2002 Chair of AH&LEF

Due to the continued need for financial support to ensure the future of the lodging industry, Mike Patel, CHA, president of Diplomat Hotel Corporation (Atlanta, Ga.), was named the new chairperson of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) Fund Development Committee.

The primary function of the committee is to raise monies for the 1998-initiated AH&LEF Annual Giving Campaign. The drive, which has a current goal of $125,000, taps corporate and private sources for annual contributions to support the foundation’s core missions - scholarships and key industry research programs.

“The lodging industry is currently facing several economic and human resources challenges. Our mission is to make certain that our present and future workforce is viable to address these issues. Through its various programs, AH&LEF ensures that scholarships are made available to prospective hospitality leaders and funding is available for cutting-edge research,” said Patel.

Involved in the lodging industry since being a London high school student, Patel and his brother bought their first hotel in 1979 upon coming to the United States. Well-known in the travel and tourism industry, Patel was instrumental in founding the Asian American Hotel Owners Association in 1989. While serving as its chairman, Patel played a vital role in several successful initiatives, including establishing the historic 12-points of fair franchising, which have become the basis for groundbreaking legislation in the U.S. Congress - The Small Business Franchise Act of 1999 (H.R.-3308). During President Clinton’s administration in May 2000, Patel was appointed to serve as a commissioner on the White House Advisory Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

Patel joins other industry luminaries in leading this AH&LEF committee. Past chairpersons include, Joseph R. Kane, Jr., CHA, group president and CEO of Cendant Hotel Division; and Stephen J. Belmonte, president and CEO of Hospitality Solutions.


For more information about the AH&LEF Annual Giving Campaign, contact the foundation at (202) 289-3100 or send an e-mail to [email protected] Also, visit AH&LEF’s Web site at