Photo Courtesy of The BLLAThe hotel industry’s Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) named Joe McInerney its 2012 Person of the Year. The award will be presented at a ceremony during the association’s Leadership Symposium in Los Anglees, California, at the Roosevelt Hotel on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.
Mr. McInerney is the chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Geoffrey Kent, the founder and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, is the runner-up candidate. McInerney has worked in the travel and tourism industry for nearly 50 years, having worked for 25 years with Sheraton, which led to him become CEO and president of the company’s Hawthorn Suites brand.
McInerney also was the CEO and president of Travelodge. He became its chairman in 1995. McInerney previously served as the CEO and president of the Pacific Asia Travel Association and has been the chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association for 12 years.
"Joe's contributions to the industry are legendary and many. He reorganized AHLA to meet the needs of our ever-changing industry and has been extremely supportive of other hospitality organizations," said John Russell, the conference chairman of the Leadership Symposium. “Joe has not only helped the travel industry domestically, but internationally as well."
Geoffrey Kent, the runner-up to this award, is credited with reinventing safari-lodging experiences with the introduction of luxury sanctuary retreats. These unique wilderness properties are in areas of outstanding natural beauty and are environmentally sustainable. This comes naturally al to Mr. Kent, as he actually was born while his parents were on a safari.
The Leadership Symposium of the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association will run from October 22-24, 2012.