109 | Passion, Courage and Patience with Dina Patel

Dina Patel, CHO was born in Bardoli, India, and immigrated to USA with her family in 1988, when she was 10 years old. Two years later, Dina’s parents bought their first independent motel in San Antonio, Texas. From day one, Dina helped out in every part of the motel.

Dina earned a BBA (magna cum laude) with a minor in Spanish from the University of Houston in 1999, then began her career working as a System Analyst for Hanover Compressor Company. Several years later, Dina left the corporate world to pursue her dream of business ownership and in 2007, she and her husband opened their first hotel, a brand-new 35-room Scottish Inn and Suites. Keep Reading »

107 | 15 Successful Habits of an Awesome General Manager with Rupesh Patel

Rupesh is the CEO of 3Hospitality and SmartGuests.com, and he operates award winning hotels in the Daytona Beach area. Known for his out of the box, innovative thinking, Rupesh has incorporated his marketing and design background into hospitality industry to deliver simple ideas that bring smiles to guest’s faces and drive revenues for his hotels. Keep Reading »

106 | Biran Patel for AAHOA Secretary

Biran has been an AAHOA member since 2001, Lifetime Member since 2008, and proactive leader since 2010. He now serves as North Texas Regional Director and previously was an Ambassador.

Under his leadership as Regional Director, North Texas repeatedly achieved record highs in PAC contributions, Lifetime Members, and paid members.

Currently, he serves on the Strategic Planning plus Membership Committees. He has served on the Sponsorship; Independent Hotelier; and 2017 Annual Convention Site Selection Committees. Keep Reading »

105 | Jay Lallu for AAHOA Secretary

Jay Lallu has a unique path to the hospitality business. He was born and raised in Colon, Panama. Jay could not continue his college education as his father had fallen sick. To provide for his family, he started to work at a retail store in Colon. This opened the doors for him to begin working in wholesale importing and exporting for a few months. The experience of doing time in retail and wholesaling allowed him to open a retail store of his own where he sold cosmetics, perfumes, and other gift items.
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099 | Induction, On-boarding and Training with Rocco Bova

Rocco is a passionate hotelier and energetic entrepreneur with a remarkable career of over 20 years. He studied hotel management at Westminster College in London and Cornell University in Singapore, and he has worked in some of the finest, world class properties in amazing destinations spanning three continents. He’s led pre-opening, rebranding, and repositioning projects, and he’s recognized as a turnaround expert. Keep Reading »

097 | The Power of Relationships with Rajiv Bhatia

Rajiv Bhatia, M.S., CHA, CHE, CRME is CEO of FairBridge Hotels International, a promising franchise system with 43 properties providing an attractive alternative to legacy franchise models.

Prior to his appointment as CEO of FairBridge, Rajiv served as leader of the Knights Inn Brand of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Throughout the last decade he was responsible for brand operations, property openings, design and development, franchise services, quality assurance, training, development financing and marketing. During his tenure at Wyndham, Mr. Bhatia served as president of the company’s Villager brand from 2003 until it merged with the Knights Inn brand in September 2004. Prior to his role as brand president, from 1996 until 2003 Mr Bhatia supported the Hotel Group’s worldwide master licensing efforts for several Wyndham brands including Howard Johnson, Days Inn, and Super 8 while working across five continents and numerous international destinations. Keep Reading »

096 | Manager as Coach with Ron Whitfield

Ron Whitfield is an Executive General Manager with ResortQuest by Wyndham in Destin Florida. He earned his Associate of Arts Degree from the University of West Florida and a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University with an emphasis in Resort and Club Management.

Ron has been in the Vacation Rental Industry for more than two decades. He has had a Community Association Management License for 22 years and has been a Real Estate Broker for 11 years.

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095 | The Smartest Room with Tarun Patel

Tarun S. Patel is a second generation hotelier and entrepreneur specializing in Hospitality Management and Development, Deal Structure, Finance and Accounting. He’s Principal of Pacific Hospitality Company, and Founder and CFO of Pracrea Inc, a Silicon Valley based startup offering software-as-a-service solutions used by commercial real estate brokers and owners to manage the sale of their listings and properties. Their solution, TheHotelInventory.com, provides a virtual meeting place for hotel buyers and sellers that helps hotel sellers and brokers market their properties, and hotel investors find their next investment.

Tarun earned a BS, Finance and Economics from San Diego State University.

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091 | An Entrepreneurial Mindset with Kerry Ranson

Kerry V. Ranson is Chief Development Officer, Business & Acquisitions, for HP Hotels – a Birmingham, Alabama-based 3rd party management group with a portfolio of over 30 hotels in 12 states comprised of Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Choice, and Independent full-service and select-service hotels. Kerry is also the outgoing Chairman of the Board for the IHG Owners Association. Keep Reading »

090 | Hotelier Vendor Relations with Atul Patel

Atul G. Patel, CHO is a second generation hotelier. He and his family moved to the United States in 1979 and settled in Tifton, GA, where his family bought their first independent hotel. After learning the trade in the family business, Atul went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University, and a Master’s Degree in Finance Georgia State. He now has an interest in seven properties, and he and his partners manage a portfolio of five.

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