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Vice President of Host Hotels named 2008 chair of AH&LEF fund development committee

Minaz Abji, executive vice president of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., has been named chair of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) Fund Development Committee, responsible for overseeing the group’s primary fundraising vehicle — the Annual Giving Campaign. AH&LEF is the not-for-profit affiliate of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).

The Annual Giving Campaign solicits corporations and individuals for annual contributions to support AH&LEF’s core missions of providing scholarships to hospitality management students; funding important industry research in areas such as room tax, technology, and ADA requirements; as well as promoting hospitality as a career of choice through high school curriculum programs and workforce development initiatives. Last year, almost $1 million was disbursed through its programs, with more than $11 million distributed since its inception.

“Having gotten my start in the hospitality industry through the assistance of a scholarship, I recognized early on how valuable these resources can be for students as they begin their careers,” said Abji. “I am delighted to be involved in programs financing a new degree of hope and professional prosperity to ambitious individuals who, in a few years, will shape the future of our industry.”

“AH&LEF welcomes Abji’s passion for cultivating the future of the hotel industry and its supply of talented workers,” said Joori Jeon, CPA, CAE, AH&LEF president/COO. “He understands the industry’s challenges and need for more skilled personnel, and we appreciate his time commitment to the cause, as well as the significant monetary commitments he has made over many years.”

At Host Hotels & Resorts, Abji is responsible for the leadership of the Asset Management, Feasibility, Design & Construction, and Revenue Management Departments. In his more than 30 years of hotel operations experience, including 23 years with Westin hotels, Abji has also served as president of Canadian Hotel Income Properties REIT and as area managing director of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Canada.

Abji joins other industry luminaries in leading this AH&LEF committee. Past chairpersons include Pedro Mandoki, CHA, president & CEO of Mandoki Hospitality Group, Kirby Payne, CHA, president of HVS/American Hospitality Company, Mike Patel, CHA, president of Diplomat Hotel Corporation; Joseph R. Kane, Jr., CHA, president of Days Inn Worldwide, Inc.; and Stephen J. Belmonte, president and CEO of Hospitality Solutions.

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