The South Asian Times

22 September 2019 02:21 AM

AAHOA gets its first woman officer

New York: The election of Jagruti Panwala as secretary was a highlight of the four-day annual convention held March 29-April 1 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The event drew a record turnout – 5,000 hoteliers, vendors and franchise CEOs and their cohorts.

Panwala told Asian Hospitality she is “extremely honored and very humbled to be AAHOA’s new secretary,” but the victory is not hers alone. All of AAHOA can benefit by electing its first female officer. The win is important, she said, for “women hoteliers, young hoteliers, independent hoteliers and small mom-and-pop owners.” 

She will succeed to chair of AAHOA in 2019, a first for the 27-year-old organization.

Panwala is a businesswoman in Ivyland, Pennsylvania, where she is part of a family hotel company and president and CEO of Wealth Protection Strategies, an investment management business she founded in 1999.

She has been active in AAHOA for more than a decade, holding leadership positions since 2011 when first elected female director at large, eastern division. Re-elected in 2014, she has also co-chaired the Women’s Hotelier Committee for five years and served on the strategic planning committee for two years. She testified to Congress against proposed harmful labor laws. Her focus repeatedly has been getting more women, independent and young hoteliers involved. In 2011, she received the prestigious AAHOA Chairman’s Award of Excellence.

She is a second-generation hotelier who migrated from Surat, India, with her parents when she was a teenager. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Bruce Patel took over the baton from outgoing chairman Jimmy Patel during the convention.

(Image courtesy:

Update: 09 April, 2016