Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

American Hotel Association Names Slater Chairman

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

American Hotel Association Names Slater Chairman

Article excerpt

Robert E. Slater, president of Oklahoma City-based Southern Hospitality, is the first Oklahoma chairman of the American Hotel and Motel Association.

In his new role, Slater intends to focus on "awakening the sleeping giant" of the American lodging industry through reshaping public policy issues, revamping the association's name and logo and creating a Lodging Industry Leadership Forum.

"In just 54 days, we will mark the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millennium, which will bring our industry great changes and great opportunities," Slater told a capacity audience during his inaugural gala last weekend in New York City. "As we near the edge of a new century, we have one of the greatest opportunities in our history to build an industry that not only leads the economy of a great nation, but also extends its reach into every corner of the globe."

Slater will propose a new initiative to re-engineer AH&MA's entire political program and apparatus.

"Our goal is to devise and execute a strategy that revitalizes AH&MA's grass-roots lobbying efforts," he said. "Also, it will significantly enhance the resources available to the American Hotel- Motel Political Action Committee, the association's bipartisan committee that helps elect qualified individuals to federal office who recognize the importance of the lodging industry."

In order to fairly represent the interests of the entire lodging community, Slater believes a critical step the association should make is to change its name to the American Lodging Association.

"If we are to truly move forward, our federation must represent the entire lodging, and I believe, our name should reflect that fact," explained Slater.

"We can no longer afford to hold on to old and antiquated ideas and images."

The 22-year lodging industry veteran said the proposed Lodging Industry Leadership Forum would be comprised of key hotel owners and senior executives from every major hotel company.

"We will seek these industry leaders' counsel and guidance on strategies to address their needs and concerns, and to help make AH&MA even more inclusive," he added. …

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