Our last issue of 2018—this, the December 15th issue—wraps up the year with our annual 10 to Watch list. It’s the one issue during the year we’ve always got our radar on, preparing and cultivating lists throughout the year to bring you who we, the editorial staff, believe will be names you’ll hear a lot of, and read about, in 2019. The industry professionals who round out our 10—and the companies they represent—have been in the headlines of Hotel Business many times throughout 2018, and we’re sure they are poised to make news in the coming year.
These industry leaders, many of whom, you’ll notice, are from hotel brands, all have one thing in common: growth. They share their stories of professional and personal development with us, and we hope that you’ll be inspired by the energy, initiative and passion they bring to their respective roles, as well as the promise they bring to the future of our industry.
From industry veterans to newly created posts, to “first-evers,” our carefully curated 10 to Watch are Andy Alexander, president, Red Roof; Jon Bortz, chairman/president/CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust; Ken Greene, president, the Americas, Radisson Hotel Group; Jennifer Gribble, VP, global Holiday Inn Express, Avid Hotels and mainstream growth at IHG; Leslie Hale, president/CEO, RLJ Lodging Trust; Alexandra Jaritz, global head, Tru by Hilton; Dave Johnson, chairman/CEO, Aimbridge Hospitality; Mia Kyricos, SVP, global head of well-being, Hyatt Hotels Corp.; Sam Nazarian, founder/CEO, sbe; and our cover choice: Jagruti Panwala, president/CEO, Wealth Protection Strategies, and more notably, as it pertains to our 10 to Watch, soon-to-be chairwoman, AAHOA.
Take a look at this list—at the people who comprise it—and, hopefully, even at first glance, you’ll notice what I do: This group not only brings dynamic personalities and pioneering spirits to their positions, they collectively bring cultural diversity and inclusion to the ranks of hotel leadership. Our industry has definitely made strides in 2018—and heading toward next year—and it shows.
On behalf of all of us here at Hotel Business, happy holidays—here’s to a healthy and successful 2019. And with a nod to the future, I’ll sign off with a favorite quote from my favorite author, Khalil Gibran: Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.