Economic uncertainty and the role government should play in addressing problems stemming from that uncertainty will definitely continue to be a hot topic as the 2012 elections approach. Foreclosures and a lack of access to capital are still daily threats to hoteliers, and the political arena remains divided on what must be done. In an effort to provide information from top political insiders, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is excited to announce it will feature a highly charged political debate between former Democratic National Committee Chair (DNC) Howard Dean and former Republican National Committee Chair (RNC) Michael Steele. This rousing debate will be hosted on Friday, May 4 during the 2012 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The debate will take place during that day’s General Session and will be moderated by ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
Before being elected to DNC Chair in 2005, Howard Dean served six terms as the Governor of Vermont. Dean left office in Vermont to run for President in 2003 where he implemented innovative fundraising strategies. As Chair of the DNC, Dean created and implemented the “50 State Strategy” and the development of 21st century campaign tools.
Michael Steele was elected to RNC Chair in 2009. Under his leadership, the Republican Party broke fund-raising records and won majorities in both the House and Senate following the 2010 elections. A self-described "Lincoln Republican," Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, becoming the state’s first African American elected to statewide office.
One of the news media's brightest talents, Jonathan Karl is an ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent covering the State Department. He joined ABC from CNN, where he had covered Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Pentagon since 1996. Before CNN, Karl was a reporter for the New York Post, where he was referred to as "one of the best young reporters in New York," by former New York Mayor Ed Koch.
“Howard Dean and Michael Steele are heavy hitters in the political arena and are sure to deliver a knockout performance,” said AAHOA Chairman Hemant Patel. “Our members are very excited to hear them share their positions regarding the crucial issues as well as their opinions on how to help hoteliers and small business owners during these trying economic times.”
“AAHOA is honored to showcase this anticipated debate during our 2012 Annual Convention & Trade Show,” said AAHOA President Fred Schwartz. “Year in and year out, the AAHOA Annual Convention proves to be the premier event in the lodging industry with an exceptional lineup of guest speakers, and our upcoming Convention in Atlanta will be no different. With the political landscape constantly changing as we approach the 2012 elections, this debate promises to deliver a riveting discussion that no one will want to miss.”
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is THE voice of owners in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1989, AAHOA is now one of the fastest-growing organizations in the industry, with nearly 11,000 members owning more than 20,000 hotels that total $128 billion in property value. AAHOA members employ 578,600 full- and part-time workers with a $9.4 billion payroll. AAHOA Officers include Chairman Hemant D. “Henry” Patel; Vice Chairman Alkesh R. Patel, CHO; Treasurer Mehul B. “Mike” Patel, CHA; Secretary Pratik R. Patel, CHA, CHO; and President Fred Schwartz, each of whom works closely with a 34-member Board of Directors to provide direction for the association. AAHOA is dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of its members by inspiring excellence through programs and initiatives in advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community involvement.
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