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The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, and The BHN Group has just announced the institution of a new award, established in honor and recognition of the transformational leadership of Arne Sorenson, Marriott International's former President & CEO who passed away in February.
The 'Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award' will be presented in homage to the late hotel industry icon during the AHLA Foundation's annual fundraising gala, 'Night of a Thousand Stars', and during the annual 'Americas Lodging Investment Summit' (ALIS).
Known for his progressive leadership style, Sorenson utilized his position as the head of a major international corporation to help tackle national and global issues that called for change. He championed diversity, equity and inclusion; promoted environmental sustainability; and worked to advance such causes as human trafficking awareness and prevention, among others.
The Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award will be awarded to a senior-level executive in the hotel and lodging industry who exemplifies the values that Sorenson himself upheld on a daily basis, and who drives social change through community engagement and strength of his or her leadership.
"Arne was a visionary leader driven by passion for his people, the millions of associates around the world who worked for and with him, and by a desire to spread a love for travel. He was an icon in our industry, dedicated to improving the lodging experience for the guests we serve and the people who serve them," said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. "While Arne's business accomplishments are apparent to all, his championing of social change made our entire industry better for everyone, and we are proud to bestow this award on future generations who exude his best qualities: his decency, generosity, and compassion."
"The AHLA Foundation was proud to partner with AHLA and The BHN Group to unveil The Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award at the annual Night of a Thousand Stars gala," said Rosanna Maietta, president and CEO of The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation. "The ceremony seeks to honor those who go above and beyond for their guests and our hotels, showing their dedication to our industry day in and day out - just like Arne did. With this recognition, we hope his legacy lives on and helps propel the industry forward."
"We welcomed Arne's vision and insights to ALIS many times over the years, and he is greatly missed. On behalf of ALIS, The BHN Group, and Northstar Travel Group, we are delighted to be partnering with AHLA and the AHLA Foundation for this important award in Arne's name," said Jeff Higley, president of The BHN Group. "We thank the Sorenson Family, Marriott and the Marriott Family for allowing us to establish this award in his honor. Arne's dedication to having a positive social impact at every level of the industry was incomparable. He further humanized a people industry and made it stronger through his actions. This award will help Arne's legacy and spirit to live on as we seek to recognize those who, like him, have great ambition to make the world's greatest industry even better."
Nominations for the annual award will be reviewed by AHLA's Executive Committee and representatives from ALIS. Each year's recipient will be announced during the AHLA Foundation's Night of a Thousand Stars gala and honored during the ALIS event, with the inaugural honoree set to be announced in January 2022.
Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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