WASHINGTON, D.C.

Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is departing the organization later in 2018. Lugar has accepted a new position as president and CEO of the American Beverage Association (ABA). The AHLA Officers of the Board have initiated a search for her successor.

During Lugar's five-year tenure at AHLA, she led a major transformation of the organization, including tripling membership and revenue; aligned the policy interests of brands, owners and management companies; drove critical public policy campaigns on a host of issues; served as the leading voice with public policy officials; and developed its political action committee (PAC) into one of the largest among all trade associations.

"I am fortunate to have worked with the outstanding staff and leadership of the American Hotel & Lodging Association," Lugar said. "Together, we have made significant strides over the past five years.

"While I will dearly miss working with and for leaders of America's iconic hotel companies and the truly exceptional AHLA staff, I am confident that the success of the organization will only continue and expand. It has been a true honor to represent this innovative and dynamic industry," she added.

"Over the past five years, Katherine and her team bolstered and improved every facet of our association's operations,” said AHLA Vice Chair Geoff Ballotti. “Today, AHLA's advocacy efforts, engagement of industry leadership, financial strength and political wherewithal have never been better.

"There is no doubt that the momentum we have achieved will only lead to new successes," he added.

In addition to the search process for the organization's next leader, AHLA will continue to benefit from the able leadership of its teams, in particular those led by Kevin Carey, executive vice president and COO; Brian Crawford, senior vice president of government affairs; and Rosanna Maietta, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHELF), and senior vice president of communications and public relations.