HOUSTON, Texas – The Latino Hotel Association (LHA), a newly-formed global organization dedicated to expanding Latino ownership, leadership, and commerce in the hotel industry, today announced that the organization has elected its first board of directors. William B. Fortier, senior vice president development, the Americas at Hilton International, has been named chairman; Carlos J. Rodriguez, president and managing partner, RodBlu Investments and DVI Cardel Funds, was elected vice chairman; and Esther Fintz, vice president Triangle Management & Investment Inc., joins the board as secretary/treasurer.
Members at large include Walter Barela, Executive Vice President/COO, Peak Hospitality; Charles “Michael” Diaz, principal and executive vice president of Driftwood Hospitality Management, LLC., Benito Irastorza, President & CEO IRAS Group; Nancy Poor, senior vice president owner relations, Wyndham Worldwide; Angela Gonzalez-Rowe, president and founder of LHA and president of AGR Hospitality Solutions; and Stacy Silver, Executive Director, HotelWorld Network. A member of the Mexican Hotel Association will join the board in the near future.
LHA currently has more than 150 hotel owner and operator members in the US and in Latin America.
“These hospitality veterans give us instant global credibility with nearly two centuries of hotel industry experience and extensive backgrounds in hotel development, investment, and management,” said Angel Gonzalez-Rowe. “A person of Bill Fortier’s stature chairing our board is a major plus for us, and we are delighted to have someone from Hilton, a premier global hotelier with a sizable international presence, join us. With the board’s long-standing relationships and deep roots in the industry, we expect to benefit from their counsel and guidance as we pursue our mission of increasing hotel investment and ownership in the global Latino community.”