WASHINGTON (February 8, 2021) – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced a new addition to the staff and several promotions, continuing to strengthen government affairs operations and leadership initiatives.
Marilou Halvorsen has been named Vice President of Government Affairs & State Relations. In this new role, she will focus on enhancing our partnerships with state lodging associations and be involved in state and local government affairs in the Northeast. AHLA counts more than 40 state lodging associations as members, and works closely with them on critical industry issues, from advancing policy goals to public awareness campaigns such as our Safe Stay enhanced cleaning initiative. Based in New Jersey, Halvorsen has served as president and CEO of the NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association since 2012, representing the Garden State’s 27,000 eating and drinking establishments.
Prior to NJRHA, Halvorsen was the Director of Marketing for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Point Pleasant Beach & Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, one of New Jersey’s largest seaside resorts. She has served on several state boards and committees, including the New Jersey Travel Industry Association, Jersey Shore Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Governor’s Tourism Conference, which she chaired. She was the first female Commissioner of the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission, and later chaired the Commission for seven years.
AHLA has long recognized the importance of state and local governments in policy issues affecting hoteliers, and one of the association’s strategic priorities is to continue growing its state and local presence. Halvorsen is the latest addition to AHLA’s growing state and local government affairs team, which last month welcomed Jason Riederer as Senior Director of State & Local Government Affairs for the western U.S.
“AHLA has a long history of collaborating with our partner state associations to support hoteliers and advance our policy goals at the state and local level,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “I’ve known Marilou for a long time, and I’m thrilled to have her join our growing state and local team. She is well-respected in the hospitality industry and understands how critical a thriving hotel industry is to reviving the economy at the local and state level.”
In addition, building off a year in which AHLA played a critical role on behalf of the hotel industry in Washington, Rogers announced several promotions, including:
• Chris Burgoyne promoted to Senior Vice President of Government & Political Affairs. Since first joining AHLA in 2013, Chris has led many of AHLA’s highly successful federal legislative campaigns and overseen the rapid growth of AHLA’s political affairs, including increasing PAC receipts by more than 500% and building a grassroots platform that now has more than 50,000 advocates. Burgoyne will continue to lead many of AHLA’s federal legislative initiatives and have a greater focus on expanding political engagement for the industry at all levels of government.
• Kalyn Stephens promoted to Senior Vice President of Executive & Strategic Initiatives. Stephens has been with AHLA since 2015, and most recently served as Vice President of Government Affairs, where she spearheaded the launch of the No Room for Trafficking campaign. In her new role, she will be an integral part of the AHLA executive team to ensure connectivity across all departments on major industry initiatives and alignment on organizational priorities. Stephens will also oversee the coordination of the AHLA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and key operational functions including legal, human resources, and office administration.
• The AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees has added CEO to Rosanna Maietta’s title after three years leading the Foundation as its President. Under her leadership, the AHLA Foundation has expanded its mission by adding two additional focus areas: anti-human trafficking, and diversity, equity and inclusion. The Foundation’s influence has also grown, supporting nearly 60,000 hotel employees during her tenure. Maietta is also EVP of communications and marketing for AHLA.