Jagruti Panwala

Asian American Hotel Owners Association board members elected Jagruti Panwala secretary of the association. Panwala, of Ivyland, Penn., becomes the first-ever female secretary for AAHOA. “It was time – definitely time (for a woman to serve),” the Indian American executive said in a statement. (LinkedIn photo)

Jagruti Panwala has been named the first-ever female secretary of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

The election of the Indian American owner of Wealth Protection Strategies LLC came at the conclusion of the association’s 2016 convention and trade show in Nashville, Tenn., which drew more than 5,000 members and vendors over the course of the three-day event.

The association, comprised of more than 15,000 members, made the announcement April 1.

Additionally, Panwala is now in line to become the first-ever female chair of the organization in 2019, the association said in a news release.

“It was time – definitely time (for a woman to serve),” Panwala said in a statement. “It’s my honor. I am so proud, and it is such an honor that they had enough confidence in me to choose me as AAHOA secretary.”

The volunteer board of 33, who own hotels throughout the country, elected Panwala to the position in lieu of two male counterparts. Among the volunteers are the association’s secretary, treasurer, vice chair and chairman.

“It was an exciting race, and I want to sincerely thank the other candidates,” she said. “We are all devoted AAHOA members whose first priority is the growth and success of our association.”

A resident of Ivyland, Penn., Panwala will serve as secretary for 2016 through 2017. Prior to the election, she served as female director-at-large of the association’s eastern division.

“It’s a great day to be an AAHOA member,” said AAHOA president and chief executive Chip Rogers. “I thank AAHOA voters for their participation in this election and I congratulate Ms. Panwala on running a successful campaign.”

In addition to Panwala, Navnit Patel, Rashmikant Patel and Nishant Patel were the newly elected board members as director-at-large, North Carolina regional director, and young professional director-at-large, respectively. Priyesh Patel was reelected to a three-year term as the Central Midwest regional director.

Panwala, who has been a member of AAHOA since 2011, is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance.

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