AHLA Foundation Announces Expansion of Initiatives Aimed at Elevating Women in Hospitality

 ForWard reflects the industry’s commitment to investing in talent, creating a platform to increase the representation of women in leadership positions  

WASHINGTON, DC (September 19, 2023) – AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), today announced its new ForWard initiative to support the advancement of women into hotel industry leadership and ownership. The ForWard initiative represents the merger of ForWard – which began as an AHLA event – and the Castell Project into one brand offering a suite of resources, events, professional development opportunities, and community-building forums to develop a pipeline of women leaders in hospitality. The Castell Project, a legacy brand focused on accelerating the advancement of women leaders in hospitality, was acquired by the Foundation last year.  

The ForWard initiative’s new portfolio includes: 

“There is tremendous opportunity for us to do more to celebrate, champion, and create community for women,” said Anna Blue, President of AHLA Foundation. “AHLA Foundation is uniquely positioned to collaborate across industry and invest in the women who are advancing hospitality.”  

The merger of ForWard and Castell complements AHLA Foundation’s industry-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and allows for unified strategic oversight and greater programmatic impact. The Foundation plans to grow the ForWard Network locally and nationally, expanding its professional development offerings to provide more regular opportunities for women to connect both in-person and online. To learn more about ForWard and register for upcoming events, visit  

About AHLA Foundation   

The AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, works to support the hotel and lodging industry’s greatest asset – its people. By connecting employees, employers, and their communities, we seek to continuously nurture a culture of professional growth and belonging. When the people who work in our industry thrive, the industry thrives along with them. The Foundation is funded by grants and charitable contributions from generous individuals and organizations who want to support individuals seeking opportunities to thrive in the hotel and lodging industry. Learn more at