Marks 5th Consecutive Leadership Gift to AH&LEF

Washington, D.C., July 18, 2016 — Minaz Abji, Executive Vice President of Asset Management for Host Hotels & Resorts, contributed $10,000 to the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) 2016 Annual Giving Campaign, marking his fifth consecutive personal annual gift at the highest giving designation of Leadership Level. The 2016 gift marks his fifth gift at $10,000.

The Annual Giving Campaign is the Foundation’s yearly fundraiser that supports its core missions, including providing scholarships to hospitality management students; funding important industry research such as economic impact studies, and ADA requirements; and promoting hospitality as a career of choice and workforce development initiatives. Abji has a long-time giving history with AH&LEF at the highest levels – from 2007-2011, he contributed at the $5,000 level. Additionally, Abji has recently made a personal gift of $100,000 to a special AH&LEF major fundraising effort, making him an elite industry leader in cultivating tomorrow’s talent. Chair of AH&LEF’s Board of Trustees and a long-time, active member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Abji has decades of leadership experience in the hospitality industry. 

“I started at the very bottom, and I worked my way up,” says Abji. “This is one industry where one can do that. It’s very important to help the next generation, so that they can afford an education in our industry. When I was in school, I benefited from scholarships, and I never forgot that. It’s so important to give to AH&LEF because they give money to scholarships, to people in the industry, and to research and development to keep our industry vibrant. AH&LEF is the right organization to give to.” 

“Minaz has made a huge difference in both the industry and at our Foundation. His years of enthusiastic support are a testament to the value in our programs. We are so grateful that Minaz supports the Annual Giving Campaign at such a high level,” said Joori Jeon, AH&LEF President and COO. “His personal philanthropic leadership should encourage all to be so generous in their giving and follow his example.”

AH&LEF is the not-for-profit affiliate of AH&LA and is funded solely by charitable donations from progressive hospitality leaders and companies within the industry. In 2016, AH&LEF anticipates disbursing more than $1.6 million to prepare promising college students for a career in hospitality, to attract and retain talented industry professionals, and to fund valuable research for the industry. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $20 million has been distributed through its scholarship, education, outreach, and research programs. 

Support the Foundation by helping fund the future of the lodging industry. For more information about donating, contact Michelle Poinelli, Senior Vice President of Foundation Programs, at (202) 289-3181 or, or visit


# # #

AH&LEF is the industry’s philanthropic organization, dedicated to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. Founded in 1953, AH&LEF is a subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and provides resources for hospitality-related education and research. 

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.9 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry of more than 53,000 generating $176 billion in annual sales from 5 million guestrooms.