Washington, D.C., December 15, 2017Long-standing donor and former AHLEF chair, Minaz Abji contributed $10,000 to the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation’s (AHLEF) 2017 Annual Giving Campaign, marking this his sixth consecutive personal annual gift at this level — the highest giving designation at the Leadership trier.

Abji has been a long-time Annual Giving Campaign donor, donating $85,000 over the past decade. He served as a member of AHLEF's Board of Trustees since 2006 and Chairman from 2007 to 2016. In that role, his passion for the industry and AHLEF’s mission was instrumental in launching an $8 million capital campaign, “Opening Doors to Opportunity,” and he personally donated $100,000 in 2015. He believes giving back to the industry is his duty.

“When one person gets an education, amazing changes happen that transform whole families,” said Abji. “By making education – and a career in the best industry in the world – possible for so many students, many of them the first in their families to attend college, AHLEF does a great and important job.”  

 “It’s very difficult to sum up in a few words the notable impact Minaz has had on this industry and the countless lives he has touched through his generosity. Donors like Minaz Abji are the backbone of the Foundation,” said Rosanna Maietta AHLEF interim president. “Not only does he provide generous financial support to the industry through AHLEF, but he personally invests his time in getting to know the many students and scholars and young people who seek to find a home in this great industry.  His passion for giving back is truly remarkable and he continues to set the bar higher every year. Thank you, Minaz for inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.”

The Annual Giving Campaign is AHLEF’s yearly fundraising initiative supported solely by the hospitality sector. Initiated in 1997, the program generates funds for AHLEF’s core programs that provide hospitality management students with academic scholarships, offer grants for pertinent industry research, and promote hospitality as a career of choice. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $21.5 million has been distributed through its scholarship, education, outreach, and research programs. and the Foundation disbursed a record $851,500 in academic scholarships this year alone.

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      


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AHLEF is the industry’s philanthropic organization, dedicated to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. Founded in 1953, AHLEF is a subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and provides resources for hospitality-related education, career development, research and public awareness of the industry. Since its inception approximately $24 million has been awarded in the way of scholarships and research grants, as well as invested in key programs, such as career development and school-to-career, that directly affect the long-term goals and success of the hospitality industry. The Foundation is funded solely by contributions from generous individuals and companies who want to give back to the hotel industry and ensure a successful future. Learn more at