2023 Candidates


Nominations for Secretary were due October 1, 2022. The 2023-24 AAHOA Board of Directors candidate nomination period ended on Monday, February 13, 2023.

*Voting procedures may be subject to change.


Meet the Candidates

For the 2023 AAHOA Elections, two AAHOA Members have volunteered to fill one open position for AAHOA Secretary on the AAHOA Board of Directors.

Candidates for Secretary

Pinal S. Patel

 I, Pinal Patel, am looking forward to being your next secretary.

My experience in the hotel industry began 20 years ago at an independent hotel.

I can truly say that AAHOA’s tools and resources was part of what helped me become a multi branded hotel operator today.

For more than 10 years, I proactively worked on behalf of members with purpose and passion in many key AAHOA positions of responsibility:

  • as Ambassador, earning the prestigious Premier Ambassador Award four times
  • as a member of 4 committees, notably Convention; Bylaws/Governance and Finance Audit

My experience also includes four years on the Red Roof Franchise Advisory Council, and various leadership roles in the Gujarat Cultural Association.

My management style is to offer solutions, make hard decisions, and stand strong for members. Now I ask for your trust and your vote so I can be a powerful advocate for YOU as AAHOA Secretary.

Rahul Patel

Dedication. Passion. Support. These are the three words that I’ve taken to heart as I served the last 10 years in AAHOA. As your Florida Regional Director, I’ve worked to SUPPORT the membership in their business ventures and other aspects of their lives. I’ve PASSIONATELY served on many AAHOA committees to increase the MEMBER BENEFITS, such as revising the 12 points of FAIR FRANCHISING. I’ve DEDICATED my time and effort to make sure that when our children come into this industry, they don’t have to fight to make a living.

AAHOA was founded to provide us with EQUAL OPPORTUNITY in an unfair world, we must continue to fight for that goal. I want to make our COLLECTIVE VOICE be heard at the Capitol Hill. I want to make AAHOA FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT. I want to make our future brighter than our past.


Candidates for Director at Large,
Western Division

Cookie Desai
Cookie Desai
Nalin (Neil) Patel
Nalin (Neil) Patel

I am Neil (Nalin) Patel and I respectfully submit my candidacy for Director at Large, Western Division. I am a lifetime member of AAHOA and have been actively involved in promoting the interests and benefits of members for the past four years. As Director, I will support current officers in passing legislation that protects the value, interests, and benefits of members. I will work on issues related to insurance, credit card concerns, and developing programs for independent hoteliers. I believe AAHOA must remain vigilant in ensuring franchisors treat hotel owners as equal partners. I am committed to building a stronger, more unified organization that truly serves the needs of members. I believe that by working together, we can make a positive impact on our industry and create a brighter future for all. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you as your elected Director.

Vijal Suthar
Vijal Suthar

Hello Everyone, My name is Vijal Suthar and am pleased to announce that I am running for Director at Large - Western Division. Throughout my years in the hospitality industry, I have observed and experience first-hand, the issues that us hoteliers face and meticulously sought out solutions that can be beneficial for us all. I have also witnessed the power of AAHOA in making this difference and would like to encourage not only us women but second-generation hoteliers to step up and put our young minds at work. I believe in giving back to our great community and especially reward our predecessors for bringing us to this point. It’s time for us to shift gears and expand our reach. The current female directors and president are such an inspiration so help me pave the way for more female representation across our board.

Candidates for Young
Professional Director, Eastern Division

Bhavik Patel

 While serving our membership for the past 3 years, I was able to draft and pass bylaws changes, changes to the governance policy, and begin the process for board initiatives to expand on AAHOA’s educational platforms among other plans.

I have reignited the industry passion of our youth by successfully hosting events around the country for YP’s, hosted webinars and a plethora of other initiatives. Additionally, I have provided a strong voice for YP’s in our board meetings when it comes to legislative support, governing changes, strategic initiatives, and other issues.

I have gained valuable experience over the past 3 years that I will continue to build on, implementing my vision and to bring creative ideas to fruition in order positively impact the hospitality industry for our members.

I appreciate the membership for its support, and I humbly request your vote to continue serving you as your Young Professional Director. 

Dylan Patel
Dylan Patel

 Dylan Patel began his hospitality career 11 years ago in Savannah, Georgia with his family's business. He is well versed in all aspects of hotel operations and has achieved his CHO. Over the last 5 years, his experience in investment sales has further broadened his hospitality knowledge to include hotel valuations, franchise negotiations, procurement, and lender relationships. Dylan currently serves as the Young Professional Ambassador for Georgia and has hosted multiple YP events and forums over his 3-year tenure. His goal is to expand the Young Professional's role within AAHOA to include Educational and Networking programs that will help our youth throughout the Eastern division. This will promote involvement of our future generation of hoteliers with advocacy and educational policies. Your support to be the next Young Professional Director - Eastern Division will be greatly appreciated!

Candidates for Women Hoteliers Director,
Eastern Division

Purnima Patel

As a hard-working woman, my dedication, diligence, and desire to encourage and elevate have supported me for the past 25 years in the work I do in the hotel industry for my family. As an ambassador for AAHOA for the past six years, and as the Econolodge franchise regional director, I’ve committed to helping grow the membership and supporting my fellow directors in any which way they have asked. I am determined to dedicate my time in continuing the 12 points of Fair Franchising as well as providing a voice to help grow and continue the HERownership program. As a second-generation hotelier and owner-operator for over 30 years. Put your trust in me to be your next Eastern division AAHOA female director, and together we can make a difference.

Candidates for Florida Regional Director

Chetan (Chris) Patel
Chetan (Chris) Patel

Dear Members of AAHOA, I am excited to announce my candidacy for the AAHOA Florida Regional Director. As a dedicated member of the hospitality industry, I believe that I have the passion, experience, and leadership skills to serve the needs of our Florida chapter. I have been involved in the hospitality industry for many years and have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that our industry faces. I am committed to supporting the growth and success of our members and ensuring that AAHOA remains at the forefront of advocacy and support for the hospitality industry. If elected, I promise to work tirelessly to foster a strong and united AAHOA community, and to provide the leadership needed to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to have your support in the coming election. Sincerely, Chetan 'Chris Roc' Patel

Jayesh (Jay) Patel

Jayesh (Jay) Patel, a lifetime AAHOA member, has proudly served as a Florida Regional Director (2010-2016) and Director at Large Eastern Division (2018-2020). It is in Jayesh’s honor to announce his candidacy for Florida Regional Director.

Jayesh has served on multiple committees in AAHOA including FAIR, SPC, Convention, Sponsorship and Independent, as well as, on various brands such as IHG, Wyndham, and Choice to ensure the betterment and growth of our investments.

He has been dedicated in building a strong foundation for future hoteliers while continuing to ensure current AAHOA member’s voices are heard. With his fearless voice and advocating skills at Capitol Hill, he has been able to help grow Florida hotelier’s core business at a local and national level.

Jayesh is inspired to continue to connect with our state’s governor and brand leaders to secure AAHOA member’s future. Please vote Jayesh (Jay) Patel for Florida Regional Director.

Candidates for Greater Los Angeles
Area Regional Director

Naresh "ND" Bhakta

Proudly serving my GLAA since 2019. Looking forward to working with you even more than ever as we have put Covid lockdowns behind. More eager to address your everyday questions regarding your hotel management issues including representing you whenever, wherever, however best possible. PAC, Memberships and ALWAYS on your side as your voice are my duties. All I need is YOU with me. I am your transparent representative.  

Candidates for North Central
Regional Director

Bhavesh Patel
Bhavesh Patel

Candidate for Georgia Regional Director

Vik Zaver
Vikesh “Vik” Zaver

My name is Vik Zaver, current AAHOA Georgia Regional Director. I am running to remain your voice for our great state on Capitol Hill along within the board room to deliver our concerns and struggles for a better future.

Candidates for North Pacific Regional Director

Alpesh Jivan
Alpesh Jivan
Ankit Panchal
Ankit Panchal

Ankit Panchal is a Pioneer and Visionary leader in the Hospitality industry with 10+ years of experience and operating multiple hotels/entity. Starting from humble beginnings to obtaining the American dream with multiple brands and boutique properties in his portfolio. Reputed for driving huge surges in property growth and acquiring real estate both boutique and full-service hotels. Ankit successfully navigated the multiple brand hotels, 100+ employees through the tough economic climate.

Ankit career spans a variety of executive roles, all distinguished by his signature hands-on approach to asset management.

Ankit proactively participates in organization such as AAHOA and serves as North Pacific Ambassador and on the Franchise & industry relations committee. Ankit has been awarded AAHOA'S Young Professional Hotelier in 2018 and AAHOA'S Community Service award in 2017. Ankit’s passion for the industry lends himself to working directly with legislators on matters impacting hotel owners and operators.

Candidates for North Texas Regional Director

Dhiren Masters
Dhiren Masters

My name is Dhiren Masters and I would like to continue to serve as the North Texas regional Director for another term. I have developed and managed over 600 keys of branded hotels. I have created funds with RREAF Holdings to develop commercial business throughout the Southeast Region. I am dedicated and experienced to bring AAHOA to different heights and bring new ideas to the board.

Candidates for Arkansas Regional Director

Danny (Chintu) Patel
Danny (Chintu) Patel