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NABHOOD'S Action-Oriented Roadmap: Creating More Opportunities and Executive Leadership Positions for People of Color in the Hospitality Industry

JUNE 27, 2020 - The National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) since its formation in 1998 continues to work tirelessly to create more executive leadership positions for people of color in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Industry.

As a group of hospitality industry veterans with wide-ranging professional experiences, along with scholars and academics who are engaged in the education and preparation of future generations of hospitality professionals and leaders, we are concerned about the enduring absence of Black and African American executives in our industry.

NABHOOD together with Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine, National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Network and the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance commissioned a 2020 study on the lack of diversity in the hospitality industry and an actionable roadmap on how the industry can better train, track and promote talented People of Color vying for leadership and the Executive Suites of major corporations. Additionally, hospitality brands could vastly increase the volume of business they do with African American vendors and minorities in the supplier diversity chain. More than a Travel Industry Scorecard, the Roadmap is entitled "NABHOOD: Creating More Opportunities and Executive Leadership Positions for People of Color in the Hospitality Industry."

While racial diversity exists at lower levels in the hospitality industry, very few African Americans and People of Color ascend to top leadership roles. In fact only 1 in every 65 Hospitality Industry Executives are at a director level or higher. In fact, African Americans hold only 0.7% of CEO positions for Hospitality firms within the United States. 84% of the 630 hotel company websites reviewed by the Castell Project do not show any Black executives on their websites, while only 102, or 16%, showed a Black employee at the director level or above.

The extensive research Roadmap created by NABHOOD indicates the problems as well as suggested solutions to reverse these disparaging trends. The Roadmap calls for the adoption of the "NABHOOD Rule" as a start, for every executive position that becomes available, a Person of Color should be interviewed. These, along with a list of other specific action steps are aimed at creating massive improvements for Black employees including:-

• A commitment to ensure that at least one African American candidate is in the final round of deliberations for all director and higher level positions.
• The establishment of a Hotel Leadership Executive Fellows Program by NABHOOD in collaboration with other organizations.
• Creation of a NABHOOD “Gold Star” certification program to recognize hospitality firms which follow best practices for the employment and promotion of African Americans.
• Targeted loan/key money programs to support African American Owners and Developers.
• Support Black communities by setting publicly-available targets for spending with Black-owned businesses, including contracting firms.

Click here to download a copy of the Roadmap's Executive Summary for "NABHOOD: Creating More Opportunities and Executive Leadership Positions for People of Color in the Hospitality Industry." The Complete Roadmap will be released next month.

Special thanks to our contributors including Andrew Ingraham (NABHOOD), Kenneth Fearn (NABHOOD), Michael Thomas Paz, Ph.D. (Cornell University), Sean Edmund Rogers, Ph.D. (University of Rhode Island), Michael Cheng, Ph.D. (Florida International University), Barron H. Harvey, Ph.D., CPA (Howard University), Srikanth Beldona, Ph.D. (University of Delaware), Michael Hooper (Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon), Leonard Jackson, Ph.D. (Georgia State University), Francis Kwansa, Ph.D. (University of Delaware), Deanne Williams-Bryant, Ed.D. (Bethune-Cookman University), Victor Younger (Cornell University) and PJ Douglas Sands (International Multicultural Heritage Tourism Network). 

Special thanks to our supporters and sponsors  Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine, National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Network and the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance.



Women's Committee of NABHOOD begin 2018 with Webinar Series on Hotel Ownership

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 4:00PM


MIAMI, FL —The Women's Committee of NABHOOD (National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers) kicked off Black History Month with an introductory webinar on "What does it take for a woman to own, operate, invest in, manage or develop hotels?"  

NABHOOD's President and Founder Andy Ingraham welcomed the dynamic group of nearly 100 women connected from around the globe by emphasizing the importance of educating African Americans on investment, ownership and opportunities available in the lodging industry as hotels support $1.1 trillion in sales, including hotel revenue, guest spending and taxes. As an organization, NABHOOD's primary focus is to, not only multiply the number of African Americans at the ownership table, but to increase vendor opportunities along with executive level jobs for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African-American community.

Women in NABHOOD Webinar Series Part 1 What does it take to for a woman to own a hotel?

The Webinar was moderated by PJ Douglas Sands who serves as NABHOOD's Director of Industry Marketing. She is the CEO of DS3 Brand Strategies shared 2017 statistics on the role of women in hospitality, tourism and lodging. Studies indicate that although women are the chief decision-makers in the household when it comes to travel and leisure choices in addition to being the majority of industry employees, only 3% are in development and investment roles. Citing the Castell Project's Women in Hospitality Leadership 2017 Survey, Douglas Sands asserted that there is definitely a need for more women CEOs, decision makers, owners, investors, operators and developers to keep the estimated $50 billion that African Americans spend annually on travel and leisure within the community to create jobs. 

Also moderating this Introductory Webinar for Women was Davonne Reaves of The Vonne Group who co-chairs NABHOOD's Women Committee.  Reaves walked participants through 12 key steps to owning a hotel, whether its new construction or an acquisition.  Reaves contended that elements like site selection, hotel valuation, identifying the right brand for your partnership, construction timelines and legal advice are paramount aspects of acquiring your first hotel or adding to an existing portfolio.

Providing key advice from the vantage point of experience was Margia Blankenship-Arnold, who is the first African-American woman to own a Candlewood Suites. Her 102 room property consists of well-appointed studios and one-bedroom suites, offering queen and king size beds, with fully equipped kitchens. Also on site is an 800 sq ft conference room and a fully equipped gym. Located in Texas, Candlewood Suites Houston Park Row is an InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) Franchised Brand that caters to the mid-market business and personal, extended stay traveler. Blankenship-Arnold emphasized the need to surround one's self with an "A" Team of experts with knowledge, relationships and experience under their respective belts. In her transition from the Oil and Gas industry to owning her first hotel, there was no substitute for the value that her team brought.

Each speaker emphasized that Black dollars do matter as the #1 challenge facing African-Americans is the tremendous capital investment needed along with bank credit.  As major chains make significant efforts to do business with minorities and African-Americans in particular, traditionally they are not as well-financed as White and Asian counterparts. Without financial resources, barriers are very high to enter this business, despite the plethora of education.

Speakers also emphasized the role of supply chain diversity and seeking out vendors to support African-American owned and managed properties. Every role from the outsourced vendor to the in-house line staff matters when calculating the number of dollars kept within the community and multiplied locally for maximum economic impact. To view the introductory webinar in its entirety, watch below. You can also download a PDF of the presentation by clicking here.

The next webinar in the Women in NABHOOD series is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2018, which takes a more in-depth look into hotel ownership and is geared towards women looking to invest, acquire, manage or own a hotel within the next 3-4 years. Women can click here to register. Each year NABHOOD hosts Diversity Workshops at various Brand headquarters where seasoned hoteliers and top executives illustrate to attendees what opportunities are available within the brand for ownership.

Moreover, later this year the 23rd Annual International African American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit and Trade Show will take place July 24th to 26th, 2019 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel in Miami, Florida presented by the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine and Horizons International Marketing Group. Under the theme “Ownership - The New Paradigm” this 3-day educational summit is designed to educate hospitality students and attendees including hoteliers, entrepreneurs, national leaders, hospitality representatives, city/state/country development representatives and financial experts on becoming a hotel owner or investor, share minority investment trends, explore supplier opportunities, teach how to market to minorities and discuss diversity issues affecting the lodging industry. Registration has begun, so click here to register.









Summit Sponsors, marriott, hilton, choice, wyndham, best western, intercontinental hotel group, starwood, hyatt, carlson, laquinta

Wyndham Hotel Group
Smith Travel Research (STR)
Best Western International
Aries Conlon Capital
Pyramid Advisors LLC
HD Supply
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Red Lion Corporation
PKF Consulting
Red Roof Inns
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, LLP.
City of Miami Overtown
Red Lion Hotels
Brand USA
UrbanAmerica Advisors LLC
The Beacon Council

Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine
Hotel Management
Pathfinder Travel Magazine
MBE Magazine
Atlanta Tribune
Sheen Magazine
Hotel Business
Hotel Management

NABHOOD 22nd Summit
Career and Recruitment Center - recruiter interviewer job interview
 Corporate Funding Partners

HD Supply



American Express the official card of NABHOOD
HD Supply


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