NORWALK, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Officials of HEI Hotels & Resorts, a leading hospitality investment and management company, today announced that Rachel Moniz, principal and chief operating officer, received the prestigious Paving the Way Award from the AHLA Foundation during its fifth annual Night of a Thousand Stars gala hosted at the 2023 Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS). The award recognizes a female trailblazer within the hospitality industry “who is more than a leader. She’s also a role model in the community and a mentor who is committed to raising up those around her. Her reach extends beyond the day-to-day and resonates through the property, industry and community.”
“Rachel is one of the rare individuals who makes an organization better not only by her own presence, but by the inspiration and devotion she instills in the people with whom she works and leads,” said Anna Blue, president, AHLA Foundation. “Under her leadership, HEI has seen tremendous growth in the luxury, lifestyle and independent hotel spaces, received notable industry awards and significantly improved overall performance. Beyond the numbers and awards, Rachel leads the HEI Women in Leadership Council. In the past three years, under Rachel’s purview and with support of the senior leadership team, HEI has achieved over 25% gender parity at the GM level, and she didn’t stop there. Along with other senior leaders, Rachel helped develop programs for diversity, equity & inclusion, associate service culture, and so much more. Personally, she has proven to be an inspiration to us all.”
With nearly three decades of property and corporate level hospitality experience, Moniz has held multiple positions within HEI Hotels & Resorts, including senior vice president of independent brands and food & beverage, regional vice president of operations, corporate director independent brands and executive vice president prior to being named as chief operating officer. Responsible for the day-to-day operation of HEI’s growing portfolio of approximately 100 hotels, Rachel oversees the company’s team of regional leaders across all disciplines while also interacting directly with portfolio hotel asset managers and ownership representatives. Prior to joining HEI, she held executive leadership roles across several independent and branded hotels such as the world-class St. Regis. Moniz is a member of several major brands’ advisory boards and acts as an advisory board member of AHLA ForWard focused on advancing women in hospitality. She also is the co-founder and chair of WIL (Women In Leadership) and chairs the HEI mentor program, focused on advancing underrepresented racial minorities in hospitality. Moniz is an active volunteer of several charitable organizations, as well, frequently participating in community service acts together with HEI hotels throughout the US.
“Based on her leadership, as well as the countless hours she spends mentoring others and advancing causes dear to her heart, I can think of no one more worthy than Rachel of receiving the 2023 Paving the Way award,” said Anthony Rutledge, managing partner and CEO, HEI Hotels & Resorts. “She is a role model to all our associates, truly blazing the trail for others on all levels. We are thrilled with this huge accomplishment on her part and her on-going commitment to our teams! The HEI family is stronger and better for her presence.”
The AHLA Foundation’s annual Night of a Thousand Stars gala celebrates the hotel industry’s most important VIPs – the property-level talent that makes the industry so unique. Throughout the evening, industry leaders commemorated the 2023 Stars of the Industry Award winners and the individuals that embody the spirit of hospitality, while raising critical funds to support Foundation programs.
“While I am delighted to see the advances women and other underrepresented groups have made within the hospitality industry, we still have a long way to go to reach full parity,” Moniz said. “With programs such as the HEI Women in Leadership Council, the Castell Project and others, women are finding the platforms required to help them advance within the industry, beyond property-level positions and into board rooms. I am humbled by this recognition and am inspired to work that much harder until women have a truly equal seat at the hospitality table.”
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at www.ahla.com.
ABOUT AHLA FOUNDATION
The AHLA Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, is dedicated to helping people build careers, improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. We provide impactful solutions that drive the recruitment, retention and development of individuals for life-long careers in hospitality. To transform the industry and change lives, we connect the unemployed and underemployed with new career pathways and provide educational programs and resources to support their professional advancement. 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 www.ahlafoundation.org.
ABOUT HEI HOTELS & RESORTS
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality investment and management company that owns or operates 100+ luxury, upper-upscale and upscale independent and branded hotels and resorts throughout the United States. HEI’s branding partners include Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Choice and Wyndham. The company is renowned for its commitment to its associates under the culture of HEI Loves, its revenue management, profit contribution and empirically based real estate value creation, driven by a full complement of proprietary software tools to set and exceed targets on a fully integrated basis. HEI works hand-in-hand with institutional capital partners on existing assets under management as well as sponsored acquisition opportunities. The company has ample equity capital and strategically co-invests with its partners on many transactions. To learn more about HEI, please visit www.heihotels.com.