A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE
As you read this I hope you are all ready for the holiday season and it is a wonderful one both for you and your family and for your business as well.
I have had the honor of being a member of your Board of Directors since late 2001 and the Chairman of the Board for the last three and a half years. My term will end December 31, 2005 and I have decided not to seek re-election. While a number of people have encouraged me to stay on for another term, I personally believe organizations perform at their highest when there is regular turnover among its leaders. The Board of Directors is finalizing its decision for a replacement, which will be announced in next month's issue of innkeeping.
As an original charter member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International a lot has changed in our industry over the last 17 years of PAII's existence. Co-founders Pat Hardy and Jo Ann Bell certainly had the correct vision and PAII has continued to grow and represent its members on a higher level year after year. The number of services and the level of service have continued to grow as well.
During my tenure a lot has happened. After Pat and JoAnn decided to retire, we took a comprehensive look at the association and chose to do a major reorganization. We conducted a nation-wide search for a new Chief Operating Officer and Pam Horovitz was chosen from over 70 applicants and she has done a great job over the last two years. We moved our corporate office from the west coast to the east, saving the association in expenses and overhead. We have added new staff members over the last year and a half, all of whom are spectacular at their jobs and are working hard on a number of projects and priorities to provide you, our members, with the best association possible. That's just a few of the many issues the Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Committee Members and staff have been working on and will continue to work on, on your behalf.
One of the greatest joys of serving on your Board of Directors has been the ability to work side-by-side with the other Board Members. All extremely talented innkeepers and professionals, who give up a lot of personal and innkeeping time (plus often their own money) to help lead PAII. Having served on many boards over the years, I have to say this group comes to the table ready to work, will argue their points to the best of their ability, vote and move on without letting it ever get personal and that is not something you see very often. I thank current Board Members, John Sheiry, Waverly Inn, Hendersonville, NC; Jo Ann Bell, Co-Founder, Santa Barbara, CA; John Felton, One Main B & B, Stockbridge, MA, Debbie Mossiman, Swiss Woods, Lititz, PA; Phyllis Murray, Montford Inn, Norman, OK; Dan Brown, Swift House Inn, Middlebury, VT; and Betty Gladden, formerly of the Garratt Mansion, Alameda, CA and now a partner in the Crepe Myrtle Cottage and Das Kaderli Haus, Fredericksburg, TX, plus past Board Members Pat Hardy and Mike Pinkston. Your service, your kindness and your support over these many years will always be memorable.
This is the second holiday season Susan, Liza and I have not been in the inn business. As many of you know we sold the Old Miners' Lodge last year at this time after 21 years as innkeepers. We miss our guests and especially our repeat guests coming back, planning for the Christmas presents for guests that would magically appear under the Christmas tree just before breakfast, fine-tuning the special evening refreshments and praying for snow. On the flip side not having to shovel all that snow, or meeting the transportation company at 3:00 am in a blizzard with the lost skis or hauling food up the street because the delivery truck can't make it up today are fond memories that are not missed.
So now what? I will continue to be involved in our industry through my consulting company, which I will continue to run from our home in Park City, UT. Board Chairperson-elect Debbie Mossiman has asked that I stay on the Board of Directors for one more year as an ex-officio member to help with training, financial planning and transition, which I have agreed to do. I also serve as the Vice-President of the Distinguished Inns Alliance, LLC (DIA), PAII's parent company.
I would like to end with thanking you the membership, who without your support and interest in professional innkeeping there would be no PAII. Please continue to support your industry, tell us how we can help, assist us in getting new members; continue to strengthen your national association! I hope to see you all at PAII's national convention in Phoenix, AZ. What better place to be the end of next March, plus the program and vendors will be amazing.
Published in Innkeeping Newsletter December, 2005