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Advocating for Associations During COVID-19

Advocating for Associations During COVID-19

January 22, 2021

“We are going to have to face the reality that we are just going to be in a different world for the near term.”

Cecil Staton

In this episode of The Beacon Podcast, Jeff Jowdy speaks with Cecil Staton, president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), about how associations can advocate for their membership during the pandemic. Cecil shares about the impact of COVID-19 on his association and shares:

  • What his association’s leadership did to pivot and what changes were made at the beginning of the pandemic.
  • What steps the association took to assist its members; and,
  • What advice he has for other associations whose membership is especially impacted by the pandemic.

About Our Guest

Cecil Staton serves as president and CEO of AAHOA, the world’s largest hotel owners association.

Prior to joining AAHOA in 2019, Cecil’s career included the entrepreneurial launch of several successful businesses, a decade as a senator in the Georgia State Senate, and executive leadership and teaching positions in higher education.

Cecil’s private sector endeavors include founding two publishing companies that brought two New York Times best sellers to print. Cecil also founded Georgia Eagle Media Incorporated which owned several radio stations and a newspaper. Georgia voters elected Cecil to five terms in the Georgia senate where he rose to leadership including two terms as majority whip, the third-highest ranking leadership position in the senate. Most recently, Cecil served as the 11th chancellor of East Carolina University, where he also served as a tenured professor.

Cecil serves on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association and the California Hotel and Lodging Association as well as the Center for Hospitality Research Advisory Council and the ALEC Private Sector Advisory Council.

Cecil holds a doctorate of philosophy from Oxford University and an undergraduate degree from Furman University.

Follow Cecil: @AAHOACEO

Learn more about the Asian American Hotel Owners Association: