The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, and The BHN Group have announced a new award to recognize and honor the transformational leadership of industry icon, Arne Sorenson, former president & CEO of Marriott International, who died earlier this year.

The Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award will be awarded in memory of Sorenson annually during the AHLA Foundation’s premier fundraising gala, the annual “Night of a Thousand Stars” and during the annual Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS).  

Known for his progressive leadership, Sorenson utilized his platform as the head of a major international corporation to address national and global issues – including diversity, equity, and inclusion; environmental sustainability; human trafficking awareness and prevention; among others. The Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award will be presented to a senior-level executive in the lodging industry who strives to drive change through strong leadership and community engagement, exemplifying these values every day.  

“Arne was a visionary leader driven by passion for his people, the millions of associates around the world who worked for and with him and by a desire to spread a love for travel. He was an icon in our industry, dedicated to improving the lodging experience for the guests we serve and the people who serve them,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “While Arne’s business accomplishments are apparent to all, his championing of social change made our entire industry better for everyone, and we are proud to bestow this award on future generations who exude his best qualities: his decency, generosity, and compassion.”

This annual award, with nominations reviewed by AHLA’s Executive Committee, and representatives from ALIS, will be given to a recipient announced each year at “Night of a Thousand Stars” and will receive recognition at ALIS. The first honoree will be announced in January 2022 at the gala. 

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