As an aspiring bed & breakfast owner, I was thrilled but also shocked when a year ago I was told by the Business School Dean at Howard University that there is an organization for Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers. Ofcourse I immediately did research but I didn’t find much other than a website and a Facebook page that didn’t have any recent post. From then, I assumed it was some secret Association for wealthy blacks in which “you have to know someone” to become a member. Being that I had one more year in graduate school left, I decided to hold back on my persistance and did not look into this organization again until I graduated.
National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers was founded by Mr. Andy Ingraham to help promote African Americans in the Hospitality Industry. The primary goal at NABHOOD is to increase the number of African-Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels, increase vendor opportunities & executive level jobs for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African-American community. NABHOOD provides information about hotel ownership, investing, supplier opportunities, employment and other resources during their annual summit and tradeshow which takes place each year in July.
I was fortunate enough to get involved and volunteer with NABHOOD this year and the experience was so enlightening. As a volunteer I was able to connect and speak with others in the hospitality industry as well as people without a background in hospitality who were interested in investing. The summit included four days worth of workshops, luncheons, panels and receptions. Speakers included Donahue Peebles (The Peebles Corp), Norman Jenkins (Capstone Development), Evens Charles (Frontier Development & Hospitality Group), Royston Hopkins (Spice Island Beach Resort) and many other successful hoteliers, hospitality investors and executive level professionals from the worlds leading hotel brands whom shared a wealth of information needed to succeed in this industry.
It is with hope that this blog reaches another person like me; intrigued by hospitality and yearning to build their own brand within the industry who happens to be black! We need more ownership in this industry and although it might take time, we can get there!