Education is the Focus and why we believe in the BLLA

Another great reason while studying and went back to college at the young age of in the 50’s back in 2004, is because of the wonderful and amazing things for which can be done while in college.  A degree is good, but it is most important of what you can do while studying while in college, and the many accesses which we have to constructive information and mainly research material, which can help us to help ourselves and our world!

I had the honor of becoming a member of Phi Theta Kappa a two (2) year honor society which not only introduces you to many great leaders, etc. Al Gore, Christine Amanpour, AmyTan, etc. but the things we learned about becoming great leaders and not only making a difference for ourselves, but for our world is most more important! In 2006, I was honored and selected amongst many others, to  “Walk In Nelson Mandela’s Shoes by the International Scholar Laureate!” What a great honor, and what a more reason to allow me to focus on working hard to have my own travel company business, so that I can make that dream come true one day.  I did not get to meet this great kindred spirited individual, but to be honored to walk in his shoes was an honor in itself.

I would like to share with you another reason why I followed and studied the BLLA and this is, how deeply the concern of how important education and great leadership means to our world! I will share with you from our BLLA Blog some great testimonials!

TESTIMONIALS

FROM SAM BAKHSHANDEHPOUR, PRESIDENT, SBE

“I think its education and it’s advancing the dynamics of the hospitality industry and I think lodging is evolving. What I love about the BLLA is it brings to light many of these changes. It brings to light many of the successes but it’s not a platform just to talk about what has gone right. I think it shares the lessons of what has not worked in a very professional manner and they continue to advance not only the industry but the professionals and I think the industry for so long has lacked a true voice from a business and lifestyle perspective. It’s been fragmented and no ones’ differentiated their voice and I think BLLA has stepped into those shoes and really taken the leadership role for our industry as the flag carrier and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

FROM JAMES F. CRANK, PRESIDENT, RVD, INC., ASSET MANAGER, THE BEVERLY GARLAND HOTEL

“I must say, our attendance at your past two conferences really helped keep our motivation alive to follow the path of converting to an independent property. Thank you so much!”

FROM: RICHARD MILLARD, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUST HOSPITALITY

Frances, I just want to thank you and your team for putting on a great conference. The panels that I attended on Tuesday as a member of the audience were all terrific, great speakers, great content and above all, relevant, interesting and entertaining.

FROM PAUL RUFFINO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HOTEL BPM

In my 30+ years in Hospitality I received several recognitions and awards from great organizations.  Being named Hotelier of the Year by the BLLA is a wonderful recognition from what I consider to be the most relevant organization in our industry.  Frances Kiradjian’s goal to be the unifying voice of the most noteworthy sector within the hospitality industry has come together in great fashion, thus giving independent hotels the opportunity to compete against the “big boys” and market ourselves to the burgeoning Boutique clientele that now populate the landscape of hospitality. The BLLA has given us a strong presence and powerful voice where erstwhile had been just a whisper.

FROM JANIS CANNON, IHG, HOTEL INDIGO BRAND

“I wanted to personally congratulate you on the success of the HD show and your first annual Boutique and Lifestyle Awards luncheon. It was an honor to be included at this very special launch event and participate on the panel.

You’ve done a fantastic job with establishing the BLLA. I loved your comments about the awards and the thoughtfulness you gave to the establishment of the bell icon. When I got back from Miami last evening I pulled out my For Whom the Bell Tolls, E. Hemingway book and there in the prologue was the beautiful poem you shared with us. It is quite poignant and appropriate. ll the very best and thank you again for the opportunity.”

FROM ALAN YOUNG, INFOR

“The Boutique, Lifestyle and Lodging Association is extremely important in the role of acting as a voice for this segment of the hotel industry. As the nature of our industry evolves, distribution, technology, mobility, social media and other initiatives will have to be focused upon within the boutique segment. The BLLA will work to make certain that these areas along with others are dealt with proactively ensuring that its membership and the boutique hotel industry at large are well represented.”

FROM PEDRO COLACO, GUESTCENTRIC

“There are very few initiatives designed to level the playing field for this emerging segment and BLLA has demonstrated to be a natural leader.” said Pedro Colaco President & CEO of GuestCentric. “The integration of modern e-commerce tools and innovative social marketing with BLLA best practices will give boutique properties the ability to differentiate their online presence and immediately capitalize on new trends that travelers search for.”

FROM DAVID SCHWARTZ, THE MANAGEMENT CONSORTIUM

“As a third generation Hotelier and Hotel Development professional I and my family have developed and operated several boutique properties.When my grandfather was developing properties on Miami Beach( before it was renamed South Beach) they were simply”small hotels”-the name Boutique hotel didn’t exist!That came about in the 1990s when I was fortunate to be part of the redevelopment of many of those hotels-which we recast into Boutique and Lifestyle properties. They are what makes South Beach an internationally acclaimed destination. While we did have a hotel Association,it was basically geared to the large properties-thus few of the Boutique hotels joined because of a lack of understanding of their needs nor have much of a voice. Now we finally have an Association that DOES understand-the Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association. It only took 65 years!”

JOHANNE BRIERRE, CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES LLC

“The BLLA is an excellent business resource possessing a clear vision for bringing global teaching with signature styles and business distribution on all levels! When I think of Frances I immediately think of her outstanding business skills – namely her ability to bring unknown tourist organizations into global prominence, a work ethic that won’t quit, and an ability to operate nationally and globally both strategically and tactically. I appreciate an entrepreneur, such as Frances, that challenges the status quo to show there is more than one way to lead under one common ground.”

CEES HOUWELING, N/A CONCEPTS URUGUAY

“After decades of feeling that the Boutique Hotel sector was more seen to be an outsider within the Hotel industry, finally, with the existence of BLLA, the understanding in branding the Hotel Boutique sector and giving it, its own identity, has been reached. More so on an international level, as particular the Hotel Boutique brands are very much dependent on the use of the internet, for commercial purpose mainly. BLLA especially has created the need for most of the smaller individual Hotel properties through-out the world that looks for a synergy to optimize their business while controlling their cost. I strongly believe that BLLA is just at the beginning of an important international “network” for the Boutique Life style Hotels. At NA Concepts, we strongly believe in the benefits and contribution, being a member of BLLA, will give us and many others. For that reason we have chosen to be supportive to BLLA in any way we can, to reach that goal.”

FROM RAFIQ LODHIA, DIBELLA LINENS

Via email:

“It was wonderful to be part of the first annual Boutique & Lifestyle Hospitality Event. Everyone at Dibella Germany were immensely pleased for all the promotion work you and your dedicated team of BLLA have done at the HD Boutique Show in Miami Beach. Simply put, it was an outstanding presentation conducted by BLLA on behalf of their respective sponsors.

“Courage is grace under pressure,” remarked Ernest Hemmingway. Your courage in promoting BLLA in becoming a nation’s leading association for boutique and lifestyle hotels is admirable, and not to mention, the graceful manner with which you presented the BLLA awards were also commendable.

Dibella Germany/Georgia Cotton wishes you and BLLA all the best wishes. We will always remain your loyal friend and an ardent supporter of BLLA. WE’RE MIGHTY PROUD to be associated with your highly esteemed organization, Frances.

May God bless you and everyone at BLLA.” We thank you and happy travels!

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