2021 Nomination Process & Candidate Profiles

Each candidate seeking to become an elected member of the Board of Directors shall comply with each of the qualifications set out in AAHOA Bylaws Art. V (2), the Election Governing Protocol, available in full on AAHOA.com > About Us > Governance & Forms. In pertinent part, eligible candidates shall:

  • Currently serve on an AAHOA committee, have served on an AAHOA committee for one (1) full term, or have served on a hospitality industry, hospitality brand, community service, or local business association committees and/or boards.
  • Be a paid member of AAHOA by April 1 in each of the two (2) years prior to the year of election and become a lifetime member on or before the nomination deadline.
  • Have resided in the designated region or division he/she seeks to represent for a period of not less than one year immediately prior to the election.
  • Have, or have had in the past 365 days, at least twenty percent (20%) combined partnership or ownership interest in one or multiple hotels. 

Nominations for Secretary were due Oct. 1, 2020.  All Secretary candidates shall either be an elected currently-serving Board member, or an outgoing Board member whose term expires on the day of elections.  The nomination period for all other positions closed June 7, 2021. 

Candidates for Secretary

Chetan Patel

Chetan is a second-generation hotel owner who is familiar with the needs of the membership. Chetan grew up helping his parents in the operations of their hotels where he witnessed, first-hand, the struggles hoteliers face. Today, he owns and operates a diverse portfolio of hotels.

Chetan has dedicated himself to the hotel industry by joining AAHOA as the Regional Director of South Carolina. He previously served as an ambassador of AAHOA, and has served on the AAHOA Convention and Bylaws committees. Chetan currently sits on the board of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association and is an active member in his local hospitality association.

Chetan lives in Beaufort, SC and is supported by his wife, Sheetal, and 2 boys, Parth and Arin.

“Whatever your goal in life, the beginning is knowledge and experience” – H. Ford


Chetan Patel


Miraj S. Patel

Miraj S. Patel, MBA, CHO, CHIA



Miraj is a highly motivated second-generation hotelier, who is committed to AAHOA and dedicated to progress. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel and Lodging Management and his Master's in Business Administration from Johnson and Wales University. Miraj is President of Wayside Investment Group, which specializes in making opportunistic investments in the lodging and hospitality real estate sector. He has spoken at several prestigious and high-profile business, educational, social, and legislative conferences; while being recognized in various trade magazines. Miraj currently serves on the AAHOA Board as the Young Professional Director Western Division and has served on several committees: Convention, Education, and Independent Hotelier.

Despite his age, Miraj has exemplified a strong track record of leadership in the industry. His accolades and appointments include:

  • 2018 AAHOA Outstanding YP Hotelier
  • 2020 Hotel Management’s "Thirty Under 30"
  • Red Roof Franchise Advisory Council
  • Forbes Business Council
  • Best Western Texas Co-op Committee

Candidates for Female Director Western Division

Tejal N. Patel

Tejal N. Patel, CHIA, CHO


Tejal is a third-generation hotelier who is committed to AAHOA and its membership. She has served as an Ambassador for the Southeast Texas region for the last 8 years and was an active member of the Women Hoteliers Committee. 

Additionally, she serves her local community as a Board Member of the League City Convention & Visitors Bureau Advisory Board and Board Member for the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tejal holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston and is completing an MBA in Finance and Investment Management.

Professional Highlights:

  • AAHOA 2017 Premier Ambassador 
  • 5x AAHOA Legislative Action Summit Attendee
  • Helped plan 6 nationwide Women Hotelier Conferences and 5 regional Women Hotelier Town Halls
  • Recognized as a Top 50 Hospitality Influencer in the USA in the 2021 Hospitality Power Index
  • LPS of USA – Past Board Member 
Jyoti Sarolia-Patel

Jyoti Sarolia-Patel


Jyoti, is a third generation hotelier. Her family’s story began in 1957 when they purchased Alder Hotel in San Francisco. She learned, leadership is giving back to your community as her family had hosted so many new families as their first stop in the United States. She is support by her husband, her children, her mother and extended family to pursue her dreams. In her tenure, She's been able to serve as your AAHOA ambassador for the past six years. She has been elected as the first female Chair of a midscale owner’s association. She understands, as women we juggle with so many responsibilities. As your Female Director her goal is inspire, educate, advocate and for our members to hone on their strengths so they become a brighter hotelier. We can do it together!

Candidates for Gulf Regional Director

Vimal Patel

Vimal Patel


Change the leader, change the organization .

Candidates for Mid Atlantic Regional Director

Mahendra (MZ) Patel

Mahendra (MZ) Patel

MZ has purchased, developed, and managed hospitality properties in the east coast with his brother, CZ Patel over the past thirty years of his hotel career. He is actively involved with industry associations and has helped guide the growth and development of new initiatives. He was an ambassador for the Mid-Atlantic region of AAHOA and is currently serving as an active member of the AAHOA Franchise and Industry Relations Committee also in past serving Awards and Recognition & Education and Professional Development Committee. As the immediate past-President of ELFA, MZ created a novel approach to cross-pollinate ownership issues by creating cross-membership opportunities for ELFA and AAHOA members. MZ was instrumental in modernizing the signage and creating brand awareness, including the first-ever television advertising campaign. He also promoted the idea for Choice to recognize the CHO designation in place of management training and helped them convert training materials into the Guajarati.

Candidates for Mid South Regional Director

Harikrishna (HK) Patel

Harikrishna (HK) Patel

Friends, Family, and AAHOA Members,

After passionately serving our local community and our AAHOA Mid South region as an Ambassador, I am excited and honored to announce my candidacy for your AAHOA Mid South Regional Director at our upcoming 2021 AAHOA Convention. As a second generational hotelier, I want to help each and every hotel owner and operator be successful within our industry. My goal is to unite our region and work together to achieve results for our membership. Your vote is essential in our regional election to make a difference, so let’s make a difference together. I am ready, willing, and able to take our Mid South region to even greater heights. I humbly ask for your vote and support on August 6th in Dallas, TX. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (937) 524-6951. Thank you.

Candidates for North Pacific Regional Director

KP Patel

KP Patel

Candidates for Northeast Regional Director

Keyur Patel

Keyur Patel


Sunil Patel

Sunil (Sunny) Patel, CHO, CHIA


Sunil (Sunny) Patel, CHO, CHIA, has been in the hospitality business for over 20 years. He is a co-founder and managing partner of PTM Enterprise, LLC and currently owns and operates multiple hotels in Central New York.

He has been an active member of AAHOA since 2006. He was previously an AAHOA Ambassador for 7 years, Regional Director for one year, and has attended 11 Legislative Summits. He previously served on various committees including the Revenue Generation Committee, Independent Hotelier, and Membership Committee. Sunil is dedicated in supporting AAOHA members and would love to serve as the Northeast Regional Director once again to help provide effective solutions towards hospitality ownership.

Sunil (Sunny) Patel

Education qualifications
Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from DDIT in Nadiad, India and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from NJIT in Newark, New Jersey. 


Candidates for South Carolina Regional Director

Fenil Desai

Fenil Desai


Fenil is an enthusiastic and energetic first generation hotelier with a plan to increase profitability by fighting to decrease taxes for hotels in the region. As a first generation hotelier, he has acquired and enhanced multiple properties in his short tenure of just 10 years in the industry starting from scratch. He has also been an AAHOA Ambassador for 8 years and looks to help increase the visibility and status of the organization by developing more government relationships.

Candidates for South Central Texas Regional Director

Kevin Patel

Kiran (Kevin) Patel


Covid has had an unprecedented impact on our industry. As we struggle to survive, I am worried about the future. An administration with 70 new elected legislators is in power, we need to educate them of our challenges. I have been your Ambassador for six years under two Regional Directors. I have worked closely with them and other AAHOA Officers. I have been recognized by AAHOA with a Chairman’s Award and a Premier Ambassador Award.

We must leverage the voice of 20,000 members to carry forward the AAHOA’s Mission, refocus on Advocacy, Fair Franchising, and Professional Development of our Members. With that belief and vision, I hereby announce my Candidacy for the AAHOA Regional Director of South-Central Texas. I will take my caring attitude and stand-up courage to the AAHOA board. I, Kiran (Kevin) Patel, humbly ask for your vote and support. Let us make a brighter future together.


Candidates for Southeast Texas Regional Director

Ailesh Mulji

Ailesh Mulji


Served as an Ambassador for Southeast Texas, achieving the highest lifetime membership in AAHOA history. Serving as a BOG in the CLPSS association for over 15 years.

Candidates for Southwest Regional Director

Dharmesh Ahir
Being an Ambassador for over 8 years now, I have come to appreciate what AAHOA stands for. I have been in the hospitality industry from a young age.

I see the changes that have come in our industry and the potential changes that may come if we do not stand up for what is right in our industry. I have done this. I was one of the pioneers in persuading Senator Jeff Flake out of Arizona, to support us in the frivolous drive by ADA lawsuits. 

This is what AAHOA needs. They do not need someone to just fill up a position. AAHOA needs someone who will act for our Members. I strongly feel, I will do this not only in my Region, but for AAHOA as a National Organization, as well.


Dharmesh Ahir

Candidates for South Pacific Regional Director

Mike Riverside

Mike Riverside, CHA, CHO

Candidates for Upper Midwest Regional Director

Mehul (Mike) Patel

Mehul (Mike) Patel


Mehul (Mike) Patel, is a second-generation hotelier, who has actively served on various hotel organizations. He is a developer, owner and operator of multiple hotels in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Over the past 6 years, he has served as an AAHOA ambassador for the Upper Midwest Region while earning the Premier Ambassador Award for the past 3 years. In addition, he has served on the AAHOA Franchise and Industry Relations Committee and currently is a member of the AAHOA Government Affairs Committee and AAHOA SBA Task Force. One of his main goals is to help all hoteliers to have their voice heard at the regional and national level and be the voice of reason to protect our fellow members. Please come together and support Mehul at this crucial time for our industry.
Chintan Thakkar
Helping out in the family business at the age of 10 is fairly normal for many of us. But who knew that you may be responsible for the welfare of hundreds of employees in the future. Starting from a small independent motel in Wisconsin to now having hotels in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Texas, Chintan is grateful for all the successes and failures that he has experienced in his tenure as a hotel owner/operator. His passion is in volunteering his time to represent his constituents and helping the industry that has done so much for him.

Chintan Thakkar, CHA