Board of Directors



Dan Rama
Chairman of the Board
Principal & Managing Director
NewGen Worldwide


Jerry Fischer
Immediate Past Chairman
Executive Vice President
HSL Properties 


Ghee Alexander
Chair Southern Arizona
Chief Operating Officer
Desert Hospitality


Steve Eberhart
Chair, Finance
General Manager
Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa


Joe Iturri
Chair, Education
General Manager
Caesars Republic Scottsdale


Stan Kantowski
Chair, Membership & Events
Managing Director
Enchantment Resort & Mii amo


Amilyn Pierce
Chair, Government Affairs
Vice President Government Affairs
Arizona Diamondbacks


Rachel Sacco
Chair, Valley
President & CEO
Experience Scottsdale


Marc Garcia
Executive Committee
President & CEO
Visit Mesa


Paul Gray
Executive Committee
General Manager
Arizona Grand Resort and Spa


Rick Huffman
Executive Committee
President & CEO


Ron Price
Executive Committee
President & CEO
Visit Phoenix


Matt Ligouri
Executive Committee
Manager Public Affairs
Southwest Gas


Kim Grace Sabow
President & CEO
Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association



Dharmesh Ahir
Southwest Regional Chair


Steve Barclay
Executive Director
Beer & Wine Distribution of AZ


Danette Bewley
President & CEO
Tucson Airport Authority


Bridget Binsbacher
Executive Director
Cactus League Baseball Association


Dennis Caldwell
Principal & President
Caldwell Watza Construction


Patrick Connors
General Manager
Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak


Kevin Cooper
Vice President/GM Arizona
Enterprise Mobility


David Craig
Managing Director
Canyon Ranch Tucson


Derek Ellis
General Manager
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa


Herschel Fink
Goverment Affairs Representative
Arizona Public Service


John Fitzgibbons III
Herschend Enterprise


Shelby Francom
General Manager
Hilton El Conquistador Tucson
A Hilton Resort


Felipe Garcia
President & CEO
Visit Tucson


Rob Goins
General Manager
Omni Scottdale Resort & Spa Montelucia

John Graham

Chairman & CEO
Sunbelt Holdings


Geoffrey Gray
Managing Director & GM
The Global Ambassador


Jody Harwood
VP & Managing Director
Grace Hospitality


 Patti Hunt 
Corporate Director of Operations
Stanford Hotels Corporation


Kevin Kelly
General Manager
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain


Grace Klawitter
Senior Strategic Energy Manager


Michelle Conway-Kostecki
President & CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

Matt Lebowitz

Vice President of Sales
On Premise Republic National Distributing Company


Chad Makovsky
Director of Aviation Services
Phoenix Sky Harbor
International Airport


Gregg Martinez
 Economic Development Coordinator,
City of Page & President & CEO,
Visit Page


Michael Morton
VP Brand Management & Member Services
BWH Hotels


Neil Shah
Inntech Management


Ash Patel
President & CEO
Southwest Hospitality Management


Leo Percopo
Area General Manager
JW Marriott Camelback Resort & Spa


Joe Radetich
Branch Manager
Shamrock Foods Company


Don Rea
Vice President,
The PGA of America &
Owner/Operator, Augusta Ranch
Golf Club
Mesa, Arizona

Gloria Ruvalcaba

Executive Administrator
Crescent Crown Distributing


Cal Sheehy
General Manager
London Bridge Resort


Kris Strauss
EVP, Global Sales & Marketing


Beatrice Turcu
Choice Region 12 Co-op
Council & General Manager
Comfort Suites at Tucson


Neal Williams
Divisional Vice President,
ENCORE Venues Southwest

Nomination Criteria

Application Guidelines

All honorees must be employed by hotels, attractions, tourism businesses, hospitality or other supporting businesses that are of the Arizona hospitality industry.

Who can enter?

The Stars of the Industry awards competition is open to all Arizona hospitality businesses, hotels, and tourism employees.

Who can nominate a Star?

Anyone! A nominator can be an employer, a manager, a friend, regular customer, or anyone else who knows a Star in Arizona’s hospitality industry who deserves recognition.

What does it cost to enter?

Entering or nominating for the Stars of the Industry Awards is free.

What do nominees receive?

All nominees will receive an AzLTA Stars of the Industry Recognition Certificate.  The winners of each award will be announced at the Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon on June 16, 2023 and receive an engraved plaque at the awards presentation.  All winners will be announced in AzLTA’s Industry Insider newsletter, by a press release, and on the AzLTA website. Winners will automatically be entered in the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s national Stars of the Industry Awards program. It is AzLTA’s privilege to celebrate the accomplishments of all the nominees and winners presented each year.

Nominations and Eligibility

The nomination process begins in April and we’ve made it easy.  Simply complete the online nominee application form and email the application to AzLTA explaining why the nominee deserves the Star award in their category.

Rules & Judging Criteria

Nominees must have served in the industry for a minimum of two years (please state total number of years in description) and will be judged on performance beyond normal job responsibilities, professionalism, and outstanding and unusual service to the property, guests and the community.

Using no more than three double-spaced pages, describe why your nominee should be honored. Give examples of:

  • Extraordinary support to fellow employees.
  • Specific event(s) that best describes the nominee’s exceptional service.
  • Outstanding leadership qualities, heroic deeds or actions that consistently add to the general well-being of guests.
  • Other great accomplishments to the industry or community.

Include photos and any materials substantiating the award entry, such as letters of commendation, guest comment cards, news clippings and other support materials received during 2021-2023 for the judges’ consideration.