Hotel at Kirkwood general manager named to American Hotel and Lodging Association board

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The Hotel at Kirkwood Center’s General Manager Lee Belfield works every day to put The Hotel, and by extension Kirkwood graduates, at the top of the hospitality industry list. Now, as a board member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, he can increase The Hotel’s notoriety nationwide.

Belfield was approached by the American Hotel and Lodging Association to represent the state of Iowa on their board, and will serve until 2015.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be appointed to this type of position,” Belfield said. “I deeply appreciate being selected for this leadership role.”

The American Hotel and Lodging Association is the national trade organization for the U.S. hotel industry. They work with Congress on laws, tourism funding and other crucial issues, while at the same time conducting research and providing educational tools through their educational institute.

Belfield attended the organization’s annual conference in New York City this fall for the first time as a board member. “The conference was a tremendous networking opportunity, a way to get The Hotel on the map with hospitality industry leaders nationwide,” Belfield said.

During the conference, American Hotel and Lodging Association President Joe McInerney made special note of Belfield’s presence, and spoke about Kirkwood’s unique and valuable teaching hotel. “That is a priceless testimonial to the groundbreaking program we have here at Kirkwood,” Belfield said. “We are providing the students to fill positions at the hotels the people at the conference manage, so we need them to be aware of our facility and the high quality of our graduates.”

Going forward, Belfield said he will seek ways to contribute to the health of the hospitality industry. "As with any new position, it will take some time to learn the ins and outs, and find areas where my input might be of some value," Belfield said. "Simultaneously, I look forward to introducing Kirkwood’s Hospitality Arts 'graduate product' to the leaders of our business nationwide. I can hardly wait for the first time one of our graduates takes a seat as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Hotel & Lodging Association."

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