The Long Beach Hospitality Alliance, a consortium of hoteliers, restaurateurs and others involved in the city’s tourism industry, has grown significantly from its grassroots beginnings four years ago, members say.
Part of that success, they’ll tell you, is due to founding member Pam Ryan’s leadership as the longtime chairwoman of the organization, which this past year achieved several important milestones, including obtaining its official nonprofit status, hiring an executive director and building relations with the California Hotel & Lodging Association.
With so much progress being made, Ryan, 55, said she’s proud to have been a part of the burgeoning alliance of what’s now more than 15 hotels. And, she said she knows she’s leaving the organization in a place of forward momentum as she steps away from her role and transfers to a new job as general manager of another Marriott hotel in San Juan Capistrano this summer.
“The alliance has grown and continues to grow, and it feels really good to be a part of that and how far we’ve come and the training and advocacy and community service aspects of what we do,” Ryan said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done, and I’m going to miss it, but I’m leaving it in a good position.”
Greg Guthrie, general manager at Hotel Maya — a Doubletree by Hilton, is filling Ryan’s position as chairman of the alliance.
“Pam has done an extraordinary job as general manager at the Renaissance… Her leadership in the market will be felt for years to come,” Guthrie said. “Most importantly, her legacy will be remembered in her work as a founding member and chair of the Long Beach Hospitality Alliance. I’m honored to follow in her footsteps and look forward to bettering our local hospitality and restaurant industry.”
One of the alliance’s greatest successes, according to Ryan, has been the annual Long Beach Hospitality Awards, which she is excited to see continuing later this summer, with nominations being accepted now.
“We look forward to having our third annual event here in September,” said Ryan, a Long Beach resident who raised her two sons in town. “The awards event has brought all of us together to celebrate when we don’t have any other celebration like this in Long Beach. More than 200 attendees are expected, and it’s honestly a fun event, which it should be because we are in the hospitality business — we know how to throw a party.”
The Mayor and other legislators and city leaders are expected to attend the Long Beach Hospitality Industry Awards, where about a dozen different honors will be bestowed on tourism professionals. The event is being sponsored by PSAV Presentation Services on Sept. 18 at Hotel Maya.
“This is a wonderful event to recognize those in our industry,” said Heather Rozman, executive director of the alliance. “Many of those working in hotels and restaurants have a major impact on the guest experience, and we want to celebrate those who often go above and beyond their job descriptions.”
Nominations for the awards are being requested now through July 31. Categories include Rising Star, someone who has worked five years or less in the hospitality and has shown great potential; Innovation, which highlights a restaurant or hotel that has brought a new concept, design or idea to the city; and the Best Special Event. Other accolades include Best Restaurateur, Lifetime Achievement and more.
Sponsorship opportunities remain available. And, all proceeds from the event benefit WomenShelter of Long Beach.