Industry Update
Press Release20 October 2009

HHOA Elects Two New Board Members | Adds International and Marketing Expertise to Board

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Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA)

Officials of the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA), a rapidly growing non-profit organization that seeks to increase Latino ownership of hotels, today announced the election of two new members to its Board of Directors: Juan Carlos Contalba, vice president, international development, Benchmark Hospitality, and Jose Luis Lopez, president, Lopez Marketing Group.


"Both of these individuals bring a wealth of valuable experience to our board of directors," said Angela Gonzalez-Rowe, founder and president of the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association. "Juan Contalba is with a leading hotel developer/owner/operator with more than 22 hotels and has in-depth experience and expertise in international markets. Jose Lopez is a highly active and visible member of the Hispanic community who can help HHOA identify and reach out to new potential hotel investors. We expect both men to play a key role in our outreach initiatives to increase the presence of Latinos in the hospitality industry."

A two-decade veteran of the hospitality industry, Contalba has extensive experience in establishing and operating international ventures in the United States, Europe (France, Monaco, UK, Switzerland, Italy), the Caribbean, Central and South America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Panama, Chile). He began his career with Benchmark Hospitality International and later served with Hyatt Hotels Corporation. He subsequently left the industry to enter the legal and financial fields. In his career, he has represented foreign companies and individuals doing business in the United States, as well as U.S. entities and individuals doing business abroad. He attended Rice University and the South Texas College of Law.

Lopez is founder and president of Lopez Marketing Group, Inc., an integrated marketing and public relations firm based in El Paso, Texas. During his career in consumer marketing, he spent more than 15 years in El Paso supervising advertising campaigns for such national companies as Nabisco, Kimberley-Clark, Procter & Gamble, Quaker Oats and Pepsi. Prior to founding his own firm, he was responsible for regional marketing for Coca-Cola Foods Division. A civic activist, Lopez currently serves on the boards of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Development Foundation and the USHCC (U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce), is past chairman of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is former committee chair of the United Way. He earned his BA degree from the University of Texas at El Paso.

About HHOA | Headquartered in Washington, D.C., HHOA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the number of Hispanic-owned, -developed and -operated hotels, further the participation of Hispanic-owned suppliers serving the hotel industry and increase executive level employment opportunities for Hispanics within the lodging industry. The industry's leading brands, including Hilton Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and Global Hyatt Corporation have joined the organization and have become major corporate sponsors.

HHOA membership is open to hotel owners, developers, investors, financiers, real estate executives, investment bankers, professional advisors, analysts, franchisors, management company executives, industry product and service providers, hotel general managers, hotel sales and marketing managers, government agencies for tourism and development, hospitality schools, hospitality students or anyone seeking to do business within the Hispanic market.

Additional information about HHOA is available at the association's Web site, . To learn more about the Hotel Investment Series, contact Angela Gonzalez-Rowe at 202-587-5707, or .

Jerry Daly
Phone: 703/435-6293
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