The charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), AHLA Foundation, today announced its new ForWard initiative investing in talent and creating a platform to increase the representation of women in leadership positions in the hotel industry.
ForWard initiative represents the merger of ForWard – which began as an AHLA event – and the Castell Project into one brand offering a suite of resources, events, professional development opportunities, and community-building forums to develop a pipeline of women leaders in hospitality. The Castell Project, a legacy brand focused on accelerating the advancement of women leaders in hospitality, was acquired by the Foundation last year.
The ForWard initiative’s new portfolio includes:
• ForWard BUILD & ELEVATE (formerly Castell BUILD & ELEVATE): a year-long curriculum of skills-based workshops, career coaching, and leadership coursework to develop a foundation for career success.
• ForWardThinking (formerly Castell@College): a speaker series to help hospitality students envision future career opportunities.
• The ForWard Network: a community of women leaders that brings together ForWard Ambassadors with the Friends of Castell and Castell Luminaries.
• The ForWard Conference will continue under this combined initiative as an AHLA Foundation event.
• The Peggy Berg Castell Award (formerly the Castell Award) that celebrates remarkable women leaders in the hotel industry was renamed to give tribute to the legacy and commitment of the Castell Project’s founder.
The merger of ForWard and Castell complements AHLA Foundation’s industry-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and allows for unified strategic oversight and greater programmatic impact. The Foundation plans to grow the ForWard Network locally and nationally, expanding its professional development offerings to provide more regular opportunities for women to connect both in-person and online.