The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation awarded three scholarships via its Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship

Best of the best in hospitality receives Foundation’s most prestigious scholarship

Washington, DC, 2013-10-18— / — The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), the not-for-profit affiliate of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, awarded three scholarships via its Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program, the Foundation’s most prominent and oldest scholarship award.

Winning first-place and a $5,000 scholarship is Michael Nalezny, a senior at Purdue University. Georgia Ladd, a senior at Boston University, received $3,000 as second-place winner, and Katalina Durbin, a junior at Florida International University, was the third-place winner with a $2,000 scholarship.

The Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program, which began in 1974 to honor third-generation hotelier Packard’s numerous accomplishments in the lodging industry, awards three students at AH&LEF-affiliated four-year educational institutions a total of $10,000. Each school nominates their top students to compete. Recipients are selected based on a combination of hospitality work experience, academic performance, activities, and financial need. In 2013, AH&LEF will award 339 scholarships to hospitality management students totaling $528,000.

“This year’s competition was a tough one as many qualified students were nominated,” said Joori Jeon, CPA, CAE, AH&LEF president/COO. “Michael, who won first place, was a particularly strong candidate for the scholarship. He helped found the AH&LA student chapter at Purdue and served as president for the past two years, while working two part-time jobs and maintaining a 3.51 GPA.”

For more information about AH&LEF scholarships and other programs, contact Michelle Poinelli, senior vice president of foundation programs, at (202) 289-3181 or or visit

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AH&LEF is the charitable fund-raising and endowed fund-management subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Founded in 1953, AH&LEF is the premier organization for scholarships as well as funding for hospitality industry research. For more information, visit

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.