Los Angeles. The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation celebrated the 4th Annual “Night of a Thousand Stars” Gala on January 23, 2022.  This year’s Gala returned to the Intercontinental Los Angele

Los Angeles. The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation celebrated the 4th Annual “Night of a Thousand Stars” Gala on January 23, 2022

This year’s Gala returned to the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown where awards were presented to a number of hospitality’s top achievers and one of those award winners this year was Laura Butler Kisty of Boston, MA and a 2014 graduate of the UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Department. 

American Hotel & Lodging Foundation in Los Angeles celebrated the 4th Annual Night of a Thousand Stars Gala on January 23, 2022. This year’s Gala returned to the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown. Each year, the “Night of A Thousand Stars” gala celebrates the hotel industry’s most important VIPs – the property-level talent that makes the industry unique, diverse and special. (Please see https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurabutler213/). Throughout the evening, industry leaders commemorated the 2022 Stars of the Industry Award winners and the diverse individuals that embody the spirit of hospitality, while raising critical funds to support the AHLA Foundation programs that are helping recruit and retain the industry stars of both today and tomorrow. 

The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation raised over a record $822,000 this year at its annual gala to fund programs aimed at grooming and growing a diverse industry workforce. The vital funds raised help the AHLA Foundation beneficiaries such as Maria Anzola, current participant in the AHLA Foundation’s Lodging Manager Apprenticeship Program and Operations Manager, Homewood Suites, Katy, TX.

As part of the celebration, former President & CEO of BWH Hotel Group David Kong became the first ever recipient of the Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award for his extraordinary efforts to advance positive societal change in the lodging industry.

This year the STEVAN PORTER EMERGING HOSPITALITY LEADER AWARD was presented to Laura Butler Kisty, former Director of Housekeeping - Hyatt Centric - Faneuil Hall Boston, current Director of Rooms -Canopy by Hilton Boston Downtown - Boston, MA.   

Laura Butler Kisty graduated from UMass Amherst in 2014 and has advanced her career in Boston through employment with Kimpton Hotels as an Assistant Front Office Manager at the Hotel Marlowe (2014) and then advancing to Assistant Director of Housekeeping at Kimpton Nine Zero (2016-2019), where she assisted the property undergo a full building renovation. After her stint with Kimpton she was recruited and hired by Magna Hospitality and assumed the position of Director of Housekeeping to open the brand new Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston. During this time she led their Housekeeping team to achieving the #1 highest cleanliness scores for Hyatt Hotels in North America in 2019, and second highest in 2020. Most recently she was recruited by Olshan Properties to become the Director of Rooms at Canopy by Hilton Boston Downtown, opening Spring 2022. 

Laura Butler and Professor Rod Warnick, Graduation 2014

Laura built her love and experience in hospitality during the summers on Nantucket working for Nantucket Island Resorts (now White Elephant Resorts) including serving as a Front Desk Agent for The Wauwinet Hotel before starting her professional career in Boston. Laura remarked, I am also so grateful for all UMass has helped me achieve. The professional skills I have gained and the networking opportunities I’ve participated in through Career Day and alumni events have been incredibly valuable.”

One of her professors at UMass Amherst remembers her for desire to being committed to a hospitality career. Rod Warnick, Professor recalls “Laura as a dedicated student who wanted to get the best possible experiences during her undergraduate career. We encouraged her to develop her passion and experience on Nantucket with a high-end and demanding clientele and she did.”  And, he also stated that he distinctly remembered her at graduation in 2014. “Upon the 2014 graduation when most had already left Amherst, I recalled a very special moment when Laura and her Mom, Carolyn Butler, were on the steps of the department’s Flint Lab Building and her mother was taking another picture at graduation of the same spot when they dropped Laura off at UMass in 2010 for her freshmen year. Her Mom and I both said it was a special, happy and also tearful, but joyous moment of coming full circle – a great way to document her journey and to start a new chapter in her life.” This award further documents her next journey in hospitality and reflects her dedication and completes another part of her career journey. Laura Butler Kisty is married to Evan Kisty, a Wealth Management Associate and Financial Planning Associate for Morgan Stanley and UMass Isenberg Finance graduate (2014). Her parents are David & Carolyn Butler of Nantucket, MA.

The AHLA Foundation partners with a number of firms that provided significant financial support to the event, including: Presenting Sponsors IHG Hotels & Resorts and Qwick, as well as Visionary Sponsors, Curator Hotel and Resort Collection, Ecolab, Encore, G6 Hospitality, and HD Supply.

Pictured: Laura Butler and Professor Rod Warnick, Graduation 2014