California businessman and hotelier, Harshad D. Patel, has earned the title of “2012 Family Hotelier of the Year” in the fourth annual P&G Professional “Family Hotelier of the Year” award competition, presented in conjunction with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). Patel was initially selected as one of five finalists before being chosen as the grand prize winner through an online vote at Patel was recognized during the 2012 AAHOA Annual Convention and Trade Show awards presentation.

The “Family Hotelier of the Year” award celebrates the values central to a successful family business. The grand prize includes $5,000 toward a three-day, two-night trip for up to four family members to attend the 2012 AAHOA Annual Convention and Trade Show, a commemorative plaque and an additional $5,000 in prize money.

“These hoteliers display a steadfast dedication to their families, employees, communities and guests that shows in the level of excellence and enthusiasm they put into their businesses every day,” says Alan Tomblin, sales manager of North America, P&G Professional. “And it is this dedication that sets them apart from the others in their field. We want to congratulate Mr. Patel and all of the finalists on their tremendous accomplishments.”

Patel is a resident of Cerritos, Calif. and the owner of nearly 35 properties across the country from California to Georgia. In addition to serving as an active member on the board of directors for several organizations within his community – including the Southern California leuva Patidar Samaj, the Braille Institute, Hotelier for Charity and LPS executive board, among others – Patel has been instrumental in helping his large family live out their dreams by either employing or partnering with immediate and extended family members at each of his hotels. Building on his sense of loyalty and community, Patel also employs several of his friends, many of whom he has known since high school.

“The success of my business is directly tied to the continued support and guidance I have received from my family,” says Patel. “From my father who showed me hard work, courage and dedication to family and community; my sister and brother-in-law who showed me the ropes of the hospitality industry; my wife Roshni and children who have guided my motivation and taught me patience and leadership and to my many partners and employees who share the same passion and commitment to excellence. They have all played a role in where I stand and what I have achieved today”
All 2012 finalists are association members in good standing who were nominated by themselves, family, colleagues or members of their community. The finalists were chosen by a team of P&G Professional executives based on the nominee’s family involvement, outstanding business and community service, and the creativity and sincerity of the nomination. Once the finalists were determined, the grand-prize winner was chosen based on the results of a two-week online voting period.