Chairman's Message 2020

Farouk Rajab

As we navigate what is unquestionably one of the most difficult and challenging times in our industry’s history, the theme of this period is definitely ‘endurance and evolution.’ I am so proud to lead our Association during this time and I know that we’ll come out of this stronger, more agile and with a deeper appreciation for the dedicated individuals who make our industry so resilient.

When I joined the Association four years ago, I obviously wasn’t thinking about pandemics or navigating this historical catastrophe. However, I am beyond excited to be here, working alongside the leaders of our industry, because I trust my colleagues and the talented and forward-thinking people within hospitality to guide us forward on this journey.

Pandemics, as disruptive and damaging as they are, are not new. As a society, we’ve weathered them in the past, learned from each experience, adapted and ultimately evolved to overcome. This feels different, I know, and sometimes it’s difficult to make out the light at the end of the tunnel – but, I promise you, if you keep your eyes on the horizon - adapt and change as necessary - we will write this next chapter from a position of strength and knowledge.

With so much unrest due to our upcoming elections, the call for societal change and equality, and myriad other factors that are disrupting how we do business and how we think, this is a year of transformation. We need to embrace it - we don’t have a choice; the price is too great.

The challenge ahead is to retain our quality talent. Many have left our industry during this time because of shut downs and limited ability to earn based on restrictions. As our industry continues to recover, we need to put a priority on getting some of our lost talent back in our doors. We have to be focused on the people who can truly help us recover.

The hospitality industry gave me a real chance and a career path. When I emigrated here from Jordan in 1992, I was 21 years old and in need of a job. I started as a host in a hotel restaurant in Massachusetts and worked my way up through many jobs in the hotel industry before overseeing operations at some of the most prestigious hotels in New England. I understand adversity, challenge and hard work. I also know that our industry is filled with people built to persevere and do better tomorrow than they did today.

Looking forward to better and stronger days ahead.

Farouk Rajab
Chairman of the Board
Providence Marriott Downtown