Exclusive: The Accommodation Association elects Harwood as new president
The history of the accommodation association has been written, with Leanne Harwood, senior vice president and general manager of IHG Hotels and Resorts, Australasia, Japan and the Pacific, elected the association’s first female president.
Elected in the recent Association membership election, Harwood replaces Lancemore Group’s outgoing President and CEO Julian Clark, who is stepping down after seven years at the helm. Clark said he would continue to work with the Association to ensure a smooth transition both to the new National Council and to help with the merger with Tourism Accommodation Australia.
Harwood brings 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to complete his new role, the last 16 of which in various roles around the world with IHG.
Additional positions during this period included two years working with Clark on the National Board of the Accommodation Association, which followed two years on the Tourism Board of Australia.
Speaking about her election, Harwood said she was proud to take on the role of President at a time of significant challenges and changes for the accommodation industry.
“We are entering the key stages of the merger project with the Australian Hotels Association [and] Tourism Accommodation Association and we need to make sure that progress continues in the right direction to achieve the best results for our members, ”said Harwood.
“We are also leading an ongoing struggle for increased government support to our industry to get us through the impact of COVID and we need to ensure we continue to build the profile of our incredible industry, as well as the skills of our employees and staff. our workforce. need to move forward.
“On behalf of the Board and our members, I would like to acknowledge the important contribution of Julian Clark during his tenure as President. He can and should be extremely proud of his impact in advancing the evolution of our association and the awareness of the importance and needs of the Australian accommodation industry.
Clark said it has been a privilege to lead the industry for the past seven years.
“I am proud to leave the role of the Association in a very strong position – in terms of advocacy, member benefits, financial strength and overall strength of the Association.
“I am also proud of the tireless advocacy work Dean Long and the team have done to
try to help our industry through this pandemic, which has launched challenge after challenge. As we all know, there is still a long way to go and the team and the new Board are ready to continue our very important advocacy in the months to come before the full merger.
The decision to elect Harwood comes a week after Richard Munro returned to the Association as the new CEO, two years after leaving the same post.
Harwood took on his new role this week and has now started in the role.