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Leading Hospitality Executives and Industry Suppliers Address Strategies for New Hospitality Program Designed to Address the Luxury Boutique Hotel Sector 

Los Angeles, March 8, 2017 – BLLA’s top executive, Frances Kiradjian, brought together leading boutique hotel brand CEOs and the industry’s top service providers to participate in advancing hospitality’s only boutique luxury-focused educational program, in conjunction with UCLA Extension. The Board of Advisors recently held their first meeting in Los Angeles to announce a new 5-day educational program for hospitality executives and professionals to launch in March 2018.

Through this partnership, BLLA will continue to be a leading innovator in the boutique and luxury hospitality space, promoting growth and knowledge within the industry. The Board of Advisors includes Co-Chairs Frances Kiradjian, Founder & CEO of BLLA, and Van Anderson, Director of Corporate Education & Custom Programs – UCLA Extension. Other members include:

  • Bruce Baltin, Partner - CBRE Hotels
  • Brian De Lowe, President & Co-Founder - Proper Hospitality & The Kor Group
  • Mark Harmon, CEO - Auberge Resorts
  • Tom Ito, Hospitality Practice Area Leader & Principal - Gensler
  • Kim Kessler, Founder, KIPR
  • Carlos Lopes, CEO - KARAS Hotels
  • Jay B. Newman, COO - Athens Group
  • Offer Nissenbaum, Managing Director, Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills
  • Shane O’Flaherty, National Director of Hospitality & Travel - Microsoft
  • Edie Rodriguez, CEO - Crystal Cruises
  • Roger L. Torneden, Ph.D., CFP®, Director of Business, Management and Legal Programs, UCLA Extension

UCLA Extension and BLLA are also working towards an advanced curriculum for a more expanded educational program which the pair plans to offer beginning with a hybrid introductory course in the fall.  These courses will address current training needs in this multi-billion dollar industry.

The innovative and flexible programs planned incorporate up-to-the-minute research, emerging trends and new paradigms to give participants the most current picture possible of the upscale, independent boutique hotel industry.

The curriculum, developed by BLLA and the new Board of Advisors and taught by leading industry experts, will address the real-world complexities and dynamic trends that hotel executives face now and in the future. Topics may include:

  • Emerging business models that are shaping today’s luxury hotel industry for tomorrow
  • Synergizing sales, marketing and public relations efforts for maximum results
  • Navigating the needs of hotel owners, managers and shareholders in a sharing economy world
  • Implementing green business practices to save $ and save the planet
  • Embracing the multitude of new technologies being introduced daily
  • Enhancing guest facing services and interfacing on-site services with experiential travel
  • Managing your career as a leader in the hotel industry

About UCLA Extension

UCLA Extension is the continuing education division of the University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA Extension offers evening, weekend, and online courses, customized on-site programs and certificates for professionals in business, management, engineering, information systems, entertainment studies, public policy, public health, the humanities and many other fields. Find out more at

About The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA)

The world’s most innovative and progressive organization dedicated to the luxury independent boutique lodging and lifestyle industries. The association connects the world’s most dynamic executives with cutting edge business and operational insight. BLLA’s membership benefits allow access to the world’s leading minds in the space through events, research and education. Our mission is to provide leadership and opportunities for global recognition and connections to the world’s best hotels, vendors and manufacturers. All resulting in strategic interactions and access to information that helps people and organizations thrive.

Contact: Ariana Squillacciotti / 212 924 3600

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