Categorized | Business

Szigeti named HLTA president


The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s board of directors has named George D. Szigeti as president and CEO of the organization, effective July 9, 2012.

He replaces Mufi Hannemann, who held the post since January 2011.

Kelvin Bloom, HLTA chairman and president of Aston Hotels & Resorts, said, “We’ve been very fortunate to have Mufi lead our association. He’s done an exceptional job in infusing the association with his ideas and energy, and we’re very grateful for his many contributions.

“George Szigeti was an obvious choice to fill Mufi’s shoes. George’s experience in our industry, excellent business and trade relationships throughout the islands, and firm grasp of the HLTA’s goals and priorities will enable him to build on the solid record we’ve established.”

Hannemann, outgoing HLTA president and CEO, said, “There won’t be a steep learning curve for George because he’s been an active member of the HLTA and knows lodging and tourism through his success in the supply and retail sides of the visitor industry. He has a keen appreciation of the importance of tourism, understands the challenges facing our economy and industry, and will offer the effective leadership that will serve our membership and the community.”

Szigeti said, “I’m thrilled and grateful to be able to contribute to the growth of the visitor industry. As someone whose business has benefited tremendously from travel and tourism, I welcome this opportunity to return that support by offering my knowledge, dedication, and commitment to tourism through the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.”

Szigeti has been president and CEO of Better Brands, Ltd., since 1997. Better Brands, a subsidiary of Young Market Company, is one of the nation’s largest wholesalers and distributors of beer, wine, and distilled spirits.

In addition to serving on the HLTA board, he was a board member and past president of the Hawaii Food Industry Association, board member of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, president of the Hawaii Liquor Wholesalers Association, and board member of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and several charitable organizations.

Prior to joining Better Brands, Szigeti was vice president and general manager of Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, another liquor wholesaler. He was also the sales manager for McKesson Wine and Spirits and the first state manager for E & J Gallo, the winery.

He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He and wife Sandra have a daughter, Alexis, who is a student at Santa Clara University.

— Find out more:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.