The Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) announced last week the launch of a new nonprofit foundation that will focus on educational, philanthropic and research initiatives into programs promoting the health and vitality of the hotel industry and its employees.

This will expand the charity activities of HANYC through scholarships, research and education. Scholarships will serve to support the families of employees, while awards will recognize and encourage those in the industry to reach sustainability and corporate responsibility (CSR) goals. Funding research and education will allow the foundation to advance important issues relating to economics, sustainability and CSR. Funding for scholarships will come from the organization’s Red Carpet Hospitality Gala.

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The Hotel Association of New York City was established in 1878 and represents hundreds of the finest hotels in New York City. It is among the oldest of professional trade associations. New York has a $5 billion industry and the association advocates on behalf of its members, who heavily contribute to that revenue. HANYC sets standards for best practices, advocates for its members in various legislative areas and anticipates the growing needs of hotels in ever-evolving cities.

The foundation’s board of directors includes directors from a variety of top hotels and brands, including Sheraton, Taj Hotels, The Carlyle, Marriott and Hilton. Hermann Elger, general manager at Baccarat Hotel, will serve as chair. Hotel News Resource quoted Elger as saying, “I am thrilled to take on this new role in helping to lead the Hotel Association’s charitable efforts. The foundation’s focus will be building scholarship programs, philanthropic outreach and aligning partnerships to promote initiatives that support and enhance our industry.”

Vijay Dandapani, president and CEO of HANYC, said of the launch, “The foundation will provide us with an important vehicle not only to direct the philanthropic endeavors of our membership, but also for critical growth and research initiatives aimed at strengthening hotels in New York City and beyond.”

The foundation is committed to philanthropy and the advancement of the hotel industry not only within New York City, but also across the country.