Jeffrey Saunders, the president, CEO and co-owner of Saunders Hotel Group, recently passed away. He represented the third generation of his family’s hotel business, based in Boston.

Saunders graduated from Cornell University School of Hotel Management in 1979. He then started his career at The Ritz-Carlton Boston and Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City before joining the family business.

He was very active in the hospitality industry. Saunders helped fund and redevelop various projects around Boston, including Loews Boston, which opened in 2004 on Boston’s Berkeley Street, and Comfort Inn & Suites Logan Airport, which debuted in 2000.

In addition to his contributions to the hospitality industry, he also was heavily involved in philanthropic and civic activity. He was a board member of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, The Friends of the Boston Park Rangers and various other charity organizations. Saunders was past president of Massachusetts Lodging Association and served as president of the New England Chapter of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen. He also was a board member of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Saunders acted as a delegate at the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism and was a member of the board of advisors at Boston University School of Hospitality Administration. He also served on the board at Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center at Boston University, and was the founder and chair of New England Hotel Lodging Roundtable.

He is survived by his wife, Debra, and two children, Stephanie and Alexander.