The Hotel Association of Los Angeles (HALA) is stepping into a new chapter as Dr. Jackie Filla reins as President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles (HALA), effective March 25, 2024. Dr. Filla will be taking over from Heather Rozman, who is moving on after more than five impactful years to explore new entrepreneurial ventures.

Dr. Filla’s background encompasses influential roles spanning public policy, academia, and strategic consultancy. Her recent achievements include spearheading policy direction for a City Council office within the bustling environment of LA’s City Hall. Here, she led initiatives that cemented her status as a strategic thinker and a formidable advocate for legislative and policy advancements.

Before her tenure at City Hall, Dr. Filla made significant strides as a Research Director in the Office of Los Angeles County’s CEO. Here, she navigated complex intergovernmental relationships and set strategic policy directions. Her leadership prowess was further exemplified during her time as an LA. City Commission President under the mayoral leadership of Eric Garcetti and Karen Bass. Here, she championed Los Angeles’ national and international interests, including engagements with the United Nations.

Dr. Filla’s academic credentials are equally impressive, grounding her strategic and policy-driven approaches in solid research and analysis. As a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Mount Saint Mary’s University, she delved into public policy and research methodology, equipping the next generation of leaders with the tools to drive change. Her educational journey, which began with a BA from California State University, Fullerton, culminated in earning an MA and a PhD from the University of California, Riverside, highlighting her lifelong commitment to learning and leadership.

Image credit: Hotel Association of Los Angeles (HALA)

Mark Davis, Chair of the Board of Directors at HALA, expressed his confidence in Dr. Filla’s capability to guide the association into the future. “Serving as CEO of HALA is no small feat. It requires a truly unique set of talents,” he noted. “We’re delighted to have Jackie join the team. Having played so many roles throughout her career—as policymaker, analyst, strategist, public servant, and academic—she brings a rare combination of skills to this critical position.”

HALA stands as a pivotal organization within Los Angeles’ vibrant hospitality sector. Since its inception in 1932, HALA has advocated for the interests of the hotel industry, representing a broad spectrum of members from internationally renowned hotel chains to charming family-owned boutiques. Its mission extends beyond mere advocacy, aiming to enhance the professional and personal lives of all individuals within the industry, from executive management to the dedicated hourly staff.

This leadership comes at a crucial time in the hospitality industry in LA. The sector is grappling with several pivotal challenges, including integrating advanced technologies to meet guests’ evolving demands, adhering to increasingly stringent environmental standards, and navigating the post-pandemic complexities. 

Moreover, there’s a growing need to address workforce development and retention, ensuring that the industry remains a desirable and rewarding field for professionals at all levels.

Dr. Filla’s leadership is anticipated to harness these opportunities, guiding HALA and its members toward a future where the Los Angeles hotel industry adapts and thrives. Her diverse background and strategic vision are expected to invigorate HALA’s initiatives, fostering an environment of growth, collaboration, and advocacy. Under her leadership, HALA is set to navigate the evolving challenges of the hospitality industry, enhancing its contribution to Los Angeles’ economic and cultural landscape.