The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) announced the appointment of Michael Jacobson as incoming President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Jacobson, who most recently served as the Senior Director of Industry Relations and Political Engagement of the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), joins the IHLA effective October 1, 2018. He will replace long admired industry veteran Marc Gordon, who announced his December 2018 retirement earlier this year after a successful, 21-year tenure as the association’s President and CEO.
With USTA since 2010, Jacobson has contributed to a dynamic organization made up of 1,200 member organizations, 65 employees and $34M in revenues. Beginning as a Coordinator, then Manager, overseeing USTA’s political action committee (PAC) and grassroots advocacy, he quickly rose to Director of Industry Relations and Political Engagement, and then Senior Director. He has built fundamental relationships both locally and nationally with elected officials and senior-level leaders in the travel industry.
In addition to his business development and member retention responsibilities, he has also led the charge in political engagement activities – including grassroots advocacy, state-based campaigns and PAC fundraising. His expertise led to numerous speaking engagements for USTA, where he has shared industry insights at travel industry conferences and state-level lobby days. One of USTA’s most successful initiatives, Mr. Jacobson also spearheaded “Travel Talks,” a site visit program connecting members of Congress with local travel leaders.
Jacobson holds a BA in Political Science from Seton Hall University, and remains active in the alumni community. An advocate for the American Cancer Society, he sits on the Global Relay For Life Leadership Team and founded Seton Hall University’s annual effort.