Andres Hayes, one of D.C.’s leading hospitality mavens, assumed presidency of the Skal Club of Washington at a recent dinner meeting of the organization at the Willard Hotel.

In its more than 60 years of existence, Washington Skal has been an organization for leaders in the travel industry to help grow tourism to the District, mentor up-and-coming industry professionals, and increase respect for the travel industry both locally and nationally.

In recent years, Washington Skal has initiated a program, “Skal Scholars,” for area college students to learn directly from industry leaders; hosted Skal events national trade gatherings in conjunction with such organizations as the US Travel Association and the American Society of Travel Agents and served as a local liaison to numerous national travel industry organizations.

Hayes, who was born in Panama and is the son of Bishop Clarence and Constance Hayes, was educated in both Panama and the United States.

During his international career, Hayes has worked in numerous countries expanding Visa Card services to Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. While based in Paris, he also handled banking services for a major oil company.

Hayes is well-known around the city as manager at both B. Smith’s Restaurant at Union Station and the Mansion on O Street. He also serves on the boards of the DC Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as an adviser to the culinary program of the Carlos Rosario International Charter School.

He operates his own consulting business AH Consulting Firm and is a principal in PRIMAPACT, a global tourism consulting firm.

As a leader of Skal Washington, Hayes has been responsible for starting a landmark new Skal Club in Richmond, Va., and is working on one in Savannah, Ga., while contributing to the growth and success of his home club. He has attended the last three Skal International Congresses held in Torremolinos, Spain, in 2015; Monaco in 2016; and Hyderabad, India, in 2017.

“My goals for 2018 include membership growth, more activity related to strengthening the local travel industry, and expanding our programs to bring more business and career growth to our members,” Hayes said.

In his new capacity, Hayes will serve with Vice President Morgan Maravich of the National Tour Association, Secretary Barry Biggar of Destination Fairfax, and Roxanna Rivera, Newseum treasurer.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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