Founder and Chair of BLLA
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Founder of the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA), Frances Kiradjian, a 25-year hospitality and travel industry seasoned professional, created BLLA to give a voice to independent properties as well as small brands around the world, offering them the opportunity and the means to compete on a level playing field with major hotel companies. BLLA serves more than 500 members, including hotels and the suppliers that sustain them.
Frances states why she created the BLLA. “My passion for independent boutique & lifestyle hotels are what drove me to create a place where leaders in this hotel sector can meet on common ground to institute programs for enhanced awareness to global travelers and offer vendors the opportunity to focus their marketing efforts through sponsorship of BLLA programs, events & conferences.”
"Fran is the voice and vision of BLLA, and in its short tenure in the association field she's really forged her way quickly and decisively - seeing a space in the marketplace for something and going after it, in service to others," stated Deborah Briggs, vice President - Marketing & Philanthropy, The Betsy - South Beach (Miami).
Frances has created, developed and implemented world-class operations, systems and programs; implemented new industry concepts and approaches to bundling, distributing and promoting travel and hospitality packages using the latest technology, tools and techniques—including the utilization of Web 3.0 strategies, digital media and "viral marketing."
Ms. Kiradjian’s travel experience cuts across various areas of the industry but always maintained a razor-sharp focus on the hospitality sector. Her creative marketing, sales and consulting skills have netted proven successes in brand positioning, product, service promotion and awareness programs as well as corporate, client and profit maximization campaigns.
Kiradjian held several travel industry positions prior to establishing BLLA. Most recently, she was responsible for forming a new division at Reservation Center, Inc., which became the world-renowned CCRA. In that role, she created and developed the first travel agent-centric hotel booking portal which combined multiple inventories, allowing for mark-ups of a net rate that continues to serve as an important business model for travel-related technology companies. She also achieved much recognition for maintaining long-standing industry contracts for hotel program services with the major travel agency groups in North America.
Kiradjian began her career in the travel industry as a corporate travel manager at Carlson Travel, where she managed their California corporate and leisure offices from Santa Barbara to San Diego. In that capacity, she was responsible for P&L reviews with each office manager and air and hotel negotiations for all corporate accounts.
In the course of her tenure at Carlson, Kiradjian became engrossed in the people side of the industry. She became very active in various trade associations around the world where she soon became an “insider” of each travel industry category; and was subsequently voted in as a member of several boards, ultimately becoming a founder of several of these organizations.
Kiradjian is a graduate of the highly respected Marshal School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC).