History of the Los Angeles Hotel Human Resources Association
Founder and Board Member
Our Mission Statement:
“Connecting people through knowledge
and professional experiences”
Epitomizes the ambitions of our founders.
In 1965, Jacques Rigaud, a recent college graduate began his hospitality career at the Beverly Hilton hotel as a Front Desk Clerk. Jacques made such an impression on his General Manager that he was asked to fill in as the acting Personnel Manager until a replacement could be hired. Jacques jumped at the opportunity, but not without reservation, as he had only worked at the hotel for less than a year. The Personnel office consisted of one other staff person, who at the time was off work for medical reasons.
Jacques managed to keep the Personnel Office afloat during a time when his competitors were more enticing to job seekers. It was during this time that the luxurious Century Plaza opened its doors. Eventually, Jacques was able to hire an assistant to help him while securing the position of Personnel Manager. Jacques attributes his success largely to Mrs. Jane Aitken.
Jane was the Personnel Manager at the Beverly Hills hotel. After hearing about the “acting personnel manager”, she contacted Jacques. She offered her assistance and reminded him that she was only a phone call away. Jacques sought Jane’s assistance almost daily and she became without question, his mentor.
After months of communicating by phone, the two arranged to have lunch together, during which time he was able to share hand express his gratitude for her assistance and guidance. During their ground breaking discussion, the suggestion was made to contact other personnel offices of other local hotels to see if they might be interested in meeting. Jane felt that maybe others might be in need of a resource to share and gather information that would assist them professionally.
So the planning began. The name of the association was to be the Los Angeles Hotel Managers Association (LAHMA). Jacques remembers fondly the first meeting, which was a luncheon hosted by AD Whitterman at the Downtown Hilton. There were 20 to 25 members in attendance and the topic was: “What to do in the event of a disaster”. Jacques recalls that the topic was not exciting, but was informative. Everyone left the luncheon with a bit of knowledge that could one day prove to be beneficial. After spending six years with the Beverly Hilton hotel, Jacques joined the eight man team at the Century Plaza Hotel, in comparison to his future endeavors, his tenure with the Century Plaza was short but sweet; he moved on after only five years. Jacques would spend the next eleven years as the Director of Human Resources at the historical Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. By 1987 he decided to pursue a corporate position, thus joining Raleigh Enterprises as the Corporate Director of Human Resources. He has been with the Raleigh family ever since, and now holds the title of Vice-President of Human Resources.
Jacques has honored the profession of Human Resources, and his life is marked by his commitment to all of his past employers and this Association. He is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of this great organization. He is highly respected for his unparalleled dedication, the Los Angeles Hotel Human Resources Association (LAHHRA) as it is known today has continued to thrive for over 40 years; assisting many men and women to be more efficient in their profession.