Greg Dugal, one of the most recognizable faces in Maine’s hospitality industry, has submitted his resignation as president and CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association and Maine Innkeepers Association.

Dugal said he has been working with both boards since November, when he notified them that he intended to step back from the job. The groups, which in 2013 formed Hospitality Association Management Services to facilitate their management under a single operating structure and chief executive, have begun advertising for a replacement.

“I’ve been working 70 to 80 hours a week since I was in my early 20s, and at a certain point you step back and look at life and decide you’d like to enjoy more of it,” Dugal said.

The feeling was exacerbated last fall when the person holding Hospitality Association Management Services’ chief operating officer position left, leaving Dugal alone to manage the two groups and lobby for the associations’ positions on numerous minimum wage initiatives that were wending their way through the Legislature.

“I have offered to stay on and help with government affairs,” Dugal said. “My hope is I wouldn’t be working as many hours, but still would serve the restaurant and innkeeping community.”

The two association boards have voted to create a position for a director of government affairs, but have not yet filled the position.

Hospitality Association Management Services says the hospitality industry employs 77,000 people and generates more than $3.6 billion annually.

Dugal notified the boards of his intention to step down months ago, according to Bruce Woodard, a CPA who is treasurer of the restaurant association.

“It was his decision for sure, and the board regretfully accepted his resignation,” Woodard said. “We hope that he will be able to continue in some capacity with us at some point in the future.”

Dugal had been chief executive of the innkeepers’ association since 2003, and of the restaurant association since 2013, following the retirement of Dick Grotton.

The president and CEO reports to the executive board (six board members from the two associations) and oversees a staff of five. The CEO manages the operations of the two associations, which together have almost 1,200 members and combined budgets of $850,000.