Somewhere on the globe, a door latch was just locked, pharmacies and grocery stores are probably a bit more busy, stock markets might be preparing for an unexpected downturn and some people may even cancel travel… All because the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has just confirmed America’s first Ebola case.
Would I fly into Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Today? Absolutely! Would I visit Texas Presbyterian Hospital where the patient of the confirmed case of Ebola is being treated? Sure. Am I crazy? Sometimes, but not on this issue! WHY? Because in spite of the sensationalism of the press and the human nature tendency to panic when something unexpected happens, Ebola is VERY difficult to catch. It can only be spread through direct contact and it is not spread through the air, water or in general food. The only way that Ebola is spread is through direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola (sex, excretion, vomit); direct contact with items (like needles or syringes) that are contaminated with the virus; direct contact with infected animals (apes, monkeys and gorillas are thought to be responsible for transmitting the disease to humans); and in Africa, as a result of handling bush meat.
It has been reported that the person in Dallas infected with the virus had returned from Liberia, an African country. Little details are known if the person was a rescue worker or volunteer helping fight the virus there. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Liberia has a very weak health care system. But even travelers to Liberia are told by the U.S. Government that the risk of traveling there and contracting the disease is low and Americans have been traveling there since 1976 when the disease was first reported.
It will be easy over the next few days, weeks or maybe even months, to get caught up in all the media hoopla over Ebola. There might even be an additional case or cases which the media will talk about in every news break, ticker tape or tweet that they possibly can. While their goal is not necessarily to create hysteria, they do want to sell views and good news does not make the news.
Please forgive this former Health Educator for being a bit graphic in the ways to contract Ebola. But it is important that all of us in the hospitality industry and your guests understand that Ebola is not a contagious disease like the common cold.
Frank Wolfe, CAE, is the CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and an inductee into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame and a Paragon Award winner. He often speaks on hospitality and travel related issues. He is an author, speaker and an advocate of careers in hospitality technology or finance. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @frankwolfe. Or Facebook: Frank I. Wolfe
GHACP stands for the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices. The goal of this initiative is to provide a searchable database of detailed operating financial reporting practices used at lodging properties around the world, along with guidance on industry standards, and commentary and analysis from industry experts.
The users of financial information come in many forms, from owners to investors, from controllers to CFOs, from financial professionals to academic constituents. Thus any benchmarking information services that can be used by these groups to compare common practices for hotel management reporting from region to region would prove to be very useful.
As with any benchmarking services, in order to stay relevant, it is imperative that the GHACP is a fluid product requiring continuous updating and development. The project leaders started by collecting information from Europe and Asia with the assistance of industry practitioners and university students. For North America, HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe gained the permission of the Financial Management Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to include the 10th and 11th editions of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) in the GHACP. To-date, the database hosts approximately 5,000 items. Read More »
Adding Diversity and Taking the Scare out of the Visa Process in the Club and Hospitality Industries
As someone that often speaks about visas and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency (green cards), there are two common looks that I see in the audience when I start my presentations – a look of dread that the presentation will be boring (visas – yawn!) and one of apprehension (the visa process – that is so much work!).
As much as I would like to think that I give fun and engaging presentations, the fact is that by the end of the presentation, most in the audience are excited about the possibility of adding a diverse, multicultural staff to their existing workforce and one that is often more professional than what can be found using seasonal college students and young adults.
Traditionally, many in the U.S. hospitality and club industries have used the J-1 visa when hiring and employing foreign nationals. The J-1 visa is a temporary visa that goes through a third party company/program administrator and is usually valid for four to 12 months in duration. The hospitality organization/club is not the employer or visa sponsor; rather, it is a client of the J-1 visa program that sponsors the foreign national.
There has been a recent and ongoing trend in the hospitality and club industries to break away from the J-1 visa as organizations look to take control of their visa processes rather than go through third-party J-1 visa programs. Additionally, I hear more and more opinions from those in the hospitality and club industries that a more experienced and professional international workforce can be achieved using the H-2B seasonal visa. Another benefit is that it can be easier for the employer to bring back the same employee year after year on the H-2B visa, allowing for less training, more familiarity between the employer, employee, and the employer’s customers/patrons, and less stress in wondering if the employee will be a good staff member.
The H-2B seasonal visa is available for up to 10 months in duration and can be applied for annually. We help those in the hospitality and club industries to define their seasons of need – meaning what periods are the H-2B visa workers needed and what are the busiest months of the year for these organizations. Once the H-2B visa process is implemented, it can be a very straightforward visa route for organizations year after year.
The biggest challenge surrounding the H-2B visa process is ensuring that there is enough time to go through the application process. We always advise clients to start the process five months prior to the date that they need their H-2B visa workers. Therefore, if your organization is interested in learning more about the H-2B visa process, it is worth starting the discussions as early as possible to ensure that there is enough time to go through the process.
If your organization is interested in a diverse, multicultural, and professional workforce, it may be worth looking into the fun and not at all scary world of visas!
To learn more about adding international employees to your workforce and navigating the visa process attend the upcoming HFTP Prolinks Webinar on September 18, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. CST.
Keith A. Pabian is an immigration attorney at Pabian Law, LLC. He has developed a unique niche in representing organizations in the club and hospitality industries across the United States in visa and immigration matters. He can be reached at email@example.com or +1 (617) 939-9444. This article was prepared for educational use only.
Are you still using the default password that came with your point of sale (POS) or payment system? Or, using 12345 or password1? If so, you need to change it right away to help protect card holder data. Passwords are one of the easiest ways for criminals to sneak in to access information if not updated from the default or, if passwords are too simple, it can also make it easy for data thieves to break in. And we all know the low hanging fruit always gets tapped first. Read More »
The recent data breaches at major retail outlets such as Target, Michaels Stores Inc. and Neiman Marcus brought this type of modern crime to the forefront in the minds of the consumer; and for us in the hospitality community, it really hit home when news surfaced of a breach at White Lodging properties throughout the United States. For those who were not able to keep up with the “screaming headlines’ about this incident, one thing that both consumers and credit card retailers were warned about is that there would be more to come … and obviously they have. I am going to also predict that there will be even more of these that we will hear about over the next few months from other types of businesses and organizations. Regardless of the tens of millions of dollars industries spend to protect credit card data, criminals who try to steal this data are constantly attacking our information systems and eventually they get lucky — for a short time. As in these recent cases, they were shut down. Read More »
One of the many benefits offered as part of being an HFTP member is access to the ProLinks Webinar Archives. Here members can select from a long list of hot topics offering over 75 hours of education.
Not able to join us at a face-to-face meeting? Or are the regular scheduled webinars offered at an inconvenient time for your individual schedule? HFTP members can access ALL webinars HFTP has ever offered whenever and wherever works for them.
How do I get to the Archives? Simply visit www.hftp.org then log-in. Visit the Webinars page and look for the HFTP ProLinks Webinar Archive link at the bottom of the page. Current HFTP members will find an an entire list of recordings and accompanying handouts to choose from.
With topics ranging from PCI Compliance to Club Technology Issues – members can seek out the topic that is on their radar and watch these quick one hour sessions.
There are even opportunities to see various perspectives on certain “hotter” topics which may have been offered one or more times during the creation of ProLinks Webinars. Read More »
As we lead up to HITEC 2013 in June, HFTP Connect will be talking to our keynote speakers about their expertise and how it relates to thehospitality industry through the Ask the Experts column.
An Expert View on the Monetary Revolution
David Wolman is a contributing editor at Wired. He has also written for such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Outside, Newsweek, Discover, Forbes, New Scientist and Salon, and his work appeared in Best American Science Writing 2009. A former Fulbright journalism fellow in Japan and graduate of Stanford University’s journalism program, he now lives in Portland, Ore. where he received a 2011 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. David has written three books since 2005 with the latest being The End of Money, published by Da Capo Press in February 2012. Read More »
Results of the 2012 HFTP Compensation & Benefits Survey are available. In addition to providing basic compensation and benefits information such as salaries, bonuses and retirement plans; the survey digs a little deeper by analyzing other various factors such as certifications, property characteristics, and demographic information. This information can be utilized for multiple purposes including salary comparisons, budgeting processes, staffing guidelines, contract negotiation and benefit standards. Read More »
On January 1, 2013, both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Here are some key highlights of the new “Act.” These provisions are effective for the 2013 tax year, except where otherwise specified. With over 100 changes to the Tax Code, we have put together a summary of the changes that will impact businesses. Read More »
Pay or Play?
I started my second day listening to the Thursday Keynote’s, Shawn Achor’s, excellent presentation on how concentrating on the positives improves your career success. I ended the day wondering how I was going to apply his principles to dealing with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act after attending the government update session with Brad Steele.
Every club, hotel and business in America with over 50 full time employees has a very difficult decision ahead of them. To Pay or to Play? Do we pay the fines and not offer employee health insurance, or do we offer employee health insurance and pay the fines? Yes, there are fines in both of those options, it is not a typo. Read More »