Dispatches from HFTP Global Director: Orange County Grassroots Membership Drive

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Written By: Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA

I was able to realize another first recently – attending the inception of a new HFTP chapter. I was privileged to travel to Orange County, California USA for a grassroots membership drive to re-establish an HFTP chapter in the area.

Joining in this effort from the HFTP Global office, headquartered in Austin, Texas USA, was Director of Membership Development & Services Bryan Wood, and Chapter Relations Coordinator Barbara Semeraro. HFTP, of course, did all the hard upfront and setup work. I was tasked with presenting the 2017 HFTP Global association update to the hospitality professionals in attendance. Both Bryan and Barbara brought a lot of HFTP information and promotional items that engaged the attendees.

Left to right: HFTP Global Director Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA and HFTP Chapter Relations Coordinator Barbara Semeraro.

The event took place on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa, which proved to be an excellent place to host the event. A welcome reception was scheduled for the first hour; this included a pasta bar, “New Orleans” chicken tenders and many other delicious items. The reception was a great time to meet many of the HFTP members from the area as well as industry professionals from the Orange County area. The attendees were from several different segments including hotels, clubs, vendors, finance, technology, operations and even Disneyland.

Matthew Lieberman, director of finance at Two Roads Hospitality, kicked off the presentation and explained the efforts to charter a local HFTP chapter. During my HFTP update presentation, we discussed the history of HFTP, its core values, membership benefits, chapter involvementnetworking opportunities and more.

Left to right: Ralph Ommer and Matthew Lieberman.

We discussed some of the HFTP resources available to members/chapters including: two research centersPineappleSearch.com, the world’s only hospitality industry specific search site; and the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP). Also discussed was HFTP’s various publications including: The BottomlineHFTP ConnectHotel YearbookClub BytesFinance BytesHITEC BytesHFTP News; HITEC News Flash and HITEC Special Report.

We also highlighted HFTP conferences and events including: Annual Conventionregional conferences; multiple HITECs. The attendees were very interested in HFTP’s certifications: Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP). Click here to learn more about HFTP’s new CHAE exam.

HFTP Orange County chapter interest meeting on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

I believe the attendees saw the great value in HFTP membership and chapter affiliation; after only a few questions the next comments were: “What is the next step to become a chapter?” and “Where do I sign up?”

All in all, it was a great event. Though I have not received the official word yet, I think we will soon hear about a brand new HFTP Orange County chapter – a definite win for everyone.

Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA is an assistant controller & IT director at Highpointe Hotel Corporation. He is also a current director on the 2016-2017 HFTP Global Board. 

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