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Be Present, Stay Engaged

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AC15-Blog-head

AC15-Blog-IconThere has been an overarching theme to the conference this year: Be Present.

At the Leadership Breakfast, Joel Zeff urged us to pay attention and support each other.

During the Opening Keynote, Mark Scharenbroich phrased it this way: “Must be present to win.”

In keeping with this spirit, one of the track themes today was “The Personnel Factor.” Topics cover strategies for career growth, as well as interacting with colleagues from multiple generations. Again, the best advice centers around staying involved and aware.

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What are the Controller’s and CFO’s Roles in Data Security?

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Computer NetworkWe’ve all read the news about data breaches. The financial consequences and reputation damage have been widely reported.  As the ones who watch over the company’s financial performance, controllers and CFOs must manage all components that impact the bottom line and that includes corporate data.5 Practical StepsSecurity industry experts state that data breaches are unavoidable.  It’s not a question of “if” companies will become victims of a data breach, but “when.” However, there are five practical steps a business can take to help protect against data breaches and mitigate the potential harm in the event of a breach.

  1. Perform an inventory

It is critical to inventory the locations that store personally identifiable information (PII).  PII is defined as information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, a specific person.  Determine which PII your business requires, what data is collected, how the data is secured and who has access to the data and under what circumstances.  Basically – you can’t protect what you don’t know you have.

  1. Encrypt computers

It is a best practice to encrypt all laptops and publicly accessible desktop computers. Encryption doesn’t prevent intrusion, but it does make the data unreadable and unusable by an intruder.  Encryption software is affordable and highly effective in protecting data.  Consider using a data encryption method that is FIPS certified (Federal Information Processing Standard), which means it has been certified for compliance with federal government security protocols. Read More »

Gearing Up for the 2015 Annual Convention and Tradeshow

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AC15-Blog-headI look at the calendar to see what October brings:• Operating and Capital Budget preparation is in full swing• End of Quarter reporting requirements have tight deadlines• Year-end projections are needed, again and againAC15-Blog-Icon• We are at our peak business level• Preparations begin for our External Audit• Heavy lifting begins on the annual Halloween Party at my house (hey, real life matters!)It is the busiest time of year, by far.And yet, attending the HFTP Annual Conference in Seattle from October 21-24 might be the most important thing I do this month. How can that be? Read More »

Part 3: How to Bring More Hospitality Financial Leadership Into Your Hotel

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Leadership7) The How To vs. The Want To?The business of managing the hotel finances is not terribly technical or complicated. What makes it challenging is that it’s usually a large job involving many people. The communication system in the hotel is the key to both smooth management and predictive financial results. This is the how to. So if the hotel finances are not a complicated matter, why is it such a challenge in so many hotels? The answer lies in the want to.Most leaders in the hotel don’t want to be managing numbers. They typically didn’t get into the hotel business with the idea that they would be business people with forecasts and budgets. They’re “people people”; artists and creators. They now find themselves in roles with responsibilities to get the numbers done and they don’t like it. Read More »

Part 2: How to Bring More Hospitality Financial Leadership Into Your Hotel

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LeadershipHere is part two of David Lund’s Top Ten Blog on “How to Bring More Hospitality Financial Leadership Into Your Hotel.”4) Talk about Agreements, Not ExpectationsExpectations. I hear this word from almost all GMs, controllers and hotel executives. It’s the wrong word and it’s not an effective way to manage.So here is the thing with expectations. Human beings don’t like having expectations placed on them. We actually really don’t like it and most of the time we revolt against others’ expectations at work and in our personal lives.Just imagine someone expecting you to do something. How does that sit with you? Not well, I bet.So why do we place expectations on people at work? Why do we place expectations on them as it relates to being responsible for numbers? Do we think it’s because it’s their job and they should just do it? Probably. But it’s not effective. There is a much better way to manage.It’s called agreements. Make agreements with the people who work with you. In the case of the numbers, ask your managers to take this on and tell them you will support them and give them resources to master this. You will be there when they have challenges; you will be there to help celebrate the successes; and you will lead the hotel through agreements with your team. Humans love to honor agreements and they push back on expectations.Check out your language. What do you communicate?Agreements are creative and a lot more fun than expectations. They are also a lot more effective. Especially when it comes to managing the numbers. Read More »

Part 1: How to Bring More Hospitality Financial Leadership Into Your Hotel

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LeadershipYou have the ability to increase the way you lead your team financially, to create an environment that has your managers working together on the “business” of running your hotel.I invite you to read my Top 10 list for hotel financial leadership success and open up to the opportunity you have to improve the financial communication in your hotel and brand. If you do this, you will have a more engaged leadership team, your hotels will make more money, your leaders will love you, and everyone will have more fun. Read More »

HFTP and HTNG, Old Commentary and New Horizons…

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Earth at nightNow that summer has officially ended, many of us begin some serious travel to industry events. Just a few weeks ago Hospitality Upgrade hosted their annual CIO Summit, which gave me the opportunity to spend some quality time with HTNG’s (Hotel Technology Next Generation) new CEO, Mike Blake. For those of you who may not recall, HFTP was one of the first supporters of HTNG when it was created in 2002 at HITEC. Mike and I have been industry friends for a long time and one of the events held at the summit was a sailing regatta competition and it just so happened we were assigned to the same team. We worked very hard as a team, but despite much effort our group was voted “most likely to sink” and came in dead last. It’s a good thing our groups didn’t hire us for our sailing skills! Read More »

Around the World to the Sydney Summit

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0915SydneySummitAnother day and another amazing HFTP trip. This time around I am returning from the beautiful Sydney, Australia where I had the privilege of attending and speaking at HFTP’s very first Sydney Summit. As we have discussed, HFTP has really been putting the pedal to the metal in terms of going global and 2015 has been no exception.For those of you who are not familiar with the Sydney Summit, let me explain. HFTP coordinated a two-part day of educational sessions and networking. The morning was geared towards hospitality finance, while the afternoon was more focused on hospitality technology. Attendees were able to choose either a half-day or full day attendance based on their interests. Read More »

HFTP Thankful for Support from Industry Partners

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ThankYouCloudHFTP is wrapping up the 2015 summer as one of its most eventful in its history, starting off with the highly successful HITEC 2015 in June in the HFTP world headquarters city of Austin, Texas USA. Produced by HFTP, HITEC is the largest hospitality technology event, which hosted one of the highest attended shows in its 43 years, with 6,051 hospitality professionals representing 55 countries. A lot of this success is due in large part to the continued support of HFTP partners. It is through such partnerships between like-minded organizations that have brought about productive solutions, education and information-sharing within the hospitality technology community. Something that is increasingly important as the role of technology becomes essential to the function of the lodging industry.

HFTP/HITEC partners include:

HTNG – Hospitality Technology Next Generation
HSMAI – Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Hospitality Upgrade magazine
iHITA – International Hospitality Information Technology Association
Hospitality Technology magazine
Cleverdis Information Intelligence
AH&LA – American Hotel and Lodging Association
CMAA – Club Managers Association of America
Cornell School of Hotel Administration
Gerencia de Edificios
Global Hospitality Resources, Inc.

Leaders and members from each of these organizations contribute to HITEC by participating on the HITEC Advisory Council, developing and speaking on the education program, and exhibiting. HFTP thanks all of its partners for their active participation in HITEC, helping it to be a continued success.

To follow up on such an incredible HITEC experience, the HFTP Global Board decided to ramp up its global activity by expanding its educational offerings on a global level. Again, this expansion will not be possible without the support of HFTP’s industry partners. Within the past two months, HFTP has announced a HITEC Asia and HITEC Europe for 2017. Coming up even sooner, HFTP has partnered with HSMAI Europe for two events: the HSMAI Europe Leadership Day on Thursday September 24, 2015 in Frankfurt and the 4th Annual Digital Marketing Conference alongside the World Travel Mart on November 5, 2015 in London.

It doesn’t stop there. HFTP has also announced that the association is currently developing and organizing CIO Summits that will take place outside of the USA during 2016 and beyond. These exclusive, invitation-only, boutique events will serve to unite the technology professionals leading the hospitality industry around the globe for the purpose of education, networking and industry growth.

See I told you it was an eventful summer. Stay tuned to the HFTP web site for news on all of these events.

Multigenerational Travelers

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Blur people movement in rush hour at stationA number of societal trends have combined in recent years to change the hospitality industry dynamics as Americans spend some of their leisure time differently than they once did. According to recent studies, longer, healthier lives, greater disposable income and dispersed personal networks have combined to bring more families together for multigenerational vacations.These gatherings are not spur-of-the-moment picnics in the local park but well-planned, multi-day events that often bring together family members from disparate parts of the country to a destination resort or city – a fair amount of the time, to a foreign country. Therein lies revenue potential that the travel industry is becoming more focused on capturing. The definition of what constitutes a “multigenerational” trip is simple: one in which the participants are related people of three or more generations (typically, grandparents, parents and grandchildren, though nephews/nieces and even friends get drawninto the mix). Read More »

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