HFTP Connect – Hospitality Blog

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My Trip to the Mid-South Atlantic Regional Conference

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Mid-South Atlantic Regional Conference 201DispatchesAs the plane’s wheels touched the ground, the captain came onto the loudspeaker, “Welcome to Richmond, Virginia where the local time is 3:42 p.m. and the current temperature is 7 degrees.” It was at this point I asked myself: Why in the world is this regional held in February? I assume it is because my good friends in the region wanted to see my South Florida body freeze. Read More »

Don’t Miss the Looming Deadline, Preparing for April 1st H-1B Visa Filings

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For further details on H-1B visa filings and other work visa options, attend Pabian’s ProLinks webinar on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CST. A longer version of this article can be found in the Winter 2015 issue of The Bottomline (set to publish Feb 2, 2015).

It is unavoidable – every year, we receive the dreaded phone call. It comes in early April and a new client calls very excited about sponsoring a foreign national (non-U.S. Citizen/non-U.S. Permanent Resident) who is a current or potential employee. I have to explain that the client called two weeks too late and there is little that can be done for the next 18 months. The client then has to tell its employee that he or she is likely going to have to return home or is unlikely to be able to be hired. Read More »

It’s Just a Party!…Or is it?

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Have you ever been in a department store with your child at your side having a meltdown? How about being in a new management position, with a new company and not knowing where to start? Or being a member of an association and wanting to attend a conference, but your boss just says, “It’s just a party…”?

Never fear: there will always be someone out there to judge you. Especially singles, that don’t have any experience in parenting, or worker bees who have no idea of the stresses of management, or a boss who lets you come to Annual Convention, but has never come to find out first-hand what it’s about. Are you catching on? Don’t be so quick to judge when you haven’t even worn my size 9ww shoes. Read More »

A Good Night’s Sleep

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For quite a few of us today, it was an “ethical” kind of day. Being the proud HFTP certificate holder that I am (CHAE, 2007) and with the new CPE requirements for maintaining 4 points of ethics during your two year reporting period, today was a fabulous day. By attending the three ethics classes offered this week, any HFTP certificate holder was able to clear out the new ethics requirement. Whew! What a relief and a BIG thanks to the HFTP Education Council for making attaining said credits so accessible! Read More »

GHACP and the Hot Off the Press USALI 11th Edition

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The news is out! The 11th edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) is now available and due for implementation in 2015. As opposed to the green soft cover of its predecessor, the 11th edition sports a blue hardcover. If one asks the color experts, the color blue stands for trust and responsibility. If one goes by the old glory blue of the American flag, the blue stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice. A perfect choice!

The USALI 11th edition comes in both a print and downloadable version. In addition, members of the Financial Management Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) who have done a yeoman’s job in providing the details for this publication, have also offered several additional online resources for your benefit. You can access all of the information on the USALI Resources page of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute web site. Read More »

HFTP Annual Convention — Invest in Yourself

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Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.

Unsuccessful people are always asking, “what’s in it for me?”

The inspirational author Dr. Stephen Covey once said, “strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” This quote encapsulates a large part of the HFTP Annual Convention. If you have ever attended, then you understand the quote. If you haven’t, you owe yourself the opportunity to participate and come to learn from the insight of other long-serving HFTP members.

HFTP is an association that frequently, generously and effectively provides education dedicated to the furthering of the hospitality industry. Having been a part of the industry for over 20 years, means I have a lot of information in my head that could no doubt help others with their hospitality challenges and hiccups. In my experience as an active member of HFTP for more than 10 years, I have found a large part of the membership falls into the “successful people” category as stated above.

So here we are, over 500 wonderful hospitality driven people all networking in the same hotel, in the same meetings, in the same education sessions with all of our differences… sharing our knowledge to help others. If you think about it, how much more “priceless” can you get? Read More »

Meet Jessica Vint, CHAE — Your Annual Convention Insider

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HFTP Connect will feature posts throughout the week of the 2014 Annual Convention & Tradeshow provided from the viewpoint of the official guest blogger, Jessica Vint, CHAE. Find out more about Jessica below and keep watch during the week for her insights as a convention insider. Look for the Official Blogger image in the daily newsletter.

Read More »

Ebola in America — Is It Safe To Travel?

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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: frank.wolfe@hftp.org Twitter @frankwolfe. Or Facebook: Frank I. Wolfe

Recharge, Re-energize and Refocus — At Our Best in a Changing World

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The hospitality industry is competitive and challenging. In this always changing environment, the most successful accountants and tech pros work hard to be adaptable and resilient. Like world-class athletes, they may not love tough challenges, but they know how to focus to get the job done and they continually do the things they need to do to be successful. And what do they focus on? The goals, not the problems; the outcomes, not the obstacles; what success will look like, not what failure will feel like; the stimulation of the challenge, not the fatigue of the struggle. At several world championships, in both triathlons and skiing, I usually felt a little intimidated, stressed and worried about what might go wrong to ruin months of preparation. A successful performance however, depended on my converting that nervous energy to a positive focus on goals, adapting to the conditions of the day, and knowing that once we got going I would be in my element and that months & years of training had prepared me well for the challenge. You can do the same… convert your stress into positive energy by taking care of yourself, focusing on strategies for success, being agile and staying optimistic.

Here are six tips to help you be at your best every day:

1. Adapt a“lava lamp philosophy”for your work (and life)

Remember the Lava Lamp? Once turned on and warmed up, it is always moving and changing. A Lava Lamp philosophy means you always look at what you are doing and how you can do it better, differently and more effectively. Be agile, flexible, resilient, innovative and imaginative. Read More »

The 411 on the HFTP Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP) Database

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What is the GHACP?

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 Idea

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 »

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