HFTP Connect – Hospitality Blog

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The Fifth Season of the Year – HITEC

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Written By: Katerina Berezina, Ph.D., CHTP, CRME


Many of us grew up learning about and experiencing the four seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter. I was never interested in this topic so much, but ever since I moved to Florida I often hear people around me talking about how they miss “the seasons.” But what is so special about them? I think that the progression of seasons symbolizes the circle of life for people, the change, the rejuvenation and innovation, the moving forward. Every season covers a certain period of the year and comes with specific weather, but also with things that we do during that time and like about that season. As we move through our lives, we may observe that there are other seasons in a year that may not be recognized by everybody, but are very special for us. I think that for those in the hospitality technology field HITEC may very well be the fifth season of the year.

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Major Changes Coming to HFTP Annual Convention – Part Two

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Wow! A couple of days ago I posted a blog about major changes that were coming to this year’s HFTP Annual Convention.  Although we talk a lot about the power of social media, it is still amazing to me that one post (or in this case a RE post)  can generate so many “likes,” comments, suggestions and excitement about something. Less than 24 hours after the post, one of our past presidents informed me that seven different HFTP members were asking questions and suggested that we share more details as soon as possible. Rather than wait until the Club and Hotel Controllers Conference and HITEC, (my original plan) there is just too much interest not to seize the moment!

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Best Practices for Improving Brand Reputation in Social Content

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Written By: Seth Redmore


On Thursday, June 2, 2016 I had the pleasure of doing a webinar with HFTP on high-level best practices for improving your brand reputation on social and I wanted to share a few of my recommendations. If you want to get the whole picture, you need to be an HFTP member and watch the webinar itself.

There are three sections to the webinar:

  1. What is the single most important thing to do when considering a social media/review strategy?
  2. Maximize your results for effort spent on social and reviews.
  3. What is actionable, and what actions are the most appropriate to take?

I’m going to just focus on #1 – “The Single Most Important Thing.” Here it is: “Start from the goal, not from the data.”

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HFTP Finance Members Sound Off On Benefits

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Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a very dynamic organization that represents what has arguably become the two most important segments of hospitality: finance and technology. Unlike the days when “finance” was someone who wore sleeve garters and “technology” was someone who knew how to “z” out the cash register, our segment is the driving force behind hospitality. Despite having a diverse membership base, it is our obligation to continue to meet all of our members’ needs and to advance the hospitality industry at large.

For those who would like to stop reading early on, here is a quote and a statistic that provides a perfect executive summary on the topic: “The value we currently receive is already a little overwhelming. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time I would like to take advantage of all the benefits already offered by HFTP.” HFTP is currently experiencing an 89 percent retention rate of our members which is pretty phenomenal for an industry that faces consolidations and has traditionally high turnover rates.

So, under the backdrop of this year’s opening of the world’s largest hospitality technology event, HITEC, (known to some as “THE candy store for hospitality technology”), the Board of Directors assigned staff to survey our finance members for feedback on HFTP’s benefits. Surveys like these are similar to a report card for associations, so I was eager to see how we fared. The results were gathered over the last few weeks, and based on the numbers have a 95 percent degree of confidence.

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Chapter Report – June 15-30

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Here is an exciting listing of all events our chapters have planned for the second half of June.

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Hospitality Financial Executives Meet to Identify Priority Topics

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Ramirez_06_16By Arlene Ramirez, CHAE, CHE, CHIA, MBAOne of the missions for HFTP is to be a source and resource for the industry in matters relating to finance and technology. In order to be successful at this mission it is important to ask those who are at the forefront of the issues: “what is keeping you up at night,” and “what challenges do you see on the horizon.” Using this insight, HFTP can identify what role it can play to help advance the industry, by either: bringing awareness, preparing the industry through education or helping identify or develop a solution.In the past HFTP has set up forums with C-level financial executives from hospitality to discuss these pressing issues, and this year HFTP brought back a council from years past: the Hospitality Finance Advisory Council. Primarily the purpose of the council is to serve in an advisory capacity to HFTP on the topics, products and services offered from the finance perspective to our members. The first meeting was held last month, May 18, at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and all who attended concluded that it was most productive. Special thanks to Christopher Garland, senior vice president of operations/finance for Four Seasons and HFTP Global Board director for agreeing to chair the committee and organizing a comprehensive agenda. Read More »

HFTP in Dubai

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There are many reasons why HFTP has begun to have a bigger presence globally and why the organization has seen such great acceptance outside of its original U.S. base… no matter where you are, finance and technology professionals face the same challenges. Albeit some of the challenges may appear different at first glance; but when you dig deeper, fundamentally they are the same. Our visit to Dubai only solidified what HFTP can do for professionals globally. So it was, that on Monday, May 9, 2016 we had the first organizational meeting of what we hope will soon be our HFTP Dubai chapter.

A special thanks to Amirul Islam, income auditor for the Ritz Carlton Financial Center Dubai, for providing such a great location for everyone to meet and hear about all HFTP has to offer. We already had many members in this region; they have met informally, but want to have a better format for networking and educating themselves and others on pertinent issues affecting the hospitality industry in Dubai. Many of the topics of interest are familiar: taxes, labor, working with vendors and the USALI among others. When asked who would be willing to help with organizing a chapter, everyone raised their hands.

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Dispatches from Caterer Digital Summit and Boutique Hotel & Lifestyle Summit in the UK

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Written By: Carl Weldon

I was recently honored to chair two panel sessions in the United Kingdom covering different aspects of the hospitality market.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016: Boutique Hotel and Lifestyle Summit


I chaired a panel at the Boutique Hotel and Lifestyle Summit in the stylish Montaclm Hotel in central London. This business summit was targeted for a niche part of the hotel market, and attracted an international gathering of industry leaders to discuss the challenges specific to the segment. My job was to chair a panel of industry leaders, as below, and discuss the future of the hospitality sector:

  1. Robin Sheppard, chairman at Bespoke Hotels
  2. Claus-Dieter Jandel, chief development officer at Steigenberger Hotels
  3. Ramesh Arora, managing director at Montcalm Luxury Hotels

My role was to get the leaders to share their views on areas such as branding and its importance (or not) to the boutique hotel segment. We discussed major brands that are starting to bring ‘boutique’ brands into this segment, the challenge of the sharing economy and social media, and predictions on future industry trends. There was lively debate around whether the UK market was in recession – the London market in particular.

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Weekly Connect from PineappleSearch 5/27/16

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Weekly-Connect-Logo-2-768x143Weekly Connect from Pineapplesearch.com. This week’s tour of news and information from Pineapplesearch.com. Here is what happened in hospitality this week:

  1. Do’s & Don’ts of Deploying a Digital Concierge
  2. Managing Change in Information Security
  3. Hospitality, in General, Can’t Be Automated
  4. Property-management systems and revenue management go hand in hand
  5. Credit Cards – Greater Risk, Greater Use

Visit and register at Pineapplesearch.com – the hospitality-specific search engine – for the latest news and information. When you register you can customize your experience, bringing the topics of interest to you front and center; as well as elect to receive a weekly news digest delivered via email.

Chapter Report – June 1-15

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Chapter Events

Here is an exciting listing of all events our chapters have planned for the first part of June.

  • June 4

Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament – The Forest Country Club

12:00 – 8:00 p.m.

RSVP to jerilyn@jbshospitality.com

  • June 4

Florida Manasota Chapter

Chapter Summer Social – Bring your family! – Evie’s Golf Center

6:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

RSVP to eileens@thefieldclub.com

  • June 4

NYC Chapter

Chapter Social Event – Tiro A Segno of New York

RSVP to jhyland@si.rr.com

  • June 8

Milwaukee Chapter

Ronald McDonald House Charity Event

4:00 – 7:30 p.m.


  • June 9

Greater Philadelphia Chapter

Annual Members’ Social – The Acorn Club

6:00 – 10:30 p.m.

RSVP to Susan Aylward – (215) 735-2040

  • June 9

CA Central Coast

Summer Luncheon Meeting – Bacara Resort and Spa

11:30 a.m.

RSVP to Bob Garite, bob@pcsgrp.com

  • June 13

Austin Chapter

2016 CMI Workshop Series – San Antonio Country Club

Day-long Event

RSVP to lauras@westwoodcountryclub.com

  • June 14

Austin Chapter

HFTP Happy Hour – Hotel Granduca

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Email lauras@westwoodcountryclub.com for more info

  • June 14

New England Club Chapter

Luncheon Meeting – Brae Burn Country Club

11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

RSVP to newenglandclub.hftp@gmail.com

  • June 15

New England Hotel Chapter

Boston Harbor Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey – University Club

Boarding begins at 6:00 p.m. – Return at 10:00 p.m.

RSVP to jmooney@lodgesysinc.com

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