HFTP Connect – Hospitality Blog

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HFTP Annual Convention — Invest in Yourself

Written by: Jessica Vint, CHAE

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

Written by: sara

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?

Written by: Frank I. Wolfe, CAE

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

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

Written by: Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM

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 »

HFTP GenYP Challenge — Are You Ready?

Written by: Dailey Fly

HFTP aims to help develop the professional skills of the industry leaders of tomorrow, and will support this initiative with an exclusive Young Professionals education program at the upcoming HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow. A highlight of the program is the first GenYP Challenge, an interactive competition that will encourage the participating young professionals and students to put their professional skills to the test.

About the GenYP Challenge: The Big Easy Edition

The objective of the GenYP Challenge is to increase the involvement of the young professional and student members of HFTP and HFTP Annual Conference & Tradeshow attendees. This challenge will:

  • Engage the student and young professional attendees with specific conference education;
  • Allow participants to network with peers and industry leaders;
  • Push participants to think outside the box during GenYP case studies;
  • Provide hands on learning experience to apply education and real life experience. Read More »

2014 Annual Convention Guest Bloggers Needed – Apply Today!

Written by: sara

Returning this year, HFTP Connect is looking for professionals involved with the hospitality industry who would like to write original and educational blog posts about their Annual Convention & Tradeshow experience.

Official Blogger Benefits:

Complimentary Full Conference Registration which includes admittance to all convention activities, including scheduled meal functions, exhibits, Welcome Reception, President’s Evening and educational sessions.

Credit as the author of the blog post and links to blogger’s web site, social media accounts, etc.

Official Blogger Requirements:

Five blog posts related to the conference, see Guidelines for acceptable posts:

•  One prior to Annual Convention & Tradeshow
•  Three during the week of  the Annual Convention & Tradeshow
•  One post conference
If the official blogger fails to perform the blogger requirements, the blogger will be charged for the amount of the Annual Convention Full Conference Registration ($625 USD).

If you’re interested, please send a brief description on why you would be a good guest blogger and a sample of writing to Sara Shafer by August 25, 2014.

Disclaimer: As an association, HFTP may not endorse or promote a product or vendor. HFTP Connect is educational in nature and blog posts must not be sales-oriented. Products or vendors may only be mentioned in an educational format.

A Final Glance Through the Rearview Mirror

Written by: Monica Henegar

Sitting at my departure gate at LAX, I am reflecting upon the events of the that took place during the Club and Hotel Controllers Conference. It will take some time for all of the information  to settle into my mind, so I can fully appreciate the true value of the experience.

The conference center felt overwhelmingly large at the beginning as my colleagues and I were learning to navigate our way from one session to the next or through the exhibitor booths. The exhibits addressed all the technological needs, opportunities and dreams our properties could ever have. Everyone was very helpful, welcoming and above all knowledgeable about the products they were marketing. The one thing I would complain about is that the sessions rooms were on the cold side, which meant that I ended up spending half my breaks warming up in the sun instead of browsing through the exhibits.

The educations sessions were very informative and addressed a variety of subjects that I found relevant for improving my daily work, from information security, to career advancement, to revenue management and fraud detection. All of the speakers were inspiring and passionate about their subject. I was happy to note that the subjects were general in nature, which made them relevant to all properties internationally. Read More »

Balancing Act

Written by: James Lingle

I have to admit that as a product of the 80’s I really liked all those 80′s movies. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Risky Business, Star Wars sequels, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters and The Terminator were among the favorites. Not that I am opposed to John Hughes movies – that just tends to be more my wife’s style. One of the best parts about all of these movies were the great one liners:

“I am your father,” “I’ll be back” and “…when this baby hits eighty-eight miles an hour…” have all become classics. As I have worked my way through the last couple of days, I have had to balance a lot of time in the office with HITEC. So naturally – another 80’s quote came to mind – “balance is key Daniel-san.”

One of the challenges I think we all face coming to HITEC is how to manage our “day jobs” while we are here. For vendors, I wonder sometimes if it is a bit easier – after all we’re all here (name that movie paraphrase!). While not everyone of their customers is onsite, a large number of them are. Do their mailboxes slow down, or like many an attendee, do they continue to pile up? Read More »

Quite Interesting So Far

Written by: Samuel Ayisi

It is really exciting to be in Los Angeles for this year’s HITEC and so far so good. Monday evening’s opening party at the Belasco Theater was quite sensational. Good music, good food and drinks, and good conversations. Not to mention the elegance of the venue.

HITEC itself has been running quite smoothly. The registration and badge pick-up processes have been less cumbersome this year, thanks to the producers, HFTP. I was unable to attend Monday’s opening keynote. However, Tuesday’s keynote session on “The Collaborative Economy” presented by Rachel Botsman was very good. If you’ve never heard Rachel speak, you should check out her presentations on TedTalks and YouTube. You’ll not be disappointed. Read More »

A Time for Sharpening Our Tech Skills

Written by: Randy Craven, CHTP

One glance at my inbox says it all… HITEC is just around the corner.  It’s time to step back from the day-to-day and get immersed in what’s happening with technology in our industry. From a career standpoint, this is what Dr. Stephen Covey (in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) called “Sharpening the Saw.”

This will be my third conference. After my first HITEC in 2012, I kicked myself for not having been there all along. Even though it’s a bit of a hike from North Carolina, it has become a must-attend event for me.

We all share the feeling that keeping up with technology in our industry is an overwhelming task. None of us can know everything about hospitality technology (although some of my HFTP colleagues do amazingly well at it), but our constituents — whether we call them clients, coworkers, or something else — seem to think that we should. Read More »

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