2012 HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow: Meet the Guest Bloggers

HFTP has recruited five guest bloggers to write about their experience at the upcoming Annual Convention & Tradeshow. Visit HFTP Connect over the next two weeks to read what they have to say.

Our 2012 Bloggers are: John Grigas, CHAE; Joe Hylton, CHAE; Sharon Litchfield, CHAE; Jane Schmitz, CHAE; and Joe Young

John Grigas, CHAE
Madison Concourse Hotel
Madison, WI

Even though I am a hotel controller, my degree is in English Language and Literature from Southern Illinois University (BA ’89). I have blogging experience, as well as written for HFTP’s The Bottomline (June/July 2010).

When preparing for the conference, I make sure my black book has a “Takeaway Page.” This is a special section set aside for the bullet list of ideas, tasks and goals that I want to take back home and put into use. Over the years, I found this to be the single most helpful tool to take value out of a conference. With a Takeaway Page, I have one place to look for my action steps once I get back to the office.

Joe A. Hylton, CHAE
Director of Finance
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica

My HFTP journey began in the summer of 1970 on my appointment as chief accountant at the Playboy Club/Hotel in Boscobel, (near Ocho Rios) Jamaica. I joined the local HAAJ leading to membership in the international body, NAH-MA (now HFTP). When promoted in 1974 to comptroller, I attended my first convention in Toronto. Interacting with members from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, I realized the importance of “networking” and despite the differences in taxation; there was much commonality in job functions.

I have memories of the days when attendance at conventions was low; when the President’s Evening was more a dinner, not a dance to celebrate; when CHAE was just an acronym, but today a true accreditation with improved pay packages for holders. HFTP has made a great difference in my life. The educational sessions at conventions continue to be fantastic and a great place to earn CPE credits. It is so wonderful to see 600+ attendees at conventions and I am looking forward to my 27th in Orlando.

Sharon Litchfield, CHAE
TPC Prestancia
Sarasota, FL

Way back when, when I first became involved with my local Manasota Chapter, I thought I’d just be getting some education that would help me in my new career. But, I found out early on that I received a lot more than that; I gained a huge network of friends and family that wanted to see me succeed. T

After 14 years, I’m still learning and always anticipating what HFTP Annual Convention and Leadership will have waiting for me when I arrive. It’s a great chance to catch up with friends and family and meet new people who will become part of that family. I love learning, it’s always been a lifelong passion and HFTP, especially the Annual Convention has always provided this for me. HFTP has made me the controller I am today and I’m forever grateful to the organization, but more importantly to all the friends and family that have given back to me.

Jane Schmitz, CHAE
Shannopin Country Club
Pittsburgh, PA

Sharing what I learn with others is what attending a conference is all about. Picking up new ideas on how to take a club to the next level, informing the rest of our management team and giving those who were not able to attend the ability to conceptualize the impact of these ideas is what it is all about.

I attended HITEC and the Club and Hotel Controllers conference this past June. As always, it was an exceptional exchange of ideas and distribution of product information along with a great networking opportunity. I went, I listened and I implemented. Now as the blogger for the convention, I can change that to I went, I listened, I shared with my colleagues and I implemented.

Joe Young
Staff Accountant
Wexford Plantation Homeowners Association
Hilton Head Island, SC

I have worked at Wexford for four years, but spent three of those years as the Director of Communications and Marketing. Even though I have spent most of my time at Wexford in the Marketing Department, my background is in accounting and I was thrilled when a full-time position in our Finance Department opened up this year. Last month, I began attending graduate school classes to pursue my masters of science degree in Accounting.

I attended the Club & Hotel Controllers’ Conference in June, but this will be my first HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow. I will be joining the South Carolina Chapter as a board member this fall and will also be attending the Leadership Summit at the convention.

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