Written By: Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP
Less than a week until HFTP’s Annual Convention, and I am counting down like a kid at Christmas. Every year my desired outcomes shift as my career has shifted and as time goes on. One year, it is all about meeting the vendors as I search for the next big technology. This year, one of my goals is to complete my continuing education requirements for my CHAE® and CHTP® certifications. Although my goals change from year to year, one thing that never changes is my excitement to catch up with old friends and, of course, make new friends.
I still remember my first HFTP convention from when I was in the student chapter at the University of Central Florida more than 10 years ago. The one thing I knew about HFTP was that for the last seven years, three of my bosses and one of my favorite professors, Dr. Le Burto, were involved with HFTP – I wanted to know more about HFTP in order to become a leader like they were for me.
Being able to attend my first convention was not easy. I thought the company I worked for would pay for my membership and attendance, but that was not the case. There were companies in later years that supported me and understood the value of HFTP; however, I find that this year, just like my first convention, I am solely responsible for my membership dues and attendance. Nonetheless, I always find a way to attend because it is important to me, and I do see the value in the HFTP organization – especially the conventions which help me grow, year after year.
Throughout the years, both of the management and companies I worked for have supported employee personal development in some fashion. In regards to HFTP, some have supported financially while others would at least grant the time away from work in order to participate in the convention. As an HFTP member, you already know that keeping up on industry changes are important for the success of your personal performance and growth as well as your company’s security and strategic advantage. The real test of your commitment to learn is when crunch time comes and you realize you have not committed to attend a convention, or participated in a chapter meeting and/or e-learning via the web. You try your hardest to convince and remind your employer how valuable HFTP is to the company and that it is imperative that you attend the convention.
Sometimes we find that our company will not pay for the convention, give us the time off to attend, or we are too busy at work trying to get through budget season. From personal experience, I have encountered different levels of excuses or reasons that have prevented me from attending. For example, I was not able to attend HITEC® or the Controllers Conference this past June due to work priorities, but I did not let that stop me from learning. I made it a personal priority to attend HFTP’s Digital Learning Day to obtain my educational fix as I counted down and looked forward to the main event of the year: Annual Convention!
The countdown is on! In one week, I will be in Las Vegas, Nevada USA ready to learn. I will never forget what a chapter member once said to me: “HFTP stands for Having Fun Through Participation.” HFTP is more than just a place to learn, it is a place where your peers will challenge you to be a better you. They lead by example and you in turn can lead by example for others. So, if you have not registered yet, it is not too late. Go to HFTP.org to register today, and get ready to learn. #HFTPinLV