April 17, 2016 — A Day Hospitality Cried

This weekend, we received the sad news that John Cahill, CHTP has passed away. John was a significant and active member of the HFTP family, including an HFTP Global Past President, inductee to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame and an HFTP Paragon Award recipient. He was a great influencer in building the technology arm  of our association. Here is my small tribute to John:

Cahill_John 02A long, long time ago
As I recall now
John Cahill went the extra mile
He knew that given a chance
He could unite technology and finance
And help those in hospitality smile.

But today Facebook made me shiver
A post that was delivered
Bad news on the computer screen
That John would no longer wear his Irish Green

I quickly thought of Oma
His beautiful and loving bride
Thought about our industry
And how much more technology can provide
I realized deep inside
That today would be the day hospitality cried.*

In challenging times, there are few things that can provide solace to an individual, to families, to mentees or to an industry. However, John Cahill, CHTP had the uncanny ability to do that very thing. From shots being fired at him to being present in a country whose leader was assassinated and whom he had just met with hours before, from the reorganization of a company to the horrible events of 9/11, John was a rock. No matter how deep I reach and no matter how many of those whose comments I have seen, there is no one that can offer the solace that the hospitality industry needs right now.

John Cahill PresidentHospitality includes many legends, icons, paragons and just great people. John Cahill was all of those types of people and many more. As a pillar of HFTP (and in the beginning IAHA), John brought ideas and concepts to our association that were merged into the successful organization that we are today. He leaves an enormous legacy to the world and to his family. John always thought that it was paramount that HFTP represent both segments of our organization and worked toward that goal.

John had many dreams and with Aileen at his side was able to see them come to fruition. However, there was one thing that he wished would have been different. Since he was from the technology side of the industry, he always said that the “T” for technology should have been put in our name before the “F” for Finance. He always teased that it just wasn’t fair that finance was first because of the alphabet.

So for the next 24 hours in John Cahills honor, the “T” will come before the “F”.

Based on inspiration from Don Mclean*

Wolfe_Frank_150Frank Wolfe, CAE, is the CEO of 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

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About the Author: Frank Wolfe


  1. In many ways, John was my generation’s version of his mentor, John Pignataro. John P was a mentor to many of us, in the late ’70s and ’80s, including me. Aside from being so active in and important to HFTP (and he was), John C and was my generation’s mentor to many of the next generation of hospitality technology leaders. He was overly generous with his time and devoted to his family, our industry and HFTP. How he kept the balance is beyond me. I first met John when he was a senior manager in the IT Department at Sheraton Hotels. He went on to leading the IT Department at InterContinental Hotels’ American Division for a while, then moved to Denihan Hospitality. He was great role model and friend. John possessed a terrific sense of humor and a unique sense of direction. He also had an uncanny sense of knowing what was the right thing to do and communicated it in style and grace. His influence will be felt, if not fully recognized, for many years to come.

  2. Thank you Frank for writing this with such love and respect. John will be greatly missed by all. 🙁

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