Written By: Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA
I had the great honor of attending the HFTP® Mid-South Atlantic Regional Conference last month in Raleigh, North Carolina USA from February 23–25, 2017. This was my first regional conference, so I really did not know what to expect. Having attended many HFTP Annual Convention and HITEC® events over the years, I wondered how a regional conference would compare. It did not take long to find out.
From the opening reception and sponsor showcase on Thursday evening, I found the conference organizers, attendees and sponsors very helpful, friendly and truly excited about being part of an HFTP event being held in their own backyard. We were also honored to have HFTP Director of Membership Development & Services Bryan Wood from the HFTP global office – located in Austin, Texas USA – in attendance. Bryan was able to answer many questions, and provide an inside view of all HFTP is doing to assist their chapter members.
Friday morning began bright and early with an exciting update on all HFTP has been planning for the coming year; 2017 will be the first year of multiple HITEC conferences – Amsterdam in March, Toronto in June and Dubai in November. This year’s Annual Convention will be held in Orlando, Florida USA – always a favorite location for many of the HFTP members. The association has also been working very hard in keeping all of its social media channels updated, as well as the valuable HFTP News resource for the members.
The Friday sessions covered topics such as: foundation for true success; update on the wage and hour law changes; new FASB lease requirements; strategies to increase potential; new cyber risks; and how to retire rich and happy. The Friday evening reception offered a great time for networking, and the dinner was outstanding. It was a super way to close out a busy day filled with top-notch education sessions.
The first Saturday session was a lively discussion concerning common hiring mistakes in the hospitality industry. HFTP Consulting Group Owner Terry Price, CPA, CHTP, CHAE closed the morning with a session on social media do’s and do not’s, and how to safeguard your valuable information.
My hat is off to HFTP’s Central Carolina Chapter, Charlotte Blue Ridge Chapter, South Carolina Chapter and the Central Virginia Chapter for putting together a regional conference that is well attended, offers outstanding education as well as many opportunities for networking with other HFTP members. In fact, I talked to several attendees from other chapters that attend this conference each year. I, like them, cannot wait until next year’s Mid-South Atlantic Regional Conference in Greenville, South Carolina USA at the Westin Poinsett from February 15–17, 2018 – see you there.
Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA is an assistant controller & IT director at Highpointe Hotel Corporation. He is also a current director on the HFTP Global Board.