On May 19-20, 2017, the HFTP North Texas Chapter hosted the 2017 HFTP Texas Regional Conference which brought together a mix of hospitality finance and technology professionals at the Embassy Suites Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas USA. Attendees came from across the state of Texas – as well as neighboring states – for a two-day, education-packed conference. On Friday morning, pre-conference activities started with a CHAE review to assist attendees in preparing for taking the CHAE exam.
When registration began on Friday, conference attendees were not only greeted by representatives from the HFTP North Texas Chapter, but also by two student volunteers from the HFTP Cougar Chapter at the University of Houston: Jiuen Kim and James Bonner. The HFTP North Texas Chapter provided complimentary registration for these two student volunteers. HFTP Global is known for supporting students via scholarships and complimentary event registration, and this mentality has trickled down to the local level.
When asked what she values the most about being a student member of HFTP, current HFTP Cougar Chapter President Jiuen Kim stated, “Being a student member of HFTP has given me unforgettable experiences. I have met students and professionals from different countries, states and cities. It is fun, inspiring and educational.”
The conference started off with opening remarks from HFTP North Texas Chapter President Angie Abston, CPA. Sessions on Friday covered topics such as workplace harassment, Excel workbooks and benchmarking fiduciaries. HFTP Director of Club Engagement & Regionals Linnet Baskett and HFTP Membership Retention Manager Fritz Johnson represented HFTP Global at this year’s Texas Regional – both provided current information on HFTP including upcoming events and membership happenings. Once the sessions on Friday were complete, it was time for networking and relaxation at Top Golf.
The second day started off with laughs offered up by Jan McInnis, keynote speaker and comedian, in her session “Finding the Funny in Change.” McInnis provided tips on diffusing tension, kicking off difficult conversations and facilitating communication with practical tips on finding humor in any situation. One of my favorite tips she provided was having fun with acronyms. The following are the examples she provided:
- RFP: “Really Frustrating Paperwork”
- CMS: “Crafty Money Stealers”
- HMO: “Having Many Oops”
- CFO: “Catching Felons Everywhere”
- CPA: “Cleaning up People’s Acts”
and my personal HFTP favorite…
- GHACP: “General Hospitality Accounting Crud that Perplexes People”
Other sessions on Saturday covered topics including: trends in cloud; managed service and co-location; budgeting and forecasting; and networking solutions. To close the conference on Saturday afternoon, HFTP Past President Jerry Trieber, CPA, CHAE, CFE, CFF, CGMA provided an excellent presentation called “It’s a Fraud World!” – he was followed by an engaging presentation on PCI and data breaches by fellow HFTP member David Johnson, CHTP.
Anyone that has organized an event knows the time and hard work that goes into the planning. I want to congratulate the HFTP North Texas Chapter and their conference planning committee on hosting a wonderful 2017 HFTP Texas Regional Conference. The next HFTP Texas Regional will be hosted by the HFTP Greater Houston Chapter in Houston, Texas in 2019. HFTP will be skipping 2018, because Houston, Texas USA will be the host city for the North American HITEC 2018, as well as the 2018 Club and Hotel Controllers Conference. As a member of the HFTP Greater Houston Chapter, we look forward to welcoming HFTP members to Houston over the next two years!
Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA is the executive director at the HFTP Americas Research Center at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Contact Tanya via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 713-743-1839.