What happens when 50 passionate HFTP leaders get in a room to discuss HFTP’s future? You get a lot of opinions, a lot of discussion and a lot of direction. Led by Cindy Estis Green, HFTP held the Leadership Strategy Summit in Dallas last week to discuss the mega issues facing the association. Keeping the core purpose of HFTP at the forefront — to lead and advance the hospitality profession by providing a forum for continuous learning and knowledge sharing — leaders from across the globe gathered to give their opinions and debate the direction of HFTP. Ultimately, we came away with a consensus on the proper direction and projects HFTP should be focusing on.
The group agreed that HFTP would continue its global expansion with a concentration on the Asian market. Items such as holding a HITEC Asia and expanding the HFTP office in Hong Kong were pushed to the forefront. This expansion follows through on the initiatives the original strategic planning committee put into place over 15 years ago. Further, this ties in to HFTP’s Big Audacious Goal of being “recognized as the essential source on finance and technology for the hospitality industry.” These ideas were met with great enthusiasm by all in attendance.
Also discussed at length was chapter operations and how to strengthen HFTP’s existing chapters. The leaders present understood that HFTP’s foundation derives from its North American chapter structure. It is important to note that, as global expansion is looked at, the existing structure may need to be adjusted for it to be understood and useful outside of North America. Chapters can have different meanings in different parts of the world. As one of our attendees from England pointed out, the only chapters that exist in England are those of the Hell’s Angels. HFTP is not quite at that level, so the issue was discussed with great debate. The result is that a chapter structure task force is being formed to address how the chapter structure and funding should exist both in North America and globally.
In addition to the chapter structure task force, there was extensive discussion on marketing and how to better promote HFTP throughout the world. HFTP will have an internal and external communication strategy study conducted to help us do a better job at communicating our message and furthering our brand. The communication strategy study will include all print, web and social media communications. The aim is to have this extensive plan allow us to not only communicate better with our current member base, but also set us up with communication methods currently being used by the incoming generation of young professionals.
Strategic discussions aside, there was plenty of “non-structured” opportunities for networking that took place over the two days of the meeting. Overall there were representatives from eight countries that took the time to help us shape the future of our association. I would like to personally thank everyone that participated. As always your passion, dedication and knowledge are what make HFTP the great association that it is.
Daniel N. Conti, Jr., CHAE, CAM, is the 2014-2015 Global President of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Conti is the Director of Finance at Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place in Jupiter, Fl, USA.