Written by: Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA
I don’t think I can adequately express how exciting last week was to me —the first-ever CYBER HITEC. I was amazed by the keynote speakers, the phenomenal education sessions, the high-tech booths of our business partners and getting to meet some of the women leading in hospitality technology today.
And then, on last Thursday at the HFTP Annual Business Meeting, I had the privilege of becoming your HFTP Global President (even if it was done virtually). I guess I should take a minute and introduce myself. My name is Mark Pate, and I am the Assistant Controller & IT Director for Highpointe Hotel Corporation in Pensacola, Florida — a great job that I have been at for almost 32 years. I am also a husband, Dad to four great kids and Grandpa to five amazing grandkids.
Did you miss the HFTP Annual Business Meeting last week? Watch Mark Pate’s induction as the 2020-2021 HFTP Global Board President, as well as the awards ceremony and important updates from other members of HFTP leadership.
I always wondered what it would feel like to be the HFTP Global President and now I know — blessed and very grateful. Every time that I attend a council meeting, board meeting or one of HFTP’s great conferences or technology shows I am truly amazed by the HFTP Austin staff, our business partners, our allied association members, our young professionals and student chapter members.
Most of all, I am amazed by our one-of-a-kind HFTP members — whether they be from the club or hotel sector, technology or finance. Their passion for our industry and their willingness to share their knowledge or volunteer in any area have always inspired me to give my very best.
To say that 2020 has been a challenging year would be an understatement. Each of us have been asked to make adjustments at home and at work that we could not have imagined a few months ago. But, it is during these challenging times that we find out what the important things really are and who we can depend on.
That is exactly what I have been able to witness firsthand at HFTP. The amazing folks in Austin and your leadership team have met countless times to discuss and implement the changes that will allow HFTP to survive this present challenge and be in a position to thrive and lead our industry again as we march into the future.
My pledge to you is that HFTP will continue to pursue the highest quality education in finance and technology in the hospitality industry — to host the best conferences and technology shows in the industry and continue to be the spokes group for issues that are near and dear to the hearts of our members. Our goal will be to position HFTP to soar to even greater heights than ever before in the coming year.
But, to accomplish all of this we need your assistance. Many of you will be asked to continue in the valuable leadership roles you serve in now. For others, we will be asking you to serve on councils, committees and special task forces that you might have never considered in the past. It is only as we work together as a team that HFTP will be able to continue its leadership role in the industry.
Another goal I would challenge you with is your own personal education. Let 2021 be the year that you finally earn your CHAE or CHTP certification or your USALI certificate. As your industry knowledge grows you become more valuable in your profession, you encourage others to do likewise and you demonstrate the very reason that HFTP exists.
I hope I have been able to communicate how excited I am about this new year and all of its possibilities. Thank you for being such an important part of the HFTP family — the greatest hospitality association in the world!