HFTP Inaugural Leadership Excellence Series Has Launched to Great Success: An Update

Written by: Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, CHE, CHIA, CAHTA

It’s a book club! It’s a webinar! It’s a virtual forum! It’s the HFTP 2022 Leadership Excellence Series (LES), a new offering of HFTP to its members. President John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” So, while some of us believe that individuals are born to become leaders, leadership really has to be developed, and that learning should never cease. Lifelong learning is paramount. If we do not move forward and continue to learn, we will simply be left behind.

HFTP understands that its members are leaders. On a daily basis, we take on different leadership roles, big and small, to move our organization to the next level. And, with membership professional development as its core purpose, HFTP inaugurated the LES as part of its virtual education offerings to its membership. The program is a very select one in that it only takes in 100 members. Within days of the LES announcement, the registration was full! The 100 are from all over the United States, Bahamas, Canada, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They are seasoned and experienced hospitality professionals — everything from CFOs in clubs and hotels to student members. They were invited to join a private community forum on the HFTP online platform, where they introduced themselves to each other before the orientation session on January 26. The program is led by two HFTP Global Board directors, Mr. Arthur Burger, CHAE+ and Mr. James Bina, CHAE+, CHTP. After the orientation, Burger and Bina encouraged the participants to post on the forum as to what they believe a leader should be. Some of the participants even posted articles that they had read about leadership to share. Yes, this is a very interactive program!

So, tell me more about LES 2022.

As mentioned, LES is exclusively available to active HFTP members. The program affords members the opportunity to cultivate their leadership skills and build knowledge through a series of learning components and opportunities to access models of leadership within the association and hospitality industry, culminating in special recognition and a celebration at the HFTP 2022 Annual Convention. The event will be held on September 14 through 16, in Austin, Texas USA. The LES program includes the following components: Excellence in Leadership Lecture Series, Leadership Book Club, Current Leadership Topic Webinars, and Leadership Ideas Exchange Sessions. The group just finished the first Current Leadership Topic Webinar entitled “They Drive Me Crazy! The Generational Story You’ve Never Heard” by Cara Silletto, and is looking forward to the upcoming Leadership Lecture Series on March 24.

The March topic is “The Long and Winding Career Road” presented by a well-respected panel (moderated by Glenn Haussman of the NoVacancy Podcast) including Shannon McCallum of Resorts World Las Vegas, as well as past HFTP Global Presidents Scot Campbell, CHTP and Lyle Worthington, CHTP. Many participants cannot wait until April for the first Book Club discussion on Blue Ocean Shift with the discussion moderated by HFTP’s Immediate Past President Michael Levie, CHTP. If you have read the book, you will notice that Levie’s company, citizenM, was one of the cases presented in the book to highlight how leaders position their companies and work with their teams to become successful. By the way, the second Book Club is focused on two books: Risk Forward and Nuts! – Southwest Airline’s Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. This will be moderated by current HFTP President, Mark Pate, CHAE, CHTP, MBA. The LES hosts an event every month for the 100, so the participants can all keep learning and advancing! Also, the 100 participants will have an opportunity to meet in June during HITEC Orlando for the second Leadership Lecture.

Leadership development is not for oneself. Real leaders become leaders, not to make a better life for himself or herself, but to make life better for other people and for his or her organization, workplace environment. Leadership is not management, and a good manager is not necessarily a good leader. True leaders maximize the strengths of others, and together, the team works to achieve a goal.

If you are disappointed that you missed the 2022 inaugural LES, not to worry — the 2023 LES will be here before you know. And, for now, all the 2022 sessions are open to all HFTP members. So, watch out for the email announcements from HFTP, and continue to sign up and join in with the 2022 LES group in the other sessions. For the LES 2022-100: congratulations for taking the initiative to be in this incredible program. See everyone over Zoom soon!

Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, CHE, CHIA, CAHTA is a professor and Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair at the Conrad N. Hilton College, University
of Houston in Houston, Texas USA.
 She is an HFTP Global past president and a recipient of the HFTP Paragon Award.

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