One of the missions for HFTP is to be a source and resource for the industry in matters relating to finance and technology. In order to be successful at this mission it is important to ask those who are at the forefront of the issues: “what is keeping you up at night,” and “what challenges do you see on the horizon.” Using this insight, HFTP can identify what role it can play to help advance the industry, by either: bringing awareness, preparing the industry through education or helping identify or develop a solution.
In the past HFTP has set up forums with C-level financial executives from hospitality to discuss these pressing issues, and this year HFTP brought back a council from years past: the Hospitality Finance Advisory Council. Primarily the purpose of the council is to serve in an advisory capacity to HFTP on the topics, products and services offered from the finance perspective to our members. The first meeting was held last month, May 18, at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and all who attended concluded that it was most productive. Special thanks to Christopher Garland, senior vice president of operations/finance for Four Seasons and HFTP Global Board director for agreeing to chair the committee and organizing a comprehensive agenda.
Topics of discussion, included:
- Recruiting/retention of talent;
- Ethics (mergers/acquisitions – foreign entities) seems to be a relevant topic due to recent activity in the industry and also to meet CHAE maintenance requirements;
- Defining segmentation to understand OTA costs and who at the property level should be responsible for analyzing and managing these costs;
- The affect of disrupters to the hospitality industry and studying their models to counteract or mimic what they provide;
- New DOL ruling and how to mitigate these costs and remain in compliance;
- The evolving role of the DOF at the property with many facing outsourced functions, how to define this role; and
- Paying bounties and preventing system hacks through employee training, and accountability of employee if breaches occur.
As the day came to an end, the group had identified great educational topics for both of the HFTP Financial Executive Exchanges (Hotel and Club), webinars, conference sessions, potential research and articles for The Bottomline. HFTP is constantly looking for more ways for our members to see the value in their membership and keeping you on the forefront of issues affecting finance and technology.
Arlene Ramirez, CHAE, CHE, CHIA, MBA (@) is the 2015-2016 HFTP Global president. She is principal at ADR Hospitality Consulting and on the faculty at the C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston. Ramirez is also a frequent speaker at HFTP Global events.