Written by: Fitzroy A. Walker
Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) Jamaica Chapter celebrated its 50th Anniversary by hosting its 12th Annual Educational Seminar at the luxurious Sandals Montego Bay Conference Center on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
The one-day seminar entitled Global Challenges, Regional Solutions featured a host of local and international speakers including HFTP’s Global President Scot Campbell, who provided an excellent presentation on HFTP benefits and membership, encouraging persons to become a part of this great institution. Keynote speaker David Ellis, vice president of investigations at SecurityMetrics provided an exceptional insight on cybersecurity challenges, current and future predictions. The audience was intrigued and was left asking for more.
Presenter Glenn Osterloh, regional financial controller and head of compliance at Sandals Resorts International provided an insightful and interesting session on EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — while Wayne Cummings, group commercial director at Sandals Resorts International provided an update on developments within the Jamaican Tourism Sector. People were particularly interested in the recently announced pension plan for the tourism sector.
Motivational speaker Tyler Enslin was a welcomed addition to the lineup and captivated the audience as he shared with the audience the various characteristics of actions to be taken now, in order to become successful in the future.
The Tax Administration of Jamaica provided an important update on new developments in the country’s taxation rules.
Hector Negron of Optimus wowed the audience with developments in technology and was the main provider of treats and gadgets for the audience. Kudos to Optimus for an excellent video production as well as putting together the flyer for promoting our event. Many of the attendees, especially the younger ones, are still engrossed with the state- of- the -art earbots. Two lucky persons walked away with Kindles (with Alexa), also provided as spot prizes by Optimus.
Special commendations and recognition were given to stalwart HFTP veteran Joe Hylton who received his lifetime achievement award. Joe has been a member of the HFTP Jamaica Chapter for 49 years and humbly acknowledged his certificate of appreciation, as presented by HFTP Global Director Scot Campbell. Joe generously provided an immediate gate prize of $100 USD to a lucky attendee.
The student body was well represented with attendees from University of Technology, Moneague Community College, Montego Bay Community College, Northern Caribbean University, Hopewell High and University of the West Indies. Four well-deserving students from these schools received bursaries of J$50,000 towards their tuition.
Finally, special thanks are being extended to a host of sponsors including: Sandals Resorts, HFTP Global, Round Hill Resort, Digicel Business, Optimus, Caribbean Producers, Keisha Fabulous Décor, Naturally Orchids, Kingsley Jarret, Billy Craig Insurance Brokers, Cleveland Hill and others.
Fifty years is a great achievement for any organization to celebrate. The chapter remains committed to fulfilling its mandate of remaining relevant and current by garnering the support of the local hospitality sector, encouraging partnership with our local universities and colleges and building our membership base and networking opportunities.
We know that people are looking forward to celebrating with us next year. We remain upbeat and enthusiastic in achieving our strategic mission of becoming the global authority on hospitality education and technology. With our thrust towards ongoing training and involvement of our local community and with the support of the HFTP Global office, we will continue to shine and make our chapter proud.
On behalf of the HFTP Jamaica Chapter, thank you to all again for the unwavering support as we look to the growth and opportunities forthcoming. It was a very successful event. See you again next year!
Fitzroy A. Walker is the president of the HFTP Jamaica Chapter and regional financial controller, Jamaica at Sandals Resorts International.