Letter From the HFTP Global President: HFTP’s Latest Initiatives Fit Nicely into the Overall Picture

Written By: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE

When I first assumed my role as president of the HFTP Global board four months ago, my promise was to continue to deliver on those initiatives that have been put forth in the past several years. In addition, I stated that I would work together with the board, councils and HFTP team to address any relevant issue as the year moved forward. I knew that progress would be necessary — no, critical — for success.

Thus far, we have continued to deliver on those initiatives and take on new ones. So, this year has definitely started off as a year of progress — with several brand-new initiatives in the works, and in various stages of planning and implementation.

I would like to take an opportunity to provide updates on some of our latest ventures that are closely aligned with the important goals we set for HFTP at the beginning of my term.

New Initiatives Piloted by HFTP Advisory Councils

The accomplishments of HFTP’s advisory councils are integral to the association’s growth. Each advisory council is aligned with an objective that supports the long-term strategic plan for HFTP.

Our executive committee and several key advisory councils have been hard at work this year, including:

The CHAE and CHTP advisory councils.

  • The new Certification Advisory Program (CAP) officially launched on January 1, 2018. This program matches an approved active designee to a participating certification exam candidate to help prepare the candidate for the certification exam. Each advisory council has created a subcommittee of council members dedicated to reviewing and approving advisors for the program. Currently, they are in the secondary phase of matching approved advisors to candidates who have enrolled in the program. I am eager to follow up with more updates later in the year, once the candidates and advisors have started working closely together in preparation for the certification exam.
  • The certification councils are also well into the planning stages for new podcasts that will be released later this year. These downloadable podcasts are comprised of valuable exam content designed to help candidates study “on the go.” They can be played on your laptop, your phone or even in your car. More information will become available in the coming months, as we get closer to releasing these podcasts.

The Club Advisory Council.

  • The Club Advisory Council was instrumental in the creation of the Club Summit this year — a new conference designed to give club professionals advanced-level education addressing industry strategy, trends and engagement. The council collaborated on an educational agenda that will instruct attendees on how to: examine future trends; develop a strong workforce; define key performance indicators (KPIs); evaluate club ethics; ensure compliance; finance club improvements; and more.The first-ever Club Summit will be held next month (March 19-20) in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. I encourage you to check back here on HFTP Connect for a blog post on what took place during the event. There is still time to register if you would like to attend.

The (NEW!) Young Professionals Advisory Council.

  • Many talented, enthusiastic HFTP members have recently applied to join the Young Professionals Advisory Council. This new council is going to be fundamental in giving our younger members a more visible, active role in contributing to the future success of HFTP. Our executive committee is currently reviewing all of the applications to finalize the council roster and send their formal invitations. In the coming months, I look forward to providing an update on the council’s progress, once it has become officially established and their collaboration is underway.

Preparing for GDPR

Global data protection is a pivotal topic in the hospitality industry. At the center of the conversation right now: the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). There are less than three months until these regulations are in effect. HFTP and its Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) Task Force have been working hard to increase GDPR awareness, as well as develop educational resources to benefit the industry and reduce the risk of non-compliance.

  • Just last month, HFTP launched the brand-new GDPR Bytes website. This aggregated content site serves as a daily news outlet that brings together specific publications, reports, feature articles, white papers and more — all in one place.
  • HFTP and the GDPR/DPO Task Force recently developed a Vendor Compliance Query Template, translated in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. This letter template is intended to be used by lodging organizations to inquire about GDPR compliance from their vendors.
  • The task force also developed a standardized HDPO Job Description,  highlighting the role and qualities of a hospitality data protection officer.
  • Just out are the Hospitality Organization Flow Charts, a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more.
  • In addition to these brand-new resources, HFTP has released an extensive range of available GDPR tools including, but not limited to: publications; compliance tools; webinars; blogs; podcasts; and more.

A Robust Webinar Series: 3 Webinars in the Next 30 Days

HFTP strives to provide a solid, comprehensive schedule of ProLinks webinars that provide members insight and illuminating education on some of the industry’s most pressing topics.

There are currently three webinars planned for the next 30 days, including:

  • MARCH 22, 2018: How to Measure Social Media Return on Investment (ROI)
  • March 27, 2018: Chapter Leadership Series: Chapter’s Responsibility for Taxes and 990 Filings
  • APRIL 10, 2018: The Basics of Ethics

As an association with such a strong focus on technology, we have moved our certification review series online. The three-part CHTP webinar review series will take place in April, while the CHAE webinar review series will be held in May. Visit our webinars page for upcoming dates, as well as information on registering for a webinar. I hope that you will take advantage of these educational opportunities, complimentary to HFTP members.

The Future Depends on What You do Today

For the past 15 years, the HFTP Americas Research Center has been tracking trends and publishing the HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey. The data gathered in this survey is intended to help industry executives set compensation levels, budget annually, analyze staffing levels, and more.

HFTP is currently in the process of collecting responses for the 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey. I encourage you to participate. Your input is essential to help HFTP maintain this valuable record of data.

As we continue moving onward into the year, I am enthusiastic to mark the progress of these and many other plans that are in the works for HFTP and moving full steam ahead.

Timothy Nauss, CHAE is the 2017–2018 president of the HFTP Global Board. Currently serving as chief financial officer of Studio City Macau, Nauss possesses senior management experience in key international & domestic markets, at property, regional and corporate levels overseeing multi-property assets.

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