This week in Part III of a series introducing the HITEC Advisory Council — whose collective experiences and industry knowledge influence and refine the world-class education program at HITEC each year — meet Mike Dickersbach, Donna Hale and Mark Haley. In this blog post, they give their insights into what it is like to serve on the council and why you should attend the world’s first-ever Cyber HITEC.
This is the third post in a blog series introducing the Cyber HITEC Advisory Council. Read Part I and Part II on HFTP Connect and stay tuned for the rest of the series leading up to Cyber HITEC, taking place live October 27-29, 2020 on a computer near you.
“HITEC is the number one, most valuable conference that deals with the big picture of technology,” says Dickersbach. “It is where everyone, regardless of what they do, comes together to learn and see what is trending in our industry. It is why I attend and will continue to attend.
“The council is a great way to get involved and to help shape the content of the event — to have a pulse on the industry and deliver material and information that people can use in their jobs.”
One of the benefits of a Cyber HITEC is the ability for council members like Dickersbach to take more advantage of this educational content they help deliver. “I think for the first time, we will be able to see content that we may not have necessarily had time to attend in the past.” This accessibility to the education sessions is due to the fact that sessions will be recorded and available on-demand for a month following the live event. And, another added benefit? “I get to see my family after the sessions.”
Dickersbach is senior vice president at RipplePoint. He is a technology business professional with a focus on digital strategy, business integration, innovation and revenue growth. His career is rooted in hospitality, with his first job as a restaurant manager for a DoubleTree hotel.
“What I adore most about attending HITEC and being part of the HITEC Advisory Council, “says Hale, “is the opportunity to share my thoughts and vision with other tech leaders in the industry. I not only have the opportunity to develop the educational sessions — I also have input from real-life experiences, and the opportunities that I would like to see in hospitality technology.”
Hale is the managing partner and vCIO with 5P Consulting. If you attended last year’s HITEC in Minneapolis, you may recognize her; Hale moderated the inaugural Women in Hospitality Technology (WIHT) luncheon, and she is also known for moderating the ethics session the past few years.
She is a veteran technology executive with decades of hands-on leadership experience in IT infrastructure, compliance and risk management, which includes the past 12 years in the hospitality industry.
For Haley, it is the people who are the most valuable asset in working for the hospitality industry and attending HITEC. “HITEC is unrivaled as a networking opportunity,” says Haley.
“Learning from peers in the hospitality industry about their challenges and strategies to overcome those challenges is a key HITEC benefit. Learning from the vendor partners on what is new and hot is equally important — a crucial means to stay current and on top of the fast-moving world of hospitality technology.”
Haley is partner at Prism Consulting and a senior consultant in hospitality technology and marketing, focusing in all aspects including property systems, central systems and internet marketing as well as distribution and CRM. He started out as a front desk clerk in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Haley is also involved on the local level with HFTP, the producers of HITEC, having served as board member, vice president and president of the HFTP New England Hotel Chapter.
Return to HFTP Connect Next Week
Check back on HFTP Connect next week for the final part of this blog series, introducing the rest of the HITEC Advisory Council ahead of Cyber HITEC. This interactive online event will present a comprehensive education, exhibits and networking program, starting with three live days (October 27-29, 2020) and continuing on-demand access to the event’s resources for one month (through November 25). Register to attend today.