Like any organization aiming to maintain a successful position, HFTP leaders are continually looking at ways to maintain importance in the hospitality finance and technology industry. This last week in Irving, Texas approximately 50 leaders gathered for an intense strategy meeting to brainstorm over five mega questions that will help move HFTP forward into the future. Discussions revolved around whether HFTP should expand globally, how to best accommodate a chapter structure going forward and new revenue streams for the association. Read a dispatch from HFTP Global President Daniel Conti, Jr., CHAE, CAM detailing the discussion at the Leadership Strategy Summit.
Participants were chosen applicants who demonstrated a commitment to the success of the organization, recognized leaders and HFTP stakeholders. In order to gain perspective from all levels of membership, HFTP’s Global Board of Directors and Executive Committee along with key HFTP Global staff were also in attendance.
Below are some of the thoughts given by participants coming out of the Summit. Stay tuned to HFTP news as it announces new initiatives based on these strategic discussions.
“I think it is important to have sessions such as these. It will help Global create a pool of potential board members, as well as get some great ideas,” said Laura Smith, MBA, CHAE, controller at Westwood Country Club in Austin, Texas and president of the Greater Austin Chapter.
“I learned so much about the inner workings of HFTP and why things did or didn’t happen. Getting to know many of the leaders of HFTP better gave me a new appreciation for the special group that is HFTP. I feel we did the easy part: the high level discussion and planning. Now the hard part comes when the HFTP staff has to flesh out these recommendations,” said Mark Pate, Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA assistant controller /IT director of Highpointe Hotel Corp. based in Gulf Breeze, Fla. and a member of the Mid-Florida Chapter.
Importance of Strategic Planning:
“HFTP has a vision as an association where they want to be. The leadership summit allows endorsement, critiques or suggestions as to what needs to be done to accomplish these goals. There is no greater feedback to be had than what they get from their members, partners and industry leaders!” said Richard Siegel, president and publisher of Hospitality Upgrade magazine based in Roswell, Ga. and an HFTP partner.
“HFTP’s mission is more alive than ever before, as was witnessed during the strategic session over the past few days. As the world around HFTP is evolving and changing, the association is looking to adapt where necessary and preparing for the future to expand its relevancy even more,” said Michael Levie of Citizen M based in Voorschoten, Netherlands, HFTP Global Director and member of the New York City Chapter.
“One thing is obvious — the winning equation for HFTP is brain power + passion. In the last two days, the ideas generated and the insightful discussions that took place all came from individuals who have the passion for our association and for the industry. We all had the best interest of the future of HFTP on our minds and in our heart,” said Agnes DeFranco CHAE, Ed.D., professor at the University of Houston based in Houston, Texas, HFTP Global past president and member of the Greater Houston Chapter.
“I believe that it is essential that on a regular basis, an association of professionals takes time out to revisit strategies for growth and determine whether or not the current structure is meeting the needs of the membership. I think that the group that was assembled took this methodology to heart and gave honest opinions on controversial topics, as well as new ideas to add to the groups collective brain trust that has made HFTP one of the top hospitality industry leaders,” said James Schiff, CPA, CHAE, controller at Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque, N.M. and a member of the New Mexico Chapter.
This meeting was so necessary! I am so glad we took the time to lock the big brains in a conference center and ask the big questions. Next step, ACTION!!!!,” said Toni Marie Bau, director of finance at the Portola Hotel and Spa based in Monterey, Calif. and President of the Monterey Chapter.
“I believe we walked away with a better direction for our current and future leaders. We still have a lot of homework to do, but I believe we have helped set HFTP on a path for success that embraces the future as opposed to just operating in the present,” said Wendy Zurstadt, CHAE, CPA, CAM Director of Customer Relations & Business Development for Northstar Technologies, HFTP Global Past President and a member of the Gold Coast Chapter.
“I believe sessions such as this are essential to keep the organization’s strategic plan current, innovative and relevant to the changing times. In order to keep a finger on the pulse of the membership, it is critical to involve an interested and active cross-section of participants to weigh-in on the issues discussed this year. I want to be a part of HFTP’s global success and am VERY excited about the future. I sincerely hope this type of meeting will be possible in the future,” said Sarah Ford, controller at the Doylestown Country Club in Doylestown, Pa. and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter.