Since 1999, HFTP has honored hospitality professionals that have made a significant and lasting contribution to both HFTP and the hospitality industry with the HFTP Paragon Award.
We are currently accepting nominations for the 2011 Paragon Award through August 12.
Since the Paragon Award is on our minds, we thought we’d catch up with one of the 2009 recipients – Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE, HFTP global past president and professor and associate vice president of undergraduate studies at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
1. What was your response when you found out you were going to receive the award?
I simply could not believe it. I remembered when I received the call and I was totally speechless. And it is difficult for a teacher who is used to talking all the time to be speechless.
2. What does the Paragon Award mean to you?
It means everything to me! The Paragon Award is the ultimate recognition that one can be granted by his or her peers. I am most humbled by it. A look at the list of past recipients tells you how prestigious this award is. I am really blessed. What the Paragon does is to fuel me with more reasons why knowledge sharing and volunteerism are important.
3. One of the reasons you received the Paragon Award was for your influence in student membership with HFTP. Why is that important to you?
Students are our future. As financial professionals, we all understand the importance of managing our finances properly and growing our assets. Just like financial investments, student membership is our investment in strong human resources in the financial area. The students are the next generation of managers, controllers, directors of IT, CFOs, CIOs, etc. We need to grow them properly so they will lead the hospitality industry for us in the future.
4. Another reason you received the Paragon Award was for your industry research. What have you been working on?
My recent research has been on the financial performance in the club segment of our industry.
5. What do you think the future holds for the hospitality industry?
It is bright, of course. The hospitality industry is a people industry. As much as we love technology (especially in HFTP), we still need the human touch. So, traveling and experiencing the world — for both work and pleasure — will always exist. Hospitality is the love of human interaction — to learn from each other, to know about each other and to appreciate each other.
Nominate a Peer
You can learn more about the Paragon Award and who is eligible for the award on the HFTP web site. If you would like to nominate a peer for the 2011 Paragon Award, please fill out the application and turn it in by Friday, August 12. The Paragon Award will be given out at the 2011 HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow on October, 20 in Atlanta, Ga.