Set Your Professional Goals for 2021: Learn, Engage and Become a Leader

Letter from HFTP Global President Mark Pate

Written by: Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA

Okay – raise your hand if there were times in this last year you had had enough or hit a challenge that you knew was impossible to overcome – Believe me, my hand is up and waving. But we faced and overcame those challenges and now we are in a brand-new year: 2021! It is a new beginning for you personally and professionally and new opportunities to serve our great association, HFTP.

One of the best opportunities to serve is to pursue that leadership role in HFTP that you have been thinking about for so long. I will be straight with you – unless you are a superstar in the hospitality industry it’s probably going to take some hard work to be selected for the HFTP Global Board of Directors or the Executive Committee. Let me share some advice and tips that I received from a wise mentor when I first began this journey many years ago.

First of all, volunteer right where you are now. Hopefully, you are part of a local member chapter or student chapter – they are always looking for folks to help organize their events and serve on their board. These opportunities will prove invaluable in honing your leadership skills.

With all this great experience, it’s time to take your skill set to a whole new level – volunteering to serve on any of the amazing councils and committees that help get the work of HFTP done. By serving on a council, you will meet some of the most talented people in the hospitality industry. You will also be working with the phenomenal HFTP Austin team – the men and women who make HFTP work on a daily basis.

I have had the privilege to serve on the CHAE (Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive) and CHTP (Certified Hospitality Technology Professional) Advisory Councils, the Young Professionals Council, the HITEC Advisory Council, the HFTP Annual Convention Education Advisory Council, the Education Advisory Council and the Editorial Review Council that have been formed over the years. It is by serving on these councils that you are introduced to the inner workings of HFTP and face the challenges that come with moving a one-of-a-kind association like HFTP forward.

Getting involved as early as possible in your career, both in the association and in the hospitality industry, will help prepare you to serve on the Executive Committee and Global Board. To make it even easier for you, we have outlined the details of the application process (keep this close at hand). 

Qualifications to serve on the Global Board and Executive Committee are detailed in the HFTP Bylaws – specifically Articles VI, VII and VIII. For more information on position descriptions, requirements, or just if you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to The applications for the Global Board and Executive Committee are now available on the HFTP website; the deadline to complete and submit your application is April 1, 2021.

Also, here are some important deadlines for the Advisory Council application to keep in mind:

  • Awards and Recognition Council: Apply by January 31
  • Hotel Finance Advisory Council and the HITEC Europe Advisory Council: Apply by February 28
  • Young Professionals Advisory Council: Apply by March 31
  • Club Advisory Council and Membership Concierge Advisory Council: Apply by August 30
  • HITEC Advisory Council, Annual Convention Education Advisory Council, HITEC Dubai Advisory Council and Education Advisory Council: Apply by October 31
  • CHAE Advisory Council and CHTP Advisory Council: Apply by December 31

It truly is the season to take that next important step in increasing your leadership role within HFTP. You may be surprised how this will build your confidence to move your own career forward in areas you never imagined.

Let me offer one more item – As I pursued both the Global Board and Executive Committee, I kept a lot of notes; and I have had the privilege of sharing these with several friends that decided to start this wonderful journey. I would be glad to share these with you also. Just let me know how I can help you get started.

Until next time…

Mark Pate Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA is the 2020-2021 HFTP Global Board President. He is assistant controller & IT director for Highpointe Hotel Corporation.

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About the Author: Briana Gilmore