Letter from the HFTP Global President: We Have a Lot to Celebrate

At the ocean-inspired Annual Tribute to Success at the HFTP 2019 Annual Convention, newly-installed HFTP Global President Michael Levie spoke about what to expect from HFTP in 2020, outlining his vision for the association for the next year and beyond. Michael shares here some of what he spoke about that evening.


Watch Michael Levie’s entire speech during the 2019 Annual Tribute to Success.


By: Michael Levie, CHTP  — 2019-2020 HFTP Global board president

I would like to begin by taking this opportunity to share some of the successes I believe we should celebrate from this past year.

First of all, we should celebrate the successful president’s year of my predecessor, Scot Campbell, CHTP. Scot’s contribution to HFTP has been incredible and very valuable. We all know he can be shy to share his opinion but, in all sincerity, his insights and experience serve HFTP every day and makes us a stronger, better association. Scot, on behalf of all of us… Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate Tom Smith, CHAE for having received the 2019 Paragon Award for his incredible contributions to HFTP and our industry. Actually, Tom, twice the congratulations are in order. Allow me to also say thank you on behalf of all of those who so tirelessly volunteer to make HFTP better.

Volunteerism can happen big or small — through supporting chapters or through providing education at conferences. Over the years, we have seen so many people contribute, and let this be a huge invitation to all. Participate, big or small — it is so rewarding. This is my call to action to all HFTP members to participate actively.


Are you not yet an HFTP member? We invite you to join the association.


Talk about a successful year, or should I say years… even better, decades. Thank you to Frank Wolfe, CAE and the entire HFTP team for their relentless work and devotion. I have never met such a cohesive team that picks up all of the challenges for our association and transforms them into successes. (Obviously, the task for Frank is not actually all that tough, as we are one united association with only one goal, one mission and no controversy at all… right?) I say that jokingly as in truth, we represent so many needs, yet come together to form the most incredible association in the world.

So, let us talk a little more about our HFTP organization for a moment. It encompasses finance and technology professionals representing hotels, clubs and other hospitality companies. All members benefit first and foremost from each other’s presence and knowledge, the willingness to share and, yes, become friends. HFTP offers so many services, education, certification and conferences, and it has a huge influence on the entire hospitality industry.

The Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) is a worldwide standard on how our industry compares to each other. The acquisition of the rights of USALI will allow HFTP to play a major role on the financial vertical of our industry and be in touch with and within reach of all hotels in the world. It affords the opportunity to share and direct the content to other areas in hospitality where USALI can be significant.

Traditionally offered by book, HFTP now has the opportunity to introduce this in a more digital, packaged version that has a larger and more dominant reach to hundreds of thousands of hotels globally. One thing for sure — USALI is of vital importance to all of our finance members.

In the same vein, HITEC is the USALI for hospitality technology members. The HITEC brand has represented HFTP strongly and steadily in the United States for many years, but it is now also in Europe and the Middle East — and next year will extend all the way to the far east with HITEC Asia 2020.

HITEC and USALI are invaluable resources that represent our organization strongly and will produce funds to allow us to carry on and support all of the great work being done for all HFTP members.

The association’s membership in the U.S. has grown steadily over the years with an incredible rate of retention. It is our hope that planting the flags of HITEC and USALI will allow us to grow to a similar measure internationally — beyond the U.S. borders. More knowledge, more sharing and more innovation will propel our members forward.

Let’s fast forward and look ahead to the year 2050 for a moment. That is only 30 years from now. What does our association look like then? I cannot make an exact prediction; I have no crystal ball. What we do know, however — Our members will still want to meet each other, share their best practices and challenges they face, celebrate and bring tribute to our joint successes.

For that, I believe we should continue to work closely together with other leading associations. HSMAI, AH&LA, HTNG, CHTA — These are a few examples. I am sure there are other associations to team up with nationally and internationally. These partnerships allow us to display leadership in the hospitality industry, contribute to the students and young professionals who represent the future of our industry, balance the equality of all members as we honor the women in hospitality and more.

We have a lot to celebrate together and a lot to be grateful for. We have a super strong and well-funded association with the best Austin-based global team and absolutely the best membership base… Yes, all of you (or should I say all of us).

Thank you for trusting me to serve on the HFTP Global board. This is a truly humbling experience. As your president, I will give my all to contribute to the many opportunities we have ahead of us next year and envision even more success for the years to come.

Michael Levie, CHTP is the 2019–2020 president of the HFTP Global Board and currently serves as chief operations officer for citizenM Hotels.

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