When I received the email about the upcoming HFTP Club and Hotel Controllers Conference and saw the location was sunny Los Angeles, which I have traveled through but never really had a chance to explore, I decided that I wanted to go. The “why” never came up until I actually submitted the request for approval to my employer, and had to make a case for it.
HFTP is the first professional organization that I have belonged to, aside from my professional accounting association. Initially, I was invited along to the local chapter meetings, which take place monthly at different clubs and hotels in the area. Other than the attraction of great lunches and wines mid-day, as each property brings out their best to impress the rest, the sessions always provided interesting and varied educational topics that I was able to apply in my daily work.
Last year I had the opportunity to attend my first HFTP regional conference in Seattle, Wash. It was an amazing experience because I had the chance to meet colleagues from different clubs, very different parts of US and Canada, and was able to truly see our business through a wider scope. I learned that the same operations can face completely different challenges just based on geographical location and climate, among many other variables. It is needless to say that my LinkedIn network at least doubled in size.
Because most people come to a club when they want to get away from the day-to-day, a large part of our business is catered to recreation and relaxation of our members. This is also a time when people expect to feel pampered and cared for, which means that the quality of services we offer will literally make or break us. So it is important to be able to share our experiences and learn from each other in order to deliver the unforgettable experience that will ensure our guests and members will return time and time again.
So now my feet are itching to be on my way to the City of Angels, to experience the Club and Hotel Controllers Conference, to see old friends and make new connections. I am looking forward to seeing the wonderful HITEC exhibits and participating in the education sessions. I am eager to find out where the new technological advances will take us in the near future and I hope to bring back new ideas that will enhance our club’s member experience.
Monica Henegar is the controller at Capilano Golf and Country Club in West Vancouver, British Columbia and is a member of the HFTP British Columbia chapter.