United States

Highlights from the HFTP Annual Convention and Tradeshow


The Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) Annual Convention and Tradeshow was held at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida on Oct. 17-20, 2012. With a festive feeling in the air, this was a special conference for the organization that is currently celebrating its 60th year anniversary.

As was reminisced at the convention, 25 hospitality accountants first organized the National Association of Hotel Accountants (NAHA) on Oct. 26, 1952. This small association of accountants has since grown into a global organization of hospitality financial and technology professionals with more than 70 chapters and approximately 4,800 members worldwide. The association has had four names over these last 60 years: NAHA, National Association of Hotel-Motel Accountants, International Association of Hospitality Accounts and finally HFTP.

This year's event began on a Wednesday morning with Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) exam reviews, followed by the exams themselves. Attendees did not have to wait long for the anniversary festivities to begin with a celebration that night, which included a champagne toast and the tradeshow where members had the opportunity to visit exhibitions highlighting a wide variety of current and coming financial and technology solutions.

Golf 20X debuted at the tradeshow, offering attendees a sneak peek at the leading-edge and near-future technologies for the golf industry of tomorrow.

Educational sessions started bright and early Thursday morning and continued until mid-day Saturday. Everyday featured a noteworthy keynote speaker with a continuous theme revolving around accepting personal responsibility for one's own success, each with its own twist.

One such interesting concept addressed how happiness promotes success—a challenge to the idea that one is happy as a result of being successful.

From the update on Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Clubs presented by Len Bartello, Ian Fetigan, Raymond Schmidgall and Wendy Zurstadt to the ever-pressing topic of healthcare reform presented by Richard Wald and a Live Hack Demo offered by Wenlock Free, attendees heard an array of topics presented by several recognizable names in the industry.

The agenda for the year featured the addition of a CFO track, which offered an even greater selection of sessions and focuses than in the past. Sessions geared to CFOs included The CFO/Treasury Management Forum presented by Michael Leibrock and Dan Newmann and Contracting in the 21st Century by Gregg Duff and Ruth Walters.

The team at McGladrey was again pleased to be asked to be part of the agenda with Philip Newman and Bob Salmore sharing their insight through their presentation of Running Your Club Like a Business: What it Really Means. Newman and Salmore led attendees through a list of ten questions first featured in Forbes magazine that businesses should never stop asking. They challenged private clubs in the not-for-profit environment to consider the fact that they too are businesses and therefore should also ask these questions of themselves incessantly. Clubs were encouraged to reflect on their purpose for existing, the identification and satisfaction of their target customers, the skills and appointments of their organizational leaders, the actions of their competition and more.

Finally, Friday night featured the much anticipated Around the World celebration where Raman Rama was installed as HFTP Global Board President. In attendance were several Allied Association guests. The fun-filled evening was comprised of outstanding food, drinks and plenty of dancing.

With this landmark convention marking 60 years of remarkable service to hospitality industry now in the rear view mirror, the road ahead is bound to hold even better views. See everyone for the next HFTP Annual Convention and Tradeshow in Dallas, Texas on Oct. 16-19, 2013!