Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals
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|Founded||(October 26, 1952) As the National Association of Hotel Accountants (NAHA)|
Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) is an American global professional association for members that serve in the financial and technology areas of the hospitality industry.
The idea of the association first began in 1925, when an organization known as the Hotel Accountants Association of New York was established to create a manual that detailed a uniform system of keeping accounts for hotels. Founded on October 26, 1952 when a group of accountants from the Hotel Accountants of New York and the Texas Hotel Accountants Association came together at the Hotel Lexington in New York, the organization that would become HFTP was originally known as the National Association of Hotel Accountants (NAHA). As the scope of the organization and the nature of the industry changed, its name has also changed, next becoming the National Association of Hotel-Motel Accountants in 1965, then the International Association of Hospitality Accounts in 1973 and most recently, in 1997, when Frank I. Wolfe, who has been the CEO since 1994, changed it to HFTP. Based out of the Texas capital, Austin, HFTP opened, as of 2006, its European headquarters in Maastricht, the birthplace of the European Union and the central city of the Dutch province of Limburg.
Features of the Organization
As an organization, HFTP offers professional certifications, events and awards to members of the hospitality industry.
HFTP offers and administers two industry-specific certifications. The first, the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) designation, was established in 1981. It denotes a specialization in the area of hospitality accounting. In mid 1990s, HFTP teamed up with the Educational Institute (EI) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to create a second certification program for the hospitality industry. The Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP), a designation for hospitality professionals who specialize in technology related to the industry, was created in 1994.
Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) is a pitching competition launched at the 2015 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC). Produced in partnership with Capital Factory, E20X gathers start-ups to pitch cutting-edge, transformative hospitality technology to an audience of venture capitalists, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and HITEC attendees. The winning start-up receives a cash prize and a HITEC Tech Talk speaking opportunity. In addition, participants are showcased all week in the E20X kiosk pavilion of the HITEC exhibit hall. Starting in 2016, attendees vote for their favorite startup and participating the companies have access to industry mentors.
Each year, the company hosts the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC). First established in 1972, the convention is focused on new and emerging technologies in the hospitality industry. In 2006, HITEC unveiled GUESTROOM 2010, a prototype hotel room that featured both technologies ready to be implemented in hotel rooms immediately as well as conceptual ideas for hotel rooms in the future. Now called GUESTROOM 20X, the feature remains a part of HITEC, as well as a traveling exhibit at other hospitality expos.
International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
HFTP established the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame in 1989 to recognize members who have made significant and lasting contributions to hospitality technology. Each year, the awards are presented at HITEC.
HFTP launched Pineapplesearch.com, a search site that focuses on news, articles and reports of primary interest to the hospitality industry on October 21, 2015 at the opening of the HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow in Bellevue, Washington. PineappleSearch.com is the world’s first hospitality search engine. The search site, powered by hsyndicate.org, is an aggregated content destination that places priority on information based results. The Pineapplesearch platform exclusively builds its content by collecting industry sources via publicly available RSS and XML feeds. The site goes beyond a basic search engine with its highly-customizable features that allow users to narrow search results, as well as tailor the site to hospitality-specific interests. In a basic search, a user can narrow results by date, information type, category and region. Registered users can also sign-up for news alerts on pre-selected topics, build a must read list and save queries for future use. Pineapplesearch does not use algorithms to ‘spider’ the internet for content. The search engine features content such as whitepapers, articles, journals, and other resources.
Frank I. Wolfe
Frank I. Wolfe, CAE has been HFTP's CEO since 1994. Wolfe started with the association in 1991 as its director of education. He has been featured in association, conference and industry publications including Convene Magazine, Association Management Magazine, MeetingTech Online and Hospitality Upgrade Magazine. He has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia and Bloomberg. In 2011, Wolfe was inducted into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame for his stewardship to the industry and his leadership with various hospitality technology projects over the past 20 years. In June 2010 he was recognized as a "Technology Trailblazer" by Hotel Business Magazine and in October 2010 was featured by Boardroom Magazine in an exclusive cover story interview. He also received the HFTP Paragon Award in 2002 and was included in Lodging magazine's "75 Profiles in Leadership" edition in 2000. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University where he received a degree in Health Administration and later attended graduate school there in the Counseling and Guidance Program. In 1992, he was awarded the Certified Association Executive designation (CAE), which is the association industry's highest designation. In June 2016, HFTP announced that Wolfe will remain as the association's CEO through May 2022.
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