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Record-Breaking registration at HFTP`s 2005 Annual Convention&Tradeshow

Serving as a great event to make professional links, the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ (HFTP) Annual Convention & Tradeshow was again a great success…

Serving as a great event to make professional links, the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ (HFTP) Annual Convention & Tradeshow was again a great success. A record-breaking 769 individuals registered for the conference held October 26–29 at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel in Myrtle Beach, SC. The convention featured education sessions covering important industry topics, networking, HFTP`s Annual Business Meeting and International Board installation. The eighth annual tradeshow was full, with 60 companies exhibiting.

Attendees experienced the benefit of the network of hospitality professionals HFTP provides. Frank Wolfe, CAE, HFTP`s executive vice President/CEO said, Because of the impact of this year`s hurricane season in the United States and the Carribean, our members who attended were reminded of how important the HFTP community is to them. One of the most special things about this year`s convention was that attendees heard first hand words of gratitude from members in New Orleans, Florida, and the Caribbean.

The education program offered five different education tracks, including Club, Hotel, General, Technology and International, covering topics such as revenue management systems, employment law, disaster recovery, and time management. In addition to the industry-relevant sessions, the convention featured the dynamic speakers Connie Podesta, MS, CSP, LPC; Christine Holton Cashen; and Eric Wahl. All three are professional speakers who offered entertaining and meaningful presentations.

The Annual Convention this year was a big hit, said Cammie Eaton, CHAE, president of the HFTP Greater Puget Sound Chapter in Seattle, Washington. I left the event feeling inspired by the fantastic speakers at the general sessions. I am grateful for the chance to have shared so many memorable moments with new contacts, colleagues and friends that I met at the events.

The tradeshow, held Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, featured exhibitors representing companies that offer a mix of hospitality industry services, such as a variety of software, insurance, tax consultants, payroll services, human resources, high-speed Internet, Internet marketing, audio-visual equipment and financial management solution providers.

As first-time exhibitors, the HFTP Annual Convention and Tradeshow was a huge success for us, said Peter Bepler, Vice President of Anybill Financial Services Financial Services. We were especially impressed by the highly qualified and receptive attendees, competent event management, and friendly show environment. We`re already making plans for next year`s show in Vancouver.

Educational and networking opportunities are invaluable to me,
said Tom Kean, Secretary of the HFTP Northern Connecticut Chapter. You get the most value for your time when you can attend a convention where you can learn about new products, make or renew many contacts and join your peers in several fun events.

Friday night, October 28, was the elegant President’s Evening Dinner and dance. Part of the evening’s highlights included the installation ceremony conducted by HFTP member Jerry Trieber, CPA, CHAE. The 2005–2006 HFTP Board of Directors and Executive Committee were installed, including Ralph Miller, CA, CBV, CHA, CHAE, president and owner of Integrated Hospitality Management Ltd. The presentation concluded with a special dedication, given by Miller, to retiring president, Frank Agnello Jr., CMA, CHAE. The evening was topped off with dancing to live music provided by the band Fabulous Classics.

Other highlights included the Opening Session on Thursday morning when several HFTP honors were presented. Before the start of the general session the HFTP Mid-Florida Chapter was recognized as the HFTP Chapter of the Year. The HFTP Greater Puget Sound Chapter won the Chapter Choice Award, an award established to recognize and reward outstanding chapter programming. Also recognized were Wendy Zurstadt, CPA, CHAE, CHTP, as the 2005 Paragon Award recipient; Joe Hylton, CHAE, as the 2005 New Member Sponsor of the Year; and Angela Powers, CPA, CHAE, as the CHAE of the Year.

The 2006 HFTP Annual Convention and Tradeshow will be held October 18–21 at the Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.