Thomas G. Smith, CHAE was selected as the 2019 Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) Paragon Award recipient for his unwavering support of the association and substantial contributions to increase knowledge sharing and promote growth in the hospitality industry at large, specifically for the club segment of the association. Smith is the chief business officer at The Imperial Golf Club in Naples, Florida USA. He has been a member of HFTP for 28 years and has served in multiple association leadership positions including as the 2010-2011 HFTP Global past president. More recently, Smith has shared his experience as a club executive by presenting at HFTP educational conferences and participating on the HFTP Club Advisory Council. Smith will be honored on October 25 during HFTP's 2019 Annual Convention held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida USA.
"I am so very blessed and honored to be chosen as this year's Paragon Award recipient," said Smith. "HFTP holds a special place in my heart and to receive this recognition is truly surreal. My involvement in HFTP has changed my life. It stoked my passion for the hospitality industry and turned it into a life's work. I will be forever grateful to those who pushed me along the way and to the colleagues that nominated me to receive this award."
Smith has built his career centered on club finance since he graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He has progressed through his career with multiple finance-based positions at clubs in Wisconsin and now, Florida. Also in alignment with HFTP's technology side, he has held positions at club-focused software firms: Clubsystems Group and IBS Club Software. In his current position at The Imperial Golf Club, Smith directs the financial, technology and human resources operations of the club.
During Smith's term as HFTP Global president, he promoted the collaboration between HFTP and allied groups: the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), the National Club Association (NCA) and the National Golf Club Owners Association (NGCOA). With CMAA, he began the process for the revision of the Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Clubs (USFRC), on which both organizations partnered to release the current 7th edition. Smith also prompted the growth of HFTP's ProLinks webinars, which continues as a benefit that is free for HFTP members.
"I have worked with Tom throughout the years on HFTP business and I have witnessed his never-ending passion for this organization and vibrant voice for the club members," writes HFTP Global Past President Anna McFarland, CPA, CFE, CHAE, CHTP, the 2018 Paragon Award Recipient. "Tom not only speaks to keep the club members' stake in the eyes of the executive committee and board of directors; he is one of the most inclusive leaders I have had the privilege to work alongside."
Established in 1999, the prestigious HFTP Paragon Award recognizes individuals each year who have made a significant and lasting contribution to both HFTP and the hospitality industry. Paragon Award nominees can be HFTP members; representatives of industry-related associations, societies or trade publications; leaders from hospitality businesses, educational institutions and other related disciplines. A panel of industry experts selects the award recipients who will be recognized at HFTP's Annual Convention each October.
Previous Paragon Award winners include: Alice Banks, CHAE (1999); Henry "Buddy" Weeks, CHAE (1999); Frank Santos, CHAE, CHA (2000); Katherine Cavanagh, CHAE (2001); Raymond Schmidgall, PH.D., CPA, CHAE (2002); Frank Wolfe, CAE (2002); Len Bartello, CPA, CHAE, CHTP (2003); John J. Cahill, CHA, CHTP (2004); Wendy Zurstadt, CPA, CHAE, CHTP (2005); Richard Braa, CHAE (2006); Robert Patasnick, CPA (2007); George Glazer (2008); Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE (2009); Stephen LeBruto, CPA, CHAE, Ed.D. (2009); and Steve Doherty, CHAE, CHTP (2010); Frank Agnello Jr., CMA, CHAE (2011); Howard Field, FBHA, FCA (2012); Joseph McInerney, CHA (2013); Evelyn Adams (2014); Ralph R. Miller, CPA, CA, CBV, CHA, CHAE (2015); Raman (R. P.) Rama B. Com, CHA Emeritus, CHTP, CHAE (2016); Kris S. Shoemaker, CMA, CGFO, CHAE, CHTP, CPFIM (2016); Mary Gerdts (2017); Anna McFarland, CPA, CFE, CHAE, CHTP (2018) .
The HFTP Annual Convention 2019 will take place from October 23-25, 2019 at Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida USA. Register to attend. For more information about HFTP events, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at email@example.com, +1 (512) 249-5333. For more information on the Paragon Award, contact the HFTP Communications Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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