Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is announcing a new philanthropic arm, the HFTP Foundation, which will support the association in its strategic goal to be a source for industry knowledge sharing. A separate operation from HFTP, the HFTP Foundation will secure nonprofit funding for hospitality and travel industry-related research, educational projects and scholarships. It will oversee the three HFTP Research Centers - Americas, Asia and the Middle East. The new organization will be led by Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA, who has been with HFTP for 25 years, most recently as its chief operations officer.
"I am honored to serve as the executive director and be a part of the launch of the HFTP Foundation," said Hart. "By securing nonprofit funding, the HFTP Foundation will enhance HFTP's educational and research initiatives. This is an exciting opportunity for HFTP, our stakeholders and the hospitality-travel industry."
The HFTP Research Centers conduct specially-commissioned research projects that delve into current industry issues and concerns. Results are then published as white papers, industry guides and blogs. The Centers also provide the HFTP member benefit of complimentary routine research upon request. Recently released studies include IT Spending in the Lodging Industry and the HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report. Upcoming, the Centers will release an AV dictionary for hospitality technologists and meeting planners. The Foundation will also oversee a comprehensive study that will examine how technology impacts labor costs in the hospitality industry.
In addition, the HFTP Foundation will place emphasis on raising funds for HFTP Scholarships, which are awarded to hospitality-focused students in universities and other higher education institutions.
Aligned with a similar purpose, the 2013-established Rama Family Endowed HFTP Student Professional Development Fund will move under the HFTP Foundation. The Fund was created to advance the hospitality profession by providing HFTP student members with the opportunity to enhance their professional development by networking and interacting with dedicated hospitality professionals. The Fund provides recipients with backing to attend HFTP networking and educational events.
"Having direct contact with experienced professionals in the field and awareness of top industry concerns is crucial to the development of one just entering the hospitality industry workforce," said Fund founder Raman P. Rama, president and CIO/CTO of Sarona Hotels. "The Fund enables access to resources provided by HFTP that is not easily accessed in an academic setting. Situated under the HFTP Foundation, the program will be well-situated to continue for years to come."
A major HFTP Foundation fundraiser for 2019 is the HFTP Foundation Silent Auction taking place at the HFTP Annual Convention October 23-25 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida USA. Proceeds from the auction will be contributed to the HFTP Foundation.
The HFTP Foundation Board of Trustees include:
- Chair: Timothy Nauss, CHAE • CFO; Macau Studio City
- Vice Chair: Scot Campbell, CHTP • CTO Concerts, North America; LiveNation
- Treasurer: Mark T. Pate, Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA • Assistant Controller & IT Director; Highpointe Hotel Corporation
- Secretary: Neil Foster, CHTP, MBA • IT Consultant; Tech-Tonic Hospitality Services
- Trustee: Michael Levie, CHTP • COO; citizenM Hotels
- Executive Director: Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA
- President: Frank Wolfe, CAE
As the inaugural executive director, Hart brings 25 years of association management, strategic planning and alliances, operations management and customer service experience to this new initiative. In addition to representing HFTP at numerous industry global events, she has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the association. Hart earned her Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management and her Master of Business Administration in Organizational Leadership & Management from Concordia University Texas. She also attained the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She was awarded the Professional Excellence Award from the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). Lucinda has served on the HFTP General Data Protection Regulation/Data Protection Officer Task Force, the HFTP Hotel Finance Advisory Council, the Hospitality Technology Strategic Initiatives Council and the Global Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) Committee.
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