October 28, 2020

HFTP Global President Update: Reflection on Leadership in Crisis

President Update
Written by Briana Gilmore

The year 2020 has been a difficult one – not least for those in leadership who have had to bear the weight of tough, quick-thinking decisions. HFTP Global President Michael Levie, CHTP found himself in the unique position of leading HFTP’s prestigious group of board members and guiding the association during an international pandemic, a crisis which has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard. Throughout these past eight months, Levie has led with a strong focus on the future.

During a recent presentation to a group of hospitality students (read the recap), Levie stressed the importance of ensuring there is a world left to the future. In his presidential role with HFTP this past year, Levie has shared his vision of also having an association and an industry left to the future. Throughout this time, Levie has encouraged his fellow hospitality professionals to seek the opportunities provided by this crisis. As he has said more than once: “Innovation takes place in times of scarcity and uncertainty.”

We have been squeezed into a situation where we must be innovative and also focus on available resources. This is the time to try new things, get creative and reshape organizations to be more relevant in a post-pandemic world. In this spirit, the HFTP Global Board made the decision to pivot this year’s North American HITEC, which has been an in-person event during its entire 48-year history, to an entirely virtual event.

Cyber HITEC has officially launched, taking place live October 27-29 and available on-demand through November 25. It features more than 30 education sessions, over 90 exhibitors, and several unique networking events. Learn more at www.cyberhitec.org.

Transforming the world’s largest hospitality technology conference to a strictly online format has been no easy feat. Nonetheless, it is absolutely crucial to continue moving forward. The board’s vision, combined with the HFTP Global staff’s hard work and technology solutions, has allowed HFTP to provide in 2020 the education, exhibits and networking opportunities that HITEC has always offered.

The HFTP Annual Business Meeting will also take place during Cyber HITEC this year. In this session, Levie will issue his President’s Report, where he will give his insights on the past year and look ahead to a few of the association’s initiatives that are in the works for 2021 – because success also lies in the future. These initiatives include updates on the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) – a new digital subscription service, two USALI professional certificate programs, and the development of a revised 12th edition.

The HFTP Annual Business Meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, October 29, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET. Learn more on the HFTP website, including program highlights. The meeting will stream live at www.hftp.org.

As the 2019-2020 global president, Levie has certainly left his mark. His experience as a global, imaginative hotelier has encouraged the association and its members to seek the possibilities in nearly impossible situations. Attend the Annual Business Meeting on Thursday, October 29 to hear from Michael Levie and other members of HFTP Global leadership. Witness the installation of the new 2020-2021 Global Board and  Executive Committee. Last but not least, celebrate the association’s achievements, recognize outstanding individuals including Levie himself, and take a look at HFTP’s strategic plan for next year.

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