HFTP is proud to welcome Shannon McCallum to our Global Board of Directors. With a background centered in operations innovation, Shannon brings a unique blend of experience and vision to the board, poised to shape the future of the association. Her reputation as a forward-thinker and commitment to hospitality’s technological advancement marks her as an influential force in the field. Shannon is set to infuse HFTP with fresh energy and a strategic outlook, driving the association towards a future characterized by innovation, collaboration and continued excellence.
I started working in hotels when I was in high school as there was a luxury property a mile away from my home in British Columbia. When I was 16 years old, the property hosted a Commonwealth of Nations gathering that included Margaret Thatcher, the Sultan of Brunei, Rajiv Gandhi and the Prime Minister of Canada among other high-level international dignitaries. To be a part of such an enormously important event made me realize what an exciting world hospitality could be.
Although I was originally headed for law school, I stayed in hospitality and had a wonderful journey that has been both exciting and fulfilling. My favorite part of the industry is building relationships with team members and guests. It’s so rewarding to be able to make an impact on the lives of others.
In 2010, I joined the newest, most technologically advanced mega-casino resort in Las Vegas and needed to understand and plan the replacement of in-room devices as they became outdated. Attending HITEC with my corporate technology team became an annual event that allowed us to look for new and innovative products and connect with our existing vendor partners. It also allowed us to be on the same page for the next steps in technology, not only for my property but for our company as a whole. I joined HFTP to continue to learn and grow my knowledge base, and to become a more effective and informed decision-maker.
Over the years, I have really enjoyed my participation in the HITEC Advisory Council, both as council member and most recently, as a co-chair for the 2023 gathering in Toronto. I have noticed the overall absence of other hotel operators when it comes to being involved with HFTP and attending HITEC. Now that there is even more technology being introduced into our daily operations, it is crucial that we understand the direction of our industry and be able to make decisions on what solutions are the best fit. I hope that I can reach more general managers and high-level operations professionals so they can learn more about hospitality innovation and be a part of the decision-making process for their organizations.
I look forward to understanding and supporting the ongoing strategic initiatives that the past and present board have been working on and help achieve existing goals. I also hope to participate in initiatives to drive membership for new hospitality professionals embarking on their careers, as well as attract existing hoteliers who need to catch up on their technological knowledge as hospitality continues to automate.
I appreciate the focus on diversity and inclusion that HFTP has incorporated into meetings and events. It is critical to get a wide range of perspectives in our business to attract new members to the association.
My unique professional background not specific to finance or technology brings an alternative perspective to the association. Encouraging more operational individuals to get involved in HFTP and attend seminars and conferences allows for better and more informed business decisions when adding technology or working with finance experts on the return on investment to their properties. Operators tend to play a large role in decision-making for new technology at their properties, and their presence is valuable to the vendors who collaborate with HFTP.
My most proud past achievement was the development of mobile check-in technology for my former property. We had a hard-working team of operations individuals and technology team members that partnered with several vendors to enable this capability, which was a first for our company. Not only was the digital check-in a success at our property, but the organization also adopted this as the basis for the entire company. Being a part of this innovation is now critical for any hotel, as it has become the minimum expectation when traveling to have options for arrival to a property.