Cookies on the HFTP Website

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us give you the best possible user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.
Read our Privacy Notice to learn more.

I Understand

Friday, October 26, 2018

7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Attendee Registration

Annual Convention attendees can register onsite in the Rotunda.

8:00 – 9:15 AM

The Connected Leader

Successful leaders understand the nuances in communication that make a big difference when it comes to inspiring action and cooperation. Leaders know the power of their words and understand that words alone do not generate trust, allegiance and loyalty. Connection is the glue that keeps relationships, projects and organizations together. A leader must be authentic and exhibit the behaviors conveyed in their message to truly impact and influence teams. In this session, learn to connect and communicate on a deeper level to form crucial relationships that drive productivity, engagement and collaboration.

Collette Carlson is a human behavior expert and keynote speaker who inspires individuals to connect and communicate in real and relevant ways. Carlson has a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, a fascination with communication trends, and extensive experience in the personal development industry for over 20 years.

9:15 – 9:45 AM

Annual Business Meeting

Hear about the accomplishments of HFTP from the past year with details on developments and strategies, and what to expect in the next year.

10:05 – 11:20 AM

Reefer Madness:  Legalized Marijuana and the Workplace 
Medical marijuana is on a roll. With 64 percent of Americans and 51 percent of Republican voters supporting the legalization of marijuana, it is likely that nearly all states will allow medical marijuana use within the next 10 years. Medical marijuana is already legal in 29 states. Be prepared for potential legalization and its impact on the workplace. This session will review the rights of employees’ legalized use of medical marijuana in and out of the workplace; explore medical marijuana statutes; and explore the impact on drug-free workplace policies and employer drug testing.

Gregory Hearing is an attorney at Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez and Hearing, P.A.

10:05 – 11:20 AM

Risk Management in the Hospitality Industry: Know When to Hold 'Em and Know When to Fold 'Em
The hospitality industry deals with a variety of risks on a regular basis. What is risk and, even more importantly, how do you manage that risk? The most publicized type of risk impacts the industry across the board — the risk of computers being hacked and personal information being distributed across the globe. But cybercrime is not the only risk to a company, there is also the possibility of workplace injury, sexual harassment, operational hazards, and simply the litigious nature of society. In this session, learn how to identify and define risk, establish a risk management plan, use strategic planning to minimize risk impact, and successfully assess and manage risks.

Todd Swisher, CPA, CGMA is a partner at PBMares, LLP.
Helaine Weissman, CPA is a partner at PBMares, LLP.

10:05 – 11:20 AM

The New H-2B and J-1 Visa Landscape: Critical Strategies that National Hospitality Organizations Should Take to Achieve Seasonal Staffing Success
Never before have U.S. hospitality organizations applying for J-1 and H-2B seasonal visas encountered such a perilous path to approval and compliance than in the current political environment. This year, we witnessed the highest volume of H-2B visa applications ever filed. Furthermore, the hospitality industry is experiencing an influx in government audits, government requests, and – for the first time – petition denials. In addition, the Trump administration is implementing new J-1 visa regulations and has also discussed the possibility of doing away with J-1 visas altogether. These issues, combined with low unemployment, has left hospitality organizations scrambling to find qualified and reliable staff. This presentation will discuss visa options for hospitality organizations, including the H-2B seasonal visa, the future of J-1 visas and year-round visa options to provide attendees with the most up-to-date, strategic advice on staffing foreign nationals for their seasons of need. Finally, explore general developments in immigration law under the Trump Administration.

Keith Pabian is founding partner at Pabian Law, LLC.

10:05 – 11:20 AM

The Challenges of Managing in a Tipping Environment
Tipping is a well-established social norm in the hospitality industry, but is it time to look at alternative compensation models? Explore the strategic, operational and staffing challenges often found in a tipping environment, and the managerial tools for overcoming these issues. Also, understand current consumer attitudes and habits towards tipping. Alternately, see how a no tipping model would fit in a hospitality environment.

Mike von Massow is associate professor, food agriculture and resource economics at the University of Guelph.

11:20 AM – 12:35 PM

Networking Lunch

Enjoy a buffet style lunch and visit with fellow attendees.

12:35 – 1:50 PM

The Key to Performance Metrics
Get an in-depth look at the performance metrics most helpful to produce, analyze and report upon operations and capital in the club environment. Learn how these metrics can be used to benchmark against relevant industry standards. Understand what is most important to your club's income statement and balance sheet. Divert the focus from strictly day-to-day operations to the overall strategic and capital planning for the organization.

Stephanie Anderson, CHAE, CPA, CGMA is chief financial officer at River Bend Golf and Country Club and HFTP global director.
Kirsty Taylor is chief financial officer at The Plantation at Ponte Vedra.

12:35 – 1:50 PM

Happy Funny Talented People (HFTP) - We Are Family
HFTP represents members from multiple industry segments that at first glance don't seem cohesive. But, once you look closely at members' professional responsibilities and backgrounds, there are more similarities than most people realize.  Come to this session and learn some of the history of HFTP and discover how members have moved from one segment to another…and back again. This session is not designed to be a career path session, but attendees will get some insight on how the other “half” lives.

Moderator Frank Wolfe, CAE is chief executive officer at Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.

12:35 – 1:50 PM

Taking a Knee to Free Speech: Understanding When Employers May Limit Employee Speech
The current political and social climate of the United States has created an environment where many employees feel the need to bring their opinions, thoughts and feelings to the workplace. Where is the current "redline" on protected versus non-protected speech? How can employers regulate speech without running afoul of the law? This session will educate employers on their rights to limit employee speech. Explore how employers can tailor their policies governing employee speech in such a way as to exercise the full extent of employers' rights, while not overstepping the rights of the employee in the process.

Gregory Hearing is an attorney at Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez and Hearing, P.A.

12:35 – 1:50 PM

Leadership 101
Session information coming soon.

2:10 – 3:25 PM

50 Shades Darker (Hotel Ethics)
Session information coming soon.

2:10 – 3:25 PM

Hospitality Projects Around the World
Session information coming soon.

2:10 – 3:25 PM

Managing the Generations in the Workforce
Never before in history have there been four generations working in the same place at the same time, sometimes doing the same job. Today's ever-changing work environment requires a different approach to traditional leadership methods. In this session, learn what defines a generations, the generations that currently exist in the workplace, how to foster effective intergenerational communication, and how to manage diverse working styles across the generations. Understand who you are leading, what they need from you and how you can best communicate for maximum results.

Tracy DiBiase, PHR is senior human resource consultant at HR Centric Solutions.

2:10 – 3:25 PM

Checking in on Tax Reform: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
The United State's Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts makes the 2018 tax year a challenging one as it brings with it more changes than we have seen in over 30 years. This session focuses on how the new law is  impacting the hotel and club industry, and will present interactive examples demonstrating how all of us will need to adjust to the new tax environment moving forward. Gain the information you need to know to field questions from owners, managers and members related to the new tax law.

Ashley Barke, CPA is senior tax manager at MCM CPAs and Advisors.

3:45 – 4:35 PM

The Hotel Pre-Opening Process
In this interactive session, the research team from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and the HFTP Americas Research Center examine the pre-opening process for hotels, focusing on the budgeting process, timelines for hiring key staff and technology implementation schedules. Attendees are encouraged to share experiences and compare their insights to the preliminary findings of the study. This research project is partly sponsored by HFTP.

Agnes DeFranco, CHAE, Ed.D. is professor at the University of Houston and HFTP global past president.
Arlene Ramirez, CHAE, CHE, MBA, CHIA is principal at ADR Hospitality Consulting and HFTP global past president.
Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA is executive director and HFTP fellow at HFTP Americas Research Center.

3:45 – 4:35 PM

AP Automation - How it Works
Clubs and hotels are strong candidates for the automation of their accounts payable (AP) procedures. Yet, many financial executives remain unsure of how exactly AP automation works and what are the benefits of this technology. This session provides a step-by-step review of the entire AP automation cycle from invoice receipt to payment. Learn about the advantages and limitations of the process, explore a software walk-through of an actual AP automation product, and more.

Bill Boothe is president of The Boothe Group, LLC.

3:45 – 4:35 PM


Session information coming soon.

5:30 – 9:00 PM

HFTP Helps Silent Auction

HFTP will host the annual HFTP Helps fundraiser, including a silent auction, at this year’s Annual Convention with all proceeds donated to a local charity. This event brings together attendees to engage in a social responsibility project benefiting the local community.

Donations Requested

Donate an item for the silent auction to help build offerings for the event. Item suggestions include food gift baskets, hotel room nights, spa packages, golf rounds, gift cards and more. To donate, contact HFTP Director of Communications Eliza Selig at

Learn More>

5:15 PM – Midnight

HFTP's Annual Tribute to Success

(Formerly President's Evening) Participate in a formal and fun evening dedicated to recognizing individuals who have made a significant impact on both HFTP and the hospitality industry. HFTP will honor the incoming HFTP Global leadership, as well as others who have helped the association achieve success. After an elegant dinner, you can dance the night away. Dress for this event is black-tie optional.

In conjunction, HFTP Helps will host a silent auction to benefit a local charity. Numerous items will be available to bid on, giving attendees the opportunity to show their support. 

Event Schedule

  • 5:15 - 9:00 PM - HFTP Helps Silent Auction 
  • 5:15 PM - Doors and Bars Open
  • 6:00 PM - Program Begins