When every guest experience is a tapestry of service and innovation, there are individuals who seamlessly blend technology with the art of hospitality and turn that talent into an impact on the industry they love. Meet this week's Member Spotlight recipient, Barry Thomas, CHTP of London, England, who has been a member since 2015.
I joined the hospitality industry in 2007 by chance when I was given the opportunity to become the senior systems administrator for COMO Hotels & Resorts. Back then, I was an IT guy who just happened to work in hotels. Fast forward a few years and I found myself realizing that I was actually a hotelier who happens to work in IT. I fell in love with the industry and haven't left!
I joined HFTP as a member in 2015 after working in hospitality for a few years and successfully obtained my CHTP, which is one of the most rewarding and important certifications I hold to date.
I knew that HFTP was a key voice in the industry and I wanted to see how I could get more involved. Following a conversation with HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe about how European members could realize the full benefits of HFTP membership and how the association could grow its membership internationally, I was lucky enough to be asked to join the first HITEC Europe Advisory Council. Following a successful premiere event in Amsterdam, I served on the council for the following two years.
In 2018, I relocated from the United Kingdom to the United States and joined the HITEC Advisory Council (HAC) as vice-chair in 2019. When the pandemic hit, we had to pivot and host the first-ever Cyber HITEC, which (under the circumstances) was a resounding success. The way the HFTP staff and HAC pulled together was amazing, reaffirming how special HFTP is as an organization. I served a three-year term on the HAC culminating in being the chair for HITEC Orlando 2022.
Last but definitely not least, I joined the HFTP Board of Directors in 2020 and hope to help the association grow its international membership and host world-class events across the globe like HITEC Dubai and Digital Horizons 360, a new Euro-focused HFTP event debuting next February. I also currently serve on the CHTP Advisory Council, which has been an amazing experience.
HFTP opens doors for its members. In education, they help members earn industry-recognized accreditations like the CHAE and CHTP alongside virtual opportunities offered monthly. When it comes to networking, I've never met a member who isn't willing to give up their time to spend with their peers be it for idea sharing, mentoring or just general assistance. As far as events go, HFTP hosts conferences for everyone, members or not, that go above and beyond to bring the latest industry trends, products and knowledge to the masses. Opportunities are always available to excel with HFTP.
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), established in 1952, is a nonprofit hospitality association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokesgroup for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and industry networking events.
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