Your New HFTP Global Board President, 2022-2023

As the producers of the world’s largest, oldest hospitality technological innovation conference (#HITEC), HFTP is privileged to have a person as versed in hospitality technological innovation as its most recent chief, Neil Foster, CHTP, MBA. Foster has produced a multitude of strategic moves throughout his quarter-century career that have supplied him the perspective to see the hospitality business from all diverse angles. He understands the techniques in which know-how supports all parts of the small business together with finance and functions, the price of attaining worldwide encounters in an market that touches the total entire world, and how to navigate the marketplace as both equally a seller and hotelier. This holistic worldview is indispensable to an association that serves associates in each finance and technological know-how from all around the planet who operate for hospitality businesses and remedy vendors alike.

In this initial “Letter from the HFTP World wide President,” get to know Foster on a far more particular level, and how his expert experiences shape the way he sees the hospitality business and how to lead in it.

On getting his way into hospitality technological innovation and the journey upwards

I very first entered the hospitality sector “by incident,” finding employment as a dishwasher and bussing tables. From these early ordeals I came to understand the struggles a lot of personnel in our field endure and solved to discover means to strengthen the excellent of the operating environment at the entrance lines. It has been just about 25 many years since my initially part in hospitality engineering as an digital data processing (EDP) supervisor with a 300-room Westin residence in Southwestern Ontario in Canada. This was an early IT management function, and factors had been quite various back again then in this career. Technological know-how and finance, at the time, were being quite intently aligned as a result of EDP, and the know-how was very standard without popular Internet obtain. How factors have improved – and it’s encouraging now to see how technology serves the full business as a tool to remedy business enterprise challenges.

The to start with several a long time of my occupation were enlightened with Starwood Lodges in an sudden way, just as the relatively unknown Starwood Money was attaining the Westin and Sheraton brand names. To say I was blessed to witness some of the most groundbreaking improvements and developments in the guest working experience and the lodge products would be an understatement. There would be tons to discover and great vibes aplenty as we developed something new together below open up-minded and unconventional hospitality leadership at the leading stage. Together the way (like a lot of visitors) I was blessed to have awesome mentors. To title a several: Carl Johnston, John Jarvis, Kosta Tomazos, Keval Khanna and Gordon Carncross, who all believed in me, sharing raising accountability heading into leadership of 4 significant lodges in Toronto and the surrounding space.

On getting a world wide standpoint

Soon after a return to university, I was privileged to find viewpoint overseas the place I labored with one particular of the significant hospitality engineering companies, now regarded as Oracle Hospitality, landing assignments in considerably-flung places as Bangladesh, the Philippines and Singapore. A stint with Carlson Wagonlit Travel was one more eye-opening, seller-partner experience on journey management and worldwide distribution units (GDS). In each circumstances, getting a new viewpoint on the lodge and hospitality small business from the “outside” was a precious training in knowledge.

Far more not too long ago, my relatives and I had the exclusive opportunity to are living on a single of the most distant islands in the world, Saint Helena Island, as I was recruited to enable establish a modest tourism market linked to the likely of a new airport. Throughout our time there, technological know-how was appreciated through its relative absence, and the practical experience of hospitality was baked into everyday lifetime in a tiny and restricted-knit local community we have been fortunate to be component of. Throughout the COVID yrs, the Island was extremely isolated with a single flight to a solitary spot just about every 6 months.

At the moment I am serving as director, technological innovation with Coast Inns, encouraging to prepare for a advancement stage, and fortunate to guide a devoted and gifted technological innovation crew in this article.

What he enjoys most about operating in hospitality technologies

I’ve been fortunate to have fallen into an field I love. If hospitality is about the pleasant and generous reception and entertainment of attendees, readers and strangers, this is exactly where I belong.  As I see it, technology is the enabling pressure of organization operations. The procedure of matching enterprise process advancements to appropriate technological know-how, figuring out valuable new guest products and services, and making new earnings streams with the support of know-how are all areas of fascination to me.

On his initial introduction to HFTP

My late boss, Carl Johnston, released me to HFTP in the late 1990s, as I try to remember inquiring about the printed member listing on his desk. My 1st HFTP encounter was as his guest at a meeting in Toronto, where I immediately felt snug and in very good organization with a cross-area of the who’s-who of hospitality finance leaders from close to the city. My to start with HITEC in ’99 (Atlanta) was, as a youthful experienced, a magical knowledge, and I recall our business technology assembly co-found with HITEC.  My curiosity with HFTP developed to certification, exactly where I would pursue the CHTP designation in ’01, writing the test by hand. It took three months to get the success! Whilst in Singapore, and on the foundation of my CHTP designation, I would be invited by James Lee to aid direct the HFTP Asia Chapter as a director on the regional board.  The emotion of “family” in this remote branch of HFTP would leave a long lasting effect on me and drive my fascination in encouraging to develop global achieve further in the upcoming.

Quite a few yrs in the past, less than [HFTP Past President] Tim Nauss’ direction, I was lucky to be portion of a council tasked to explore the up coming stage of international advancement, and it is tremendously satisfying to witness the intercontinental development and scope of chapters, USALI and HITEC (together with Toronto!).

Over-all, in my own practical experience, I have arrive to fully grasp the essence of HFTP exists in our people, and in the spirit of hospitality. Thank you to all the volunteers who provide, or have served, in the chapters, councils, the board, and the govt council. Volunteers are the essence of our affiliation, and I am grateful to each and every a person of you for your service. For these thinking of involvement, there are so many techniques to lead – make sure you join us!

As stellar illustrations of engagement: my congratulations to Chris Contos, the latest recipient of the HFTP President’s Award, and [HFTP Past President] Daniel Conti, Jr., CHAE+, this year’s receiver of the prestigious HFTP Paragon Award, for having arrived at the pinnacle of contribution to the association and business. 

In closing, I am grateful to [HFTP Immediate Past] President Mark Pate, Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA and Past President Michael Levie, CHTP, fellow Government Committee and World-wide Board members, and to Frank Wolfe (HFTP CEO) and the crew at HFTP for assisting us get via these last couple extremely demanding decades, and for your management and guidance.  It is an honor to stick to in reliable footsteps, as I put together to provide the association as incoming president. I am grateful for all the help, and I glimpse forward to operating collectively to a potent calendar year forward!

A Return to Toronto Can take Area in 2023

Additional than 20 a long time later on, Foster and HFTP will return to Toronto with HITEC North The us 2023the put to be for all people who enjoy hospitality technological know-how, and who want to working experience the creative means know-how transforms how all those in the business of hospitality welcome and provide their friends and buyers. HITEC Toronto will take position June 26-29, 2023, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada. In its 51st yr, HITEC continues to deliver the brightest minds and best systems from throughout the world to a person area. Learn far more at and get started generating your options to show up at upcoming calendar year.

Proceed to Hear from Foster During His Phrase

Foster will go on to share his precious insights and experiences with HFTP associates and stakeholders all over his time as president of the HFTP International Board in the bi-regular monthly “Letter from the HFTP International President” sequence revealed below on HFTP Join. Check again in January, when he goes in-depth into his aims and designs for the association in 2023.

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