010 | Success by Association with HFTP CEO and Technology Trailblazer Frank Wolfe

Frank Wolfe is CEO of Hospitality Financial & Technology Professional’s (HFTP) – a global association serving hospitality professionals that provides members with superior networking opportunities, industry-leading events, comprehensive certification programs, unique educational opportunities, and other essential resources for professional growth.

LL10-Frank_WolfeThroughout his career, Frank has been recognized as an industry leader. In 2000, Lodging Magazine included him in their “75 Profiles in Leadership” edition, a who’s who of individuals who major contributions to the industry. In 2002, Wolfe received the HFTP Paragon Award for significant contributions to HFTP and the hospitality industry. In June 2010 he was recognized as a “Technology Trailblazer” by Hotel Business Magazine, and in October 2010, was featured by BOARDROOM Magazine in an exclusive cover story interview. In addition, he has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia, and Bloomberg.

Frank is a graduate of East TN State University where he received a degree in Health Admin and attended graduate school there in the Counseling and Guidance Program.  He moved to Austin Texas in 1987, and was hired by the Texas Restaurant Association as the Education Director where he worked for 4 years. In 1991, Frank was recruited by HFTP to serve as Director of Education, and 1994, he was promoted twice – first as Acting Director, then CEO,  and he’s led the global organization ever since.

Resources & Links


About HFTP

Unlike some of the other major hospitality associations, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) is a global association serving hospitality professionals all over the world. Formed in 1952, HFTP prides themselves on helping their members and their companies find solutions to top industry problems. Frank shares that this is unique in that its focus and mission is to help the individual in their profession which in turn helps the industry as a whole.

[spp-tweet ““We try our best to be forward thinking” ~Frank Wolfe”]

Cost of Membership

HFTP is a global association so they use the World Bank Country Rating System. It depends on what country one is from, but generally, membership can range anywhere from $100 to $375 annually (anniversary basis).

Certifications offered

HFTP’s certifications have been revamped over the last 18 months. Questions are looked at regularly to determine their validity, and they use their proprietary system to crowd source the certification questions, making it one of the most up-to-date certification programs around. And they have been approached by other organizations interesting in purchasing their certification system to utilize it in universities or in their own certification programs.

The certification costs vary depending on where you take it, but generally speaking, it’s about $500 and it must be renewed. The continuing education programs are connected to subcategories that are relevant – Ethics is one of the subjects of focus.

HITEC and the HFTP Annual Convention

HITEC is the world’s largest hospitality technology trade show, where top-notch educational seminars, great keynote speakers, and a trade show with more than 300 companies showcasing the hottest technology available are presented.  HITEC 2015 will be at the Austin Convention Center next week, from June 15-18.

The 2015 HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow is coming up this October 21-24 in Bellevue, WA.

[spp-tweet ““HFTP also produces HITEC – the world’s largest hospitality technology trade show” ~Frank Wolfe”]

The Hospitality Hackathon

The hackathon will have up to 100 programmers, graphic designers and people interested in the hospitality industry come and spend a weekend. The purpose of the hackathon is to present problems to people which they must solve. Sometimes it requires some teamwork which is great. Experts also come in and do keynotes to inform people of the latest technological happenings. At it’s core, the hackathon is about taking 100 people who are not in your industry and having them think “outside the box.”

Pineapple search engine

HFTP sponsors a leader’s strategy summit every few years where they bring in leadership industry experts.  This year, they brainstormed on starting a hospitality search engine, and they already have a working prototype being tested by select experts for feedback. Pineapple Search is the first hospitality specific search engine in the world and will be debuted in beta form at the upcoming HITEC show.

[spp-tweet ““We thought to start a hospitality search engine (‘Pineapple Search’)” ~Frank Wolfe”]

Where do you see technology going for hotels in the future?

Frank cited in-room technology changing significantly in the future.  Specifically, the need for 250+ channels for the TV will likely diminish.  Alternatively, providing larger screens with great sound and the facility for guests to play their own content will grow.  Similarly, the traditional 2-line phones are becoming obsolete.  Frank predicts that hotels will begin offering (loaner) smart phones that guests can use in the hotel, or around town, allowing them to call, text and surf the Internet internationally for free using VOIP technology.

Parting Advice

Frank hopes to see you at the HITEC or HFTP conventions somewhere around the world!


Thanks for Listening!

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Until the next …