HOUSTON—Members of the “Cougar Chapter” of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management were presented with the first-ever Student Chapter of the Year Award at the annual HFTP conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas on Oct. 18, 2013.
The Cougar Chapter was selected from a pool of 17 other HFTP student chapters at colleges and universities across the globe. Each chapter was rated and ranked based on a number of criteria, including monthly meetings, participation in professional HFTP events, community involvement, member recruitment and retention, communications and video presentations submitted by the student members.
After the results were tallied, the Cougar Chapter came out on top.
“This award means so much to our students and the College. We’re appreciative of HFTP’s support and the opportunities it provides to our students—the future of the hospitality industry,” said Tanya Venegas, staff advisor to the Cougar Chapter, HFTP fellow and executive director of the HFTP Research Institute. The Institute offers free information and data to HFTP members and is housed at Hilton College.
The Cougar Chapter also won the HFTP Chapter Choice Award, which was given to the chapter with the best program over the past year. Current Cougar Chapter President Trung Huynh gave a presentation at the HFTP Annual Business Luncheon about the chapter’s volunteer efforts in 2012-2013. Once all the presentations were made, HFTP members voted and selected the Cougar Chapter as the winner.
In addition to the student awards, four Hilton College faculty members—Dr. Carl Boger, Dr. Agnes DeFranco, Dr. Cristian Morosan and Lecturer Arlene Ramirez—were chosen to present at the 2013 conference.
HFTP was founded in 1952 to provide educational and networking events, certifications and other resources for financial and technology personnel working in hotels, clubs and other hospitality-related businesses. Today, the organization has more than 4,400 members worldwide.