HAMA outreach ensures industry’s future
HAMA outreach ensures industry’s future
15 MAY 2014 6:11 AM

The Hospitality Asset Managers Association’s educational outreach efforts will pay off in the long run for the industry’s future.

Like a lot of people in the industry, I do a fair amount of traveling for my job. One of the events I most look forward to attending is the Hospitality Asset Managers Association’s biannual meeting, the most recent of which was held last week at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
Why do I look forward to this association’s events so much? There’s an easy answer to that question: The enthusiasm and passion this association’s members have for the hospitality industry is indeed infectious. And I can’t help but feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next wave of stories on my to-do list when I return.
Having covered this industry for several years now, I realize that the vigor HAMA’s members display is not unique to just this association. But that said, this passion isn’t just lip service, either. HAMA members are doing their part to ensure the next generation of hoteliers has just as much enthusiasm for the industry as they do.
In his Checking Out blog (which you’ll have the pleasure of reading tomorrow), my colleague Patrick Mayock features a section centered around what is making him happy this week. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not above stealing Patrick’s good ideas. What’s making me happy this week is HAMA’s educational outreach program.
Thirteen winners of HAMA’s student competition were invited to attend the association’s spring meeting. Some of these students, as a mandatory part of their asset management curriculum at their respective schools, were asked to present the ideas and topics they came up with for their class. This year’s crop of presentations included a mobile hotel that can be moved from hot hotel market to hot hotel market and a software program designed to increase housekeeping efficiency, said Melissa Silvers, education chair for HAMA.
HAMA this year also is providing scholarship money for the first time, Silvers said. The inaugural scholarship will be bestowed at Penn State, with the winner announced 1 July.
“Everyone really benefits from this,” she said.
In addition to the networking and scholarship, the experience also helps introduce the students to the life of an asset manager, which includes what can be a brutal travel schedule. This point was likely not lost on the students from Cornell, who flew out from Ithaca, New York, for one night and then flew back cross country the next day.
“They’re one night here and then they’re on the way back,” Silvers said. “It’s the life of an asset manager. You’re on the road doing the plane thing.”
Educating and mentoring the next generation of hotel students is especially critical for this industry and if HAMA’s efforts are representative of what’s happening across the industry, then the future of the sector is in good hands.
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