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AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA (October 2, 2013) - Joseph A. McInerney, CHA, was selected as the 2013 HFTP Paragon Award recipient for his efforts in helping HFTP be known amongst the hospitality industry at large. Based in Washington, D.C., McInerney is the president and CEO of McInerney Hospitality International LLC, a full service international consulting firm. He is also emeritus president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). McInerney will be presented with the prestigious Paragon Award, established to recognize individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to both HFTP and the hospitality industry, during the Annual Convention & Tradeshow keynote session on Thursday, October 17.

"I am truly humbled and greatly appreciate being named the recipient of the Paragon award and would like to thank the selection panel for this recognition," said McInerney. "I am deeply honored to be associated with the men and women who have received this most prestigious award before me."

McInerney has over 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry, beginning with his first job in 1961 at the Sheraton Chicago as a staff planner. After 25 years with Sheraton, the Pritzker family tapped him to be president/CEO to helm the launch of Hawthorn Suites. In 1991 he moved onto become president/CEO of Travelodge and was eventually appointed as chairman of Forte Hotels in 1995.

"Joe's many successful collaborations with HFTP began in the early 1990s. As President/CEO of Travelodge, Joe used his industry position to influence other chain presidents to support a growing organization - the International Association of Hospitality Accountants (IAHA)," said George Glazer, CHMS, senior vice president of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a recipient of the HFTP Paragon Award. "He continued his support throughout that decade as he rose to president and CEO of Forte Hotels in 1992, and later as Chairman in 1995."

Upon leaving Forte Hotels, McInerney worked briefly on a project in Moscow, Russia evaluating hotels for the city. McInerney then went on to join the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

While at PATA, he restructured the organization, moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Bangkok, increased membership, and raised revenue and profits. He left PATA in 2001 to join the AH&LA.

During his 12 years at AH&LA, McInerney reorganized the association to streamline efficiency and strengthen its core operations, including consolidating its two affiliates to form the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF). Additionally, McInerney spearheaded the changing of the membership structure from a federation to a dual membership format, restructured the board of directors, and clarified the organization's mission.

HFTP established the annual Paragon Award in 1999. Paragon Award nominees can be HFTP members; representatives of industry-related associations, societies or trade publications; or leaders from hospitality businesses, educational institutions and other related disciplines. The recipient is selected by a panel of fellow hospitality industry experts.

Previous Paragon Award winners include Alice Banks, CHAE (1999); Henry "Buddy" Weeks, CHAE (1999); Frank Santos, CHAE, CHA (2000); Katherine Cavanagh, CHAE (2001); Raymond Schmidgall, PH.D., CPA, CHAE (2002); Frank Wolfe, CAE (2002); Len Bartello, CPA, CHAE, CHTP (2003); John J. Cahill, CHA, CHTP (2004); Wendy Zurstadt, CPA, CHAE, CHTP (2005); Richard Braa, CHAE (2006); Robert Patasnick, CPA (2007); George Glazer (2008); Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE (2009); Stephen LeBruto, CPA, CHAE, Ed.D. (2009); and Steve Doherty, CHAE, CHTP (2010); Frank Agnello Jr., CMA, CHAE (2011); and Howard Field, FBHA, FCA (2012).

For more information on the Paragon Award, contact the HFTP Membership Department at membership@hftp.org, (800) 646-4387 x19 or +1 (512) 249-5333.

About HFTP

HFTP, Austin, Texas, USA and Maastricht, The Netherlands, founded in 1952, is the global professional association for financial and technology personnel working in hotels, clubs and other hospitality-related businesses. HFTP provides first class educational opportunities, research, and publications to members around the globe including, the premiere hospitality technology conference HITEC--founded in 1972. HFTP also awards the only hospitality specific certifications for accounting and technology --the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) designations. HFTP was founded in the USA as the National Association of Hotel Accountants. For more information, visit www.hftp.org.

Contact: Sara Bailiff, Public Relations Manager

Sara.Bailiff@hftp.org / +1 (512) 220-4017

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