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The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference adds world-renowned innovators to education program

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), producer of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITECsm), has added three technology industry heavyweights to this year’s education program. Jer Thorpe, co-founder of the Office for Creative Research; Josh Linkner, two-time New York Times bestselling author and founder and former CEO/chairman of ePrize; and Johnny Earl, founder of Johnny Cupcakes are set to present at HITEC’s keynote sessions.

Opening keynote, Jer Thorpe, will take the HITEC stage on Monday, June 20, 2016. Thorpe teaches in New York University’s ITP program and has been a vocal advocate around data, ethics and privacy. His keynote, “Making Data More Human,” will explore his data visualization projects to help audiences put abstract data into a human context. Thorp will guide attendees in understanding the human side of data and how that can lead to innovation and effective change. Thorp will also teach attendees how adding meaning and narrative to huge amounts of data can help people take control of the information that surrounds them, and revolutionize the way data is utilized.

On Tuesday, June 21, Josh Linkner will present “Entrepreneurial Fire: Think and Act Like a Startup (Even If You’re Not).” As the founder and former CEO of the world’s largest interactive promotion agency, Linkner believes it is better to innovate and disrupt one’s organization before competition does. In this session, the two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Obama Champion of Change award recipient will decode entrepreneurial DNA to help leaders of any size organization to harness the ferocity of entrepreneurial thinking in order to embrace the creativity, grit and vision of a startup and channel the approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency and customer delight.

Presenting as HITEC’s closing keynote on Thursday, June 23, branding and marketing guru Johnny Earle, aka Johnny Cupcakes, will delve into “Viral Business: Inspiring Customer Loyalty.” From selling his t-shirt brand from the trunk of a rusty car to owning a now global, multi-million dollar business where customers sleep outside his stores for first access, America’s number one young entrepreneur by Business Week is no stranger to customer loyalty. Earle will educate attendees on how to create a wave of loyalty and obsession through the power of social media and experiential branding.

HITEC 2016 will be held June 20-23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. USA. For information on how to register for HITEC, please visit Questions can be directed to

About HFTP

HFTP, founded in 1952 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA with additional offices in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and Kowloon, Hong Kong, 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 also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, HFTP was founded in the USA as the National Association of Hotel Accountants. For more info, e-mail

Contact: Jessica Blankenship / 512-220-4038

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