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Luncinda Hart and Dr. Gordon S. Potter Headline the Hilton Lecture Series
at Michigan State's School of Hospitality Business

(October 21, 2010, East Lansing, Michigan)  The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University conducted its annual Hilton Lecture Series September 30 – October 1 on campus, this year examining the latest thinking on hospitality accounting.

This was the 21st time the lecture series has focused on one issue facing the hospitality industry – from an academic viewpoint on the one hand, and from an industry perspective on the other. 

Each year, Dr. Ray Schmidgall, named The School’s Hilton Hotels professor of hospitality financial management through an endowment established by Hilton in 1989, hosts the lecture series and invites academic and industry experts to speak on the chosen topic. 

The industry speaker this year was Lucinda Hart, CAE, chief operations officer of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP).  Speaking on behalf of the academic perspective was Dr. Gordon S. Potter, associate professor of accounting at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

The School's Professor Ray Schmidgall poses
with Industry Speaker, Luncinda Hart

Director of The School, Dr. Ron Cichy, and Professor
Schmidgall pose with Dr. Gordon S. Potter,
associate Professor of Accounting - 
Cornell   University

Speaking to a large gathering of students on Thursday afternoon, Ms. Hart discussed HFTP’s history and its influence on hospitality finance and accounting, noting that its mission is “to provide a forum for continuous learning and knowledge sharing.”  Also among the participants was HFTP Global Past President Frank Agnello (BA ‘80), CMA, CHAE, controller of The Wyndgate Country Club.  Dr. Schmidgall is also a member of the association. 

Ms. Hart also noted that many educational resources are available to hospitality professionals through HFTP, including several textbooks authored by Dr. Schmidgall and published in collaboration with the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.  She also discussed HFTP’s involvement with the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI). 

But HFTP offers other educational benefits, as well.  Ms. Hart discussed its Research Institute, ProLinks, and technology initiatives, including its Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), which in 2011 will be June 20-23 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX.  Other HFTP global events are its annual Club and Hotel Controllers Conference, Leadership Summit, Convention and Tradeshow, and Development Conference.

Students were enthusiastic about the benefits of HFTP membership, both while they are in school and after graduation.

Thursday evening featured a reception and dinner planned and prepared by School students in HB 485 – Hospitality Foodservice Operations, under the guidance of Professor of Culinary Business Chef Allan Sherwin (BA ’64).  Guests included Associate Deans of the Eli Broad College of Business Matt Anderson, Sue Haka, and John Wagner, and faculty and staff of The School. 

On Friday, the Hilton Lecture Series continued with Dr. Potter addressing a group of faculty and graduate students.  He discussed the Uniform System of Accounts for Hotels.  He noted that its first edition was developed by the New York Hotel Association in 1926 to be able to standardize reports for hotels and make comparisons across properties.  It also standardized industry metrics, provided a template of an accounting system for hotels, and helped develop management contracts/franchise contracts for a hotel. 

Interestingly, the HFTP grew out of the original accounting committee in the NYHA that created the first Uniform System. 

Now in its 10th edition, it is called the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI).  A 25-member committee with representation from public accounting firms, lodging companies, academia, and information vendors updates the book, and has terminology specific to the lodging industry.  Dr. Schmidgall and Dr. Potter both serve on the committee.

Hilton Lecture Series XXII, scheduled for next Fall Semester, will focus on the international financial reporting system which, in the near future, hospitality companies whose stocks are publicly traded will have to follow.

About The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University
Recognized as the top-ranked hospitality business school in the world, The School celebrates its 83rd year anniversary in 2010.  The School has almost 10,000 graduates worldwide, including a number of leading academicians and industry executives, who have earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Founded in 1927, the mission of The School is to continually enhance The School's leadership position in hospitality business education through teaching, research, and service.  The School offers an exceptionally well-crafted curriculum, taught by innovative professors who are leading textbook authors, sought-after consultants, and respected researchers.  The mission of The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association is to provide active leadership in support of the mission of The School of Hospitality Business through membership participation, image enhancement, financial commitment, and promotion of synergies among students, faculty, alumni, and friends.  The First, The Original, and STILL The Leader. . . The School of Hospitality Business.  For more information, please visit


The School of Hospitality Business
232 Eppley Center
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

Also See: Major Changes to the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry, Tenth Edition / August 2008

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