HFTP Honors Agnes DeFranco and Stephen LeBruto with the Paragon Award

  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)
  • 09.15.09
For their hard work and dedication to hospitality higher education and Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), Agnes L. DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE and Stephen M. LeBruto, CPA, CHAE, Ed.D. will be honored with the 2009 Paragon Award during HFTP's 2009 Annual Convention & Tradeshow.

Both will receive the award during the opening session on September 17 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.

DeFranco is a professor and assistant vice president of undergraduate studies at the Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston. She is an HFTP Global past president, and greatly influenced the growth of HFTP student membership. She has been an advocate for HFTP’s participation in industry research, and frequently contributes her own research findings in The Bottomline magazine and other industry publications.

"There are few individuals in our industry that have given so much of themselves for the success of others," said Lisa Funk, CHAE, HFTP Global secretary and college business administrator for Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston. "Dr. DeFranco's example of dedication and hard work is a model not only for her hospitality students and colleagues at the University of Houston, but for all of us who have the pleasure of working side by side with her in HFTP."
Recently retired, LeBruto is a former associate dean and HFTP-endowed professor at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality. He has had a great influence on the CHAE certification by creating the designation’s review course and frequently presenting the review at HFTP events. His passion for the certification program led to a campaign to assure his local chapter, the Mid-Florida Chapter, had the highest concentration of CHAEs in the association. He also helped form and lead the HFTP University of Central Florida Chapter, which is now one of the largest student chapters in the association.
"Dr. LeBruto has contributed many years of service to HFTP, not only on a chapter level but also on a global level," said Kristopher Shoemaker, assistant business manager for the Orange County Convention Center and HFTP Global director. "His dedication to continuing education and certification for existing members and education of the students, who will become members and the industry's future, will be a benefit to HFTP for many years to come."

In 1999, HFTP established the annual, prestigious Paragon Award to recognize individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to both HFTP and the hospitality industry. 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 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); and George Glazer (2008).

For more information on the Paragon Award, contact the HFTP Membership Department at membership@hftp.org.

HFTP, Austin, Texas, USA and Maastricht, The Netherlands, founded in 1952, is a 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 more than 4,800 members globally, 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.

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