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Presented Once Every Five Years, HFTP to Honor Three Hospitality Technology Pioneers with the 2012 Hospitality Technology Award of Merit

  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)
  • 06.06.12
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is proud to announce the Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Warren Markwart and Kemmons Wilson as the 2012 Hospitality Technology Award of Merit recipients.

The award, presented every five years, recognizes individuals who have made a significant innovation or breakthrough that established a path for others in hospitality technology. Recipients were nominated and chosen by a committee of inductees to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame, a group of industry professionals who have already been recognized for their influence on the industry.

"The Award of Merit recognizes individuals who have made significant technological contributions that have had longevity," said Fraser Hickox, chair of the Award of Merit committee and an inductee to the Hall of Fame. "The work accomplished by those selected will have benefited all of us, especially those of us who have been working in hospitality technology since the early days."

The three individuals will be recognized at the Opening Session of the 40th Annual Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) on June 25 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.
Sir Michael Kadoorie 
Warren Markwart 
Kemmons Wilson

The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, GBS, LL.D. (Hon.), DSc (Hon.), Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, Commandeur de l’Ordre de Leopold II, Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, is chairman of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd (HSH) and was recognized for his dedication to improving hotel design and services through the use of technology. Kadoorie was appointed as director of HSH in 1964 and was elected Chairman in 1985.

Under his leadership, the company had expanded from its flagship Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, to opening Peninsula Hotels around the world. As chairman of the Peninsula Group, Kadoorie took an enormous interest in the integration of technology within guest rooms and the hotel as a whole. He frequently explored different concepts and tirelessly pushed to get implementation right. The Peninsula was also the first Fidelio PMS installation outside of Germany.

“I appreciate and am greatly flattered that HFTP should honour me with the Award of Merit, which is most unexpected,” said Kadoorie. “I must say that I am simply another member of a team whose hard work and dedication has brought forth the results that are now of such value to the hospitality industry.”

Warren Markwart was recognized for using his broad range of hotel management expertise to integrate revenue management strategies, guest service and business objectives with hospitality technology. During an extensive career with Delta Hotels in Canada, he pioneered the installation in 1977 of one of Canada’s first and largest hotel computer systems at the 1,000 room Delta Chelsea.

Then in the ‘80s, as Delta’s vice president of revenue management and technology, he spearheaded the installation of a property management system (PMS) in all 25 hotels. He then developed Deltex, Delta’s first central reservation system creating an online reservation system that sold and marketed all Delta hotels in real time, creating one of the first single image revenue management systems.

In 1988, he integrated the company-wide guest history technology that launched Delta Privilege – the guest recognition program that guaranteed “one minute check-in or your room is free!” In the ‘90s, Markwart took his revenue management and technology expertise to Canadian Pacific Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. He is currently president of MK2 Hospitality Advisors.

“I am grateful and humbled by this recognition from my peers and the industry,” said Markwart. “My passion is technology and my pleasure is to innovate ways to take advantage of its practical use, to drive revenue and guest service.”

Kemmons Wilson is founder of Holiday Inn and was recognized for innovating central reservations, using toll-free telephone numbers supported by the proprietary Holidex central reservation system. Wilson founded the Holiday Inn chain in 1952 and led an organization that revolutionized not only the way hotels are marketed — with a brand identity supported by consistent performance standards — but the manner in which they are reserved.

Introduced in 1965, Holidex became the standard for both the volume of business it produced and the important byproduct data it generated. Wilson passed away in February 2003 at the age of 90. Wilson’s legacy lives on through the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation, established in 1960, which gives generously to numerous nonprofit organizations within the Memphis, Tenn. community.

“Success may not be yours just for the asking,” said Wilson before he passed. “It can certainly be yours if you are willing to work hard enough for it. Decide now that you’re going to be successful, and then put every ounce of physical and mental energy into the effort of making that prediction come true.”

In 2002, Roger Lane, Richard Maloney, Dietmar Muller-Elmau, John Pignataro and Robert Sanford were recognized with the Award of Merit. In 2007, Bill Sullivan, CHTP; Joseph A. Marko; Ed Hollinshead; William (Bill) Duncan and Joyce Christmas were given the award. Read more about these recipients on the HFTP Award of Merit page.

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