Hospitality Technology Pioneers Recognized with Quinquennial HFTP Award of Merit

  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)
  • 06.14.17
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) announced the honorees Keith Gruen, Hiroo Ichii and Dr. Ravi Mehrota as the 2017 Hospitality Technology Award of Merit recipients.

The three individuals, chosen for his/her unique contribution to hospitality technology, will be recognized at the Opening Keynote of the 45th Annual Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) in Toronto, Ontario Canada this month.

The Technology Award of Merit is given every five years at HITEC, and was presented in 2002, 2007 and 2012. HFTP created the Technology Award of Merit to recognize hospitality technology pioneers who have made a significant innovation or breakthrough that established a path for others in hospitality technology. Recipients are selected by members of HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame, a group of industry professionals who have been recognized for their influence on the industry.

Keith Gruen was recognized for his work in developing the early, widely-adopted PMS system, Fidelio. He was a co-developer for the software that was initially written to manage opera company bookings in Munich, and which developed into a full-fledged PMS that they named Fidelio, the title of Beethoven's only opera. The system broke new ground by introducing color screens, PC networks, user-friendly menus, overlapping windows, easily configurable screens and reports, and a graphical room rack and floorplan. Fidelio was acquired by Micros in 1995, and became the defacto standard system for many major hotel chains. Gruen turned his focus to the venture capital sector with success, but inevitably made his way back to hospitality where he has been involved in next generation hotel systems. He is currently CEO at ysura, a life sciences CRM, as well as a board member at Hetras and advisor for Apaleo, two hospitality technology companies.

Hiroo Ichii was recognized for his work in developing ground-breaking communication networks for the hospitality environment. Ichii started as a software engineer and then moved to global network system sales support for enterprise communications and managed projects throughout Southeast Asia including Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Sri-Lanka and India. Working with numerous major hotel brands, Ichii oversaw the installation of next-generation IP phone systems for guest rooms and operations. After 36 years with NEC Corporation, Ichii recently announced his retirement, but still remains as an advisor for NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd.

Dr. Ravi Mehrotra is currently president, founder and chief scientist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions, and was recognized for his leadership in the field of predictive analytics, forecasting and dynamic price optimization. Since founding IDeaS in 1989, Mehrotra has worked tirelessly to both strengthen and expand hotel revenue management as a science, and revenue management systems as a technology, to assist hotels in achieving their preferred mix of rate, occupancy and RevPAR. He has recognized and detailed concepts and techniques that are now fundamental to hotel revenue management.

Previous HFTP Award of Merit winners include: Roger Lane, CHAE (2002); Richard Maloney (2002); Dietmar Müller-Elmau (2002); John Pignataro (2002); Robert Sanford (2002); Joyce Christmas (2007); William (Bill) Duncan (2007); Ed Hollinshead (2007); Joseph Marko (2007); Bill Sullivan, CHTP (2007); The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie (2012); Warren Markwart (2012); Kemmons Wilson (2012).

This year’s larger North American event HITEC Toronto, HFTP’s second HITEC of 2017, will take place from June 26-29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada. HITEC Dubai, the third and final HITEC of 2017, will take place from November 14-15 at the Conrad Dubai in Dubai, UAE in partnership with Naseba. In 2018, HFTP will bring back HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-14 in addition to HITEC Houston on June 26-29.

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