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AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA (August 30, 2016) — Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) will honor Kelly Montgomery, CHAE as the 2016 Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) of the Year at its 2016 Annual Convention. The CHAE of the Year award honors the individual that scored the highest on the CHAE certification exam within a given year. HFTP’s 2016 Annual Convention event will be held at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino from October 19-21, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

Montgomery held her first job in hospitality as a hostess at the Hyatt in San Diego, while attending San Diego State University to get her Bachelors in Business Administration—this is where her passion for the hospitality industry began. After graduation, Montgomery became a CPA while working at a large local firm, until she made her dream of combining hospitality and accounting come true. In 1991, Montgomery rejoined the hospitality world at Hotel del Coronado, where she spent 14 years working her way up from accounting manager to manager of financial planning and cash management.

In 2007, HFTP Global Past President Tina Samson, CHAE, offered Montgomery the opportunity to work as a controller for Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida USA. Montgomery credits Samson for her role as a mentor, encouraging CHAE certification as well as involvement with the HFTP Mid-Florida Chapter, where Montgomery is the current chapter president. Today, Montgomery works as area director of finance at Lowes Hotels at Universal Orlando where she oversees the day to day operations and financial reporting of five amazing resort properties.

“I am thrilled to be nominated CHAE of the Year, and I consider this one of the highest achievements of my career,” said Montgomery. “As president of the Mid-Florida chapter, I have had the encouragement of my fellow members, my team at work, and the leaders of my company to be an active member. I think earning my CHAE was a demonstration to my team that you should never quit learning and growing in your chosen field. This achievement has inspired me to continue my growth as a member of this organization.”

Montgomery says that HFTP has elevated her personal and professional growth by providing her with opportunities to learn and network with peers on a monthly basis, as well as allowing her to meet and become friends with amazing people through her local HFTP chapter.

The CHAE professional designation is an industry designation showing competency in the area of accounting, and is acknowledged throughout the hospitality industry as it elevates the professionalism of both the recipient and the industry. More than 1,500 hospitality accountants, from several countries, have earned the CHAE designation through HFTP since the certification program began in 1981. HFTP also administers the examination and awards the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP).

For more information on HFTP's certification programs (CHTP and CHAE), please contact HFTP Certification Manager Robin Bogdon at Robin.Bogdon@hftp.org. For immediate information, visit the FAQ pages for both CHTP and CHAE certifications.

Stay tuned to HFTP’s main webpages: HFTP/HITEC; the world’s first hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch; HFTP’s industry-specific, informational news sites: HITEC Bytes (technology),  HFTP Club Bytes (club), HFTP News (association); and HFTP’s social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP) and Instagram (HFTP_HITEC) for the latest news. 

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is a global nonprofit hospitality association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, that uniquely understands the industry's problems. HFTP has about 5,200 members and several thousand stakeholders across the globe. HFTP assists its members in finding solutions to industry problems more efficiently than any organization via its expert networks, research, conferences such as HITEC and certification programs. HFTP also owns the world's only hospitality specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segment of the hospitality industry. For more information about HFTP, e-mail membership@hftp.org.

Contact: Jessica Blankenship

Jessica.Blankenship@hftp.org / 512-220-4038

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