2008 FTA Shanghai Dinner
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The following 'Welcoming
Remarks' were delivered by Fred Tibbitts at the 2008 Shanghai Dinner.
Welcoming Remarks at Shanghai
Welcome to the Fifth Annual FTA “A Fall Evening at Shanghai
with Very Special Friends”. I am delighted you have all joined us this evening
and in particular I want to thank the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences,
Pudong as well as our valued dinner sponsors, without whose generous support
this evening would not be possible. So, please, let’s give the hotel management
and the sponsors a well-deserved hand of applause.
We gather in New York City, Shanghai and across Asia
Pacific to recognize hospitality excellence; in the names of those whom we
honor, provide scholarships at schools of higher hospitality education; and make
charitable donations, such as to UNICEF-China.
An industry is only as strong as the wisdom, vision,
compassion and actions of its leaders; leaders who define excellence for the
benefit of all those who look to them to know the way to realize their dreams
and ambitions and not be left behind. In the end we are judged not by whom we
include, but by whom we exclude. Great leaders inspire and teach all those who
seek to be included, because serving the least of us is truly the highest
calling and the only measure of service from the heart.
This evening we come together to recognize hospitality
industry Literary Excellence. This is truly a very special evening for us all
and I thank you for joining us, because as I say at every FTA dinner, YOU are
But the deeper meaning of why we come together is really at
the very heart of why the hospitality industry is so special to those of us who
have come to consider it our calling.
Hospitality is about service and in particular service
excellence: Service to others; for service is truly the highest calling. It is
not what we do for ourselves, but what we do for others that is the measure of
our worth to humanity.
The truth is that we are free to dwell at any given moment
in as beautiful a place as our hearts are open to loving all others without
qualification and our willingness to serve all others without question, simply
because it is the right thing to do.
Life is a series of micro steps from the time we arrive to
the time we depart and the quality of our life is but a reflection of the
quality of our contribution to the peace and happiness of others.
It is not about pleasing ourselves or collecting “things”
as the late George Carlin, the well noted American humorist would remind us: It
is about serving others and after one’s basic, personal needs are met, allowing
what remains of what comes our way to pass through our fingers for the benefit
of those less fortunate.
In particular I ask everyone to please remember the
earthquake survivors. The winter is soon approaching. If you have already
contributed something, thank you very much. If not, please, search your heart
and help the survivors: Especially the children, which are the focus of UNICEF