2009 FTA NYC Fall Dinner
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The following 'Welcoming
Remarks' were delivered by Fred Tibbitts at the 2009 NYC Fall Dinner.
Welcoming Remarks at New York Fall 2009
Welcome to the Eighteenth Annual FTA “An Autumn Evening at
New York with Very Special Friends”. We gather at New York City (spring &
fall) and in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok,
Tokyo and Mumbai to recognize hospitality excellence; in the names of those whom
we honor, provide scholarships at schools of higher hospitality education; and
to make charitable contributions.
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 the highest calling and the only
measure of service from the heart.
This evening we come together to recognize Lifetime, Operator-North America,
Literary and IT Innovator Hospitality Excellence as well as to observe a Moment
of Silence and hear from the beloved family of one of our industry’s great
leaders and long-time FTA NYC dinner attendee, now having passed, Don Stanczak.
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 the dinner. And this evening
there is no doubt in my mind, but that Don Stanczak in spirit remains among us.
The true 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
Hospitality is about service and in particular, service excellence. It is
not what we do for ourselves, but what we do for others that is the measure of
our worth to humanity: And simply because it is the right thing to do; not for
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 others and our willingness to serve them
without regard to our advantage.
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”: 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.
I ask everyone to remember those less fortunate; and in particular, children in
need. This evening’s charity donation, funded by a share of the dinner
proceeds, focuses on serving the health and education of Tibetan refugees in
Thank you very much.