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 our calling.
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 personal recognition.
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 India.
Thank you very much.