2008 FTA NYC Spring Dinner
Thursday, March 13, 2008


The following 'Welcoming Remarks' were delivered by Fred Tibbitts at the 2008 NYC Spring Dinner.


Welcoming Remarks


Welcome to the Twelfth Annual FTA “A Spring Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”.  We gather in New York City and across Asia Pacific to recognize hospitality excellence and in the names of those whom we honor, provide scholarships at schools of higher hospitality education.


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 four such industry leaders and their respective organizations.  This is truly a very special evening for us all.  I thank you for joining us, because as I say at every FTA dinner, YOU are the dinner.


But the deeper purpose 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.


Attachment, aversion and believing the physical world is the only reality insure an endless cycle of happiness and sorrow, joy and despair, elation and misery.  Some mistakenly think our physical being and or our physical surroundings define what is real; however, such thinking only limits our transcendence to higher realms of awakening and inspiration that turn our attention from pleasing ourselves to pleasing others.


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.  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 George Carlin 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.


Thank you.


I now call upon those who will offer this evening’s prayers