2008 FTA Kuala Lumpur Spring Dinner
Friday, May 9, 2008
The following 'Welcoming
Remarks' were delivered by Fred Tibbitts at the 2008 Kuala Lumpur Spring Dinner.
Welcome to the First Annual FTA “A Spring Evening at Kuala
Lumpur with Very Special Friends”. We gather in New York City, Kuala Lumpur 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 to make charitable donations.
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 George Carlin, the 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