Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is pleased to announce two champions of hospitality technology, Sherry Marek and Mark Heymann as the 2023 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductees, both recognized for innovating a pioneering technology solution specific to hospitality. Marek is co-founder of Datavision Technologies, retired and continues to share her experience as owner of Aiken Street Consulting and a mentor for women in the technology profession. Mark Heymann is founder of Unifocus and currently the managing director at Mark Heymann & Associates. The 2023 inductees will be honored at the upcoming Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) in Toronto on June 26, 2023.
The International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame is HFTP's highest level of recognition in the area of technology. Since 1989, 53 individuals have received this award as a reflection of their contributions to the hospitality industry.
“This recognition is a true career honor, especially because it is the outcome of a professional endeavor I have a real passion for, which is a privilege itself,” said Marek. “I am pleased to be alongside a group of outstanding professionals, each with their own specialties all culminating in the excellence and progress of the hospitality technology industry. As I look forward, I am excited to be able to share my decades of expertise as a mentor to other women coming up in the field.”
Marek started her career in the mid-’80s at Hilton International and InterContinental Hotels, focusing primarily on front of house systems where she worked extensively with system users and vendors at properties across the globe. This experience led her to recognize a struggle with reporting – whether it was tapping into the data inside a single system or consolidating data across systems.
This insight led her to co-found Datavision Technologies and create the first true business intelligence (BI) system for hospitality. Even though the system was Initially designed to create automated daily flash reports for general managers and controllers, Marek soon realized that it would be more effective if the information was put in the hands of all users, not just management. Today, Datavision ingests detailed data from a variety of on-premise and cloud data sources (PMS, POS, Back Office, Comp Set, Labor, Guest Survey, Google Analytics, etc.) and is used across the enterprise to solve different business needs.
Over the last decade, Marek has been focused on promoting women in STEM fields as well as within the hospitality industry. She is working with the Business Analytics department at the University of Iowa, planning and speaking at the Women in Analytics and Leadership conference. For the past few years, she has been a contributor to Hospitality Upgrade’s “MentorSeries” — articles focused on hearing from women at different ages and at different stages of their career. Marek is also a member of various industry councils, including the HITEC Educational Advisory Council.
“I am truly honored by this recognition from HFTP,” said Heymann. “Since the start of the PC age, myself and other individuals that I’ve worked with have striven to present to the industry advanced decision-making tools that help managers and staff improve their overall work-life balance. While at the same time helping the industry progress to meet the challenges of yesterday’s and today’s diverse workforce. I would be remiss in not pointing out that I share this honor with all the individuals that contributed over the years to the advancements of this type of technology and specifically to my career. I look forward to sharing this knowledge in the future with the industry as it continues to address the new labor demands that it is facing.”
Since the 1970s, Mark Heymann has served as the pioneering face of labor management technology innovation for hospitality-based organizations. A graduate of both Brown University and Columbia University, Heymann was the first to relate service quality levels to a business’s ability to effectively manage their labor resources.
Leveraging his years of experience in serving as an industry consultant as well as his expertise in software and asset management, Heymann as founder and president of Heymann Group, Inc. spearheaded the development of modern labor management system technology. Initially introduced in the early-’80s, it wasn’t until around 1991 under the name Watson R.M™, Heymann’s resource and labor management solution served as a catalyst for providing hotels and restaurants with data-driven insight into how they could staff according to fluctuations in service demand.
Following his successes, Heymann went on to found Unifocus following a merger between Heymann Group, Inc. and Strategic Quantitative Solutions in 1998. As founder and CEO of Unifocus, Heymann helmed the first company to ever focus its efforts on developing the full array of labor and performance management systems specifically intended for the needs of the hospitality industry.
Under the Unifocus brand, industry firsts achieved by Heymann include automated scheduling technology equipped with intelligent algorithms that eliminate guesswork in the creating of optimized schedules. Other advancements credited to Heymann include the development of one of the industry’s first touch-screen time clocks and task-based labor platforms for meetings and conventions.
HITEC North America will take place on June 26–29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ont. Canada. Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, HITEC is the world's largest and longest-running hospitality technology exposition and conference. It offers a unique combination of top-notch hospitality technology education, led by industry peers and experts, and an unparalleled trade show showcasing the latest hospitality technology products and services. The 2023 event is expecting 6,000+ attendees and 320+ exhibiting companies. Registration for HITEC Toronto is open.