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Past President's Letters

June 1, 2009

Hi, everyone;
It's been a crazy year, as you all know.  The economy has taken several hits in the last eight months, and it seems that nobody really knows what to expect for the next several months.  The hospitality industry has had its share of project cancellations and postponements, but luckily the pipeline was pretty full.  It may be hard to admit, but compared to many industries today, hospitality projects have hung in there.  The million dollar question is; what's going to happen now?
The ISHP member's meeting was held at HD in Las Vegas last Thursday, and we had good representation considering the economy and the travel restrictions placed by many of our companies.  We had also invited, through HD, others outside of our membership to attend the meeting.  We had 52 RSVP's, which indicates to me that opportunities exist for a substantial increase in our membership.  John Fulton was elected president, and Michael Shapiro was added to the board as membership director.  David Shulman, after many years of extraordinary service on the board, has finally become a civilian again.  He and Neil Locke will still be the driving force behind the Hollywood Heart event in Miami, and their work on behalf of this very deserving charity is the yearly crown jewel of ISHP.  The event will be somewhat scaled down this year due to the economy, but we need as many of you as possible to attend.  An e-mail will soon be coming from our new board outlining the new venue.
Thursday afternoon ISHP hosted a fun event.  It was either called "Not Quite What I Had Planned", or "Designers Are From Venus, Purchasers Are From Mars"....I'm not sure which.  It was a light hearted look into the inner workings of our industry, and a study on collaboration.  It was a lot of fun, and well attended.

The ISHP Town Hall Roundtable was held Friday, and was very well received.  The 2009 ISHP Town Hall Survey results are posted on our website.  Take a look.  You contributed to these statistics.
We had hoped to have Shawn Ford of Lodging Econometrics talk to us about the industry at our meeting. Unfortunately, there was a scheduling conflict, but I was treated to a personal 30 minute discussion with Shawn on Friday.  His message for those of us who purchase FF&E and OS&E for hotels was very uplifting. The mid-tier and limited service segments of our industry, especially, offer great opportunities for the next several months.  I've enclosed a brief power point presentation prepared by Shawn, and it shows a pipeline that is pretty full, with significant activity through 2010.  Five bullet points given in this report offer a focused snapshot of our industry:
1.  "If you can sell to hotels that are currently under construction, 2009 and 2010 can be great years."
2.  "Many large projects got underway before financing problems struck."
3.  "Large projects that did not break ground are likely to idle until market conditions change."
4.  "Small and Mid-scale projects can still migrate through the pipeline".
5.  "Call on your customers who have portfolios.  They will need you soon."
All in all, that's not a bad prognosis.  There's business to be gotten, and all you have to do is go out and get it!  Another thing Shawn mentioned that's encouraging, is that, as the new build volume decreases, he believes renovations will increase significantly.  We can live with this.
I want to thank you all for allowing me to serve as your president for the last two years.  It was an honor, and I made a lot of new friends.  John Fulton will be an inspiring and ultra-competent leader (he's already drafted me to do some work on standardized specifications).  Push forward, heads up, and success to you all.

Larry Carver
Past President, ISHP
Carver & Associates

May 14, 2007

LAS VEGAS- The international Society Of Hospitality Purchurers (ISHP) named their board or directors today during the HD Expo & Conference at the Sands Convention Center here.

Larry Carver, president, Carver and Associates was appointed president of ISHP and John Fulton, vp, design and purchasing

John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts was named executive vice president.

Other appointments include:
Davd Shulman, principle, Project Dynamics, immediate past president
Mitchell Parker, partner, The Parker Company, membership
Russel Haber, Royal Oak Purchasing, treasurer
Helen Jorgensen, director of purchasing, design & construction, Hosts Hotels & Resorts
Lori Patten, principle, Patten Purchasing
Stacy Silver, vp, ICD Publications and Michelle Finn, publisher, Hospitality Design all named directors at large.

January 10, 2005

Dear Colleagues:
 ISHP is proud to be affiliated with Gifts in Kind. If your company has product to donate, click on this link to access GIK's donation form.  GIK has the ability to arrange for the shipping of the goods from your business to the appropriate charity, making it a smooth and easy transaction.
Jennifer Ramsey
ISHP President


April 2, 2003

Dear Colleagues:
Please mark your calendars for the next ISHP general meeting that will be held at the Hospitality Design show in Las Vegas. The meeting will be from 11:00 am until noon on Friday, May 2, in Room 104 in the Sands Convention Center.

New ISHP Board officers will be elected for the 2003-2005 term. We will also have a panel of guest speakers. Also attending the meeting will be Barbara Florence and Mark Korkolis from Gifts In Kind International, the newest ISHP charity. Barbara and Mark will be at the ISHP booth, # 439, throughout the show, so please stop by to meet them.

More information on Gifts In Kind and the services they provide can be found at A sincere thanks to all of you for responding to the Hospitality Design/ISHP survey. I appreciate your time, and will be reporting the results of the survey at the Town Hall meeting at HD. The Town Hall meeting is on Friday, May 2, at 9:00 am, in Room 202/203 in the Sands Convention Center.

The new ISHP website is up and running! If you have not already done so, please check out the new site at

This being my last letter as President of the ISHP, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to growing our young organization. We have made a positive impact to the hospitality industry and influenced thousands of lives through our community service work with Gifts In Kind International and Camp Pacific Heartland. The ISHP will continue to grow and prosper under the superb leadership of incoming president, Jennifer Ramsey.

Sincerely, Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC
ISHP President


February 19, 2003

Dear Colleagues:

I hope the new year finds you well. The following is an update on the exciting things happening within the ISHP.

The ISHP Charity Cocktail Party, held at the IH/M&RS (New York Hotel Show) last November, raised over $90,000 for Camp Pacific Heartland. A check was presented to Lisa Cavanaugh, executive director of the camp, at the ALIS Conference in Los Angeles on January 27th. The 3-year total that ISHP has raised for Camp Pacific Heartland is now at $266,700, which has allowed an additional 160 children that are infected/affected with HIV/AIDS to have a meaningful and unforgettable summer camp experience. This year’s charity cocktail party will be at the Roosevelt Hotel on Friday, November 7, 2003. Look for more details to be sent later this year.

Thanks to the hard work of ISHP Board member John McDonald, the ISHP has a new website. If you notice anything that needs to be updated, please contact John at The site will go live to the general public at on Monday, March 3, 2003.

Please mark your calendar for the next ISHP general meeting to be held at the Hospitality Design Show in Las Vegas, May 1-3, 2003. New officers will be elected for the 2003-2005 term. As soon as the room and time are set, I will e-mail the membership.

Best wishes for a prosperous 2003!

Sincerely,Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC
ISHP President


December 19, 2002

Dear Colleagues:

I hope this letter finds you well and in the holiday spirit! The ISHP has had a productive year of networking, fund raising, and increasing the level of awareness of the purchaser’s role in the hospitality industry.

Probably the most successful accomplishment of the ISHP, since our inception in 1999, has been our community service and fund raising work. At last months IH/M&RS (New York Hotel Show), the 3rd Annual ISHP Charity Cocktail Party to benefit Camp Pacific Heartland was held Friday evening, November 8, at the Roosevelt Hotel. This year we had a record attendance and sold out at 40 vendors. For the vendors and purchasers alike, this has become a "must attend" event for the NY Show. I was pleased to hear such positive feedback from all who attended. Significant relationships were again established, that will lead to new business for many vendors and new solutions for the purchasers.

Through Neil Locke’s continual guidance, the ISHP Charity Cocktail Party raised $84,580 for the Camp! This is an amazing result for a 2-hour cocktail party. The 3-year total that ISHP has raised for Camp Pacific Heartland is now at $266,700, which has allowed an additional 160 children that are infected/affected with HIV/AIDS to have a meaningful and unforgettable summer camp experience. We should all feel proud that the ISHP has touched so many lives in such a meaningful manner.

Also on the community service side, we initiated our relationship with Gifts in Kind International, Inc. (GIKI). As outlined in detail in my September 26, 2002 letter, and the November 7-20, 2002 issue of Hotel Business column, GIKI is the 7th largest charity in the world. The ISHP is helping in two ways; with "experienced" FF&E from hotels being renovated, and from "new" FF&E directly from vendor’s production. This program, in its initial year, is already receiving the FF&E from a renovation of a portfolio of 42 Fairfield Inns (over 5,000 rooms). Shaw Industries, the first supplier to participate, donated 1,000 yards of carpet last month. Each ISHP board member will be working with a leading vendor to grow the product donation program. You can help too! If you are renovating a hotel, or aware of a vendor with excess inventory or mis-manufactured product, simply contact Barbara Florence, Vice President for Donation Development of GIKI at (703) 299-7570, or e-mail her at Help ISHP reach its goal of $10 million in product donations in 2003.

Through the efforts of Stacy Silver, we were able to have a booth at the IH/M&RS Show. The booth was successful in increasing the awareness of the ISHP, and we will be following up on the leads generated from the booth.

Thanks to Michelle Finn, we were able to use a meeting room during the IH/M&RS to have a general meeting, which about 20 people attended. Please mark your calendar for the next ISHP general meeting to be held at the HD Show in Las Vegas, May 1-3, 2003. New officers will be elected for the 2003-2005 term.

Our goals for 2003 include:
• The publishing of a specification standards book for 10 product areas
• To increase our membership
• To increase our community service results
• To increase the industry’s awareness of the role of the purchasing firm
• To increase our value to our membership

One of the best benefits of ISHP membership is the ability to brainstorm and consult with other industry professionals. We have a tremendous resource of knowledge in the ISHP, in the product areas of FF&E and OS&E, in the dealer, agent, and franchise/management business model, and in all aspects of the hospitality purchasing process.

Make your new year’s resolution to get involved. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a safe and prosperous 2003!

Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC
ISHP President


Sept. 26, 2002

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that we are ready to launch our new partnership with Gifts in Kind International, the leading charity in product philanthropy. You'll recall from my previous letter to you that Susan Corrigan, President of Gifts In Kind, met with our Board in May to present their program. We have been working with her and her staff since then to outline a framework that will permit the hospitality industry and its vendors to donate excess new inventory, as well as used FF&E, to thousands of charities around the U.S and abroad.

The business benefits of product philanthropy are impressive. Companies that participate will find tremendous cost savings from enhanced inventory control; lower warehousing and transportation costs and elimination of disposal costs, in addition to a tax benefit of up to twice the value of the donated products. But I think the best part of this program is the significant opportunity for our industry to help the neediest here and around the world.

For those of you who have not had a chance to review the Gifts In Kind website (, you may be surprised at the scope of their outreach. Their Building Communities program, which we will be supporting, is a coordinated effort with charities around the world that are involved in community revitalization and the provision of emergency shelter and low-income housing. The FF&E products that we deal with on a daily basis are sorely needed by these groups as they reach out to provide suitable shelter and housing to the homeless, less-advantaged, and those displaced in times of crisis.

Gifts In Kind has an experienced team to orchestrate the logistics required to pick up donated products in one locale and deliver them to multiple charities in different cities. Companies working with them can have the confidence that this sometimes-complex process will be handled professionally and efficiently, and at no cost to them.

While we are very excited about this new partnership, I want to assure everyone that it does not diminish our commitment to Camp Pacific Heartland. We will continue to support this wonderful camp for children with the money we raise at our annual NY Hotel Show cocktail party. Our relationship with Gifts in Kind simply permits us to extend our philanthropic reach by encouraging the donation of excess and used inventory.

Over the next few weeks, we will be asking our Board members to contact their leading vendors and introduce the Gifts in Kind program to them. Gifts In Kind will be ready to follow up with all who express interest. If any of you are interested in learning more about the donation process, please contact Barbara Florence, Vice President for Donor Development at 703-299-7570 or at

Alan Benjamin
ISHP President

August 19, 2002

Dear Colleagues:

The following is an update on the ISHP since the June 21 letter:

1. Dan Hogan, Publisher of Hotels magazine, has taken on additional responsibilities at Cahners Publishing. Unfortunately, the additional time his new position will require will not allow Dan to continue as Director at Large on the ISHP Board.

Therefore, this is a great opportunity for you to get more involved in your organization, and we have an immediate opening for a Director at Large position. If you are interested, or to learn more about the position, please call me at (303) 530.3885, x101, or e-mail to I would like to have all inquiries by Friday, August 30, 2002.

Mark your calendar now for the 3rd Annual ISHP/Camp Pacific Heartland Charity Function, Friday, November 8, 2002, from 6-8pm, at a New York City hotel that is TBD. As you know, this is the premier fund raising even of the ISHP, and in the last 2 years we have raised over $170,000 for the children affected/infected with HIV/AIDS. The more leading hospitality purchasers we have in the room, the more vendors we can invite, and the more money we can raise for the camp!

Many vendors feel this is "the" event of the NY Hotel Show, and it is a great kick-off to the IH&MRS. Neil Locke will be chairing the event, and he can be reached at (630) 285.9085, or

3. Also note that we will have an ISHP booth at the NY Show. If you are attending the show and would like to volunteer at the booth for two hours, please contact my assistant, Barbara Fisher, at (303) 530.3885, x114, or

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to seeing you in New York.

Very truly yours,

Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC
President, ISHP

June 21, 2002

Dear Colleagues:

The following is an update on the ISHP since my April letter.

We had over 40 attendees at our annual HD meeting, May 2 in Las Vegas. The key points included:
1. Introducing John McDonald as Director at Large on the ISHP Board. John has left Provisions, a division of Carlson Companies, and has formed JM Resources.

2. We reviewed the first 10 chapters of our ISHP Approved Standard FF&E specifications, and are on schedule to publish these in time for the NY Hotel Show in November. The following are the product areas and their chairperson. Please contact them if you can help with a particular area:
a) Carpet and Pad - Diane Cudworth
b) TV's - Stacy Silver
c) Wallcovering - Neil Locke
d) Casegoods - Neil Locke
e) Seating - Michelle Finn
f) Artwork - Ann Kline
g) Lighting - Jennifer Ramsey
h) Beds - John McDonald
i) Window treatments - Dave Shulman
j) Bed treatments - Dan Hogan
We are very excited at this opportunity to improve the communication, accuracy and information flow between the interior design, purchasing, and vendor communities.

3. Susan Corrigan, President of Gifts in Kind International presented her first capabilities in terms of a Strategic Alliance with ISHP in providing a channel of distribution for donating both new and used FF&E to the leading charities. Please check out their website, to learn more about their organization.

I will be working with Suzy Tichner, of Gifts In Kind, over the next 6 weeks to put the program together, and will launch the program via e-mail to all our members. In addition to our Camp Pacific Heartland charity, this will provide all ISHP members with another great way to give back to our communities.

4. We will be switching the ISHP columns from Hotel Motel Management to Hotel Business. Look for the first column in the September 7 issue of Hotel Business.

We need your involvement! So far only the ISHP Board has written columns. Writing a column is a great way to get involved, and you are all dealing with issues every day that can be of assistance to the purchasing world as a whole. Please e-mail me your ideas and we will work with the Hotel Business editorial staff to get you published.

5. Camp Pacific Heartland (NY Hotel Show)

Once again, ISHP will be hosting our NY Hotel Show charity cocktail party benefiting Camp Pacific Heartland. Neil Locke will be chairing this event. Mark you calendars now for Friday, November 8, from 6-8pm. Location TBD.

We have raised over $170,000 for Camp Pacific Heartland and we expect this years vent to be another fantastic evening for networking with a cause. The more ISHP members we have attending, the more vendors we can invite, and the more money we will raise for the children of Camp Pacific Heartland.

6. Thanks to the efforts of Stacy Silver, we will have an ISHP booth at the NY Hotel Show, November 9-12. Barbara Fisher, my assistant, will be contacting members to sign up to staff the booth for a two-hour shift.

Goals for the booth are:
a. Increase the awareness of the ISHP and purchaser's role in projects
b. Drive membership in ISHP
c. Drive awareness (and donations) to Camp Pacific Heartland and Gifts in Kind programs
d. Sell the ISHP specification book
Take care,

Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC
ISHP President

April 1, 2002

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome to the second quarter of 2002. I hope this part of the year marks a noticeable and pronounced movement of hotel owners reinstating capital expenditures. Since my last letter in January, the following is an update on the ISHP.

1. HD 2002, May 2-4, 2002
I hope to see all of you at the ISHP annual meeting, Thursday, May 2, 2002, 11:30am-1:30pm (includes lunch). The meeting will be in the same building as the HD Show, the Sands Convention Center, room 203.

2. John McDonald joins the ISHP Board
We are thrilled to have John McDonald, Executive Director of Business Development for ProVisions, join our board. John has over 20 years of experience in FF&E, OS&E, and F&B. ProVisions is owned by Carlson Companies and John has been responsible for the Regent, Radisson, and Country Inn and Suites programs.

3. ISHP Approved Standard Specifications
We have partnered with Hospitality Design Magazine to publish ISHP standard specifications by November 2002 (the NY Hotel Show) for the following 10 product areas. We will discuss this at the annual meeting next month.

    a) Carpet and pad
    b) TV's
    c) Wallcovering
    d) Casegoods
    e) Seating
    f) Artwork
    g) Lighting
    h) Beds
    i) Window treatment
    j) Bed treatments

4. Hotel and Motel Management Columns
We still have 2 openings for columns this year. Get your picture in the magazine and share your expertise with the industry! If you want to write a column, but are stuck on a topic, call me and we can brainstorm. Available dates are:

    October 7 issue, August 15 deadline
    December 9 issue, October 15 deadline

5. Hospitality Vendor Foundation
We are currently working on a strategic alliance with an international, well-established charity. By HD 2002, I hope to announce a major ISHP charitable initiative that we can all participate in together.

6. New Ideas
The ISHP is here for you, to serve you, the hospitality purchasing professional. Take advantage of the knowledge, experience, and expertise of your peers. Have a question, concern, or facing a situation with a client, vendor, or owner you have not faced before? Use the ISHP to bounce ideas off of your peers. Also, the board is open to any and all suggestions of topics you would like covered.

Let us know!

See you in Las VegasŪ

Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC
ISHP President

November 27, 2001

Thank you for attending the ISHP Camp Pacific Heartland Charity event on Friday, November 6.

Thanks to you, we raised $71,250.00, which brings the total amount ISHP has raised for Camp Pacific Heartland to over $170,000.00.

All of us at ISHP appreciate your participation and support of the industry. Especially during these uncertain economic times, your leadership is noted and appreciated by the entire ISHP membership and the hospitality community. The children of Camp Pacific Heartland will directly benefit from your generosity and kindness.

To reserve your space for next year's event, please contact Neil Locke at, or (630) 285-9085, ext. 27.

Very truly yours,

Alan Benjamin President, ISHP



September 25, 2001


 Dear Colleagues and Friends,

This is certainly not the letter I wanted to write as my (supposed to be monthly) letter as the President of ISHP.  The horrific and unprecedented events inflicted on our country two weeks ago today have not only hurt all of America, it has especially hurt the travel and tourism industry.  I have seen single digit occupancies in major NYC hotels, and know of some properties which have closed off sections of rooms. As the events are unprecedented (REVPAR and occupancy comparisons from the Gulf War of 1991 do not apply), we do not know how long or how deep the decline will be.  But we also do not know how fast or steep the rebound will be.  We all have to remember it is called a business cycle, not a business decline, and the world today changes very, very quickly.  We should all do our best not to over react in either direction.  We are all hoping for a speedy recovery to all aspects of our industry, and I encourage all of us to be an optimist.

This is a time that we as an industry need to be strong and unified. We need to mourn the still uncounted victims of the attacks, and feel for their families and loved ones.  But we also need to get back to business.  Everyday that we do not, as Mayor Guliani says, "go back to your daily routines," the terrorists have, in some way, won.  We cannot let this happen, especially us, those in the hospitality business. Go see a client.  Go see a vendor.

I have received calls about the NY Hotel Show.  Yes, it is still on, and I encourage ALL of you to attend, and attend for four days.  Support the industry that supports us. I have received calls to see if our Camp Pacific Heartland Charity Benefit is still on.  Yes, it is.  It is at The Millennium Broadway in Times Square, not at The Millennium near> the World Trade Center. Children are still being affected by HIV/AIDS every day, and Camp Pacific Heartland provides them an incredible and beautiful experience.  Those children still need our money, and last year we gave them $100,000.00.  This year, our goal is $125,000.00. You can make this happen by attending the event and giving the vendors who support us another reason to write the $2,500.00 check and attend.  We can bring a little bright spot to NYC in early November.

In terms of regular ISHP business, we have added a Vinyl Wall covering Handbook to the web page, next to the existing linen and fabric guides.  The board is working on a statement of ethics and definition of fiduciary duty to be published so that we, the leaders of the Hospitality Purchasing profession, can take an important stand on ethics and integrity.  Ann Kline is working on a business plan for the Hospitality Vendor Foundation; and we are working on developing the standardized specification format that will bring efficiency to our industry.

While we will not have a General Meeting at the NY Hotel Show this > year, (we will have one at HD 2002 next May) please attend our charity event Friday night, November 9, 2001, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.  The children of Camp Pacific Heartland are expecting you.

Letøs all hope for a victorious America in its War on Terrorism, a fast economic recovery, and full hotels.

Alan Benjamin, ISHP, ISHC