Thanks for everything

This is one of the easiest columns I’ve written – because I haven’t had to think of a topic! – but also one of the hardest, because it’s my last. As of today, I’m retiring from the hospitality industry. I’ll still be around for a few more months as I complete my existing assignments, but I won’t be taking on any new clients, and won’t be writing any more newsletters or articles.
It’s been twenty years since Rich interviewed me for Hospitality Upgrade (or “Hotel and Restaurant Technology Update” as it was called back then) and this seems like an appropriate time to bow out of the industry that’s been my life for the last 39 years. Ten years with pioneer PMS vendors Micor (not Micros!) and NCR, ten years with pre-Starwood Westin at its corporate headquarters in Seattle and 19 years as a consultant have made for a great run, taking me to 42 states in the USA and to 38 countries worldwide.
I feel very blessed to have been part of this industry for so long, but it’s time to devote more time to my other passion, photography, and to traveling more with my recently-retired wife, Lindsay. Some of you already know of my love for taking photos of the patterns and textures of the Earth from the window seats of commercial flights, and of my annual calendar. I hope you’ll continue to follow my work on www.joningephoto.com, which I promise to keep updated more often than I’ve been able to in the past!
The hardest thing will be missing all the many friends I’ve made here among vendors, hoteliers and fellow consultants. I have learned so much from you all, and enjoyed so many spirited discussions by phone, e-mail and at conferences!
Thank you all, for everything. It’s been a wonderful ride!

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