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HR in Hospitality – Celebrates the best the industry has to offer!

The Park Plaza Riverside hosted the HR in hospitality awards for 2013 on Friday evening (6th September) – creating a fabulous backdrop of the Thames at night – an evening of celebrating the achievements of Human Resources within all sectors of the hospitality industry.  Compères for the night were vice-chair, Basil Blanco and Esther O’Halloran, committee member which made for a dynamic ceremony!  The night was sponsored by DLA Piper LLP, UpSkill People and Davidson Asset Management.  Two new awards featured in the honours this year – the Tom Crowley award and a Scholarship from; both of these added to a night of achievement and fun!

Over £5,000 was raised on the night for the HR in hospitality’s chosen charities of Springboard UK and Hospitality Action.  Judges for the awards included Sarah Edwards from Tragus Group, Jonathan Raggett from Red Carnation Hotels, Ian Scarth and Gerry Brown from People 1st.  Jane Sunley, HR in hospitality’s President wished everyone well via video link from Brazil!

There was a new award this year called The Tom Crowley award.  Tom Crowley was the General Manager of the Intercontinental Hotel and a committee member of the HCPTA, which is how HR in hospitality were known twenty years ago.  Tom encouraged and promoted the concept of recognition in the workplace. Very sadly Tom died on Christmas Day 2010 at the very young age of 62.  His widow Constantina Crowley presented the award along with sculptor Oliver Berchmans, who worked with Tom at the Intercontinental Hotel.  Another surprise for the evening was from Ian Burke of who generously offered to donate £2,500 by way of a Scholarship towards the Human Resources career progression of one award winner!  Ian pledged to offer this Scholarship each year – a very worthy and kind gesture.

The Tom Crowley Award went to the Red Carnation Hotel collection for their innovative initiatives for Excellence in Recognition.  Liz McGivern, Vice President HR said “We are so very honoured to be the first winners of this prestigious award and for being held up as good examples by industry leaders and our contemporaries.”

Natalie Wild of Marriott Hollins Hall was the very proud winner of the Links with Schools and Colleges award.  The judges recognised her for using a very proactive effort that was driven with passion and energy – simple ideas that were well executed, consistently and professionally in a tough market and a tough location – all of which illustrated that “where there’s a will there’s a way”!  Natalie said “Winning this award is a fantastic achievement, not only on a personal level but one that demonstrates the values and culture Marriott embraces as an organisation.”

The HRh Rising Star award went this year to Rakhee Patel of the Dorchester Collection.  Rakhee was recognised for her persistency and professionalism. Rakhee said “I find myself extremely honoured to be recognised by such as esteemed association.  It makes me even more engaged in Human Resources and I feel so proud to be part of Dorchester Collection and our hospitality industry!”

The award for Excellence in Learning & Talent went to PPHE Hotel Group.  This winner included a lot of detail in their entry and statistical evidence of the impact on bottom line.  They developed an innovative customer service initiative that was well researched to ensure it fitted the needs of the “Generation Y” perfectly in order to truly harness young talent.  Claire Whitehouse, Learning and Development Manager, EMEA said “We are extremely proud to have been recognised for the progress we have made over the last two years in Learning & Development.”

The final award went to Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons for Excellence in HR for showing clear evidence of success and dramatic effects on the business.  This team embodies excellence in HR and so is an excellent role model for our industry.  Julia Murrell, HR Director for Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons said “We are delighted to win this award and it is amazing for HR in hospitality to recognise the effort of the Human Resources team at Le Manoir and their achievements.”

The Scholarship went to a very surprised and delighted Natalie Wild of Marriott Hollins Hall!  She stood out for the judges for her outstanding initiatives, innovation and drive.  Natalie said “I am truly overwhelmed”.  They felt that Natalie would not only certainly benefit from this prestigious and valuable Scholarship but that she would enhance her already considerable HR skills guaranteeing her a bright future in HR!  Lucky Natalie!

All in all a memorable evening was had by all!  The HR in hospitality committee would like to extend its congratulations to all its worthy winners, thanks to everyone who attended the evening and say a huge gratitude of thanks too, to our sponsors.  

Anyone within any sector of hospitality interested in getting involved or being a member should in the first instance visit the HR in Hospitality website.