Welcome to the Northern Ireland Branch
“Our aims are to promote industry excellence and to encourage and develop the future managers and industry leaders of tomorrow.”
It is a tremendous honour for me to Chair the Northern Ireland Branch, and together with other regions, headquarters, and committee, we continue to inspire, educate and share our expertise, to promote hospitality professionalism and lifelong learning, and to be ambassadors for this wonderful industry, that is a career for life.
The hospitality industry in Northern Ireland is like no other; a tightly knit unit, like an extended family – we know each other well and have clear transparency and take learnings from the good, the bad and ugly experiences we discover. I am proud to be supported by a committed representation of this industry in Northern Ireland, from traditional hoteliers, independent consultants, academics, business owners and trade suppliers.
The Northern Ireland Branch continues to support hospitality professionals in their junior positions and education, through to managers and owners in their establishments – with the Institute of Hospitality endorsing the Ulster University hospitality qualifications, a key stakeholder of our Branch.
In 2020, we were set to celebrate and reward our peers in the 25th Institute of Hospitality (NI) Awards for Professionalism with a shortlist of hundreds of interviewed and independently judged individuals for their contribution to their organisation across several metrics including financial control, service delivery, talent management, organisational change and business development.
Alas, COVID-19 halted those ‘normal’ celebrations, when in previous years we entertained and celebrated with over 550 people, congratulating and awarding the endeavours and achievements of the finalists and winners. In October, we downsized the event to less than 50 people to comply with the regional restrictions, but regardless of the reduction in numbers, the lunch event was a huge success and enjoyed by all. May I take this opportunity to thank Marianne Hood FIH, immediate past chair, on her leadership to steer through the multiple changes to make this happen, and may I congratulate those finalists and winners for an award that they can be very proud of in a year of negativity with limited occasions to celebrate.
The Northern Ireland Branch hosts several events throughout the year, with a highly engaged and motivated member base, committee and thriving industry. These events range from the yearly Student Conference, keynote speaker events for ongoing professional development and our flagship awards event each May. These events are not possible without the support from our partners in the form of sponsorship to fund and execute these events professionally and with acclaim. I am continually thankful for the support and their participation, and to Michael Cafolla, committee member for his sterling work in sponsorship relations.
As an educational charity, we are particularly involved in the promotion of hospitality as a career and raising the profile of the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland during one of the greatest transitions of this country, with a world-renowned reputation for hospitality, warmth and welcome to international visitors and locals alike. It is our focus to be involved in promoting education through all age ranges, in post-primary school and mature professionals exiting other industries.
Most of all, however, we rely on the participation of our Institute members within Northern Ireland, which can be done by joining the Branch Committee in the upcoming events and activities we provide.
I look forward to an opportunity of meeting with you on Zoom, or in person, in the near future.
Best wishes for 2021, for a year that we can begin to rebuild upon a fractured 2020.
Eoin McGrath MIH – Chair
Read about our Student Conference, which took place in September 2019.
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Branch Committee Contacts
|Eoin McGrath MIH||Chairmanfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Caitriona Lennox MIH||Secretary|
|Aaron Logan MIH||Treasurer|
Michael Cafolla MIH
Neil Devlin MIH
Sinead Scott MIH
Michael Stewart MIH
Nikki McQuillan MIH
Vicki Green MIH
Marianne Hood FIH
Lisa Steele MIH
Jonathan Topping MIH