Three rising stars of hospitality management were recognised at the Institute of Hospitality Aspiring Managers Awards last night (4 November). The awards, now in their 12th year, are organised by the Institute of Hospitality London Branch.
The Aspiring Manager overall winner was Kelly Staunton, Guest Relations Manager, Leonardo Hotels. In second place came Cecilia Odengran, People Manager at Hilton London Bankside. In third place was Caroline Bacigalupo, Operations Manager, BaxterStorey.
The nominees and guests celebrated at a reception and awards ceremony at the Victory Services Club, the prestigious military members club in the heart of London.
The special guest of honour was Surinder Arora FIH, President of the Institute of Hospitality who presented the awards along with London Branch Chairman Paul Evans FIH and Vic Laws FIH MBE, the Honorary President of the London Branch and Organising Committee.
Evans comments: “This year we received a record number of entries and, without trying to sound too clichéd, the judges found the decision to choose the finalists a very difficult task indeed. In an age when it is sometimes rather ‘fashionable’ to belittle the younger generation, I have to take to task many of the critics as I believe, in no uncertain terms, that many of our young hospitality professionals are far more focused, aware and dedicated than many of our peers from an earlier age. These awards are but a small recognition of some of the best young talent that our industry enjoys. Well done to the finalists, their managers and mentors!”
The winners’ package of rewards includes a training programme, mentoring and complimentary Associate membership of the Institute of Hospitality for one year.
Overall winner Kelly Staunton comments: “I’m very proud to have won this year’s Institute of Hospitality Aspiring Manager Award. Such fantastic recognition and a great booster for me to continue striving for excellence in everything I do at The Midland Hotel & Leonardo Hotels. I feel inspired to continue and develop my achievements further.”
The 2019 Aspiring Managers Awards were sponsored by Victory Services Club, Angel Human Resources Group, Ellis Wines, L’Oscar London, AVL Consultancy, HSQC Public Health, The Dorchester Collection and The Grand Folkestone.