General manager, Leonardo hotel, London Heathrow Airport
Nominator Theresa Snell
Jakob Gowin co-ordinated a full hotel refurbishment at the 230-bedroom Leonardo hotel at London Heathrow Airport, including four new meeting rooms and a crew lounge, which resulted in the growth of annual meetings and events revenue by more than 40% against budget in 2019.
Having graduated from the company's high-potential programme in January 2020, Gowin currently leads the Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels Food & Beverage Academy, which includes inducting new F&B managers into the company, communicating brand guidelines through monthly webinars, and working with suppliers to deliver on-site training.
As part of a larger team dealing with a major corporate social responsibility project, he devised the initial plan for (and organised the roll-out of) a charity challenge that raised £37,000 for the business's chosen charity. He also mentors two managers in the company's development programme and a graduate manager.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training, and growth?
Hospitality has always been a stepping-stone for many to develop their basic skills before going out into the wider world. Each of us has a role to play in ensuring that when we recruit, we do so with investment in mind. How can we retain this person and help ensure they not only see a future in hospitality, but they grow a passion for it? We have to ask ourselves if our structures and processes allow us to become a desirable industry to work in and an employer of choice.
Who is your hospitality hero?
Harry Murray, the chairman of Lucknam Park. He's an incredibly forward-thinking, innovative and committed hospitality leader, keen to share his knowledge and help others grow.