Acorn winner 2007: Emma Simpson

10 May 2007
Acorn winner 2007: Emma Simpson

Age: 29

Position: Customer operations manager, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC Business School, Gogarburn, Edinburgh

Career to date

Simpson started out in 1996 as an assistant restaurant manager at the Thainstone House Hotel in Inverurie, Scotland. She then became a restaurant manager at Simpson's Hotel, Brasserie & Bar in Aberdeen, before switching to the role of conference and banqueting manager at the Copthorne Hotel, Aberdeen, in 1998. Then followed a four-year stay at the Westin Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, where, following a fast-track management programme, she rose to regional account manager before taking a role as regional director of events at the St Martins Lane and the Sanderson in London for Ian Schrager Hotels. She then moved to Compass Managed Services, quickly progressing from events manager of her current site to her current role of customer operations manager.

Why is she a winner?

In her wide and varied career Simpson has demonstrated an aptitude for budgetary control and a flair for sales and attracting new business. While at the St Martins Lane and Sanderson, for example, her initiatives helped grow revenue from events F&B from £750,000 in 2003 to £2.1m in 2004.

In her current role managing the operation of the RBS business school, which in addition to its classrooms and training facilities has 70 bedrooms, bar, lounge and 100-cover restaurant, she has made major savings in areas such as linen and utility costs by introducing environmental awareness initiatives. Innovations such as a feedback database have helped to improve the customer experience.

Simpson's passion for service delivery extends to her staff. She is a real team player and remains passionate about talent management and succession planning and ensuring that her team not only meet service delivery standards but reach their potential.

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