New Year Honours 2015: awards for Simon Vincent and Wendy Bartlett
Hilton Worldwide's boss in the UK, Simon Vincent, and leading food service operator, Wendy Bartlett, have been named in the New Year Honours List 2015.
Vincent, executive vice-president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of Hilton Worldwide, receives an OBE for services to the hospitality industry.
Based in London, Vincent is responsible for more than 550 hotels (353 which are open, the rest are in the pipeline) across eight brands, and over 50,000 staff in 70 countries. In the UK, he looks after 115 hotels, with a further 25 under development.
Since joining the company from online travel agency Opodo in 2007, Vincent has overseen the number of hotels in EMEA double under the Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Curio, Canopy, Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton brands.
He spent the early part of his career in international banking with HSBC before joining the Thomas Cook Group, where he spent 13 years, latterly as chief operating officer of the travel division.
Vincent, who is co-chair of the UK Tourism Council, alongside the tourism minister, Helen Grant, and minister for skills and enterprise, Matthew Hancock, said he was "delighted and honoured" by the award.
"At the forefront of my current work is the industry co-chairmanship of the Tourism Council where we continue to work closely with ministers to promote growth, job creation and the importance of the tourism and hospitality industry."
Receiving a MBE for services to the hospitality industry tops off an exceptional year for Wendy Bartlett, who launched independent foodservice company Bartlett Mitchell as chief executive in 2000 with chairman Ian Mitchell. Today the company enjoys a turnover of £30m and has more than 700 employees and 70 contracts, including new wins this year from the Financial Conduct Authority and mobile telecoms giant Three.
The past 12 months have been the most successful in the company's history with the acquisition of Inn or Out Events, which caters for high profile, one-off events and fixed venue catering, as well as the successful addition of new business, which will be worth more than £42m over the next five years. In addition, the company retained over £3m in business during 2014.
Bartlett, who in her early career worked for Sutcliffe and Compass, told The Caterer that she is "completely overwhelmed" by news of the honour.
"I have worked in this amazing industry of hospitality all my career and I hope it's an inspiration to others," she said, speaking from Australia where she has spent Christmas visiting family. "Bartlett Mitchell is a thriving business that has great opportunities for others and my success is down to a great team and their back up.
"In recent years I've been able to do a bit more in giving back to the industry, so this will hopefully let others, and females in particular, see that it's a great opportunity - you just need to put the effort, passion and hard work in, in particularly with the people who will make it happen with you."
Other members of the hospitality and tourism industry who have been honoured include Sandie Dawe, who spent more than five years as chief executive of Visit Britain until July 2014. Currently working as a consultant within the tourism industry and as a director of London & Partners, she has been made a CBE for services to tourism, having received the MBE in 2008.
The chairman of VisitScotland, Michael Cantlay, who is also a board member of VisitBritain, has been awarded an OBE for services to tourism and hospitality in Scotland.
Meanwhile, a MBE goes to Stewart Spence, the owner of Marcliffe hotel and spa, which is Aberdeen's only property to hold five stars from VisitScotland. Spence, who is honoured for his services to the Scottish tourism industry, has run seven hotels and restaurants in the Aberdeen area since 1972. He launched the Marcliffe in 1993, when it was officially opened by the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Christine Yau, founder in 1986 of Yming's restaurant in Soho, London, is also awarded a MBE, for services to the hospitality industry. A leading figure in the Chinese community, Yau helped launched the Chinese Chefs School at Westminster Kingsway College in 2002.
Two leading suppliers to the foodservice industry were also named on the list: Fiona Kendrick, chairman and chief executive of Nestle, UK & Ireland, is made a dame; while Laila Remtulla, managing director of family-owned business Laila's Fine Foods, receives a MBE.
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