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Acorn winner 2007: Kathy Wilton

10 May 2007
Acorn winner 2007: Kathy Wilton

Age: 29
Position: Corporate HR manager, Thistle Hotels, Corporate office, Uxbridge

Career to date

Wilton began her career in 1998 as a training co-ordinator at a TGI Friday's outlet in Surrey, later joining the trainee management programme. After a brief break from hospitality, she joined Thistle Hotels in late 2002 as HR manager of the Kensington Gardens Hotel and was soon responsible for four London hotels. Following stints as HR shared services manager, where she was responsible for recruitment and HR administration for 20 London hotels, and HR manager at the Cumberland and Marble Arch hotels in London, she began her current role in 2006.

Why is she a winner?

Wilton has had some notable successes in her five years at Thistle and the company in turn has been quick to provide challenges and responsibility.

In the newly created role of HR shared services manager she helped to set up a new department responsible for recruitment and HR administration for 20 London hotels, at the same time overseeing their switch to computerised processes. The resulting system, which resulted in a saving of £300,000, was later rolled out nationally.

Wilton, who recently completed an MA in HR management, has continued to excel in her current position, in which she provides HR support to all corporate functions based in the corporate office, encompassing about 150 employees. Last year she launched a new HR policies manual for the company and led the relocation of the two corporate offices in Leeds and London to Heathrow. She has also formed close links with a number of colleges and universities around the globe as part of a new recruitment strategy.

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