Acorn winners 2016: Lauren Fisher, 27

01 July 2016
Acorn winners 2016: Lauren Fisher, 27

Human resources manager, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London

Nominated by Gareth Banner, former general manager, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Proudest moment "Gaining a scholarship through the Worshipful Company of Master Innholders and graduating in 2015 with an Aspiring Leaders Diploma L3 award in leadership and management."

Greatest inspiration "Hilary Cooke, managing director of Merlin Consultancy, who taught me what I consider to be one of the most important life skills."

Ambition "Medium term, director of HR within a five-star lifestyle and people-focused brand in London. Long term, managing director of my own creative HR and organisational development consultancy."

Lauren Fisher shows how easy it is to transfer professional skills in and out of hospitality. At 18, she spent 18 months managing all aspects of a bar with a £300,000 annual turnover in Whitstable, Kent. It was here that Lauren's passion for people management took hold.

Keen to expand her knowledge, she joined the NHS in an HR support role, seeking secondment opportunities to build an understanding of organisational HR practices. She even gave up her evenings to study for a CIPD qualification in human resource management.

After three years away from hospitality, Lauren joined QHotels in 2010 as an HR officer, responsible for all areas of HR including strategy and execution. By 2011, aged 22, she was with Marriott and had secured her first HR management role. She was then appointed training and quality assurance manager at the company's new St Pancras hotel in 2013. A year later, she was promoted to HR manager and in her first 12 months helped grow staff engagement by 6% year-on-year.

Lauren developed her public speaking skills when she was invited to represent the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders programme and was on the panel at Danny Pecorelli's Education in Hospitality debate for general managers and chief executive officers.

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