Hotel Cateys 2011 - Hotelier of the Year
Sponsored by Casna Group
WINNER: Stephen Carter, De Vere Cameron House on Loch Lomond
Despite the fact that he has a solid 40-year track record encompassing rapid progress through several of the UK's major hotel chains and a string of impressive successes at the five-star level, Stephen Carter is totally self-effacing about his success.
His achievements include being awarded the Manager of the Year Catey in 2005, an OBE in 2007 for services to the hospitality industry, and the Fellowship for Outstanding Industry Contribution at the 2011 Scottish Hotel Awards.
However, he is quick to point how that his success has been the result of the solid working relationships, both in the past and now at De Vere Cameron House on Loch Lomond, which he has steered through a major refurbishment to become one of Scotland's leading hotel resorts.
"My inspiration definitely comes from the people I work with," explains Carter. "I try to employ team members who challenge me and push me forward."
Certainly it is his ability in building and developing a strong team of more than 500 staff at Cameron House, as well as his constant support for initiatives within the industry to boost the careers of young people and budding leaders, which impressed the panel of judges for the Hotelier of the Year.
Building a highly motivated team of indigenous staff - 90% come from within a 30-mile radius of the hotel - supplemented by extensive training opportunities, is, Carter believes, the reason for Cameron House's dramatic change in fortunes. The figures speak for themselves - occupancies of nearly 90% in 2010 and 2011 and an annual turnover which has more than doubled since 2008 to £25m today.
Carter is a board member of VisitScotland, has been chairman of the Hospitality Industry Trust for Scotland for 11 years and is a director of the International Leadership School, launched earlier this year in conjunction with the Strathclyde Business School, Cornell University in New York and Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland.
What the judges said…
"I think the reason Stephen Carter has not won this award before is that everyone assumed he already had! He was an icon in Scottish hotelkeeping when I worked there over 20 years ago and he still is today."
Andrew McKenzie, managing director, the Vineyard Group, and 2008 Hotelier of the Year
Richard Ball, managing director, Calcot Manor
Gordon Campbell Gray, chairman, Campbell Gray Hotels
Patrick Elsmie, managing director, the Gleneagles Hotel
Michael Gray, general manager/area director UK and Ireland, Hyatt Regency London
Robin Hutson, chairman, Limewood Group
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive officer, British Hospitality Association
Andrew McKenzie, managing director, the Vineyard Group
Harry Murray, chairman, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa
Simon Numphud, hotel services manager, AA Hotel Services
Jonathan Raggett, managing director, Red Carnation Hotels
Sally Shalam, hotel critic, The GuardianJohn Stauss, regional vice-president and general manager, Fours Seasons Hotel London
Andrew Stembridge, managing director, Chewton Glen
2010 Andrew Stembridge
2009 Jonathan Raggett
2008 Andrew McKenzie
2007 Michael Gray
2006 Richard Ball
2005 John Stauss
2004 Patrick Elsmie
2003 Robin Hutson
2002 Gordon Campbell Gray
2001 Karen Earp
2000 Peter Crome
1999 Nick Ryan
1998 Nicholas Rettie
1997 Peter Lederer
1996 Christopher Rouse
1995 Ricci Obertelli
1994 David Levin
1993 Ken McCulloch
1992 Dagmar Woodward
1991 Martin Skan
1990 George Goring
1989 Grete Hobbs
1988 Ronald Jones
1987 Eoin Dillon
1986 Harry Murray
1985 Terry Holmes
1984 Ramón Pajares
1983 Richard Edwards