The UK arm of Amicale Internationale des Chefs de Reception et Sous Directeurs des Grand Hotels (AICR) is gearing up to celebrate its 25th anniversary. President Edward Riches, hotel manager of Crowne Plaza London St James, spoke to Janie Stamford
What is the history of AICR? The Amicale was founded on the Cote d'Azur in France in 1964, and over the past 45 years has developed into an international fellowship with sections in many countries. It was founded as a professional organisation, but the name was chosen to reflect the friendship that is built between our members.
What is its purpose? To facilitate and strengthen the professional relationships between members and to promote and publicise the importance of their profession, developing the profile of the industry through training and development. The AICR UK section has its roots in the Association of Front Office Managers, which was founded in 1986 by David Cowdery and incorporated officially into the AICR at the Paris Presidium in 1989.
What have been some notable highlights in its history? Promoting the UK Receptionist of the Year competition and competing against other international sections of the AICR for the coveted David Campbell Trophy for the international winner. Our Receptionist of the Year winner in 2007, Markus Mormals, was crowned international receptionist of the year 2008 in Dubai.
Why do you think it's important to have such an organisation? Our membership is an extensive source of contacts, offering invaluable networking opportunities while providing each other with support, information and advice. As we are an international association, it allows members from other international sections the opportunity to join the UK section.
How will you celebrate 25 years of AICR in the UK? We are celebrating our 25th anniversary with an evening at the Royal Garden Hotel on Friday 16 September. We hope that this will be a truly memorable event!