Adam Rowledge, general manager at the Georgian House in Pimlico, London, has won the Young Manager Award at the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame, which took place at London's Dorchester hotel last night.
Speaking at the event, Gail Kenny, co-owner and managing director of Gail Kenny Recruitment, who presented Rowledge with the award, said: "Adam is a real achiever. Working in a very competitive area in the London hotel sector, he was tasked with gaining five-star status. This was achieved through the management of a complete refurbishment of the hotel and restaurant, while delivering exceptional guest experiences and achieving consistently high standards.
"He achieved 17% revenue growth, received a five-star status from Visit England, increased their Quality in Tourism score from 66% to 80%, and achieved a score within the hospitality category of the certified audit of 85% in 2015 which increased to 90% in 2016. The hotel also moved from number 68 to number 11 on TripAdvisor for Guest Accommodation in London.
"Notably, he is a natural leader. He has created a fantastic work environment whereby colleagues are supported to reach their full potential within the industry. He is an inspiration to young people coming into the industry, and passionately champions an apprenticeship programme, as well as being part of the Institute of Hospitality's Mentor Me programme, and mentoring within at Oxford Brooks and the University of Surrey."
Speaking after the awards, Rowledge told The Caterer: "I am honoured to have been named 'Young Manager of the Year' in the 2017 Hall of Fame, it's fantastic recognition of the hard work and dedication it takes to be a hotel general manager - thank you. As a team, we strive to be the very best and it's a privilege to work with such a passionate team of hospitality professionals every day.
"So much goes in to being a great manager and I am fortunate to have the support and guidance from my involvement as a St. Julian Scholar and mentor to Master Innholders' Aspiring Leaders students. This mentoring experience supports my role at the hotel as a manager of our 45-strong team who consistently go above and beyond to ensure we have happy guests and a positive environment to work in."
Other successes on the night included Young Entrepreneur Award recipients Sam Bruce and Alex Narracott, founders of Much Better Adventures. Justin Salisbury, director and co-founder of Artist Residence, and crowdfunding phenomenon Gary Usher were finalists in the category along with Cassandra Savrou and Ryan Khon, founders of Propercorn, and Andrew Watson, head of global partnership/co-founder of FLIO.
Meanwhile, Jason Atherton was presented with the Business Achievement Award, which recognised his global reach and culinary success. During his speech, he thanked his wife Irha for her unconditional support of his endeavours.
In addition, the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame welcomed new inductees Raymond Blanc, founder, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Ben Reid, group chief executive, the Midcounties Co-operative, Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, and Wendy Wu, founder and chairwoman, Wendy Wu Tours.
Speaking earlier in the day on social media, Blanc commented: "Tonight I travel to the Dorchester to be added to the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame. What a huge honour! As a chef who is completely self-taught, I wish I had had a mentor who could have guided me as I began, but we learn through hard work and the pursuit of excellence.
"I am immensely proud to be part of the hospitality industry which every day continues to inspire me. Together, with my wonderful team, we have worked so hard together to create the modern classic Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. Many thanks to The Caterer for the nomination, and to my wonderful teams at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Belmond, Brasserie Blanc, Arsenal Football Club, Eurostar, Sodexo RHS - Royal Horticultural Society, and Ascot Racecourse. Tonight we celebrate!"
Run in partnership with The Caterer's sister brand Travel Weekly Group, the Hall of Fame honours outstanding business achievement in the travel, hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors.