Acorn winners 2017: Callum Curtis-Bennett

09 June 2017 by
Acorn winners 2017: Callum Curtis-Bennett

Deputy general manager for Westminster School and Westminster Under School, the Brookwood Partnership (CH&Co Group)

Nominated by Mike Bond, client relations director, the Brookwood Partnership

Proudest moment "Assisting in organising the hospitality for the Queen's 60th coronation service and serving lunch to the Royal family."

Greatest inspiration "Rosemarie Rogers, banqueting manager at the Devonshire Park Centre in Eastbourne, where I worked as a waiter from the age of 16. She encouraged me to carve a career, promoting me through the ranks and coaching me. Her passion, enthusiasm, confidence, drive and dedication inspired me."

Ambition "Eventually, to own my own event catering business. In the nearer future, I aim to become operations director."

Some 11 years ago, a chance visit to an employment fair landed Callum Curtis-Bennett a job as a waiter. Today, at 26, he is deputy general manager for a prestigious school contract at the Brookwood Partnership, helping to manage 100 staff and taking credit for retaining the £10m contract.

Initiatives he has introduced include Checkit, an online food safety system that has reduced the environmental impact of paperwork and human error. And through mentoring team members, he has notched up a 95% staff retention rate at Westminster. No wonder Brookwood is promoting him to operations manager with responsibility for 10 schools.

But while Curtis-Bennett's own career path is impressive, what really stands out is the energy he puts into developing other people. For instance, at Convex Leisure, aged just 21, he coached a colleague in the skills needed to step into an operations role before he moved up to operations manager. He also introduced a rising star initiative, encouraging people to train as managers and complete a level 3 hospitality, supervision and leadership course.

Outside work hours, Curtis-Bennett is studying for a business management degree with environmental studies and has become a Springboard ambassador.

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