Catering manager for Vacherin at Hiscox Insurance
Nominator Esme Banks Marr, senior account manager, Magenta Associates
Proudest moment "Winning Vacherin's annual Brighter Star award in 2017, after turning a site that was underperforming and had poor client relations into a well-established unit."
Biggest inspiration "My father, Luciano, a successful business owner, whose hard work, determination, passion and ambition has encouraged me to be the best I can be."
Ambition "In the short-term, to progress my career and broaden my experience. In the future, I'd like to own a catering establishment with my fiancé Steven Lickley, who is a chef."
Emma Abruzzese has held a steady course in honing her management skills. In 2014, armed with a university degree and a year's internship with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Canada, she went straight into a supervisory role at a new cocktail lounge, absorbing knowledge about how a new outlet opens, markets itself and solves teething problems. She quickly moved on to the Good Eating Company, overseeing a team of five delivering a contract for 1,000 people.
In 2015, she joined Vacherin as relief manager and by 2016 she had been promoted to her current role within the underperforming Hiscox contract. Within a year she had turned around poor sales, increasing fine dining by 38% and sandwich lunches by 58%. She also boosted uptake with initiatives such as sit-down breakfasts as well as foodie celebrations for Diwali, Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The upshot was an uplift in staff morale and an improved relationship with the client, garnering new business worth £130,000 a year. In fact, the client is so impressed with Abruzzese that she has been asked to give her input into plans for a new HQ building.
Abruzzese's leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed by her employer either. She has been identified for a bigger role in the company and in 2017 received the Brighter Star award at Vacherin "for absolute commitment and delivery of excellence".
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