The HSMAI Europe Awards 2019: Here are the winners!

This year the HSMAI Revenue Optimisation Conference returned to London, being held at the prestigious Savoy Hotel on January 28th, 2020.

The 2019 awards were presented in new categories including Young Talent of The Year, Young Hotelier of The Year, Best Sales Professional of The Year, Best Use of Brand, and Best Technology Innovator of The Year. Also presented for the first time this year, was the Fabian Specht Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year Award. This award was named in memory of industry stalwart and HSMAI contributor Fabian Specht. Read more here.

 “HSMAI Region Europe have launched several initiatives aimed at marketing our industry with a view to recruiting and retaining the best talents. We are proud of how the industry is evolving and of the stellar work many companies are doing to take their brands and their people and customers forward,” says Ingunn Hofseth, President and CEO of HSMAI Region Europe

Here are the winners of the HSMAI Europe Awards 2019:

HSMAI Region Europe Awards first-ever Best use of Brand Award to The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

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From left: Monna Nordhagen, Partner at Mars Brand Strategy and Chair of the HSMAI Europe Marketing and Branding Advisory Board, Aideen Ebrahim, Distribution Manager, Red Carnation Hotels, Ciara Fitzpatrick, Marketing Community Manager, Red Carnation Hotels and Remy Merckx, VP Global Digital, Radisson Hotel Group

HSMAI Region Europe is pleased to announce the winner of the annual Best use of Brand award. Best use of brand goes to a company that demonstrates excellence in the use of brand to influence customers, industry, employees or other stakeholders’ behaviors, choices or values.

The Winner of 2019, and first, Best use of Brand award was The Red Carnation Hotel Collection. This is in reflection of the outstanding Summer of Culture Campaign.

The jury responsible for deciding the successful recipient said of this campaign:

“The winner checked so many of the Best use of Brand award criteria, inspiring customers, partners and their local community, all at the same time. Because the activities align perfectly with the brand’s identity and values, it comes across as playful, authentic and entirely unforced. The jury was impressed by the many creative ways in which the winners of this award turned their unique customer propositions into new and delightful experiences. In fact, the jury wishes it could have been there to experience every part of the campaign. That the efforts increased both visibility and bottom line is unsurprising.”

HSMAI Region Europe Awards Best Technology Innovator of The Year Award to RateGain

From left: Remy Merckx, VP Global Digital, Radisson Hotel Group, Mark Haywood, Senior Vice President & Head of Sales – Europe, Brazil & North Africa, RateGain and Amanda Elder, CCO, Kempinski Hotels

HSMAI Region Europe is pleased to announce the winner of Best Technology Innovator of The Year award. Best Technology Innovator of The Year goes to the company that demonstrates a real change in the hotel landscape with a truly innovative application of technology.

The Winner of the 2019, Best Technology Innovator was RateGain. This is in reflection of the first of its kind Artificial Intelligence product, MarketDRONE.

The experienced jury, which consisted of industry experts Carl Weldon – COO Europe HFTP, Amanda Elder – CCO Kempinski Hotels, Kai Holmberg – Partner Unfold and Matthew Stephens – MD eHotelier said the following of the winner:

“The online hospitality ecosystem is continuously changing. Hotels are constantly changing rates for existing plans and introducing new rate plans close to check-in-date to sell off their unsold inventory aiming to maximize revenues online.

The created envisaged solution is a feed that automatically pushes market changes through push notifications to Revenue Managers on a device of their choice. The instant alerts give notifications to Revenue Managers or other users as soon as market changes.

The winner is the first of its kind, Artificial Intelligence enabled cloud based, self-learning product, which tracks intra-day rate and rate plan changes by hotels in real-time and serves them on the go on a device of the user’s choice.

The winner of this award has created an easy to navigate and easy to use interface for users to consume information & respond to it. It has created the simple delivery of a complex solution answering a complex question using clever, elegant, Artificial Intelligence.”

Honourable mentions goes to all finalists in this category which included Criton Group, MCI Group, Oaky & OTA Insight.

HSMAI Region Europe Awards Sales Professional of The Year Award to Mark Beverlo

From left: Remy Merckx, VP Global Digital, Radisson Hotel Group, Mark Beverlo, Director Regional Sales, Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Remi Morken, COO, SalesScreen

From left: Remy Merckx, VP Global Digital, Radisson Hotel Group, Mark Beverlo, Director Regional Sales, Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Remi Morken, COO, SalesScreen

HSMAI Region Europe is pleased to announce the first-ever winner of the Sales Professional of The Year award. HSMAI Region Europe Awards Sales Professional of The Year Award goes to the individual that demonstrates a true passion for the brand they represent, service provision, and the sales profession.

The Winner of the 2019, annual Sales Professional of the Year was Mark Beverlo, Director Regional Sales, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

The winner of this Award, next to recognition, wins free attendance included hotel and travel to the 5 day-HSMAI Region Europe Summer Camp taking place in Berlin this year.

The experienced jury, which consisted of industry experts Remi Morken – COO SalesScreen, Michael Mernagh – Head of Sales EMEA OTA Insight, Kai Holmberg – Partner Unfold, Matthew Stephens – MD eHotelier, said the following of the winner:

“We’ve reviewed and interviewed great candidates for the HSMAI Europe Sales Professional of the Year. All candidates have exceptional results to show in 2019 and strongly deserve the nomination. The candidates are a mix of experienced and new sales professionals.

Every one of them has in common a passion for their brand, the service they provide and the sales profession.

The candidate the jury has decided to award the title “Europe Sales Professional of the year” shows a burning passion for the profession, the brand and last but not least their customers. High activity levels (calls and meetings) combined with a mindset all sales professionals should strive for creates amazing results.

This year’s winner builds trust within their team, its prospects and customers. The winner has broad experience from sales in Europe and Asia and has leveraged the relationships created for almost 2 decades in new business every year.”

Top 4 goes to Karen Kilminster – Groups & Meetings Manager IHG, Lionel Badart – Global Sales Manager Thon Hotels, Niina Turunen – Sales Manager SOK Travel & Hospitality.

HSMAI Region Europe Awards Young Talent of The Year Award to Philip Steiner of Cycas Hospitality Group

From left: Remy Merckx, VP Global Digital, Radisson Hotel Group, Valerie de Corte Global Alliance & Partnership Director EHL, Philip Steiner, Director of Accommodations & Serviced Apartments, Cycas Hospitality Group and Gil Mulders, Founder The Talent Network and Chair of HSMAI Europe People & Culture Advisory Board

HSMAI Region Europe is pleased to announce the first-ever winner of the Young Talent of The Year award. HSMAI Region Europe Young Talent of The Year Award goes to the individual that demonstrates a complete understanding of hotel operations and the ability to build cross-functional relationships at a young age.

The Winner of the 2019, annual Young Talent of The Year was Philip Steiner, Director of Accommodations & Serviced Apartments, Cycas Hospitality Group.

The winner of this Award, next to recognition, wins free attendance included hotel and travel to the 5 day-HSMAI Region Europe Summer Camp taking place in Berlin this year.

In addition, they can join one of the modules for free, for the new EHL digital program – MBA in Hospitality.

The experienced jury, which consisted of industry experts Gil Mulders – Founder The Talent Network and chair of HSMAI Europe People & Culture Advisory Board, Valerie de Corte Global Alliance & Partnership Director EHL, Lennart Maas – General Manager Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, Mia Touzin Leffler – Education Advisor HSMAI Region Europe, Jarle Moen – MD Sommerro, Victoria Roos Olsson – Consultant & Author FranklinCovey said the following of the winner:

“The jury was extremely impressed by the quality of each and every candidate. They have seen powerful initiatives, creative business solutions, and exceptional leadership. We appreciate the time and dedication it took to turn around their applications and produce amazing videos and essays. Choosing the finalists and winners has been extremely difficult, as we truly believe that every finalist deserved to win. However, this is a competition and therefore there can only be one winner in each category.

The winner of the Young Talent Award has, at an early stage in his career acquired a complete understanding of hotel operations but also works closely with finance, commercial, development and most importantly with the people and culture function of his company. This gentleman transformed food safety standards and processes for his company, becoming number one in the U.K. and Europe. He fought for in-sourcing bringing valuable talents back to the company. Helped drive his company values into the business, facilitated a leadership program and successfully mentored one of his colleagues. This “master of all trades” at 30 deserved an extra recognition.”

Top 3 goes to Alex Lewis – Performance & Analytics Manager, Kew Green Hotels and Thibault Catala – MD Catala Consulting.

HSMAI Region Europe Awards Young Hotelier of The Year Award to Thomas Goval, Deputy General Manager at Katara Hospitality

From left: Valerie de Corte Global Alliance & Partnership Director EHL, Thomas Goval, Deputy General Manager at Katara Hospitality, Gil Mulders, Founder The Talent Network and Chair of HSMAI Europe People & Culture Advisory Board and Remy Merckx, VP Global Digital, Radisson Hotel Group

HSMAI Region Europe is pleased to announce the winner Young Hotelier of The Year award. HSMAI Region Europe Young Hotelier of The Year Award goes to the individual that demonstrates a complete understanding of hotel operations and the ability to build cross-functional relationships at a young age.

The Winner of the 2019, annual Young Hotelier of The Year was Thomas Goval, Deputy General Manager at Katara Hospitality.

The winner of this Award, next to recognition, wins free attendance included hotel and travel to the 5 day-HSMAI Region Europe Summer Camp taking place in Berlin this year.

In addition, they can join one of the modules for free, for the new EHL digital program – MBA in Hospitality.

The experienced jury, which consisted of industry experts Gil Mulders – Founder The Talent Network and chair of HSMAI Europe People & Culture Advisory Board, Valerie de Corte Global Alliance & Partnership Director EHL, Lennart Maas – General Manager Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, Mia Touzin Leffler – Education Advisor HSMAI Region Europe, Jarle Moen – MD Sommerro, Victoria Roos Olsson – Consultant & Author FranklinCovey said the following of the winner:

“The jury was extremely impressed by the quality of each and every candidate. They have seen powerful initiatives, creative business solutions, and exceptional leadership. We appreciate the time and dedication it took to turn around their applications and produce amazing videos and essays. Choosing the finalists and winners has been extremely difficult, as we truly believe that every finalist deserved to win. However, this is a competition and therefore there can only be one winner in each category.

“The winner of the Young Hotelier Award became General Manager of a major boutique hotel brand at 26. Having worked in 5 countries, and achieving a bachelor degree from the prestigious EHL, he was selected out of more than 1000 applicants for the IHG European Graduate Programme. The jury was particularly impressed by how he drove measurable results in each of the hotels he worked for. He now manages 820 colleagues as a deputy GM. Above his duties the winner is an active participant to the Make a Wish foundation and convinced his owner to collaborate with UNICEF.”

Top 4 goes to Kenji Bourquin-Queva – Hotel Operations Page8, Paul Hunter – Area General Manager Criterion Hospitality and Christoper Darch – Commercial & Operations Director Hilton Hotels (he was unfortunately home sick)
A big congratulations from HSMAI Region Europe to all the winners and finalists!
The next HSMAI ROC and the HSMAI Awards will take place in London Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

From left: Moderator: Damiano Zennaro, Global Director of Advisory services, IDeaS, Amanda Elder, Chief Commercial Officer at Kempinski Hotels and member of the Kempinski Hotels Management Board, Anant Vithlani, Vice President Sales, Nordic Choice Hotels, Michael Simon, General Manager – Distribution, EMEA & ASPAC at Marriott International, Inc. and Niels Mekenkamp, Director of Business Solutions, EMEA, Cendyn

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