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18 Jun 2024

IoH Annual Awards 2024 unveils talented and inspirational winners

IoH Annual Awards 2024 unveils talented and inspirational winners
Pictured: Jill Whittaker OBE FIH (Right)

IoH Awards

Over 300 hospitality professionals joined the Institute of Hospitality at the Honourable Artillery Company’s HQ on 18 June for its Annual Dinner & Awards 2024. With winners including, Jill Whittaker OBE FIH, the Dorchester Collection and Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth, collecting the evening’s top prizes.

The Institute of Hospitality Awards, which celebrate the incredible work of hospitality professionals worldwide, also saw the Institute of Hospitality’s CEO Award 2024, sponsored by Amandla Wines, awarded to outgoing Institute chair Kellie Rixon MBE FIH.

Given in recognition of her work over the last four years, most notably, steering the Institute’s board of trustees out of a pandemic, appointing a new CEO and working with other industry bodies to support the Institute’s ambition to become a Chartered Professional body.

Announcing the winners, assisted by actress, comedienne and the evening’s MC, Ione Brown, IoH CEO Robert Richardson FIH MI said: “Our annual Awards and Dinner is always a very special occasion. It allows us to reflect on the fantastic achievements of our profession. From small to large organisations and from entry-level to established talent, this year’s winners have demonstrated that anybody from any background can thrive and excel in hospitality. I am incredibly proud to be part of such a talented industry of professionals. What they do every day, through their skills, passions and commitment to excellence, is what makes this industry great.”

The winners of the 2024 IoH Annual Dinner & Awards were:

  • Compass Group UK & Ireland – Best Educational Programme 2024 (Large Business) sponsored by Keenan Recycling

The judges commented that Compass’s educational programme was excellent and effectively tackled the skills shortage of chefs in their own business incredibly successfully. Their ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing Programme’ which began in 2021, had resulted in 47 Senior Chefs, of which 25% were female, beginning their careers. Of those completing their apprenticeship, 92% had achieved a Distinction and remain with the Compass Family.

  • The Clink Charity – Best Educational Programme 2024 (SMEs) sponsored by Keenan Recycling

The Judges commented that The Clink’s work with prisoners was outstanding. Training over 830 students and delivering 550 qualifications in 2023. The economic impact of The Clink’s work demonstrated at least a four-fold return on investment, with their programs effectively reducing reoffending and the associated social costs of reoffending.

  • Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland – The Gregory De La Peña-Hall FIH Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Employer of the Year 2024 (Large Business) sponsored by EP&T Global

The judges applauded Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland’s DEIB work. Noting they had teams across 97 countries, their DEIB strategy encompassed real effort and gains across an employee base of 17 ethnicities, 8 religions, 7 sexual orientations and 6 gender identifications. Their bi-annual survey proved their employee satisfaction rate continued to increase and the judges commented that the results spoke volumes about their overall commitment.

  • Marsham Court Hotel – The Gregory De La Peña-Hall FIH Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Employer of the Year 2024 (SMEs) sponsored by EP&T Global

The judges were highly impressed with the family-owned business of Marsham Court in Bournemouth which has made a huge impact in the local community on disability and LGBTQ+ issues. Including working with Employ My Ability, they are also the only hotel in the UK to provide ‘A Changing Places Shower and Toilet Facility’ and five accessible bedrooms with profiling beds and removable ceiling hoists. Their support in hosting a range of local LGBTQ+ events and employing a large number of LGBTQ+ employees in the business was also outstanding. 

  • Dorchester Collection – Talent Development Team of the Year 2024 (Large Business) sponsored by Splendid Hospitality

The judges found the work of the Dorchester Collection Academy was exemplary and clearly demonstrated a significant impact on the business. Training over 400 employees over 4 months and appointing  Learning and Development Facilitators, they re-examined their induction programme to create a 6-month EXPLORE journey, allowing employees to stay at their hotels with dinner and breakfast to fully immerse themselves in the brand. Their combined work contributed to the business being recognised as one of the Top 10 Best Places to Work by The Times and Sunday Times in 2024.

  • Canopy by Hilton London City – Talent Development Team of the Year 2024 (SMEs) sponsored by Splendid Hospitality

The judges commented that Canopy by Hilton London City showed exemplary commitment to nurturing its workforce. In particular, its strategy and collaborative approach to understanding employee needs and business goals was effective. The introduction of mental health first aiders had already impacted the well-being and morale of its employees. All of which was reflected in their annual employee survey.

  • Jill Whittaker OBE FIH, HIT Training Ltd, UK – Outstanding Contribution to the Industry 2024 – Nominated by the Institute’s Fellows

The judges commented that Jill had given unwavering support to the profession and helped thousands of young people into the industry through apprenticeships as a result of her varying roles at HIT Training. Her commitment to the industry and its professionals over many years has been and continues to be, outstanding.

  • Kellie Rixon MBE FIH – The Institute of Hospitality CEO Award 2024 sponsored by Amandla Wines

As outgoing chair of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, Kellie received this special award for her support and commitment to the Institute and industry, over the last four years.

A very special thank you to Keenan RecyclingEP&T Global, Splendid Hospitality, the Honourable Artillery Company and Searcys for their unwavering support and commitment to this year’s IoH Annual Dinner & Awards and to the Institute. Without whom the Institute would be unable to deliver such events for its members and wider hospitality family.

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