Hotelier Middle East Awards judges announced

New faces join prestigious panel to select industry heroes

Learnpurple UAE managing director Lynne Zarbhanelian joins the Hotelier Middle East Awards judging panel.
Learnpurple UAE managing director Lynne Zarbhanelian joins the Hotelier Middle East Awards judging panel.

Hotelier Middle East will welcome three new faces to the judging panel for the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2011.

Bringing F&B expertise to the panel is Stefan Breg, chief worrier at Tribe Restaurant Creators and formerly a VP of F&B for Hilton.

The Tribe team has created and designed more than 280 F&B brands internationally winning both Michelin and Time Out awards in London.

Breg has previously held senior positions with InterContinental, Thistle, Pepsi and Ernst & Young and is a Visiting Professor at Emirates Academy Dubai.

Also new to the panel is recruitment expert and ex-hotelier Lynne Zarbhanelian, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the hotel business.

With hands-on experience forged through an initial rooms division career path, Zarbhanelian rapidly built her reputation within the HR, recruitment and training fields, where she has been working for 20 years now.

Zarbhanelian recently set up learnpurple in the UAE, a franchise office of the UK-based provider for talent engagement, development and retention to hospitality, retail and other service industries. She was previously managing partner and founder of recruitment specialist, The Hospitality Company.

The third new judge for 2011 is Kathi Everden, editorial consultant and regular contributor to Hotelier Middle East. Everden has been writing about the hospitality and travel sector in the Middle East for more than 20 years and has also provided editorial consultancy to clients including Arabian Travel Market, The Hotel Show and Arabian Hotel Investment Conference.

Commenting on the new judges, ITP business group editor hospitality Louise Oakley said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new judges to the panel. Together they bring more than 60 years’ experience to the judging process as well as their own unique skill sets. Each judge will have to cast their expert analytical eye over 100 shortlisted nominations and I would like to thank them for their support of the Hotelier Middle East Awards – the only awards to recognise the true heroes of the hospitality industry”.

Returning to the esteemed judging panel is Hotelier Awards long-time supporter Ron Hilvert, founder and managing director of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.

Hilvert has more than 40 years of professional experience in the hospitality business and is recognised as one of the most experienced HR executive in the industry worldwide. He has held the worldwide corporate human resources positions for Hyatt International, Hilton International and Jumeirah Group, and was an opening general manager with Hyatt.

The final judges returning to the panel for the second year comprise hotel operations, luxury service and spa industry expert Naim Maadad, vice president of Rixos Hotels, who has held senior management roles with Minor International and Six Senses, and Hotelier Middle East columnist and industry consultant Guy Wilkinson, partner and GM of Viability, a specialist hospitality and real estate consultancy in Dubai.

Wilkinson was previously an owner and general manager of PKF The Consulting House and managing consultant of the Dubai office of TRI Hospitality Consulting.

As an expert hospitality consultant based in the Middle East since 1995, he has contributed to more than 350 projects throughout the GCC, as well as in Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iran.

Bringing the total number of judges to seven is group editor hospitality and Hotelier Middle East editor Louise Oakley, who will be heading up the panel for the seventh edition of the Hotelier Middle East Awards.

The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2011 are split into 19 categories, from GM of the Year and Hotel Engineer of the Year through to Laundry Manager of the Year, Hotel Stewarding Person of the Year and industry favourite, Hotelier’s Unsung Hero.

Nominations are made by hotels for their colleagues via a simple online entry form found here:

Nominations will close on August 1.

For nomination enquiries, contact
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