As the big night gets closer, HM is looking back on the successes of 2018 and is checking in with Lorraine Mercuri – then of the Mercure Sydney International Airport, now at Swissotel Sydney – winner of the 2018 HM Award for General Manager Australia – to see how the award changed her professional life.
How has winning Best Australian General Manager helped you with your career over the last 12 months?
There is no doubt that doors open and opportunities present themselves by way of new challenges, interests and meeting new people. I am still the same person with the same values and eagerness to contribute but perhaps with a more confident voice to effect change and be part of the progressive narrative of the industry. Overall, I would say the award has permitted me access to a greater circle of professionals and leaders to network with, learn from and together create new pathways for the industry.
What did it mean to you personally to be recognised and honoured by your peers as an admired leader in your field?
The entire experience was very humbling. It was a momentous personal moment to have been recognised by successful and well-respected industry peers. As hoteliers and commercial leaders, we are focused on delivering to our stakeholders, not least of which our teams and guests alike so it’s a privilege to reflect on the fact that the professionals in your field have identified you for your efforts and positive contribution. I will say that it is even more gratifying to be able to represent, to some extent, the wealth of contribution that women make to the industry. Today, gender balance is ever more essential in the upper echelons of the hospitality industry.
The 2019 HM Awards will be held once again at the ICC Sydney on Friday 6 September, with winners to be crowned in nearly 50 categories covering property and individual excellence. Make sure you’re there.
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