Event Hospitality has enlisted the help of hospitality expert and host of Travel Chanel reality show Resort Rescue, Shane Green, for a newly launched annual Leadership Accelerator program.

The former General Manager of Hayman Island will lend his expertise to Event’s emerging leaders to help advance their careers.

The Elevate Leadership Accelerator offer participants practical and challenging on-the-job experience across all departments to prepare them for a General Manager position.

“We feel a real obligation to our people to give them the skills to have a good satisfying career with us,” Event Hospitality Director of Hotels and Resorts, Norman Arundel, told HM exclusively.

“In a hotel business, we’re only as good as our General Managers. One of the problems we’ve had is when people get appointed to their first General Manager’s position, there’s no real support.”

In order to address this, Event handpicked participants from a variety of hotel departments to take part in this year’s program. Throughout the course, they will build specialised knowledge, operational experience, and leadership skills, including learning how to use Emotional Intelligence to engage others and develop high performing teams.

There will be a mix of face-to-face and online group learning, with the support of a mentor to guide each member along the way.

Arundel described the course as a combination of the traditional style of hotel training, which was very hands-on, and a more formal education.

“They’ve all been given a mentor, who might be an area manager or senior general manager of another hotel, that they will meet every week,” Arundel explained.

“Every three months, we’ll be bringing this team together for a face-to-face at one of the hotels for several days.”

Event Hospitality Director of Hotels and Resorts, Norman Arundel

Course participants will receive training from in-house experts through a series of masterclasses and complete a Finance Training program led by Event’s Financial Operations Controllers and Head of Finance. They also complete an external management course, High Performance Management, and receive a nationally recognised Cert IV qualification in Leadership and Management.

“We’ve got 18 people in the program this year, all existing employees,” said Arundel.

“They’re either young people who’ve just been appointed as a General Manager for the first time, so they’re very green, or people who we see as aspiring General Managers.”

While this year’s program was by invitation only, application for the 2023 course will open at the end of each year.

General Managers from all backgrounds

The course is designed to support people from all departments within the hotel business to reach their potential. And this year’s course has a 50:50 gender split.

Rydges North Sydney Executive Assistant Manager, Brittany Peacock-Smith, is one of the participants in this year’s Leadership Accelerator.

Having joined Event five years ago, she started out at Rydges North Sydney as the Associate Director of Sales, where she worked for a year, before moving on to Rydges World Square in 2017 to take up the position of Director of Sales and Marketing. In October 2021, Peacock-Smith was promoted to Executive Assistant Manager of the hotel.

Prior to working with Event, Peacock-Smith said she had never entertained thoughts of attaining a General Manager role.

“The other hotel groups that I previously worked for only promoted Front Office Managers to General Managers,” she told HM exclusively.

“Having that diversity of General Managers that come from a variety of backgrounds is why people like me enter the EVT group and never leave, as the opportunities for growth are endless. It also means that we can use our colleagues to learn from and bounce ideas off though a strong collaborative workplace.”

Peacock-Smith plans to draw as much knowledge from the course as possible to apply to the day-to-day operations of the hotel.

“Like all of my fellow colleagues in this course, our main goal is the same – we all want to be the best possible General Manager we can be,” she said.

“We want to come to work every day knowing that our staff will be inspired and motivated through our actions, which inevitably lead to succuss. I think this course is designed for us all to think this way and ultimately become the best versions of ourselves, though the guidance of the EVT Senior Executives and experts like Shane Green who promote performance, experience and customer service.”