The winners for the 2021 Independent Hotel Show Awards have been announced, with the GM of the Future and Independent Hotelier accolade now revealed.
Joanne Taylor-Stagg FIH MI, general manager of The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences secured Independent Hotelier, while Anna Sirba, operations manager at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, was awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders.
Juris Dubrovskis, executive housekeeper at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, was additionally named ‘One to Watch’ by the judges, for his ‘tenacity, drive and passion for hospitality’.
The judges for both awards were some of the industry’s most respected hoteliers and hospitality professionals hailing from iconic independent hotels and vital industry institutions.
Taylor-Stagg has overseen multi-million-pound refurbishments, worked on acquisitions and refinancing deals and has a passion for progressing and nurturing young talent.
She played a pivotal role in setting up the inaugural IHG Academy helping the young and long-term unemployed return to work and recently worked with Dr Hilary Cooke to create Master Innholders Developing Additional Skills (MIDAS) in response to the exodus of young talent from the industry due to Covid.
She commented: “I’m very proud, not only of our achievements but of everything that the industry has done through the most challenging of times. Thank you very much for this, but I would like to share it with all my fellow nominees.”
Sirba has successfully taken part in two luxury hotel pre-opening projects, is a Member of the Institute of Hospitality and a Certified Associate member of HOSPA, and commented: “I’m extremely honoured, I still can’t believe it, I can’t thank my team enough for supporting me. It’s been really tough but also amazing and without my team I wouldn’t be here – thank you very much!”
A surprise addition to the evening’s accolades was an Outstanding Contribution award for long-standing Independent Hotel Show Ambassador and industry veteran Peter Hancock FIH MI, outgoing CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels.
Hancock said: “I was absolutely thrilled and surprised to receive the Outstanding Contribution award at the Independent Hotel Show. It was such a lovely tribute. When you get to the end of your career, a little pat on the back can go a long way to making you feel good about it and to receive the award in front of such a distinguished audience at the show meant a great deal to me and I shall cherish it forever.”