Recognising a rising star
At 23, Sam Swaffield is IHG’s youngest operations manager in Australasia. In June he was recognised as a rising star, winning a 2015 New Zealand Hotel Industry Award.
Sam won the Outstanding Young Executive Award sponsored by ServiceIQ, recognising a rising star who has made an exceptional contribution to their employer and to the New Zealand hotel industry over the past 12 months.
Celebrating winners in our hotel sector and the wider tourism industry is an important way of setting a benchmark that others can aspire to. Continually improving the experience we offer domestic and international visitors is vital if we are to achieve the tourism industry’s Tourism 2025 goal of almost doubling annual tourism revenue to $41 billion by 2025.
Highlighting the success of young professionals like Sam will also help promote tourism as a fantastic career.
Sam recently became Operations Manager at the Crowne Plaza Auckland, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, responsible for the smooth running of this 352 room hotel, overseeing 130 staff.
Two years ago he was identified by IHG as a ‘high flyer’. One of only 19 individuals from a pool of more than 1000 applicants across Australasia, he was selected to participate in IHG’s management trainee programme.
Fresh out of Lincoln University where he had completed a Bachelor of Commerce in Hotel Management, he carried out his training at Crowne Plaza Auckland, successfully initiating and leading projects which led to the improvement of service delivery and guest satisfaction.
He then joined Auckland Airport Holiday Inn as Front Office Manager. Employee satisfaction in the Front Office team rocketed under his leadership and he helped the hotel become one of IHG’s top performers.
A secondment to IHG’s regional headquarters in Sydney saw him carry out work to successfully improve best practice across IHG’s Australasia region. He recently returned to New Zealand to take up the Operations Manager role.
Sam’s ambition is to one day be a Hotel General Manager. Go Sam!
Click here to read about our other 2015 New Zealand Hotel Industry Award winners. The Awards, presented on 4 June, were co-hosted by TIA and Horwath HTL.