Acorns 2020: Charlotte Ward, 29

01 December 2020

Regional HR manager, Leaf Hospitality

Nominator Richard Farrar

Charlotte Ward joined Leaf Hospitality at the age of 25, initially overseeing two hotels with revenue of £7m and 60 employees. Just four years later, she oversees all six hotels in the Leaf group, which account for £17m of revenue and nearly 300 employees.

She won a Lincolnshire 30 Under 30 Award last year, having been recognised for her outstanding personal growth in business with Leaf Hospitality and is the youngest senior manager in the regional executive team.

She has successfully onboarded staff for the opening of four new-build hotels, a restaurant and a sizable hotel extension. She has introduced processes to the business to support more efficient work practices, such as a new HR and training system.

Ward also brings a strong moral and ethical compass to the group and puts employee wellbeing at the core of what Leaf does.

In view of recent time spent locked out of hospitality, what did you miss the most?

Offering excellent candidates their dream job. One of the greatest blessings of choosing human resources as a career is having the opportunity to positively influence the next step in someone's vocational journey. And the first stage of this is saying those extraordinary words: "Congratulations, you got the job, welcome to the team!" When it is truly someone's dream job, their overwhelming excitement comes flowing out when they get the news, and it's hard not to be moved by their joy.

Who is your hospitality hero?

Andrew Ward, the managing director of Simple Life – my dad is my hospitality hero! He is the true inspiration behind my decision to pursue a career in hospitality. During my youth we lived in five countries as part of his career with hotels and luxury resorts. He has a showstopping personality and unbelievable sense of adventure. I believe you only meet a handful of people in your lifetime with his zeal and appetite for delivering remarkable hospitality.

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