Acorns 2020: George Hunt, 29
Head of event sales, the Nomad, London
Nominator Jenny Harris
George Hunt joined the Ned in 2017 as event manager. His pre-opening support resulted in a promotion to senior event manager after four months, and then to deputy head of events, responsible for the team's planning of £5.75m of events per year (pre-pandemic).
Proactive and creative, he has built up a strong network of industry contacts. His ambitious approach to training includes signing himself up for Soho House's middle management programme. As part of his supercharged MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) sales course (run by Maxima Training and Development), he worked with colleagues to create a revenue management plan that identified times when rooms weren't being used and adjusting strategy accordingly to hire them out.
He has recently been promoted to head of event sales at the Nomad hotel, London, which is part of the same group as the Ned, and is scheduled to open in February 2021.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training and growth?
Now more than ever, it's important that people have a wide-ranging skillset, and companies should encourage employees to undertake training in other areas they are interested in outside of their day-to-day roles, to become well-rounded, multiskilled superstars.
The industry needs to do more for better representation and more diversity across all positions, and to actively recruit people from different backgrounds. Employees are more likely to stay when they feel valued and their personal values align with the company's.
Who is your hospitality hero?
Sarah (Tregoning) Kane, head of event sales and groups at Sky Garden in London. She has been my mentor since we worked together at St Pancras, and I continue to learn so much from her. Her passion and love for the job is infectious.