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Adrian Ellis leaves no stone unturned in his mission to inspire school-leavers, college students and university graduates to make hotels their career of choice.
And he doesn't just think about the benefits to the Lowry – the five-AA-star, 165-bedroom hotel in Salford, Manchester, that he has run as general manager for seven years. His actions are very much geared towards helping the wider industry.
Since arriving in the north-west of England nearly eight years ago, from an exemplary 17-year career overseas, Adrian has not only overseen a total refurbishment of the Lowry but also established an extraordinary presence in the wider hotel community, both within Manchester and across the UK. That has always been with a view to supporting and growing the sector through a huge range of projects.
Alongside his recruitment initiatives he also spearheads programmes to promote the city, grow business levels, raise the profile of sustainability issues and run charity events.
A year after settling into his role at the Lowry, he took on the chairmanship of the Manchester Hoteliers' Association and set about giving it a clear direction with a focus on business growth, sustainability and recruitment. One of the first steps he took to encourage more young people to choose hospitality as a career was to launch a mentorship scheme in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University. The scheme sees general managers from 15 hotels supporting 15 students every year with their dissertations and coursework and by dispensing career advice.
"The aim of the scheme is to inspire the students to stay in the industry, and I'm pleased to say that the number of alumni that have been retained in the industry is increasing," Ellis said. He also directly employs three university graduates each summer to undertake an individually designed 18-month programme that leads to the offer of a first managerial position upon its completion.
Beyond the Manchester Hoteliers' Association he is chair of UKHospitality's northern group, a member of Hospitality Action's northern committee and Springboard's north-west board; sits on the executive board of Master Innholders and Hoteliers' Charter; and is a member of the International Strategy Committee for Manchester, which aims to drive trade, investment and the visitor economy for the city.
So it will be of no surprise to learn that Adrian was the unanimous choice of the judges when it came to awarding this year's Hotelier of the Year accolade.
He was praised by one judge as being "an unsung hero" who has done more to raise the profile of hospitality in the Midlands and the north of England than most others have achieved collectively across the rest of the country. "Adrian is not only winning the recruitment battle for himself, but also for so many other businesses."
Another said: "The work he does in helping young people come into our industry is truly inspirational, all while running a successful, internationally acclaimed hotel with his people at the heart of what he does."
Now, he has been recognised in his own right by being presented with the 2022 Hotelier of the Year award, the 39th individual to receive the prestigious accolade.
2021 Daniel Pedreschi, Park Plaza hotels
2019 Sally Beck, Royal Lancaster London
2018 David Taylor, InterContinental Hotels Group
2017 Sue Williams, Whatley Manor
2016 Craig Bancroft, Northcote
2015 Nick Jones, Soho House
2014 Danny Pecorelli, Exclusive Hotels
2013 Stuart Bowery, Grosvenor House
2012 Stuart Johnson, Brown's Hotel London
2011 Stephen Carter, De Vere Cameron House Hotel
2010 Andrew Stembridge, Chewton Glen
2009 Jonathan Raggett, Red Carnation Hotels
2008 Andrew McKenzie, Vineyard at Stockcross
2007 Michael Gray, the Churchill
2006 Richard Ball, Calcot Manor
2005 John Stauss, Four Seasons, London
2004 Patrick Elsmie, Gleneagles
2003 Robin Hutson, Hotel du Vin
2002 Gordon Campbell Gray, One Aldwych
2001 Karen Earp, Four Seasons Canary Wharf
2000 Peter Crome, Chewton Glen