Groups and reservations manager, Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington
Nominator Markella Votsi, director of sales, Millennium Hotels
Greatest inspiration "My dad inspired me to read business studies at university and both my parents gave me a strong work ethic, support and advice. Previous Acorn winner Neil Braude has guided me and given me opportunities over the past seven years."
Why hospitality is a great career "You learn about different cultures and customs. You can progress more quickly than in many other industries, and every day is different so you never get bored."
In 2017, aged 25, Abby Palmer took on the reservations manager role at the 833-bedroom Copthorne Tara, knowing the eight-strong department needed drastic change.
Undaunted by the fact it is the sixth-largest hotel in London - and the largest in Millennium & Copthorne's European portfolio - she set about turning a junior team into skilled experts. Within eight months, they delivered £24m of business - converting £1m of business per month in groups alone - responded to 700 emails a day and to 30 group enquiries a day within three hours of receipt.
Now 28, Palmer's remit has been extended to manage a team of 16 and oversee crew and groups as well as individual bookings. Her success is partly down to the fact she has created a culture of learning and development for staff, making herself available for questions, sharing information, and guiding her team into supervisory roles. She is now rolling out monthly revenue seminars to make the team more commercially aware.
Few were surprised when she scooped Manager of the Year 2018, having achieved 100% satisfaction for leadership and management in the annual staff survey, and she was selected by the M&C Europe president to be a part of the Blue Ocean Shift taskforce for Europe.
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