President's Blog - April 2016

It isn’t always easy to see where changes need to be made and often we don’t appreciate the value of change until after a transformation has taken place. I worked in the hospitality industry for many years before I realised that something significant was missing for hotel General Managers. Where do they go to elevate their profile and build the recognition they deserve? After all, this is a group of highly skilled professionals who are responsible for the lives of hundreds of people within their hotels on a daily basis.

To this day I still find it hard to believe that no other global industry association has ever been established exclusively for GMs, to promote their welfare and foster their development, especially when many other groups within our industry enjoy this kind of support.

Some of the personal challenges I faced which highlighted this gap included two redundancies and forced retirement, all of which left me without a job, with no access to health cover and full of uncertainty for mine and my family’s future. These situations raised important questions and they are ones we should all consider - "If you leave the company you’re currently working for will your health insurance continue to cover you and your family?" and "When you retire will you still have health coverage?" Fortunately my own pension planning was vigorous and I had that to fall back on but often this is not enough. And that is why the number one benefit IAHGM offers is portable healthcare and insurance options, the key here being portability.

During my career I also felt that whilst I was able to network and share best practices within the hotel companies I worked for, these opportunities were limited and so much more could have been achieved with access to a wider global network of industry colleagues.

Since my retirement, I have been in the privileged position to build the foundations of an organisation we believe will change the landscape for hotel GMs like never before. The steps may seem small at the start as these things take time to grow, but you can be confident that we will deliver far more than what is currently available. I am joined in these efforts by an exceptional CEO and Board of Governors, comprising some of the industry’s most prominent figures – these are people who believe passionately in what IAHGM has to offer.

Our goal is to provide the tangible benefits GMs need not only today, but long into the future, we will focus on welfare and provide mentoring, whilst developing a professional association that serves as an endorsement of your credentials as a GM.

But we cannot do this alone. the association needs you to be a part of it and only with your support will the organisation grow to deliver the kind of assistance that reflects the work you do.

We are here for your benefit, which is why we need you to be actively involved, committed to making a difference and prepared to tell us what you want.

Join us today and become a Founding Member so that you personally can play a part in developing the culture and direction of our esteemed association. This way we can work together to make positive changes for hotel General Managers and their employers across the world all of which, I think you will agree, are long overdue.