Feeling humble – Outstanding Contribution  Award

Feeling humble – Outstanding Contribution Award   -   Dec 13th 2016

Thoughts on receiving a surprise 'Outstanding Contribution Award'

Taken completely by surprise…

HOSPACE 2016 on 11th November at Sofitel T5 Heathrow UK – I was there as part of the HFTP team sponsoring the event –  an event I effectively started up in 2006.

It was a great day meeting so many people that I knew and having the time to meet and greet with so many that I would previously been too busy to spend any time with

The evening Gala Dinner was different this time in that HOSPA included their professional awards at the dinner rather than a separate event at Christmas

So..I was taken completely by surprise when the HOSPA Chairman Chris Upton took the stage after the three main awards for another –  for Outstanding Contribution to HOSPA –  only awarded a few times previously and of course usually organised by myself in the past.  This one it turned out was for me.

Chris talked about how he and I had originally met 23 years ago, as Hotel company FDs and how we had ended up working together two more times since.  He then talked about what we had achieved at BAHA (originally) and then HOSPA since –  in effect summarising eleven years of my life☺

As Chris started to go through all this I must admit a lump started to come into my throat.  When called up on stage I had become quite emotional. Just as I still started to get a hold of myself –  I realised that everyone in the room was standing and applauding. Everywhere I looked there were memories… people cheering and laughing.  It took a while to get a grip again and some of the pictures are quite funny looking at the expression on my face 😁

I had to then speak… What do you say about eleven years? I started at the beginning of course. I had not prepared anything of course. I realised that is of course the people who you remember and their efforts and contribution you remember –  especially at key or critical moments in those eleven years…or at really ‘fun’ moments J

I tried to go through who those people are or were and recognise them in the room. I realised afterwards of course how many I left out. It is amazing how clear it all seems afterwards when you are not on stage and a little emotional –  or when you bump into them in the bar afterwards….where hopefully I did say thank you to those I had not mentioned. 

It is amazing to think about all those people who support an Association in your industry and how they are going to help and support what you are trying to do.  Hospitality is always about people –  it must be. Making it entertaining, fun and professionally interesting and rewarding is always a good plan. 


I have thought about why I got so emotional.  And why so many people came up and congratulated me on my “speech” afterwards despite it not being prepared in any way. 

I think it’s because people in general like to know you care and recognise a passion in other people for something they care about. 

When you realise that all this is being laid bare in front of an audience it must be emotional.

When you are in the audience and listen to how the event you are at and have enjoyed over the years –  has come to be with a person you know then that must be enjoyable too. 

A few weeks on and I am still humbled and proud of the award –  and of all the coverage since of course. A big thanks to Chris Upton and Jane Pendlebury of HOSPA for organising it.

Hospitality is a great business to be in. I have quite literally been in it all my life (I was born in a hotel) 

I look forward to being part of this great industry for some time yet and will continue to say “thank you” to all those people that have helped and supported my endeavours.

In the meantime my tweet (that went with the picture above) on the following morning still says it all.. “Feeling very humbled and honoured this morning.”

Other reports via HFTP on:



See the brief video here: