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Debbie Nnaya, Radisson Blu, Limerick wins 2019 IHF award

Debbie Nnaya, Front of House Supervisor with the Radisson Blu hotel, Limerick, has been named the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) National Employee of the Year. Now in its third year, the award celebrates and recognises the hotel employee who has made an outstanding contribution to their workplace. Michael Lennon, outgoing President of the Irish Hotels Federation presented Ms Nnaya with her award at the IHF’s 82nd Annual Conference in Galway, which took place this week.

Congratulating Ms Nnaya and the eight other nominees for the award, Michael Lennon said that the award showcased the calibre of people who work within the sector. “They are committed professionals and great ambassadors for careers in hospitality. Over 60,000 people are employed in the hotel sector in a diverse and inclusive range of roles from entry level to highly skilled employment. This award provides us with an opportunity to show our appreciation for the valuable contribution that hotel team members make each day in providing a world class hospitality product,” he said.  “Ireland’s tourism and hospitality industry relies heavily on the consistent delivery of a quality product, so that we can meet guests’ expectations thereby helping to sustain and grow Irish tourism into the future.”

Tim Fenn, CEO of the Irish Hotels Federation, Michael Lennon, Outgoing President of the Irish Hotels Federation and Debbie Nnaya, Radisson Blu, Limerick

Debbie joined the Radisson Blu as a receptionist, less than two years ago, upon completion of the Hospitality Skills course at the Limerick and Clare ETB’s Hospitality Education Training Campus. She was quickly promoted to team leader in Front Office and was the hotel’s Employee of the Year for 2019.  She was the IHF’s Shannon branch Employee of the Year winner and their nominee for the national award. Nominating her, management at the Limerick hotel described her as a strong team player both within her own department and the wider hotel team.

Members of the Irish Hotels Federation could nominate a candidate from their hotel/guesthouse to go forward for their regional branch award.

The other shortlisted nominees for the award were:

Midlands                                         Kellyanne Doran, Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare

South East                                      Philip Erskine, Granville Hotel, Waterford

Dublin                                             Carmel Byrne, Arlington Hotel, Dublin

Kerry                                               Roland Ujbanyi, Parknasilla Resort & Spa, Kenmare, Kerry

Galway                                            Kresimir Beric, Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway

Cork                                                Sean Devine,*  River Lee Hotel, Cork

Mayo                                               Tina Treacy, Hotel Westport, Westport, Co. Mayo

Mourne/Boyne/Lakes                      Laura Clinton, Crover House Hotel, Lough Sheelin, Mountnugent, Co. Cavan

Pictured L-R
Back Row: Sean Devine, Kresimir Beric, Philip Erskine
Middle Row: Tina Treacy, Laura Clinton, Roland Ujbanyi
Front Row: Kellyanne Doran, Michael Lennon, Debbie Nnaya, Brian Harrington, Carmel Byrne

The national award was adjudicated by an independent panel of judges, chaired by Dr Tony Lenehan from the Centre for Competitiveness and COTRI (Ireland).

*   Currently working in Manor West Hotel in Kerry but representing the Cork Branch




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