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Local Hotel Manager is celebrated at national industry awards ceremony

1st June 2022
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Chara Forest, Resident Manager at The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa has been awarded a prestigious 'Acorn Award' this weekend. The Acorn Awards are a national accolade, recognising the shining starts of the hospitality industry, with 30 industry professionals under the age of 30 years bestowed this honour annually by leading industry magazine, The Caterer.

The thirty winners from around the UK enjoyed a celebratory weekend and prize giving lunch at Rudding Park in Harrogate to collect their awards trophies from Acorn Award sponsor, CH & Co's Chief Operating Officer, Allister Richards and The Caterer magazine's Managing Editor, Lisa Jenkins.

Each winner's success is the result of their outstanding ability and application in their own specialist field within the industry, and each was nominated and voted for among their peer group. Chara celebrated her win in the company of other young hospitality industry professionals representing various roles, companies and geographical areas, all united in their dedication to their chosen careers and their exceptional qualities and abilities which have given them their stand-out factor.

CH & Co's Chief Operating Officer, Allister Richards commented,

'The announcement of the Acorn winners is always a joyful occasion. In a time when we could easily get bodged down by ever-present pressures - such as rising inflation and supply chain issues to the relentless labour shortages - it offers a welcome reminded of what makes the hospitality industry so inspiring and great.'

The Devonshire Group's Head of Operations Yorkshire, James O'Donnell, shared these thoughts and reflected on Chara's award.

'Chara has been with us for over three years now, and her grass roots understanding of the industry, combined with her emotional intelligence and ability for enabling other to empower themselves with her encouragement and support, combined with her passion and creativity, make her an exemplary manager - she has a warm and caring personality which makes her popular with both guest and her colleagues alike. I am so proud that she had won this ward.

Chara is a pleasure to work with, and especially in the lockdown period has been an absolute rock, encouraging some member of her team to face and work through some rather dark times, both for the industry and personally. For me, it is her human empathy, mentoring skills and the ability to lead by example that makes her an exceptional leader in her field, not only today but also in the future.'

Chara moved into hospitality following her academic studies pre- and post-grad in psychology, having worked within two of the North's leading hotels, Slaley Hall and the five red start Seaham Hall, where she attained the role of Operations Manager, joining The Devonshire Arms in November 2018 as Deputy General Manger.

The Acorn Award is another accomplishment in a growing number of professional achievements for Chara, which include 'Front of House Person of the Year' at Seaham; 'Shooting Start nomination', the North East Hotel Associations Awards; a scholarship to attend the 'Executive Education Programme' at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and she has also recently completed the 'Stepping Up Programme' via ILM, which has further developed her leadership skills.

All of this demonstrates her commitment to excellence and showing that a career in hospitality can be varied and stimulating, becoming so much more than 'just a job'.

Richard Palmer, Managing Director of the Group added,

'Chara is developing an exemplary career and we are very proud to have her in our team. She is such a good example of the doors that hospitality can open, and the personal satisfaction that can be gained from a career in hospitality. What's more I have every confidence that she will continue to develop her comprehensive knowledge of the Luxury Hotel sector and most importantly, encourage others to develop their own confidence, to take their next steps towards personal and job satisfaction.'

For more information about The Acorn Awards see here.

Find your perfect career at The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, with varying roles from front of house to maintenance to game keeper, we hope that we can provide an environment that allows everyone to develop their potential, take a look at the jobs available here.

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