People’s Choice Award 2019

The Leeds Hotels & Venues Association (LHVA) is very excited to declare that voting is now OPEN for 12th annual People’s Choice Award.

This is the one category where we put YOU in charge and ask YOU to be the judge the superheroes and super heroines to find the most deserving recipient of the People’s Choice Award.  This award recognises and celebrates the high standards and commitment of those exceptional individuals that work in the city’s hospitality sector.

As ever, we have an outstanding list of people for you to choose from, each of them, in their own way, has been nominated because of their hard work, passion for the business, and dedication to delivering great customer service time after time.

Now it’s over to you to pick a winner from an extraordinary bunch of talented people and vote for your LHVA People’s Choice Award 2019.  The winner will be announced at a glittering awards event on Thursday 27th June at Leeds United FC ground, Elland Road.

Vote Now for your People’s Choice Winner

Jonathan Walton, People Development Manager, Dakota Leeds

Vivienne Mavin, HR Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds

Janet McAteer, PA to General Manager, Hilton Leeds City

Debbie Dobson, Director of Sales, Dakota Leeds

Karim Amrouch, Assistant Butler, Oulton Hall Hotel

Vote Closes:   00:00 Thursday 19th June 2019


Jonathan Walton - Dakota Leeds

Jonathan Walton

People Development Manager
Dakota Leeds

Jonathan’s career in hospitality began in 2013 at Radisson Blu, Durham as a room attendant working steadily towards restaurant supervisor, shift manager and duty manager.  In 2015 he moved to Leeds and joined DoubleTree Hilton in a supervisory role within the restaurant and meetings and events.  He job shared this and a mat-cover role in the sales department to get an all-round understanding of the hotel business.

Jonathan was delighted to join the team opening the new Dakota Leeds in 2017 where he was able to realise his dream of working in Human Resources and Recruitment.  He loves his role in the team and enjoys developing people and making a difference, taking on the recruitment responsibility for all departments, so that they can focus on the day job.  Jonathan enjoys being a voice of the people and cannot think of anywhere he would rather be than at the Dakota Leeds.

Vivienne Mavin - DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds

Vivienne Mavin

HR Manager
DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds

Vivienne is described by her colleagues as ‘the heartbeat of the hotel’ and responsible for driving the positive culture of the DoubleTree with her vivacious personality, determination and drive. Business benefits to this energy are reflected in all-time high retention figures and all-time low labour turnover.

Vivienne is dedicated to the progress, development and overall wellbeing of the team at DoubleTree and the hotel has seen its highest ever SALT scores and service levels seen as exceptional, coupled with her role as Mental Health first-aider and Wellness Champion.

Vivienne orchestrates the hotel’s participation in the annual dragon boat race in aid of local charity, Martin’s House. Raising over £5k across 5 years, Viv is dedicated to looking for different ways to engage with the local community and do her bit for a great cause.

Viv’s enthusiasm isn’t restricted to the walls of the DoubleTree though and she is a well-known figure in the Leeds Hotels and Venue Association network, supporting Leeds College with work placements and work experience, driving the apprentice programme and an active contributor to LHVA.

Janet McAteer - Hilton Leeds City

Janet McAteer

PA to the GM
Hilton Leeds City

If you are attending any kind of event, conference or networking club in Leeds and you will undoubtedly have met the irrepressible Janet McAteer.  Working at the Hilton Leeds City for over 13 years, this is more than a job for Janet, as she dedicates a lot of her personal time to supporting initiatives such as championing ‘Thrive’ the wellbeing initiative, organising sessions such as ‘Time to talk’, ‘Let’s get crafty’ and ‘Wednesday walk’.

A member of the Yorkshire Awards committee, Janet supported this ‘magical’ event creating meaningful Yorkshire packages for each attendee.  Her wonderful personal gifts such as handmade material flowers for students from Leeds City College to promote the Hilton’s 100th birthday and regularly makes gifts such as owls, love hearts and flowers, to create a wonderful ‘Yorkshire’ guest experience.

Not only is Janet at the heart of all hotel initiatives she is also our Charity champion selling her hand-made gifts on behalf of Candle Lighters.  She is well-known across Hilton Worldwide because of her wonderful and generous skills as well as her outstanding customer service skills and commitment to hospitality.  As Yorkshire’s No. 1 fan, Janet is a true asset to Hilton Leeds City and a valued member of the whole Hilton family.

Debbie Dobson - Dakota Leeds

Debbie Dobson

Director of Sales
Dakota Leeds

Who doesn’t know or hasn’t heard of this lady? Debbie is a true inspiration to all that she meets and identified as one of the city’s most inspirational females and requested to sit on the panel at an International Women’s Day event. Her endless amounts of energy and infectious personality mean that Debbie has friends from every walk of life and counts the Chair of Leeds United and Christopher Biggins amongst her friends.

Her commitment to charity knows no bounds and she recently gifted a table to the Princes Trust Charity and raised £11,000 at the auction. She stops by and affords time to the homeless, even offering one young man a job as a hotel pot wash to help get him off the streets.

Debbie really is one in a million and spends her spare time working making friends and influencing people at matchdays at LUFC. Hard working, fun and always going the extra mile, a real people person and an inspiration to us all.

Karim Amrouch - Oulton Hall Hotel

Karim Amrouch

Assistant Butler
Oulton Hall Hotel

Karim started work at Oulton Hall Hotel in 1993 after many years working on the QE2. He assists in managing the Drawing Room, a popular place for business meetings with afternoon tea. Many junior members of the team have benefited and passed on the art of great customer service learned from Karim sharing his knowledge and expertise from a career on cruise liners.

Outlon Hall Hotels afternoon teas are our bread and butter and immensely popular with baby showers, hen parties and individuals. We have developed our bespoke butler dining over the last few years and Karim has been paramount in creating this service of fine dining, served on fine china, crystal glassware, tails and white gloves a la Downton Abbey.

Our football market has evolved and many of the Championship and Premiership teams that stay with us specifically ask for Karim to look after them. Where Karim really comes into his own though is in our seasonal promotions such as Mother’s Day, Wimbledon and Valentine’s Day. Karim retires this year, but he has been an amazing colleague at Oulton Hall Hotel, dedicated and passionate about its success and is everything that customer service is all about.

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