Hospitality NZ / SKY Future Leaders Scholarships

Hospitality’s future leaders recognised with $3000 scholarships

The winners of Hospitality NZ/SKY Future Leader Scholarships have been announced.

The eight scholarships have a value of up to $3000 each, and include $2000 towards fees for studying the National Diploma in Hospitality Level 5 (Operational Management), and up to $1000 reimbursement of costs to attend the Future Leaders Day in 2018.

“Each year we have great people entering the hospitality industry who are going to be our future leaders. Developing these people is vital to the industry’s ongoing sustainability and its ability to respond to the ever-changing business environment”, says Hospitality New Zealand, CEO Ms Vicki Lee.

The applicants represented the breadth of the hospitality industry and were open to anyone working in the sector.

“SKY enjoys a long association with the hospitality industry and has seen it go from strength to strength” says Grant McKenzie GM for SKY Business. “It is vital we continue to attract good people to the industry and providing clear career pathways and upskilling opportunities is a great way to do this. The scholarships are designed to offer those pathways.”

Ms Lee said, “The calibre of applications this year was the best we seen yet, but in the end, it always has to come down to how they scored across these four key areas:

  • Firstly, they had to have demonstrated strong leadership potential in their workplace by inspiring the people around them
  • Have demonstrated a strong progression and commitment within their hospitality career to date
  • Have an ability to ‘make things happen’ within a hospitality environment
  • Have a clear idea about what they hope to achieve and how they would contribute to the hospitality industry.

Hospitality NZ/SKY Future Leader Scholarships 2017 winners are (including judges’ comments):

  • Aimee Hancock, The Keg Room and Eatery, Hamilton – has well thought out career plans and is currently furthering herself with on-line training courses.
  • Dawn Veridiano, Westshore Beach Inn, Hawkes Bay – already has a proven track record in hospitality and she will only benefit from additional knowledge in the operational side of business.
  • Connor Nicoll-Hardie, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington – sees the theory in the qualification as vital to underpin the 3 years practical learning he already has from working in the industry.
  • Emma Mckinnon, Chateau Marlborough Hotel, Blenheim – a very strong work ethic underpinned by 12 years in the industry and well thought out future goals and plans.
  • Pilate Neame, Beechwoods Café, Nelson – an impressive industry professional who knows what she wants and is planning for it, not just waiting around for it to happen for her.
  • Angus Baddeley, Bolton Hotel, Wellington – investigated the Diploma fully to make sure he could commit to the 2 years it requires to attain this qualification – this is a candidate who is planning his future career path carefully.
  • Benjamin Winter, Dusted and Delicious, Wellington – extremely hard working and impressive outlook on building a personal brand centred around customer service principles.
  • Liana Johnston, Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill, Whitianga – very committed to improving on her skills & knowledge in hospitality.

More information on our scholarship recipients can be found below.

“With the ongoing issue of needing to continuously attract skilled hospitality professionals to the industry it is vital we develop our sector from within. By offering these scholarships our aim is to grow our own talent by investing in people who already work in and love the industry”, Lee said. “Congratulations to the scholarship winners and I look forward to seeing their hospitality careers flourish.”

2017 Future Leaders Scholarship Recipients

Aimee Hancock

About Aimee
My names Aimee and I work at the Keg Room & Eatery in Hamilton. Hospo has been my life for the last 10 years and although it can be tough work I cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing.

The atmosphere and variation of hospitality is what draws me to it. I’ve always been a people person so found hospitality quite comforting. I’m a bit of an artist in my spare time so always find the bright side of everything. I can’t thank Hospitality NZ enough for this amazing opportunity to further my skills and be an avid part of the industry. I am eager to get started and see where the new year takes me!

Angus Baddeley

About Angus
I am currently working at the Bolton Hotel, a five-star boutique hotel in Wellington. I have only been working in the hospitality industry for two years, even though this is a rather brief time it did not take me long to discover that I’m addicted to the “hospo bug”. Previously I have been working as the Hotel's Night Manger which placed me in a key leadership position and required me to oversee the management, recruitment and training of a team consisting of 5 employees whilst ensuring all financial elements for the hotels day have been reported accurately and efficiently. 

Recently I have shifted back to day time duties and have moved into the Duty Manager role which is similar to that of the Night Manager in terms of responsibility and provides a clear pathway for me to learn and grow. So far my experience in hospitality has only consisted of working at the Bolton and I plan to keep it that way, hoping to commit myself and work my way up the ranks, ultimately making a career out of hotel management.

Ben Winter

About Ben
A move to Europe after finishing high school was to be the start of Ben's immersion into hospitality. Getting a job in a busy cafe kitchen in London was his first real exposure to the fast-paced addicting nature of his chosen career. Having worked preparing food, mixing drinks, running events and moving through sales he found his specific niche in hospitality. Coffee. With more than 10 years experience in the industry Ben still continues to push himself and his team to strive for excellence. Currently he is looking forward to starting his study in the new year.

Connor Nicoll-Hardie

About Connor
I began my career in hospitality back in 2014 as a Concierge and since then I have moved up from concierge to team leader and now to Concierge Supervisor, currently at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor in Wellington. 

I enjoy how every day in this industry is different and I look forward to using this scholarship to expand my knowledge and career within the Hospitality industry.

Dawn Veridiano

About Dawn
Since I started my hospitality career at the Westshore Beach Inn, my opportunity to learn, grow and serve others has never stopped. The company has multiple business facets, including the Philippine Asian Kitchen, the Westshore Bistro Pub, Sports Bar and Econolodge Motel. The opportunity to work in these uniquely different areas, allows me to be creative in building a good reputation in the community, expand the market and be passionate about hospitality. I am also grateful for the trust and support of my very good mentor; Mr. Jeremy Bayliss as he pass on to me the good philosophy and work ethic to be able to succeed in this industry.  

Our team aims to keep providing the optimum customer service and offer fresh food, using premium local ingredients, from sustainable sources. I want to lead our team by example, who works as a good contributor for the growth of the business and our profession. The scholarship grant is a great privilege to broaden my horizons in hospitality. I hope to be able to pass on all that I can learn from this opportunity to the team around me, for the benefit of the business and the community that we serve.
Dawn Loreta P. Veridiano
“Work with heart, be smart and with art”.

Liana Johnston

About Liana
I am 26 and have lived in Whitianga for 22 years. I applied for a job at Smitty's Sports Bar and Grill (now Frankie's) with no previous bar experience, to help with my police recruitment process and here I am 5 years later. I have now been a bar manager for the last 4 1/2 years. I started as a bar server/kitchen hand and found a passion for hospitality. I love my job and all the various roles that come with it.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about hospitality. I know one day I will own my own business and hope that I will be just as good a mentor as my bosses were for me.

Pilate Neame

About Pilate
I began working at Beechwoods Cafe in Murchison part time while still in school. Over the last two years of working here full time, with their support of my learning, I have worked my way up and now have achieved the role of Assistant Manager.

My goal is to open my own cafe and I am excited to start the next step in my career and to use what I learn to further both myself and the staff I work with. 

Emma McKinnon

About Pilate
I've been in the Hospitality industry for the 12 years, with most of it spent at the Chateau Marlborough Hotel.

I had worked my way up to the position of Food and Beverage Manager before leaving to spend some time in Australia to further my skills.

I was very much drawn back to the sunny Marlborough where I am currently working as a Front Office Duty Manager.

My goal for the future is to become a General Manger of a small boutique hotel.”

2016 Hospitality NZ/SKY Future Leader Scholarship winners

  • Shelby Finnigan, Soul Bar Auckland
  • Leon Hudson, Barworks Auckland
  • Marama Mapu, Hardy's Bar Nelson
  • Emma Pore, Hotel on Devonport Tauranga
  • Cameron Priddle, Brentwood Hotel Wellington
  • Charles Tuai, Bricklane Waitakere Trust
  • Amber Hamilton-Vittle, Five Stags Leamington
  • Lisa Witehira, Village Accommodation Wellington

2015 Hospitality NZ/SKY Future Leader Scholarship winners

  • Alysse Fryer-Russell - Bad Grannies, Wellington
  • Andrew Hayward-Swain - Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Westland
  • Catherine Hepburn - West Plaza Hotel, Wellington
  • Daniel Ferguson - Goode Brothers, Auckland
  • Krystal Cody - West Auckland Trust, Auckland
  • Melissa Lacascade - Delaware North, Wellington
  • Tanya Swain - Farringtons Tavern, Christchurch
  • Teighan Carnegie - The Gasworks, Wellington

2014 Hospitality NZ/SKY Future Leader Scholarship winners

  • Jessica Allen - The Dinsdale Office, Hamilton
  • Maria Beattie - Village Accommodation, Wellington
  • Paul Braithwaite - Tuakau Hotel, Waikato
  • Jennifer Jackson - Trinity Group, Wellington
  • Jackson Lindquist - No. 8 Bar & Brasserie, Whitianga
  • Shannon Rowe - Jolly Roger Bar, Picton
  • Angelique Toshci - Larnach Castle, Dunedin
  • Michael Wood - Pullman Hotel, Auckland

Media Release: Hospitality's future leaders recognised with $3000 scholarships

2013 Hospitality NZ/SKY Future Leader Scholarship winners

  • Adrian Vruink - The Northern Club, Auckland
  • Alicia Watson - Rosebank Lodge, Balclutha
  • Amy Billaney -Village Accommodation Group, Wellington
  • Byron Mann - Elevate Bar & Function Centre, Christchurch
  • Marianne Kirkham - The Grand Mercure Resort, Nelson
  • Mellissa Voorend - Smith & McKenzie Chophouse (Phoenix Group),Hamilton
  • Rosie Manders -The Riverhead, Auckland
  • Samuel Cunningham - Burn Brae Group, Auckland

Media Release: Career in hospitality wins over rugby and landscape gardening for scholarship winner
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