Luxury Hospitality Daily News
Luxury Hospitality Daily News

< Previous news Next news >

INTERVIEW - NEWLY ELECTED EHMA PRESIDENT, PANOS ALMYRANTIS : "OUR NETWORK HAS BEEN NOURISHING ITS MEMBERS NATURAL THIRST FOR INSPIRATION IN AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT APPROACH"

Panos Almyrantis, General Manager Grand Hyatt Athens, has been elected EHMA President at the successful annual General Meeting, in Lugano, in March. In this interview, we talk about the European Hotel Managers Association, our unpredictable world, embracing change, supporting an inclusive and stimulating networking environment, facilitating ongoing education, the importance of mentoring and much more...

INTERVIEW - NEWLY ELECTED EHMA PRESIDENT, PANOS ALMYRANTIS : "OUR NETWORK HAS BEEN NOURISHING ITS MEMBERS NATURAL THIRST FOR INSPIRATION IN AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT APPROACH"

Panos Almyrantis, General Manager Grand Hyatt Athens, has been elected EHMA President at the successful annual General Meeting, in Lugano, in March. In this interview, we talk about the European Hotel Managers Association, our unpredictable world, embracing change, supporting an inclusive and stimulating networking environment, facilitating ongoing education, the importance of mentoring and much more...

Category: Europe - Industry economy - Interviews - Associations and Unions - Interviews
Interview made by Sylvie Leroy on 2022-05-06


Panos Almyrantis, General Manager Grand Hyatt Athens, has been elected EHMA President

Panos Almyrantis, General Manager Grand Hyatt Athens, has been elected EHMA President
Photo credit © Personal picture

Why did you participate in the election at the General Assembly?
Blessed to become National Delegate of Greece & Cyprus in 2019, I was voted as the Vice President that same year. A great ceremony in Paris, where together with Vice President Mrs Verena Forstinger we committed to support President Ezio Indiani, was followed by a disruption in global activity.

We sailed on rough seas that became rougher. Flexibility, patience, compromise, questioning everything and hope, became part of our daily life. We knew for fact that our assets were there. Academic background, professional path, great experience. But it was our genuine passion under the leadership of President Ezio Indiani and EHMA’s tools that brought us here today, without been wounded as an association and as leaders. The dedication, continuity, diligence and support our President exhibited throughout the most difficult times of the last 50 years, injected me with the positive aura to ask for members' vote, to steer the wheel of our prestigious association.

What is the spirit in which you take on the presidency of EHMA?
Global challenges are now highly complex and require unprecedented levels of multilateral coordination whilst we are seeing a fracturing of the geopolitical landscape, that makes it harder to handle complexities. We do not know what type of global order will emerge in the years to come, but we can surmise that it is likely to be more divided than the current one. And yet, we will continue to face complex, global challenges. As we grapple with the unique nature of today’s crises and strive to manage an increasingly unpredictable world, the need for good leadership will be immense.

EHMA members have a plethora of knowledge and experience that flows like a blessing throughout our annual general meetings and networking activities. And we know that a hotel manager has to lead rather than follow. In this spirit, I have the confidence that along with the new executive committee composed by Vice Presidents Stephan Stokkermans and Pawel Lewtak and Treasurer Giuseppe Mariano, we will lead the association towards embracing “change”. A word that has become our daily flag! Socrates, the Greek philosopher who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy, quoted: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. That’s exactly the spirit!

EHMA has a new vision and mission statement. Can you talk more about it?
EHMA was established in Rome in 1974. It is a non-profit association of Hotel Managers operating first class and luxury hotels across Europe. The founding members firmly believed that service is the principle tenet of quality hospitality. The association currently gathers nearly 400 members in 23 European countries. But the most important element is that EHMA is an association of people, not hotels.

Leaders who can craft a vision into a direct, clear and actionable statement pull off good vision statements and have a better chance of leading a company or association in its intended direction. The most fascinating phase of the pandemic was a period of nearly one year, working with a committee of prominent EHMA members, who under the guidance of their National Delegates offered lofty ideas about the future of the association, adjusted to the continuous and thriving changes.

Happy to walk in the future with a vision of “being the preferred Association of Hotel Managers, representing the most prestigious and unique hotels in Europe”, our annual general meeting in Lugano was the announcement milestone.

The ongoing global changes called for a mission that fosters friendship and amical spirit among our members. Supporting an inclusive and stimulating networking environment where we will be sharing experiences, insights and support, to effectively communicate within the hotel industry, with integrity, loyalty and trust is our goal. Naturally, facilitating ongoing education, with the support of leading international hotel schools is part of our “Hotel” promise.

What are the priorities of your mandate? What will be the key phases?
EHMA promotes Europe as a whole through its members in individual countries, encouraging training and job exchanges. Having developed a modern and progressive approach, we will be promoting an expansive perspective that adapts renowned European know-how to the requirements of the rapidly changing international hospitality industry. Contacts with hotel schools and universities, sharing insights and consulting services to institutions through active participation of our members, are some of our planned actions.

An important goal is to make EHMA the first source when there is a need to hire a talented and experienced General Manager and the first contact option for the press when exploring the Hospitality industry. With a strong presence throughout Europe, we wish to engage in relations with federal, regional and city governments to ensure that our beloved hospitality community remains strong and shapes its future based on a long-term competitive environment.

How does the association support hotel managers?
EHMA’s priority has always been to foster our members urge on personal development, contributing to their needs on how to lead in the hospitality industry. Empathetic exchanges and good listening have always been the heart of success in the Hotel world, but above and beyond all, with so many changes in the world in the last decade, our network has been nourishing its members natural thirst for inspiration in an emotionally intelligent approach, through a culture of openness, kindness, unity and passion for Hotels.

Many members have been fortunate to have a number of prominent mentors who have helped them develop professionally and personally. Mentors are a fantastic way to gain insight into where a hotelier’s career may lead. A great application of such a comprehensive program is followed in our Italian chapter through the “Mentor Me” program.

While it is important for a professional to have a positive image, it's also important to be respected within the industry. Awards are a great way of gaining recognition and respect among peers. They can help develop deeper relationships with guests, investors, suppliers, partners and the media. EHMA is proud to feature four awards given annually to those who deserve them.

The “European Hotel Manager of the Year” granted to an active member who has achieved outstanding results in hotel management during the previous year and throughout their career. The “Hans Koch Lifetime Achievement Award”, named in memory of our late President, honoring outstanding retired / Meritorious General Managers who have significantly contributed to the improvement of the Hotel Business over their lifetime career and to the Association itself. The “EHMA Sustainability Award by Diversey”, a company constantly delivering revolutionary cleaning and hygiene technologies, as they share the same concern and philosophy towards sustainability. And finally, the “Best Practices award” recognizing outstanding projects / initiatives successfully implemented by General managers.

What is your point of view on the lack of staff in the hotel and restaurant industry? And what would be your solutions? In your hotel, have you implemented new ideas to change the situation?
Unfortunately, the hospitality industry has been accused of underpaid and undervalued employees. A phenomenon caused by the fact that companies either could not or simply did not want to pay the wages demanded by employees. Therefore, low basic wages were balanced by the so-called "gray income" of tips and commissions. However, this type of income was never part of an original written agreement and was the first to disappear in the pandemic. Higher paid positions were also difficult to fill as they usually involved a lot of unpaid overtime and almost 24-hour availability. Overall, these factors have begun to make the tourism industry less attractive to young people, particularly Generation Z, who need to fill the vacancies. As a result, there is currently not enough supply in the industry, which only exacerbates the shortage of hospitality.

An amazing panel by Shannon Knapp, President and CEO of Leading Hotels of the World, Roland Fasel, COO of Aman Resorts, Jan Brucker, CEO of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Antonello Dé Medici, Business Director of Rocco Forte Hotels, discussed these challenges during our annual general meeting in Lugano. They agreed that one of the biggest challenges is how to inspire teams and attract the next generation, as there is a shortage of manpower. They believed that after the pandemic, the book of employee relations should be rewritten and new forms of work should be found, if we want to attract new talents and persuade the specialized staff to return.

The Grand Hyatt Athens currently features 321 units, with an expansion development pipeline to become 550 rooms and suites. This transformative face that will uplift our hardware needs to be supported by a human culture. I have always been an orchestrator of promotion from within, a formula that has proven a fertile ground for evolvement and profitability. By keeping and attracting that high-caliber talents, we will continue building and sustaining a great organizational culture.

EHMA new Executive committee Stephan Stokkermans Panos Almyrantis Pawel Lewtak

EHMA new Executive committee featuring from left to right: Stephan Stokkermans, Panos Almyrantis and Pawel Lewtak
Photo credit © Carlotta Girola / European Hotel Managers Association




More about...


About the author

Sylvie Leroy, enthusiastic publisher since 1999
Her passion for luxury hospitality, "a score perfectly performed by a fantastic orchestra" as she often says, led Sylvie Leroy to build in 2004 Journal des Palaces the sole online daily news dedicated to luxury hospitality with news, jobs, directories and resources.


You will also like to read...







< Previous news Next news >



Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Instragram Follow us on Youtube Rss news feed



Questions

Hello and welcome to Journal des Palaces

You are a communication or the PR manager?
Click here

You are an applicant?
Check out our questions and answers here!

You are a recruiter?
Check out our questions and answers here!