I write this having just returned home from EHMA’s 46th annual general meeting, which ran under the theme, ‘welcome to the future’. The event was a huge success in every aspect, and great applause should go to Manuel de Vasconcelos and all members of the organising committee for a job well done.

It was also a special weekend for me personally. I am thrilled and excited about being elected the new president of EHMA – truly honoured. I feel the weight of the responsibility that I have towards every member of the association, and I can assure everyone that I will do everything possible to increase the value and prestige of EHMA over the coming years.

For those that don’t know me, I am the general manager of the Hotel Principe di Savoia, in Milan, part of the Dorchester Collection. I have also managed the Hotel Eden in Rome, the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva and the Hotel Villa d’ Este on Lake Como.

I was born in northern Italy, and since childhood my dream was to become a hotel manager. I have made my dreams come true and am lucky to do the best job on earth, now as the general manager of a fantastic property owned by a fantastic group in an extraordinary city. Following my election as president of EHMA, I have fulfilled my professional aspirations.

But there is still a lot to achieve. Points highlighted during the general meeting included increasing collaboration among members, keeping EHMA alive all year round and growing membership. These are all priorities that will be dear to me and the management council. I am sure we will also be able to introduce interesting new professional projects extended to all EHMA chapters, where the contribution of members will be key for our future success.

Guiding hand

One project very dear to us all is Mentor Me, which has already enjoyed success in the Italian chapter. It consists of pairing experienced general managers with talented individuals holding departmental positions inside hotels managed by EHMA members. We should be able to pair 30–35 couples each year. We will also continue to develop Young EHMA further, as well as working and collaborating closely with the most prestigious hotel schools in Europe.

We will also launch a programme aimed at reducing plastic in our hotels by 70% in the first three years and by 100% within six. Another area where EHMA will dedicate more efforts is linked to social media, with greater presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. We need to measure our reputation constantly and work hard in order to improve our visibility.

We have a world of knowledge and many hundreds of years of professional experience among our members, and I believe we must put in place a system to share good practices and create successful initiatives among all members.

A big part of that will be the use and visibility of EHMA Talk, a platform that enables all members to participate in association activities and gives the opportunity to everyone to highlight their points of view on a variety of matters. We will work with the objective of increasing the value and visibility of the EHMA brand in order to become the strongest and best-known association for hospitality leaders in Europe.

This work will be underpinned by three guiding principles – first, fostering a friendly and professional environment to improve our ability to manage our hotels; second, dedicating part of our time to improving the lives of people less fortunate than us and safeguarding the environments within which our properties operate; and finally, a commitment to creating a work-life balance that enables us to achieve our targets in a positive and happy way.

I want big corporations and private hotel owners to think of EHMA as a first port of call when searching for talented and experienced general managers, and for our members to be considered the first point of contact for journalists seeking insights into the hospitality industry. Our general managers should be seen by those within our industry as the leaders they want to work for, known for treating staff fairly and creating the right environment in which to grow professionally

Together with Verena Radlgruber-Forstinger of the Radisson Blu Style Hotel Vienna as first vice-president, Panagiotis ‘Panos’ Almyrantis of the Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas Crete as second vice-president, and all national delegates, we will carry out our duties in a joyful and friendly way, in the true spirit of EHMA.

We are an amical, and we want to remain the association in which friendship and respect are our greatest assets.