From the quill pen of Linda

Linda is the brand new winner of last year and expresses what
Hotello of the Year Award mattered to her. Read her blog for her story
What an honor it was eventually, when I became Hotello of the Year 2017

Linda Giebing

A year ago, I was nominated for the Hotello of the Year Award 2017, without I even knew. I was very surprised that I was selected in the top 10 nominees. But what an honor it was eventually, when I became Hotello of the Year 2017.  Especially because I flew from my hometown Penang in Malaysia to Amsterdam for the HotelloTOP Event.

A very nice addition to the 72-hours in-out experience in The Netherlands was the possibility to give a guest lecture at Stenden University in Leeuwarden. Back in Malaysia it was back to normal life again. Unfortunately, Hotello of the Year Award isn’t that familiar in my environment and network in Malaysia. And although my employer paid a lot of attention to this award, it was hard for me to give substance to the award.

After a few weeks of thinking, I decided to do more of what my passion is about. I am convinced that a successful company could only and truly be effective if there is genuine interest in the wellbeing of the team members and community. Moreover, I was building a hospitality training program for young people without training possibilities, in order to give them a chance for a fair career in the hospitality industry. I would like to offer more people this kind of opportunities.

I am convinced that a successful company could only and truly be effective if there is genuine interest in the wellbeing of the team members and community.

Besides that, we are focussing on hiring people with disabilities. We hope to bring cultural and social stigma in a country like Malaysia, where disabled people won’t get a fair chance and valuable education and therefore no job. Furthermore, we are making plans to teach them hospitality skills to increase their independence, per example: cooking.

Moreover, I also set up the Lean In Penang Organisation in May 2017. Lean In Penang is part of the worldwide organisation “Lean In.org”, established by Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook), who wants to stimulate and help women achieve their goals. Again, the challenges here are completely different than in The Netherlands. The phrase: “If it has never been done in your environment, does not mean that it is not possible for you”, is very relevant for girls in Malaysia. They can dream big! In cooperation with Stenden University Campus Bangkok and the Netherlands Thai Chamber of Commerce, Lean In Penang is also been able to reach many people in Thailand. Partly inspired by the award, many people are reached in this way. Many thanks for that!

Regards,