Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Toomey

Colin Toomey

Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Colin Toomey is a 25-year veteran of the Concierge profession. He began his career at the Sheraton Brisbane Hotel in the mid 1980's. A native of Sydney, Australia he returned home during the Australian bi-centenary celebrations of 1988 and started work in the lobby of the historic InterContinental Hotel Sydney. As the Japanese tourism boom of the early 1990's reached its peak Mr. Toomey opened the 470 room Hotel Nikko in Sydney's leafy Potts Point, assuming his first role as Chief Concierge. A final move back into the city in 1995 to the newly opened ANA Hotel, coincided with Colin's acceptance into the Society of the Golden Keys. Receiving his keys from the then International President of Les Clefs d'Or, the legendary Tony Facciolo, was considered by Mr. Toomey to be a highlight of his early career as a professional Concierge. In the ensuing 18 years Mr. Toomey has risen through the ranks of Les Clefs d'Or, first in his native Australia and then on the International Board of Directors. When elected President of his National Section in 2002 Mr. Toomey became the youngest person to ever hold this position. He presided over a period of strong growth for the Gold Keys in Australia. Two years later he was entrusted with the Zone Directors role for Oceania, the smallest of the seven regions that make up the international body of UICH. Having been elected onto the International Executive during the Guangzhou Congress of 2009 Mr. Toomey now holds the position of 1st Vice President Les Clefs d'Or and remains the only representative of that body based in the Southern Hemisphere. During his time at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, (which took over management from ANA in 2003), Mr. Toomey has received numerous industry awards recognizing his achievements. A two time winner of the Australian Hotels Association Concierge of the Year Award, Mr. Toomey was also a recent recipient of an equivalent honor bestowed by Hotel Management magazine. Outside of work Mr. Toomey is an avid golfer and bush-walker. He resides in the coastal Sydney suburb of Little Bay with his wife and three young daughters.

Mr. Toomey can be contacted at 612-9250-6018 or colin.toomey@shangri-la.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.