Highest achieving student award 2013 for Kristian Nenchev

Institute of Hospitality
26 November 2013

Institute of Hospitality – 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner
By Eveline Depetter, Chairperson Student Council The Hague

Last Wednesday, 20 November 2013, I had the honour to represent our very own Kristian Nenchev and Hotelschool The Hague at the 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner of the Institute of Hospitality at the Westbury in London.

This annual event honours the best of the best in hospitality with 4 different awards rewarded throughout the evening; The London Branch Aspiring Manager Award, The Innovation in Management Award, The Outstanding Leadership award and The Highest achieving student award. The latter being the award for which Kristian had been nominated.

The evening started off with a champagne reception followed by a 3-course dinner and coffee. During the reception it already became abundantly clear that the guest list consisted of many important figures within the hospitality industry and that the competition was going to be stiff. Additionally I noticed Hotelschool The Hague was not an unknown name to the attendees. I was approached regarding the debating team that has won first place earlier this year. Some guests had attended the competition and congratulated us on having such fine students and said they were looking forward to seeing Mr. Hepburn with his next team in March next year.

At the end of the reception all guests were guided to the dining room where we each found our assigned table. After a moving opening speech and commemoration of the past 75 years of existence of the Institute of Hospitality, the dinner and award ceremony started. The last award to be announced was the highest achieving student award. The announcer started off with an inspiring speech commending all nominees on their academic achievements and stated that the impressive applications they had received had given the Institute a fortified sense of security and trust in the managers of tomorrow. At this time I could have sworn that time started to go slower and slower as I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Kris together with many others back at Hotelschool The Hague.

Then the announcer talked about a recent graduate that had been snatched up by Marriott right after his graduation to become a regional revenue manager for 13 hotels in their D.C. Headquarters (USA). This last sentence had attendees looking around trying to find this accomplished young talent both to praise his good work and to scale up their future competition. Then the name followed…. Kristian Nenchev!

When informing Kristian that he had won the award, the initial response was disbelief only proving once more that he, other then being a great student with great potential, has kept his humility.

Through this article Kris asked me to thank Mrs. Staelens who made everyone aware of the existence of this award. Mrs. Williams who encouraged Kristian to apply for it and lastly but certainly not in the least, Mr. Feigenbaum, who has provided him with invaluable guidance, intellectual challenges and has been a true friend and great mentor.

In my opinion they could not have chosen a more deserving and grateful winner and believe that this is definitely not the last we hear from Kristian. Additionally I am convinced that this shows that Hotelschool The Hague students are ready to take the world by storm, together...

Eveline Depetter