Institute of Hospitality unveils new youth council

The Institute of Hospitality, the leading international professional body for current and aspiring leaders and managers in the hospitality industry, is proud to announce the launch of its first youth council.

The council is the brainchild of Chief Executive Robert Richardson FIH, and represents a milestone in the Institute’s 83-year history. Making up the council are students, young professionals at the start of their hospitality careers and budding leaders drawn from the Institute’s Associate membership. Their role will be to provide insight, advice and recommendations to assist the Institute; specifically, the council will serve as a powerful resource for the Institute as it tackles head-on the hospitality industry’s need to develop a strong image and culture of professionalism.

Members of the council, to be known as the Aspiring in Hospitality Group, will also act as ambassadors for the Institute of Hospitality as it intensifies its efforts to appeal to ‘Gen Z’ and younger millennials, the hospitality industry’s dominant age demographic.

At its most recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 6th July, Kellie Rixon MBE FIH, chair of the Institute of Hospitality’s Supervisory Board, reaffirmed the Institute’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity and sustainability, values that resonate deeply with the younger generation from which the Institute hopes to reap future talent committed to professional hospitality careers.

The youth council also reflects the breadth of hospitality, with members representing a cross-section of industry sectors, including the vital education and training supply chain. Clare Johnson AIH, national relationship manager- apprenticeships and training for HIT Training, has been named inaugural chair. She will be supported in her role by Peter Avis FIH, general manager of Galvin at Windows and a member of the Institute of Hospitality’s Supervisory Board.

Also with a seat on the council are Jake Armston AIH, bar manager and full-time student at University College Birmingham; Andrew Di Sora AIH, assistant food and beverage manager at the Ham Yard Hotel in London; Sian Rann AIH, reservations and revenue executive at the Dorchester Collection and a graduate of Falmouth University; Katariina Reissar, graduate manager at the Leonardo Royal Grand Harbour Southampton, and Jaz Zaman, soon to graduate from the University of Exeter with a degree in Spanish and Geography, and who will be joining Connect Vending as a business development executive.

The youth council will meet at regular intervals, and already members are exploring how best to promote the work of the Institute of Hospitality. Among the plans is a webinar focussing on mental health support for hospitality front-line teams and supervisors. 

Robert Richardson FIH, said, “More than a name, ‘Aspiring in Hospitality’ is a mission statement. The formation of a youth council breaks new ground for the Institute of Hospitality. We are drawing on the talent and enthusiasm of our next generation of hospitality professionals and decision makers who will play a key role in driving Associate-level membership activity and continuous professional development.

“Members of the Institute’s Executive Team and Supervisory Board, not least myself, have already been impressed by the council members’ passion and determination.  I am excited to work with them as the Institute supports its members in resetting, rebuilding, and moving forward.”

Clare Johnson AIH, said, “I'm delighted to be part of something so innovative and much needed within our beloved hospitality industry. I look forward to sharing our passion for hospitality and working with a fantastic team. Our youth council will work very hard to ensure Associates of the Institute of Hospitality get all the tools needed from their membership, and to attract budding talent to both our industry and Institute.”