Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders programme to provide funded training for 18 young hotel professionals

The hospitality industry’s leading educational programme for aspiring hotel managers is to provide places for 18 talented hotel hoteliers as part of its commitment to providing funded training to young professionals in the industry.

The Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma (MIALD) – the award-winning development programme designed to help hoteliers develop their skills and further their career prospects, will see those awarded undertake the 12-month development course across eight key modules. Areas of focus include, professional development, people management, leadership development and more.

Shortlisted candidates went through a series of interviews conducted by industry experts, including Dr Hilary Cooke PhD. FIH MI, MIALD Course Director and Owner of Merlin Consultancy, Tej Walia FIH MI, managing director of Foxhills Resort & Spa, Tim Hassell FIH MI, Estates Director at Thurlestone and Kalindi Junega FIH, CEO of PoB Hotels.

The new 2024 Aspiring Leaders include:

  • Tonicha Baldock, Assistant Operations Manager, The Torridon Hotel
  • Clea Baradat, Head Housekeeper, Rubens at the Palace Hotel
  • Marina Brook, Restaurant Manager, Coworth Park
  • Louis Cool, Food & Beverage, Outlet Manager, Lainston House
  • Antoine Echassoux, Guest Relations Manager, The Grand, York
  • Katarzyna Elliott, Deputy General Manager, Woolley Grange Hotel
  • Mekhyla Fernandes, Reception Team Leader, Hilton London Bankside
  • Aurelia Idy, Assistant Food & Beverage Services Manager , Pullman London St Pancras
  • Chloe Jarvis, Assistant Restaurant Manager, Lime Wood Hotel
  • Lucas Kelly, Food & Beverage Supervisor, South Lodge Hotel & Spa
  • Caroline McDevitt, Front Office Manager, The Savoy London
  • Jess Oliver, Head of Guest Experience, Seckford Hall Hotel & Spa
  • Hannah Prowse-Thomas, Rooms Division & Events Manager, GreyFriars Hotel Colchester
  • Alana Quigley , Restaurant Manager , Gleneagles Hotel
  • George Smart, Restaurants & Bar Manager, Grove of Narberth
  • Sinthujaa Vaseekaran, Guest Relations Supervisor, Pennyhill Park
  • Ciara Williams , Guest Relations Manager, The Ned City of London
  • Max Winder, Operations Manager, Mallory Court Hotel

Commenting on the announcement of the new cohort, Dr Hilary Cooke PhD. FIH MI said:

 “I’ve been providing training to the hospitality industry for over 30 years, but there is nothing I find more rewarding than helping develop future talent within our industry.

 “It’s always great to see so many people who are passionate about the industry, which is why programmes like the Aspiring Leaders Diploma are so vital to help develop their passion and talent into making our industry an even better one to work in.”

Now in its 12th year, the Aspiring Leaders Diploma is comprised of eight key learning modules that take place every six to eight weeks across the UK in several esteemed hotel properties and are led by hoteliers with extensive knowledge and experience in the industry.

Speaking on the Aspiring Leaders Diploma, Dan Rose-Bristow MI, Chairman of the Master Innholders, said:

“Education plays a major role in our commitment to supporting those within the hotel industry. The Aspiring Leaders Diploma is our way of providing that vital training and development that is so crucial to ensure the next generation is equipped with the skills and tools they need to excel in their careers.”

The programme has long held the prestigious Princess Royal Training Award for its contributions to hospitality training and development, an award that highlights the outstanding training and skills provided by the MIALD programme. It is also endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality.

For more information about MIALD, please visit