“Where are we now”? – To steal the title from a David Bowie song. As the HMA is about to name its ninth Young Marketer of the Year we thought it timely to catch up with some of the previous winners and find out how their careers have benefitted from winning such a prestigious award.

The HMA introduced the Young Marketer of the Year Award, sponsored by American Express, in 2006, to recognise talented marketers under the age of 30. Since then the recipients have gone on to spread their many talents across different industries and some have even based themselves in far flung parts of the world.

The current reigning Young Marketer of the Year is Karla Pearce of London’s Melia White House Hotel. Since scooping the title at the end of last year, Karla has been promoted to Marketing and PR Manager at the hotel with enhanced responsibilities including marketing for the UK global sales office.

“Winning the award helped me to create a more established name within the company that I work for as it is quite big and international,” said Karla.  “The awards have also helped me to have more credibility within the industry thanks to the good PR the awards receive and the good name of the HMA,” she added.

As part of her award Karla was able to take up a Managing Digital Marketing Course at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. “I definitely think it has helped me to better manage my campaigns and it was also extremely useful to interact with other marketers on the course as we shared case studies and suggestions on how to improve our campaigns,” she said.

Stevan Premutico was responsible for a portfolio of 30 Hilton Hotels, restaurants, golf courses and day spas across the UK when he won the Young Marketer of the Year award in 2007. His achievements included launching the Doubletree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands into the European market. Since then Stevan has returned to his native Australia to become Chief Executive of Dimmi, Australia’s leading online restaurant booking website, based in Sydney. Dimmi was recently awarded the BRW Fast 100 and the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards, making it one of the fastest growing companies in Australia.

“Winning the Young Marketer award has certainly helped my career. It has helped with my credibility when finding suitable investors, building our esteemed Board of Directors – our board includes the MD of Facebook Australia and the MD of LinkedIn Australia – plus, most importantly it has helped in recruiting talented executives to join the team,” he said.

Donna Skuse was named Young Marketer of the Year in 2008. At the time Donna was working in marketing for Marriott International responsible for their 47 Park Street property in London’s Park Lane. Donna has since gone on to hold a number of travel marketing consultancy roles. Today she has embarked on a new departure as Commercial Director for the lighting brand Terence Woodgate. The company, headed by Royal Designer for Industry Terence Woodgate, produces lighting collections optimised for LED technology.

“Marketing is a key part of my role and although I have moved out of travel, one of our key target areas for sales is in the hospitality sector so my prior experience is proving useful,” she said.

“I have included the Young Marketer Award on my LinkedIn profile and it has come up in job interviews. I think that receiving the award was a great validation of my marketing skills,” she added.

David Black (pictured above)  became the HMA’s first Young Marketer of the Year in 2006. At the time David held a senior leisure-marketing role with Hilton Hotels in the UK & Ireland. Still with Hilton, David is now Senior Director Partnerships and Sponsorships at Hilton Worldwide based in Washington DC.

 Any type of recognition, particularly at industry level, is very rewarding and helps you stand out from the crowd in what is a very competitive marketplace. On a personal level, I take great pride in being the inaugural winner of the award, when I really was a ‘Young’ Marketer!” he said.

Over a period of nine years, eight talented young marketers have taken the HMA Young Marketer of the Year crown. Here is the full list of winners and their current positions:

2006  David Black Senior Director Partnerships and Sponsorships at Hilton Worldwide based in Washington DC

 2007  Stevan Premutico, Chief Executive of Dimmi in Sydney Australia

 2008  Donna Skuse, Commercial Director Terence Woodgate

 2009  Angela Kallinger – now Hauser – Digital Marketing Consultant LabelV

 2010  Elspeth Beattie, Senior Innovation Consultant at Happen

 2011  Sarah Tobler,  New Zealand Marketing Manager at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

2012  Chris Timbs – Senior Manager, Brand Marketing EMEA – Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton

 2013  Karla Caballero Pearce – Marketing and PR Manager Melia Hotels International

If you are aged under 30 and inspired by these stories, there is still time to enter for the Young Marketer of the Year award 2014. For further details go to www.hotelmarketingassociation.com

The author of this article is Linda Moore, Moore Communications, HMA Committee member and PR Consultant

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