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    City Lodge Hotels' Clifford Ross inducted into Fedhasa Hall of Fame

    City Lodge Hotels celebrates former CEO Clifford Ross's induction into the prestigious, inaugural Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa). The award is well-deserved recognition for his remarkable contribution to the group and industry during his illustrious career.
    City Lodge Hotels former CEO Clifford Ross
    City Lodge Hotels former CEO Clifford Ross

    Fedhasa launched the awards to honour excellence and celebrate talent and dedication of hospitality professionals, as it marks its 75th anniversary as “the voice of hospitality in South Africa”.

    Professional collaboration

    Ross joined City Lodge Hotels in 1987 and served until his early retirement in 2018 due to ill health, progressing from general manager to operations director, managing director, and finally chief executive officer.

    During his long career, Ross was involved with several associations focused on shaping, guiding, and promoting the hospitality industry, including serving as Fedhasa deputy chairman. He credits the collaboration, camaraderie, and professionalism of associations with helping boost his career and giving opportunities to mentor others.

    He says, “I started at the bottom in this industry in 1974, training in the kitchen and washing pots. It was so important that I got involved with industry associations to help me grow. Hospitality stands proud in everything it does and needs to be led by a body like Fedhasa, which recognises people with leadership potential in all fields of hoteliering.”

    “With these new awards, Fedhasa has identified a new generation of people who are building their careers for the betterment of this industry, and rewarding them, as they so rightly deserve. I am very honoured by this recognition bestowed upon me and, by extension, City Lodge Hotels,” he continues.

    “Being part of Fedhasa gives one insight into the challenges and opportunities across hospitality, as it contributes to other industry bodies including the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), the Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa), and others. I loved sitting on those boards, giving guidance and informing meetings of the industry itself,” he notes.

    Government connections

    With Fedhasa as the industry's voice, its board deals directly with government. Through Fedhasa, Ross worked with several tourism ministers as well as ministers of other key, interconnected departments on issues impacting tourism like Black Economic Empowerment, hotel grading, and smoking legislation.

    Team effort

    "There is always a team behind awards," says Ross, congratulating the City Lodge Hotels managers recognised as runners-up:

    • General Manager Hotel: Ian Laughland at City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport
    • Facilities Manager of the Year: Raymond Cripps at City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport
    • Culinary Excellence: Trevor Boyd, general manager: food and beverage operations

    “These are fantastic team members, professionals with direction and purpose, keen to be the best in their field of management. Through recognition like this we are going to entice the younger generation to become something bigger and better in this industry, and to give back,” enthuses Ross.

    Team building and mentorship are integral to City Lodge Hotels' approach to grow leaders passionate about the industry and brand. One of its initiatives is the Accelerated Development and Deployment Program which identifies and fast-tracks team members with strong management potential. The group also drives personalised employee development through, among other initiatives, in-house training programmes and internships.

    "After this industry's recent challenges, this new momentum from Fedhasa reviving its awards is needed. Ultimately, our valued guests will benefit," he concludes.

    City Lodge Hotel
    City Lodge Hotel Group has a variety of hotels dedicated to providing you with comfort at a level that suits you. With 5 Courtyard Hotels (480 rooms), 19 City Lodge Hotels (3281 rooms), 12 Town Lodges (1507 rooms) and 23 Road Lodges (2 272 rooms), the Group has a total of 7540 rooms and ranks among the 250 largest hotel chains in the world. We are dedicated to providing quality accommodation for business, leisure and 'bleisure' travellers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. From basic, functional rooms to magnificent luxury studios, we have the range and experience to give you unbelievable service and exceptional accommodation at a price you can afford and in a location near to where you want to be. Go to www.clhg.com for more information.
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