Donna Forbes, Business Development Director for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Crowne Plaza Newcastle, is one of two winners of MEA’s 2016 Business Development Person of the Year, announced at the awards dinner on Wednesday night. She shares the award with Natalie Dillon, Sales & Marketing Manager at Sydney Cricket Ground Events.
Having only commenced her role with the two properties in May 2016, Donna made an immediate impact and continues to demonstrate a strong understanding of, and overall passion for the Hunter region. Donna’s accomplishments to date include the procurement of a million-dollar 720 delegate conference (the largest event Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley has ever hosted) and generating multi-million dollar leads in new business leads throughout the qualifying period of the award.
“I’m thrilled to have won such a highly regarded award. Winning this award not only represents my hard work but that of the wider Sales, Marketing and Revenue team that I am part of. ” said Donna. “This award is also a testament to all working parents. Being part of the IHG family has given me a tremendous amount of flexibility to work part-time, juggle my parental and community commitments while still excelling at what I do.”
InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has long had a reputation for supporting work-life balance and diversity in their workforce. Earlier this month, they had also announced RISE, a career development programme for female leaders, to continue to promote gender, cultural, lifestyle and generational diversity across its organisation.
“We are proud to see Donna recognised in this category given the amount of effort she channels into increasing demand and driving additional awareness of the region,” said Lachlan Walker, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. “Having driven and determined individuals like Donna is what will continue to elevate our position in the market, not only for our resort, but for the region as well,”
Accepting the award on Donna’s behalf, Alexander Handley, Marketing Manager for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Crowne Plaza Newcastle said the Hotels were especially ecstatic for Donna’s success given her relatively new appointment into the role.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Crowne Plaza Newcastle also recognised their owners, the Schwartz Family Company for their continued investment and support of the properties that continue to undergo updates and developments.
2016 was a highly successful and record breaking year for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, and the Resort plans to shortly announce future Resort developments that will take place in 2017. “With exciting plans for expansion, strong demand from MICE clients and positive market conditions, 2017 will see the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley team continue to be a pioneer for events and conferences in Regional NSW” Lachlan said.