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avatar for Will Haegeland

Will Haegeland

Cross Hotels Ltd – Cringletie House
Deputy General Manager
From intensive care, to safety and security, to corporate responsibility within BBC. With degrees in nursing, organic chemistry, occupational health, safety and security, and an MSc in Ergonomics, I may not be a recruiter’s first choice as a hotel GM. My husband I had our own hotel and 2 restaurants for 15 years; then I was back in the job market. During the time as hotel owner, I also led the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, a Business Improvement District (BID) project and for the last 4 years the largest tourism industry organization within South of Scotland. Finding employment within hospitality without having gone through the ranks within the industry, is not an easy task. Another key challenge is;  how do you communicate what skills it takes to be a hotel and restaurant owner with 25 members of staff, 3 outlets and being responsible for anything from ensuring there is enough cash for payroll through to reservation, revenue, HR, lightbulbs and loo rolls– and that you may therefore have some skills and knowledge about hotel operations?  A key lesson I’ve had as an owner is to always look at profit, cost control, cash-flow and waste – it becomes a mantra in your brain.  Spending other people’s money is easy – when it’s your own, you feel different about it. That experience is a key strength for me in now leading a luxury castle hotel through a repositioning and growth process.