Mr Andreas Breitfuss
General Manager, Tower Estate, Hunter Valley, Australia
Congratulationsto our Alumni of the Month for June: Andreas Breitfuss for both his professional and personal achievements and commitment to excellence.
Over the past 24 years Andreas Breitfuss has forged a distinguished and award-winning career in the hospitality industry in Europe and in Australia.
In 1993, Andreas joined Rydges Hotels and Resorts where he became the youngest person to be appointed to a senior management role within the chain and later managed various business units within the international hotel chain.
In 1997, Andreas formed the boutique hotel group, Manor Hotels Australia, directing one of the hotels to win over eight regional, state and national hospitality awards. Andreas has also won several regional, state and national achievement awards including the NSW Tourism Award for Contribution to Tourism by a Young Achiever. He has also been a semi-finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards and has been presented with an outstanding achievement award.
Andreas owned his own business consulting firm for over 5 years helping small businesses grow and prosper. Presently Andreas is at the helm of one of Australia's most luxurious boutique hotels and wineries located in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Tower Estate encompasses the Relais & Chateauxgold standardproperty Tower Lodge. The Lodge has been internationally recognised as the World's Most Luxurious Lodge in 2010 and 2011 at the "World Luxury Hotels Awards".
Andreas is also an accomplished international mountaineer, recently completing his greatest challenge - climbing Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. Andreas successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest on the 19th May 2012 at 2.09pm. You can see further information on his climb by visiting http://www.everestbound.com/. More recently he has taken up the challenge to complete his commercial helicopter license and will hopefully have achieved this in early 2013
Mr Jack Widagdo
Director of Revenue Management - Thailand for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
Congratulations to our Alumni of the Month for May: Jack Widagdo. In his new role Jack is responsible for four properties and two residences in Thailand, with further expansions possible in the future. Jack has specialised in revenue management since 2007 when he was the Cluster Revenue Manager for Voyages Hotels and Resorts in Australia.
Jack's colleagues have praised his skill in this field, citing his ability to think outside the box in terms of online revenue strategies, his attention to detail, leadership qualities and focus on building strong and positive teams.
In a recent interview with Val Cook in Singapore, Jack shared that his fondest BMIHMS memories were of the friendships that he made and the practical aspects of the course.
Jack stated that his three years at BMIHMS have brought him where he is today and also provided him with an invaluable global network of friends and colleagues.
Ms. Sonja Vodusek,
Hotel Manager of the Peninsula New York (starting September 2010)
Prior to starting at BMIHMS, Sonja held the position of Managing Director responsible for HR & Finance for Vodusek Meats, Meat Processing Industry.
Since 1997, Sonja has worked for Four Seasons Hotels in a variety of positions and locations: Washington DC, Houston, Tokyo, Dublin, Sydney, and most recently, in Prague.
In March 2009, she was introduced to the Sala Bai Hotel School in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a funded school that runs year-long hospitality courses for local 18 to 22 year olds. With students selected from families living on an income of less than USD 25.00 a month – and with 70 per cent of the 100-strong annual intake being female – Sonja saw her involvement as the chance to make a real difference. "The aim of the school is to educate one member of the family, who can in turn support the rest of the relatives.
Sonja spent a month in Sala Bai's simulated hotel environment, coaching teachers and students on aspects ranging from basic food and beverage service to guest relations and housekeeping. "It was a fabulous, eye-opening and humbling experience," she recalls. "The goal is to now return each year for a week to share my skills and experience."