Accommodation Association bolsters council with two new members

Appointments come at critical juncture in association’s history

As amalgamation with Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) looms ever nearer, the Accommodation Association has appointed two of the country’s most experienced, senior hotel sector management to join the association’s council.

Announcing the news, AA president, Leanne Harwood said Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry and Hilton Group head of Australasia, Paul Hutton were joining the council at an important period of recovery and rebuilding for the sector and as work continues towards the proposed amalgamation with TAA.

“The Council is united in our purpose of delivering for members through strengthening our sector including as we recover from the challenges of COVID, growing the demand drivers for business and helping our members meet the immediate challenges presented by the labour and skills crisis,” Ms Harwood said.

“Now more than ever we need to be smart in our advocacy, strategic in our effort and united in our focus.”

Hilton Group head of Australasia, Paul Hutton

The vastly-experienced Ms Derry and Mr Hutton need little introduction to the industry.

Ms Derry, who was appointed to the Accor CEO role earlier this year, has almost 30 years of hospitality experience, working for international hotel companies and excelling in her early career in operations.

She owned and operated her own successful business for over 10 years before joining Accor as Head of Talent and Culture. As CEO Accor Pacific, she is responsible for continuing Accor’s growth trajectory in the Pacific, and building on the existing presence of its brands, loyalty network and talent.

Paul Hutton is a 37-year hospitality industry veteran who has recently returned to Australia, having spent the past four years as Hilton’s Regional Head of Southeast Asia where he built a robust leadership team and oversaw significant portfolio growth.

“We are pleased to welcome Sarah Derry and Paul Hutton to the Council as we move into this important period of recovery and rebuilding for our sector and work continues towards the proposed amalgamation with Tourism Accommodation Australia,” Ms harwood said.
Ms Harwood thanked outgoing councillors Hilton’s vice-president operations, Heidi Kunkel and Crown Sydney CEO, Simon McGrath for their contribution and leadership during their years of service, including during the past two years which she said have been the most difficult time the industry has faced.

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