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On Wednesday 10 January, during the HotelloTOP Year Event at the Horecava in RAI Amsterdam, two hotello’s from Hotel Management School Leeuwarden secured two major awards: The NXT GM Challenge and Hotello of the Year.

NXT GM Challenge
The NXT GM Challenge is designed for talented hotello’s: a student or recent graduate of one of the Dutch Hotel Management Schools. Thanks to his perseverance and creativity, our 4th year Bachelor student Vince Meurders ultimately managed to win. He competed in the final against another Hotelschool Leeuwarden delegate, Constantin Benesch, who turned out to be a very daring opponent. We extend our compliments for his efforts, and we are proud to note that both finalists were hotello’s from our hotel management school.

On September 1st, Vince receives the hotel keys for NH Schiller and NH Caransa in the heart of Amsterdam where he will be working as General Manager with top notch support from experienced industry professionals. Vince follows in the footsteps of our alumna Lynn Woltjes (cohort 2020) who managed to take the win last year.

Hotello of the Year Award
Vince Meurders wasn’t the only hotello from Hotel Management School Leeuwarden to receive recognition. During the Hotello of the Year award, alumna Iris Koning (cohort 2011) walked away with the prestigious prize. After a final one-minute pitch, where the audience could cast their votes, she outshone Melle Schellekens (HTH ’09) and Ramez Ramzy (HTH ’14).

Iris, serving as a senior HR manager at PepsiCo, implemented a mentorship programme aimed at attracting and supporting female talent with a refugee background. Her initiative has since been implemented globally within the company and was honored with PepsiCo’s Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award in 2023. This year, she has added another noteworthy recognition to her achievements.

Congratulations to both winners on their success, and we are proud of their accomplishments!