Berlin — 25 May 2022 The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) in partnership with the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) presented the prestigious ISHC Young Leader Award to Theo Bortoluzzi, the youngest member of the Kerten Hospitality team.

Theo has grown from Intern to Business Development Manager in just two short years. Based in Barcelona, Theo was instrumental in the signing of Kerten Hospitality’s first deal in Europe and is currently spearheading projects that help support the development of more sustainable properties. Theo has been recognized as a 30 Under 30 by Hotelier Middle East. 

ISHC’s CEO Andrea Belfanti commented, “Very few people have advanced in their career as quickly as Theo. He has a passion for hospitality, and we need young, talented leaders in our industry who are in it for the long haul. Now more than ever it is important to recognize young talent in our industry and we are grateful for the opportunity to do so with our partners at IHIF.” 

“I was delighted to present Theo Bortoluzzi with this year’s ISHC Young Leader Award. He epitomizes everything the award celebrates and his talent, passion and leadership will take him and the hospitality industry, of which he is already impacting at such a young age, far. I wish Theo every success and hope to see him on the IHIF stage in the not-too-distant future,” commented Alexi Khajavi, Group President, Travel and Hospitality, Questex. 

During IHIF plenary session, Theo was interviewed by Russell Kett, Chair of the HVS London office along with the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, David Kong, former CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. During the interview, Theo credited inspiring leaders including Kerten Hospitality’s CEO Marloes Knippenberg who empowered him to learn by doing.

“His talent, sense of project ‘ownership’, out-of-the-box thinking, passion for ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) implementation in the industry and innovative approach to business development has quickly taken him to a leading role within the Business Development team” according to Marloes Knippenberg. 

The Young Leader Award was established by ISHC and IHIF in 2009 to recognize and celebrate the excellence of young emerging leaders in the hospitality industry. Candidates must meet the following criteria and be nominated by someone they work with:

  • 35 years of age or younger. Born on or after 5 May 1986 
  • Currently works for or directly within the hotel sector
  • Is recognized by peers and industry members as an emerging leader in the hotel industry
  • Whose contributions are already making an impact on the hotel industry

Respected CEOs from across the hotel industry reviewed a shortlist of nomination forms of outstanding candidates before voting on the winner.