Native Riverite Wins International Hospitality Award

Campbell River native Leah Marshall was recognized in Paris this week with the 2011 Worldwide Hospitality Awards: “Best General Manager”.

Leah began her career in the hotel industry at the age of 15, working after school and on weekends at the formerly owned Delta Discovery Inn in Campbell River. After graduating from Carhi with a interest in languages, she attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, to study French. She also spent a summer working at a small family run “pension” in Italy.

On her return to Canada, she moved to Montreal and started her full time career at the Westin Bon Aventure . Thanks to her tenacity and going to school part time, she landed her first position as a General Manager at the Westin in Southern California, where she showed proof of her professional credibility through the sales results she achieved and by representing the brand before students in hotel management. She briefly left Westin to manage a new resort that opened in Newport Beach, California, but then returned to the brand as General Manager of the Westin in Costa Mesa. It was then that the Walt Disney Company convinced her to return to Paris to direct the opening of the Disney Village and its 1,000 employees. In Paris, she met her former Westin colleague, Didier Le Calvez, who recruited her for the job of General Manager of the Four Season’s George V. She later followed Mr. Le Calvez to the Shangri-La Paris, and even worked in the home office as Quality Manager for the Group and its 70 hotels in Asia. This past spring, Didier Le Calvez once again brought her back to Paris as Director of the “Palace” designated Le Bristol, of which he was President. The property’s owner, The Oetker Group gave her an even more important mission, which was to pilot all the openings of the German group. This will mean ten openings in the next ten years, starting with the Namastar Palace in Marrakech.

From her humble start, she has risen to the top of a highly competitive industry and is an inspiration to many. Leah enjoys returning to Campbell River as often as possible to visit with family and friends and still considers herself an “Island Girl” at heart.

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