Hilton Surfers Paradise General Manager Shares the Personal Impact That Hilton Has Had Throughout Her Career
As Hilton nears its 100-Year milestone, new research from best-selling author Chip Heath defines its ongoing influence
SURFERS PARADISE, Australia - Leading up to Hilton’s 100th anniversary in May 2019, best-selling author and Stanford Business professor Chip Heath, along with co- author Karla Starr, unveiled the impact the first global hotel company has had around the world in a new book titled The Hilton Effect. Hilton Surfers Paradise is proud to be one example of what Heath defines as the positive, world-altering impact that Hilton has had, and continues to have, on billions of lives and thousands of communities around the globe – pioneering new travel markets and bringing people and cultures together to make the world feel smaller, while still expanding horizons and opportunities.
Over the last century, Hilton has grown from a single hotel to more than 5,500 hotels and 15 brands in 109 countries and territories including Hilton Surfers Paradise right here on the Gold Coast.
Hilton Surfers Paradise General Manager, Fiona Pryde, tells her personal story, sharing the effect Hilton has played throughout her career in hospitality. Fiona’s journey was inspired when she was just 15 years old.
“In 1992, I found myself heading from Ipswich to Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast for my school work experience placement. Conrad Jupiters was a Hilton Hotel at the time, and I was completely in love with the energy, excitement and magic of being in a hotel. As a result of the placement with Hilton, I not only fell in love with hospitality, but also the Gold Coast,” said Pryde.
After finishing school, Pryde quickly realized that her summer job as a lifeguard wasn’t enough to pay the bills, so embracing her love for hospitality, she once again signed up for work experience in a hotel.
“After a week or so of unpaid work experience, I was offered a casual job in banquets and so my career in hospitality began and I’ve never looked back!” Pryde said.
Pryde’s extensive career with Hilton has seen her work across various departments, from food and beverage to front office, and sales and marketing and revenue, giving her an all- encompassing viewpoint on the required elements to run a prosperous hotel.
Pryde says the strong leadership she was privy to in her foundation years with Hilton has contributed to the backbone of the service she now mirrors to her 130 Team Members, offering a workplace with strong team connections and a hotel where guests are valued.
“Feeling valued and appreciated comes through in the little things and it comes from having truly authentic leaders. I encourage our Team Members to create space for the things that matter most to them and I understand there is no such thing as work and life, there is just life, and this creates an environment for them to perform at their best. I am thankful to my leaders at Hilton that have done the same for me and given me this leadership mantra.” said Pryde.
“For me, Hilton has always been an aspirational brand and it has impacted my career as I always want to be better. Throughout its 100 years, Hilton has been renowned for innovating, changing and growing, and I like to think I am always looking to do the same.”
The Hilton Effect has further rippled through the Pryde family – her husband is also a Hilton Team Member.
“My husband, Wayne, also works for Hilton as cluster IT manager for four of our hotels in the Northern Territory. Upon my appointment to the Gold Coast, Hilton allowed Wayne to work remotely from our home. This gave us the flexibility we needed to raise our beautiful boys,” Pryde said.
Just like Hilton did for Pryde, she now hopes to inspire our youth to build careers in hospitality, as well as inspire families to visit the Gold Coast.
“I feel incredibly humbled to play my part in honouring the proud legacy of Hilton, and I feel a deep sense of responsibility in ensuring that young people are given an opportunity in hospitality,” Pryde said.
The Hilton Effect by Chip Heath and Karla Starr is available for download here: The Hilton Effect White Paper
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly 100 years, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has set the benchmark for hospitality around the world, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. With more than 585 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties are located in the world’s most sought-after destinations for guests who know that where they stay matters. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more by visiting newsroom.hilton.com/hhr or following Hilton Hotels & Resorts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 17 world-class brands comprising more than 5,600 properties with nearly 913,000 rooms, in 113 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton earned a spot on the 2018 world’s best workplaces list, and has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its nearly 100 year history. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors, nearly 85 million members who book directly with Hilton have access to instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.