Kay Bourke, IHF Mayo Branch Employee of the Year, being presented with her award by IHF president, Denyse Campbell.

Mayo hotel receptionist named 'Employee of the Year'

Kay Bourke, a receptionist and hostess at the Westport Woods Hotel, has been chosen as the 2023/24 Irish Hotels Federation Mayo Branch ‘Employee of the Year’.

The announcement was made at an awards lunch in the Westport Plaza Hotel, where guests gathered to celebrate and recognise eight nominees from hotels and guesthouses across Mayo who have made an outstanding contribution to their workplace.

Congratulating Kay on the award, IHF Mayo Branch Chair, Darren Madden, said the judges highlighted Kay’s dedication to continued learning, enthusiasm to provide excellent visitor experiences and warm personality when selecting her as the winner.

At the event, IHF President, Denyse Campbell spoke about the importance of recognising excellence, and ‘Shaping Brighter Futures’ for people in the sector by supporting future leaders and keeping teams motivated with opportunities for career progression and development.

Kay joined Westport Woods Hotel as a hostess in September 2018, and when coach tours stopped travelling during the pandemic, she worked hard to train as a receptionist.

This year she completed her QQI Level 4 Tourism Visitor Care with the MSLETB in Castlebar and achieved a distinction. C

Colleagues say that Kay "embodies what tourism should be. She is the welcoming smile, the helping hand, the gentle recommendation, and the lasting memory."

IHF Mayo Branch extends its gratitude to the expert judging panel comprised of Paul Gill (managing director, Claregalway Hotel) and Deirdre Fitzsimons (IHF Director of People Services), whom had the difficult job of selecting a winner from the nominees.

The members of the IHF Mayo Branch now wish Kay the very best of luck as she goes on to represent them at the upcoming National IHF Employee of the Year Awards which will be held during the IHF's Annual Conference in February 2024.