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Fabian Specht
Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year

The 3rd annual award of the prestigious Fabian Specht Revenue Optimization Professional award will be handed out at the HSMAI Awards Europe 2022 in London on 19th January 2023 in connection with ROC 2023 at the InterContinental London Park Lane. Here we take some time getting to know 2021 winner Monika Sand reminding ourselves of her great achievement!

The Fabian Specht Revenue Optimization Professional award is given to one hospitality professional every year in recognition of their individual contributions to revenue optimization in the industry. The award is named after the late dedicated supporter and friend of HSMAI Europe, and area vice president of IDeaS Revenue Solutions, who passed away unexpectedly in December 2019.

Ingunn Hofseth – President & CEO at HSMAI Europe

“After all this time we still feel saddened by Fabian’s passing, given the positive impact that he brought to the industry and to many of us personally. He prioritised HSMAI Europe and all that it stands for, and I am so proud that we are able to make this award each year, as testimony to his memory and legacy to the industry. Monika Sand, as award winner for 2021, exemplifies what Fabian stood for and I hope that her achievement also inspires others to make a difference in hospitality and revenue management.”

Alongside the prestige and recognition, the winner of the Fabian Specht’s Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year Award wins paid for attendance to the HSMAI Region Europe Summer Camp, including hotel and travel.

Nina Nieminen, Commercial Director at SOK Travel Industry Chain Management, was the honoured recipient of the inaugural award in 2020. With the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic it wasn’t until the summer of 2022 that we were able to honour and celebrate Monika Sand as the 2021 winner of the Fabian Specht Revenue Optimisation Professional of the Year at the HSMAI Awards Europe in London.

Who is Monika Sand?

Monika Sand is a Corporate Revenue Manager at Lindner Hotels & Resorts but that is not all she is. Monika has over 30 years of experience working in the hotel industry in both operations and administration. Her personal goal is to never stop learning something new!

Q: What does it mean for you to receive this Award?

Receiving this Award is a very special honour! It is dedicated to Fabian who I had the privilege to work with personally and who was a colleague I greatly appreciated. Secondly, it comes at this particular time as a way of recognition for the work I myself and everyone else in the industry put in to keep everything going through the very tough times of the pandemic.

Q: How would someone who knows you describe you?

Dedicated, hard-working, competitive, loyal, (com)passionate, open for ideas, curious, wanting to learn.

Q: What inspires you?

Other dedicated people, who are caring and passionate about what they do, but also about those around them. Respect, integrity and creativity. Beauty in little things – there is a lot to be inspired by!

Q: Are there any new skills you have developed or that you want to develop in the future? 

The pandemic has certainly taught me not to take anything for granted and to be both strategic, yet very flexible and agile. I would like to work further on the ability to quickly grasp “the big picture” in any given situation and also to become a better leader.

Q: The entire industry faces the challenge of attracting and retaining talent. Do you have any thoughts on this that you would like to share with us?

There is still a lot the industry needs to grasp and adapt to in terms of automation and flexibility. How can the operational staff be freed from administrative tasks and actually use their time to serve the guest in front of them? To offer experiences aka do upsells and have a system set-up they can trust with automated processes as their back-up – that should be the goal! And everyone should be an advocate of the advantages of the industry, which is so much more lively, varied and interesting than the “regular office job”.

Q: What does your working day consist of? 

A lot of communication with all kinds of stakeholders from operations staff to GMs or HQ colleagues. Analysis, market reviews, industry news, strategic planning, brainstorming and then putting plans and projects into action. Putting my finger on any risks or opportunities and being a consultant for any revenue related question.

Q: What is the best thing about your job? 

Every day is different! There are always varying topics – it never gets boring.

Q: Do you have any nice traditions in the office? 

There are actually quite a lot of nice “little” things for socializing: We decorate desks for birthdays or anniversaries, while the colleague whose birthday it is brings cake or pastries for everyone. There is also a freezer with ice cream – so we do have options for sugar intake, when brain food is needed. There are also regular team outings for dinner as well as a Christmas or New Year’s Party at HQ. Personally, I supply my colleagues with homemade cookies before Christmas – impatiently anticipated every year.

Q: Is there a book or podcast that recently inspired you and that you would recommend? 

I recently read “Lessons in Chemistry”, which I found compelling with regards to the evolvement female scientists and workers overall have managed over the past decades – but also how much there still is to do!

Q: Is there anything else you want to share with us?

Continuing my thoughts from earlier: Tourism is such a vibrant industry, which has so much to offer to both employees and guests. The hardships of the pandemic as well as the current economic and political uncertainties continue to hit the industry hard, however, also open up new chances: to re-think, to re-define and to re-invent together with our guests and to make sure that we continue to spread the passion for offering great experiences. High time to get rid of the image of exploiting employees – yes, there will always be a need for people to work when others enjoy their time off, but that should not be a deterrent when being empowered to make someone’s day (or night).

Cheryl Hawksworth – Managing Director, EMEA New Business at IDeaS 

“Lindner Hotels and Resorts is one of our beloved long-term clients, and we are so happy to celebrate our collaboration over the past 17 years. It has been amazing to see Lindner’s success, growing from optimizing room-by-room sales, to capitalizing on event spaces. Congratulations to Monika – she is more than deserving of the award for her tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, and innovation in the industry.”

Sibylle Luger – Regional Vice President, Account Management, EMEA & APAC at IDeaS

“Monika Sand has been instrumental and a driving force behind Lindner’s Revenue Management aspirations and success, as well as a great supporter of IDeaS for a long time. This award honors Fabian Specht and recognizes individuals for their amazing contributions to the revenue management industry, and Monika does just that and more. I’ve enjoyed working with her over the years, and I am so proud and excited to celebrate Lindner’s success. I am very fortunate that I have the opportunity to get to know people and their hotel business pretty well, and  it has been a pleasure to see Monika apply her strategic thinking skills in her job and see it materialize with Lindner’s success.”

Nominations open for the Fabian Specht Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year award 2022

Nominations are being taken by HSMAI Europe together with IDeaS, for candidates for the 2022 award. If you know or work with someone who demonstrates excellence in the  revenue management profession: someone who through 2022 has shown innovation, creativity or initiative; and taken revenue management forward as a leader and by advancing the discipline they will likely be a great candidate.

Please nominate them here; and join us at the ROC and HSMAI Awards Europe taking place at the InterContinental London Park Lane on 19 January to celebrate their nomination, and perhaps as an award winner!

You can sign up for the ROC 2023 here.

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