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Hanan Haddad

Area Director of Human Resources,

Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL)

Hilton Toronto | Hilton Canada

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First hospitality job:

 I started my career in hospitality as a Front Desk Agent at the Delta Chelsea hotel - Caribana 1996. It was an amazing experience with so much to learn. From there I was hooked. I then moved to tours, housekeeping, before finding my passion in HR.

Age you started working in hospitality:

I was 22 years old.

Your inspiration to begin working in hospitality:

To be honest I needed work and had spent time in retail. It was a friend who recommended the industry as she worked in it and loved it. I felt why not, I would give it a try. It was the best thing I had ever done!

My hospitality mentor:

Bill Pallett was my biggest mentor in my hotel/HR journey. He encouraged me, answered all my questions and felt I was valuable and gave me as much time as I needed. He led by example and showed me how I can be myself and make positive change happen. When I was unclear of the path to take he spent time with me until I saw the road clearly. He took a chance and I would not be where I am today if it was not for his guidance, friendship and support.

What are your favourite aspects of your job?

The ability to work with a very diverse group of people and help make positive changes/ connections. Also, it does not hurt that every day provides something different.

What has inspired you to continue your career path in hospitality?

The people I work with. When I felt like I was out of place or if I was not making change happen - it was the people who encouraged me. Showing me the impact I made on them and their lives inspired me to continue the work I do. Also the love for the industry - we are unlike any other industry. There is an energy and spirit to hospitality professionals. This is where I belong.

Advice for students interested in a career in hospitality:

Take every opportunity you can and be ok with risk and the unknown - especially early in your career. Also, learn to be a great storyteller. This skill is so valuable in what we do everyday!

My Hospitality Story

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