2nd edition


First place: Simone Hess


Simone Hess had the chance to be exposed to luxury hotel services thanks to her grandparents, both directors at hotels in their time. Driven by a thirst for managerial techniques and international exposure, she decided to undertake a Master of Arts degree specialising in International Relations in Geneva.

After taking a Leadership Development course while working in a large blue chip energy company (Shell), she returned to her first love: hospitality.

In order to do this, Simone joined the École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) for a one-year Master of Hospitality Management programme. This enabled her to fine-tune the knowledge she had already gained, and realise her dream of working in one of the largest industries in the world, offering many opportunities.

Simone has been awarded a trophy created by the French manufacturer of fine crystal glassware, Baccarat, exclusively for this occasion, as well as the chance to fly Business Class, courtesy of United Airlines, to Chicago where Hyatt Hotels Corporation has its head office.

She will also travel to Zurich to visit the offices of Hyatt’s division for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, staying one week at Park Hyatt Zurich. Finally, this lucky winner will enjoy a week in Paris, spending time with the general managers of Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine and Hyatt Regency Paris-Charles de Gaulle, as well as a total of €1,000 spending money to cover personal travel expenses.



Simone Hess in Park Hyatt Chicago with General Manager Rick Segal


Simone Hess has received her prize, an original creation of Baccarat, on April 20, 2010 from Gebhard Rainer, Managing Director Hyatt Hotels & Resorts (Europe, Africa, Middle East) sur le campus de l’EHL. From left to right: Michel Rochat, EHL General Director, Simone Hess, Master program student and laureate of The Hyatt Student Prize 2009, Gebhard Rainer, Managing Director Hyatt International Europe, Africa, Middle East, Christina Norton, Master Program Director, and Pascal Gauthier, Human Resources Director, Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC.


From left to right: Michel Jauslin, Area Vice President Hyatt International Hotels & Resorts; Gebhard Rainer, Managing Director Hyatt International EAME; Laure Brovelli, laureate 2008; Simone Hess, laureate 2009 and Daniel Picouly, President of Jury.

First place: École hôtelière de Lausanne

When you enter the world of the École hôtelière de Lausanne, you immediately feel the energy and enthusiasm, and a sense of shared purpose. The school is a place where everyone is different, yet everyone feels at home. Walk down the main hallway and you will hear ten different languages being spoken – a microcosm of the hospitality industry itself.

With more than 100 years’ experience teaching hospitality management, we are an institution steeped in traditions that are as rich as those of the most venerable hotels around the world. Yet come and visit us, and you will find a young, dynamic institution with ultra-modern facilities.

The young men and women who make up the student body here are learning not only to be successful managers of tomorrow’s international hospitality industry, but also to transmit the century-old EHL tradition of European hospitality, savoir-faire and savoir vivre. For more information, visit www.ehl.ch

Second place: Martin Vitte – Vatel International Business School


Third place: Charlotte Pedersen – Paul Bocuse Institute


Jury members

During the event, the students have met with the members of the jury, a team consisting of renowned television personalities and top names in the entertainment business, the arts and literature. Chaired by writer and journalist Daniel Picouly, the judges panel have named 3 finalists before selecting the final winner.

Daniel Picouly

Daniel Picouly is a French writer and television host. In 1999, he won the French literary award, the Prix Renaudot, for his book L’Enfant Leopard. Picouly is also the host of a cultural show, Café Picouly, on the French television network.

Patricia Alexandre

Patricia Alexandre is the Chief Editor of GaultMillau magazine and the General Manager of the GaultMillau restaurant guides. GaultMillau has been one of the most renowned gastronomical guides in France since its launch in 1969 and has been published in France, Germany, England and Belgium.

Nikos Aliagas

Nikos Aliagas is a French-Greek journalist, television and radio host. He is renowned for presenting the music reality programme Star Academy for 8 years. Aliagas speaks 5 languages, including English.

Jonathan Derai

Jonathan Derai is chief of staff to the Minister of National Education, Luc Chatel, a position he has held since March 2008. Prior to his current responsibilities, he worked for Luc Chatel when he was Secretary of State in charge of Consumption and Tourism. He has also worked for Nicolas Forissier, a member of the French National Assembly, and Dominique Bussereau, the Minister of Agriculture.

Anne Gillet

Anne Gillet is the Chief Editor of Management magazine, one of the top magazines in France covering business and management. The magazine portrays today’s business leaders in France and internationally, giving its readers a good perspective on how to succeed in their professional life.

Carlos Gomes

Carlos Gomes is the General Manager of Fiat Group Automobile France, Spain and Portugal. He was a candidate in the 2009 European elections in his native country of Portugal. Carlos Gomes speaks 5 languages, including French and English.

Florence Klein

Florence Klein is a journalist who works for the French television channel France 3. She presents the Hospitality Awards ceremony each year.

Anne-Sophie Lapix

Anne-Sophie Lapix, journalist and television host, works for the French television channel Canal+, where she hosts the political show Dimanche+.

Andrea Niessner

Andrea Niessner is the President of Sara Lee Household & Body Care France. Andrea Niessner, Italian national, spent several years for Sara Lee Group in the USA, Italy, Hungary and Indonesia.

George Panayotis

George Panayotis is a French-Greek businessman and consultant for the hospitality industry. He is the founder and CEO of MKG Group.

Guillaume Rebière

Guillaume Rebière is the Chief Editor of Journal du Dimanche, a weekly French newspaper published on Sundays that has a circulation of 260 000 copies.

Henry-Jean Servat

Henry-Jean Servat, is a French writer and journalist who has written many books on cinema, movie stars and historical characters. He also participates regularly in various television shows.