As part of Compass Group, the largest contract foodservice company in the world, The Venues Collection are proud to champion and celebrate all women in the food industry and to change the culture toward gender equality by empowering women and shining a spotlight on the incredible work that women are doing in the industry.
In this latest blog we speak to Indy Mann to find out more about her and why she is a ‘Woman in Food Ambassador’ for The Venues Collection.
- Why are you an ambassador for Women in Food?
I am an ambassador for Women in Food because I support women in a professional working environment and play a part in encouraging women with their career paths. I enjoy encouraging others to where they want to be in their career.
- How did your career start at Kettering Conference Centre, part of The Venues Collection?
I began my journey as an YTS apprentice with one day a week at college. I then progressed into full time work as a lifeguard whilst doing a swimming teacher course. Over time I built my skills and was promoted to Duty Manager, to Events Manager, to Arena Sports Manager and eventually I took the role on a Business development manager.
Previously, the venue was purchased by the council and sold to an alternative company and they decided to close departments that were not profitable. As a Business Development Manager, I tried to utilise the closed areas and presented my ideas. From that came the Balance Heath Club, The Light House Theatre, and the Conference Centre. I am now General Manager of Kettering Conference & Leisure Centre.
(Balance Heath Club, The Light House Theatre, and the Conference Centre are all part of Kettering Conference & Leisure Centre).
- Tell us about any awards and why you won them?
- Car park attendant of the year 1998
- Special recognition Award from Michael Aspel for the Antiques Roadshow Event 2013
- Design & opening of the Lighthouse Theatre 2007
- Special recognition Award for transforming the venue into a secondary school for a term 2003
- Gym of the year award for Balance Heath Club 2016
- Achievement award – Brexit launch campaign – 2 weeks notice 2016
- Special recognition Award for contribution for PBIT 2020
- Certification of appreciation for achieving budgeted profit
- Certification of appreciation for achieving budgeted sales
- Certification of appreciation for special achievement
- What do you know now that you wish you could have told your younger self when you were starting out?
I would tell myself to try to achieve a good work life balance, don’t be afraid of making a mistake but always try to learn from it!
Ensure you have a good team around you to allow you to delegate, without a supportive team, it makes it difficult to achieve work life balance
You can spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. Stay positive, work hard, make it happen and enjoy the journey!
- What motivates you and why?
Business development motivates me because I love achieving targets, learning and seeing the business grow. I am motivated by developing employees as well. I love to see my team grow and learn new skill sets to help them in their career path.
- Who is someone that inspires you and why?
Lord Alan Sugar inspires me because he started off with nothing and is now a successful businessman because he is a self-motivated leader. I love his mental toughness to never give up – I think it’s incredible!
Secondly, David Attenborough inspires me because I love his quest to make the world a better place to live in. I think how he defends the natural world and urges action on climate change and never gives up is inspiring.
- What is your favourite food?
- What is your favourite fruit?
Mango but it has too much sugar in it so I have a one banana a day
- What is your favourite beverage?
Cup of tea – Decaf, milk no sugar, I have about 10 a day!
- What is your favourite thing about the venue you work in?
I love the diversity of Kettering Conference & Leisure Centre because it’s not just one type of business, it has many other elements. I love that it has a fitness element to it as I am very passionate about fitness. I enjoy that I get to gain experience in so many different elements/departments of the business.
- What one piece of advice would you give to a woman just starting out in the hospitality industry?
My advice would be, is to start your journey with an open mind and try to learn all aspects of the business, as this will develop your skills in all areas, which in turn will assist you in senior leadership positions in the F&B industry. It doesn’t matter which level you are working at, you are only as good as your team and never give up.