Jo-anne Harris, Executive Manager, Kelvin Hotel

Jo has devoted over half of her life to the hospitality industry.  It is not just a job for her, it is a lifestyle and a passion that continues to drive her in her role as Executive Manager.

Jo first dipped her toes into the hospitality sector working parttime at Lasers, one of ILT’s first night clubs, while she continued her day job at the local newspaper.

“I thought I’d give it a try and I loved it, I’ve never looked back,” she said.

From here, she embarked on a successful career at ILT where she has experienced many different businesses within ILT’s portfolio, including the Frog n Firkin, The Grand Hotel, Cobb and Co, and The Ascot.

During a stage when her children were young, she worked as a night porter, appreciating the flexible hours that allowed her to maintain a work-life balance.

“Working in hospitality suited me while my family was growing up. It allowed me to prioritise my family. The flexible hours allowed me to work around my husband’s schedule.”

“I also really loved the variety the job offered. For me, it has been fulfilling, there’s nothing better than a successful service, where customers are satisfied, and you’ve done a good job.”  

Jo’s progression through the ranks led her to manage the Balmoral Lodge Motel in 2009, where she successfully built a corporate clientele and refined her skills in motel operations.  In late 2020, she took on the role of Executive Manager at the Kelvin Hotel, leveraging her hands-on experience to understand the complexities of the hotel business.

As a manager, Jo adopts a hands-on approach and is committed to developing the knowledge and abilities of her team. She focuses on nurturing talent and creating career pathways for younger staff members through initiatives like the corporate traineeship program.

 “My philosophy is to get people excited about hospo. It’s a great career, working with fun people, flexible hours, and there are plenty of opportunities for career progression within ILT”.