ICHM now has three GMs in Adelaide: Justin McConnell, Next Hotels & Resorts; Tim Newell, Atura Adelaide Airport; and Bodelle Francis, Ibis Adelaide.
- Justin McConnell has been appointed General Manager at Next Hotels & Resorts in Adelaide, specifically for the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Sage properties on South Terrace, on the city’s fringe
- Tim Newson is the first General Manager at the Rydges Group’s Atura Adelaide Airport, charged with getting the seven-storey, 165 room hotel within the Adelaide Airport precinct off the ground.
- Bodelle Francis has been General Manager of AccorHotels’ Ibis Adelaide, which has been awarded Australia’s Best Economy Hotel in 2015, 2017 and 2018 in the Australian Hotels Association National Awards for Excellence.
Justin MConnell joined ICHM as a mature-age student in 1994, having previously been a Chef. He says the college provided him with the shot in the arm he needed to broaden his thinking.
’I’ve worked in arguably some of the best hotels in Australia and see my job as achieving the best outcomes for the owners’, he says.
His placements while at ICHM were at The Beaufort Heritage, Brisbane; Brown’s Hotel, London; and Grand Hyatt Melbourne. He was awarded Dux of the Year in two successive years (1995 & 1996).
Justin took up the appointment in Adelaide from Next Hotel Brisbane, where he was General Manager (2017–2018). Before that he was at the Emporium Hotel as Executive Assistant Manager (2011–2013) and Sofitel Brisbane Central as Executive Assistant Manager (2011–2013).
Previously with Hyatt, his moves through the ranks were sure and steady, starting out at Park Hyatt Sydney (2000–2003), and moving on to Hyatt Regency Auckland (2004–2007), Grand Hyatt Bali (2007–2010) and Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove (2010–2011).
‘I clearly remember the value ICHM placed on thinking outside the box, which has proven invaluable to advancing my career.’
Justin also believes in giving back: he is a member of ICHM’s Graduates in Industry International Advisory Committee (GIIAC) and has been a guest lecturer on campus.
In the same intake as Jusin MConnell, Tim‘s first industry placement was at Ayers Rock Resort. His second, at ANA Hotel Sydney (now Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney), started his career trajectory and he regards a move from Food & Beverage into Sales (2003–2005) as the best thing he could have done.
Recent past positions include Director of Conferencing and Events/Director of Sales at Rendezvous Hotel Perth (2007–2008), Hotel Manager/Sales and Marketing Manager (WA) at The Outram Hotel, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts (2008–2010), and General Manager of Pier 21 Apartment Hotel & Group Systems and Distribution, Pendeville Group, Fremantle, Perth (2010–2017).
Before the move back to Adelaide he was General Manager at The Melbourne Hotel (2017–2018), managing the setup, opening and operation of the reimagined property, a highly ambitious five-star redevelopment in the heart of Perth.
Tim says at ICHM he got to study with a great bunch of students from many different nationalities.
‘The prestige of ICHM with its affiliation with the Swiss Hotel Association has been a huge advantage throughout my career.
‘There’s a confidence that ICHM gives you as very few people had the same level of knowledge.’
Back in Adelaide after 20 years he says he’s taking time to adjust, but says he loves Adelaide. ‘There’s a lot going on here right now.'
Bodelle Francis says her role is to ensure the financial viability of Ibis Adelaide by being guest obsessed and continually developing a high-performance team.
‘Our intention is to go above and beyond and surprise and delight our guests’, she says.
With its contemporary and compact design, the 16-storey 311 - room premium economy Ibis Adelaide is a flagship for the brand, providing the model for Ibis properties in Hobart and Brisbane Airport.
At ICHM from 2002 to 2005, Bodelle has been immersed in hospitality from an early age; her family owns and operates the Francis Group, which holds a portfolio of hotels.
She enrolled at ICHM so that she could broaden her skills set and potentially work nationally and internationally.
‘ICHM was the perfect way to open doors into the industry and allow me to continue to grow my career’, she says.
Her first industry placement was at Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove (now InterContinental) and her second was at The Como Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel (formerly Mirvac Hotels & Resorts), which she describes as, ‘her foot in the door’.
She went on to hold various management positions at The Sebel, Melbourne and with the Francis Group of companies.
She looks to grow her career within AccorHotels and has her sights set on the MGallery luxury boutique brand.
Bodelle is the first alumni on ICHM’s College Council, and the first woman Chair of the South Australian Jockey Club in its 166th - year history.