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Etienne bows out, Brett takes over at Transcorp Hilton


Etienne (left) with Kevin Brett

It was an evening of tributes Thursday as the immediate past General Manager, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Etienne Gailliez, handed over the ceremonial Golden Keys to his successor, Kevin Brett.
Etienne has spent nearly seven years in Abuja, Nigeria, having been posted to take over the management of the hotel on July 6, 2012.
No doubt, the outgoing GM introduced a lot of initiatives during his tenure, including the on-going renovation exercise, which has given the hotel a facelift.
Etienne would be succeeded by Kevin Brett, who was posted from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia early in the week.
In his remarks, Etienne stated that it was emotional to hand over to a new person, having enjoyed the best of warms and cooperation from Nigerians.
He however hoped that the new GM would continue from where he stopped.
Commending the management and staff, customers and guests for helping him succeed; he spoke about the ‘Hilton Effect’, a phenomenon that has brought people of all races together with good intentions.
Etienne was elated that in spite of the economic downturn that has confronted the nation’s business environment in recent years; the hotel has been able to carry out major renovation works on the structure.
He also received Brett, stressing that he has no doubt the new GM will continue from where he stopped.
“I thank customers and guests for all the bookings. It is emotional to hand over”, he stated.
Also speaking, the Vice President, Operations, Africa and Indian Ocean, Jan Vanderputten, described Etienne as a fantastic ambassador, who has left a phenomenal impression on the hotel with his laudable initiatives and creativity.
“He was instrumental in making lots of changes and he has brought about a lot of initiatives and creativity to the hotel together with other management staff.”
Adding: “Without all the supports given to the hotel, it would not have been what it is today. It is a jewel of hotels in Africa. It is one of the hotels in African continent that win awards after awards.
“It has won the best business hotel in Africa award, the best hotel in Nigeria award and above all, it is a hotel that has welcomed a phenomenal amount of distinguished guests including Presidents, royalties and great politicians.
“That confirmed the importance of Abuja as the capital of one of the greatest countries in Africa”, he stated.
According to Vanderputten, Brett joined Hilton Hotels in 1979 and has worked in 11 countries and 17 different hotels.
He is taking over as the 9th General Manager of the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.
“And I will promise you something, Kevin will be a wonderful host, a great leader and a good ambassador for this hotel.
“We are proud of our heritage. Hilton is proud to celebrate 100 years of hospitality in 2019.
“One of the best general managers in our country will lead the hotel into the future and into greater achievements in years to come.”
Meanwhile, Ettienne would be leaving Nigeria for a new assignment in the Middle East with immediate effect.
For the newly promoted President, and former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, owners of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Valentine Ozigbo,

Etienne lived out his expectations maximally.
“We are going to miss you here. You have been a great general manager and this hotel has seen greater heights because of you. The team members have been extoling your virtues.”
Hoping that the new GM would hit the ground running, Ozigbo said he looked forward to a greater relationship with him. “This is where histories are made and people rise from grass to grace”, he added.
The evening climaxed with the handing over of the hotel’s ‘golden key’ to the new GM.

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