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Tributes as Tarlan takes over from Brett at Transcorp

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
07 May 2022   |   3:33 am
It was an evening of tributes, as the management and staff of the Trasncorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, gathered to bid former General Manager, Kevin Brett farewell. They also used the occasion to welcome a Turkish-born Bulent Tarlan as the new GM.

Bulent Tarlan, General Manager Transcorp Hilton Abuja; Dupe Olusola, MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels Plc; Kevin Brett, former General Manager Transcorp Hilton Abuja.

It was an evening of tributes, as the management and staff of the Trasncorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, gathered to bid former General Manager, Kevin Brett farewell. They also used the occasion to welcome a Turkish-born Bulent Tarlan as the new GM.

Brett took over the mantle of leadership as the General Manager of the hotel from Etinne Gailliez in 2019, and having served out his term, was recently transferred to Waldorf Astoria, Dubai.

Although he served at a time when the hospitality industry was traumatised by the outbreak of COVID-19, he was said to have managed the hotel with ease, causing the facility to maintain stability throughout the period of socio-economic lockdown.

In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Hilton Plc, Dupe Olusola, commended the resilience of Kevin, who she said, managed the hotel at the time when guests occupancy fell from 70 to five per cent.

She noted that Brett was an exceptional man, very welcoming and has an interesting leadership style. “He was skilled, thorough and execution-focused. He is not combative. With maturity, he attended every meeting, focusing on what needed to be achieved. I will miss him greatly”, she said.

Welcoming Tarlan to the facility, Olusola disclosed plans to expand within the hospitality space in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt as according to her, the hotel prides in excellent service standard and has also invested $100 million to upgrade hotel rooms.

“We offer all forms of luxury but what we want to do is expand so that we don’t have to turn away our guests but have more to offer. We are bringing in additional 100 to 150 rooms in Abuja and we are developing additional facilities in Ikoyi, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

“So, it is a best of times for all of us as we try to diversify sources of revenue for Nigeria. We cannot depend just on oil, investing in hospitality actually gives more employment.”

The CEO also unfolded plans to go into schools, where they can train more people for the hospitality industry. In his remarks, the hotel Manager, Islam El-Maddah, described Kevin’s exit from the property as a sad moment for every staff. He was however impressed that it was going to be another adventure for him at the Waldorf Astoria in Dubai, where he would be resuming as the General Manager.

He added that working with Kevin in the past six years has been memorable for him. According to him, he had met Kevin in Dubai before his transfer to Abuja four years ago, where he proved to be very time conscious.

“I was a bit late for the meeting with one minute. It was just a minute but despite this, he was not happy. He said I should come one minute early and not one minute late.

“Brett is an excellent listener. All of us had a memorable moment throughout the pandemic. We spent about eight months together during this period and because of his resilience and sense of humour, and because he was always cheerful and smiling, the whole experience was less intense and kept us in a positive spirit.”

He further described Kevin as not just an exceptional leader but also an excellent communicator.

“Kevin, I would like to say good luck as you start a new journey in Dubai. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful time. We will never forget”, he said.

For the outgoing GM, Brett, it was a moment of mixed emotions, having enjoyed the three years and four months he served at the Hilton Abuja.

He called the period “fantastic experience with great team”, adding: “It was an honour and pleasure to have served as the GM.

“Transcorp Hilton is a legacy hotel that you learn something new every day. It was an honour to be the GM and served the community. I am going to miss Nigeria but I think that I have left the hotel in a better position than I met it, and I am sure that Tarlan will continue forward.”

He also assured that incoming GM is a perfect fit for the job with his wealth of experience and strong background in the hospitality industry, having served as GM in a bigger facility in Istanbul, Turkey, since 2016.

In his brief address, the new GM also commended Kevin for his cordial working relationship as expressed by the management and staff. “But it is time for Kevin to go to Dubai. I am sure he will excel there.”

He reiterated that Transcorp Abuja in its over 30 years of operations is synonymous with excellent service that surpasses guests’ expectations. He pledged to commit all his transparency and hard work to sustain the standard of the facility as well as raise the flag even above what his predecessor has done. “We are Hilton, we are hospitality”, Tarlan hinted.