News from Irish Hotels & Guesthouses

Sat 25 Mar, 2023
Saturday 25 Mar, 2023
Shaping Brighter Futures

IHF Midlands Branch
Midlands Region

Visit Website

Shaping Brighter Futures
Excellence Celebrated at the IHF Midlands ‘Employee of the Year’ Awards
Congratulations to overall winner Kayleigh Keenan from Ballyfin Demesne
 Wed 1st February 2023

Kayleigh Keenan, Head Gardener at Ballyfin Demesne in Laois has been named ‘Employee of the Year’ by the Midlands Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).

The award, which was announced at a ceremony in The Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, celebrates and recognises hotel employees that have made an outstanding contribution to their workplace. Kayleigh was named overall winner of the 2022/2023 award from a shortlist of 10 nominees from IHF member hotels and guesthouses across the Midlands.

Congratulating Kayleigh on her award, Barry Kennedy, Chair of the IHF’s Midlands branch, said the judges highlighted her passion and ambition when selecting her as the winner.

Over 240,000 people are employed by tourism business throughout the country, including 60,000 employed directly by hotels and guesthouses across a wide range of operations such as accommodation services, reception, food and beverage, leisure centre and spa facility management, sales and marketing, human resources, IT, management and finance. Mr Kennedy said that each team member plays an integral part in the continued success of the tourism sector. He noted that many roles, like Kayleigh's, may not be as visible to guests but are none-the-less crucial to the guest experience.

In her role as Head Gardener, Kayleigh manages a team of four who care for the 600 acres of grounds and gardens at Ballyfin Demesne. Her team say she has exceptional communication, motivation and leadership skills and is endlessly creative and innovative in all aspects of her role.

Under the Awards scheme, each hotel and guesthouse in the country is invited to nominate one employee for their local branch award. An independent judging panel comprising representatives of local Institutes of Technology (IT), or Education and Training Boards (ETBs), as well as members from other IHF branches is responsible for reviewing the nominees and selecting the overall winner.

Visit IHF Midlands Branch’s website

IHF Member Hotels & Guesthouses and tourism industry partners can submit news stories for inclusion by emailing us at

Book Direct for the very best
deals and guest experience!

Irish Hotels Federation | Working Together