Michael McGrath, the Chief Executive of The Muscular Help Foundation will be delivering the final speaker presentation titled ‘Ice, Slice and Adrenalin’ on day two of the Master Innholders 14th Annual Hotel General Managers Conference held at The Dorchester Hotel in London on the 15th and 16th January 2007
The ‘Doing it Differently’ 2007 theme certainly applies in the extraordinary world of Michael McGrath – born in 1965, he was educated by the Jesuits at St John’s Beaumont near Windsor in Berkshire and then at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.
In his early teens he wanted to be a pro golfer whilst dreaming of becoming the General Manager of the Savoy Hotel in London. Ironically, a few years later he rejected a place on the esteemed Savoy Trainee Management Scheme, eventually heeding his father’s ‘go study’ advice.The business of hospitality has always been in Michael’s blood. He graduated with a 2:1 honours degree in 1988 from Oxford Polytechnic, now Oxford Brookes University, studying Hotel Management and Business Studies, this despite 4 years earlier being diagnosed with the progressive muscle wasting disease known as muscular dystrophy. Whilst preparing to have a pace-maker fitted in 2000, his diagnosis was changed as a direct result of the continued progress made in the field of neuromuscular science. The pace-maker no longer needed to be fitted.
In January 2004, Michael returned from Antarctica, having successfully led his team to the South Pole. In doing so, he made history on 13th January 2004 by becoming the only disabled person in the world to have reached both North and South Poles – he successfully reached the North Pole in April 2002. He was included in The Queen’s 2004 Christmas Day Television Broadcast to the Nation reinforcing diversity as a strength and earlier that same month, honoured by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace for his significant contribution to national life. In May 2005, he received the prestigious 2005 Business Traveller of the Year Award in Dubai.
‘Doing it Differently’ is something that Michael knows a thing a two about. Commenting on the 2007 conference theme, he said “In understanding what lies behind the words ‘Doing it Differently’ we are all responsible for caring about the needs of our customers – part of this care is to recognise the importance of embracing change and valuing difference”.
He runs his own consultancy practice working with one of Europe’s leading diversity practices and is often engaged by private and public sector organisations to speak at conferences both in this country and overseas. He is the disABILITY Champion for Hilton Hotels.
Below is an excerpt from the message of the Master Innholders Chairman, Richard Ball
This year’s conference has adopted the theme “Doing it Differently”. It features 12 presentations by lively speakers, including many from other industries, offering new ways to address the issues that confront us in our work.
The sessions have been designed to appeal to managers of all levels coming from the full spectrum of our industry, from the smaller owner managed properties in the country to the larger 5 star hotels in our cities. It is the only conference of its type designed by General Managers for General Managers. Click on the link below to the view the full programme and list of speakers
Richard Ball, FHCIMA MI and Hotelier of the Year 2006
Chairman – Master Innholders
Managing Director – Calcot Manor
The Worshipful Company of Innholders [WCI]
This is one of the many City Livery Companies and its origins lie in the medieval guilds which were formed under licence of the Crown and the Corporation to regulate their crafts, trades or services within the square mile.
The WCI received their first charter from Henry V111 in 1515.Seven years later they were occupying a Hall on the present site on Dowgate Hill.
From the earliest days the WCI not only controlled the trade of inn-keeping in the City but distributed funds, bequeathed by liverymen for charitable purposes. Currently the WCI maintains homes for the elderly and supports many charitable projects and trusts.