Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel Director Bronagh Bell has retired after almost 16 years’ service – and over 25 years in the public sector.
Bronagh joined the organisation in late August 2006 during its time as the ‘Beardmore Hotel’.
Appointed to deliver a new strategy that focused on transforming the hotel into a Centre of Excellence for conferences and meetings, mainly for the NHS and public sector, Bronagh has delivered NHS Golden Jubilee’s vision to create a venue that has become an integral part of NHSScotland.
“I was recruited to deliver the strategy. A lot of that involved a change in direction and change of focus from the original concept of an ordinary 4 star hotel to focus on conferences, meetings, training and events. There was a lot of change management, not only with the team but with the facilities and services as well.”
Before being appointed as the Director of Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Bronagh worked in marketing, predominantly in the public sector.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Bronagh has experience working in hospitality from a young age, learning invaluable lessons in business and customer service from her father.
“I learned the fundamentals of business at the kitchen table from my father. When I came to the Beardmore, some of the things that he taught me back then in the 70’s about customer service came back to me. I had a very different career before and this was certainly more customer facing.”
“Before coming to the Hotel, my entire career was in marketing. One of my big passions was events, particularly for teachers.
“When I heard about this role I thought this is an opportunity to go from the people that organise everything to the people that deliver it. It gave me a critical perspective and understanding of what is needed to provide successful events.
“One of the things I’ve enjoyed as part of this 25 years of working in the public sector is that any income generated has been ploughed back into the public sector, originally in Education and now in Healthcare.
“I like that virtuous circle; it’s been a fantastic way to end my career helping re-invest in public services.”
Bronagh’s passion for delivering the strategy and vision of the Hotel has helped to create and uphold an award-winning Venue of Excellence, welcoming guests and delegates from across the world.
Although hospitality venues have experienced hardship over the years, the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel has continued to thrive, adapt and excel, winning Scottish Conference Hotel of the Year several times.
Delivering the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel vision has included renovation projects, from successfully remodelling reception to create a Central Plaza, the refurbishment of hotel bedrooms and many other projects that have provided the Hotel with extra space and modern upgrades.
Bronagh commented: “In recent years, we have undertaken huge remodelling to revitalise the space that has allowed our delegates and guests to mingle and network whilst also giving us the space to provide physical distancing measures during COVID-19.
Throughout her time as Director, Bronagh has dedicated her time to ensuring her staff fulfil their full potential, including during lockdown, where staff were redeployed to assist NHSScotland.
“I’m proud of our team for raising the bar year on year, through awards, services and profitability. I am also proud of keeping the passion and focus around the vision and strategy and believing we can do it.
“During the pandemic I was extremely proud of the way we were able to flex the team to work in other areas.
“There was a team that worked with NHS Louisa Jordan doing fantastic support work, there were staff that worked all across the Hospital and we had a number of staff remain in the hotel to provide meeting facilities for the healthcare service.”
Bronagh has led a dedicated team and created memories that she will cherish forever.
“They are a wonderful bunch of people who are really dedicated to what they do. I would like them all to follow their life dreams and to develop their careers.
“I would like to say thank you, it’s been an absolute privilege working with all of the team, particularly the team that have been there from the beginning, they’ve stuck by, and trusted me and I hope they all have bright futures.
“We know the old saying if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life and I think that’s been the case with most of my time at the Hotel. I have been very lucky to have worked with some wonderful people throughout my career. There’s fantastic people in the Jubilee across the Hotel and the Hospital.”
Jann Gardner, Chief Executive of NHS Golden Jubilee, commented:
“‘Over the past 15 years, Bronagh has played a significant role in developing the Conference Hotel into the outstanding Venue of Excellence it is today.
“The facilities and staff have become key in hosting NHS and healthcare conferences, training days and events as well as providing accommodation for patients and their families from across Scotland. Thank you Bronagh for your dedication to Team Jubilee and I wish you a very happy and healthy retirement.”