Speakers

Trevor Ward

W Hospitality Group

ABOUT TREVOR WARD

Trevor Ward is a specialist consultant in the hospitality and leisure industries, and is the Principal of the W Hospitality Group with offices in the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and Angola. He started his consultancy career in 1983, having previously completed a university degree in hotel management at the University of Surrey, and worked in management positions with De Vere Hotels and Ladbroke Hotels in the UK. From the late 1980s he has specialised in the provision of advisory services to clients in developing countries, and since 2003 has been based in Nigeria, advising clients there and throughout Africa.His international experience includes advising clients on hotel and tourism development in more than 80 countries in Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. With a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa, he is working with many of the international hotel groups who are seeking a presence their, from the oil-rich countries of the west to the tourism hotspots of the south and east. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the hotel industry in sub-Saharan Africa, and is engaged primarily in development consultancy ranging from investment appraisals to operator selection, owner’s representation and asset management. In addition to his advisory work, Trevor is an active member of the Institute of Hospitality, for which he is their Ambassador for Africa, and of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. He is also a member of Tourism Concern, the Royal Commonwealth Club and the Royal African Society. He is a Delighted Recipient of the Creating Impact Award at AHIF 2018 for Outstanding Contribution to Africa. Trevor is a regular speaker at industry conferences, and writes in various professional and Africa-focused journals, including the Hotel Yearbook.



Chibuikem Diala

Founder Sustainable Eco6tem


ABOUT ADEDAYO ADESUGBA

Adedayo is an experienced Hotelier and Restaurateur who has been in the industry for 40 years. After his secondary school education at the C.M.S. Grammar School in Lagos, he attended Kwara State College of Technology, Ilorin where he graduated with an H.N.D. in Catering and Hotel Management in 1982. In 1985, he was employed by the Starwood Corporation as one of the pioneer staff of their new Sheraton Hotel in Lagos. He proceeded to the United States of America to further his training. He attended New York Restaurant School, NY. He also attended Orange/Ulster Board of Education School of Business Management, where he obtained a diploma in Business Management. He obtained an MBA from the Delta International University, Louisiana, USA, in 2009. BDRC Continental, a global organization based in the UK, contracted him in 2014 to audit hotels as one of their global Hotel Inspectors. He has conducted training programs for many hospitality establishments, including Le Meridien Eko Hotel & Suites and the Golden Tulip Al Jazira Resort, Abu Dhabi, UAE. He has also been involved in several pre-opening and management of various hotels in Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the following Institutes, Institute of Hospitality (IoH) , UK, Nigerian Hotel & Catering Institute, (NHCI) and the Institute of Tourism Professionals. Adedayo is the current Chairman of the Institute of Hospitality, UK, Nigeria International Branch and the CKO of Nexus318 Hospitality Management & Investment Co. Ltd. He is the Nigerian Managing Partner of Africa Tourism Partners, a global Tourism organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He also sits on the Academic Board of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce & Industry Business Entrepreneurship Skills Training Centre (BEST Centre). He is a member of the national mirror committee on the development of grading and hotel standards for the ECOWAS region. He has a strong flair for developing IT solutions for the hospitality industry and was involved in the development of Biodux Solutions; the most widely used indigenous Property Management Systems in Nigeria.

Adedayo Adesugba

FIH, FNHCI, FITP


Gabriel Ochonogor

Director/Co-founder Rehoboth Recruiters

ABOUT GABRIEL OCHONOGOR

A consultative certified human resources professional (CHRP) committed to building and sustaining a positive work culture where collaboration and team work is essential to attainment of organizational goals. Gabriel has many years’ experience in talent acquisition and management for the hospitality industry. He is among top 30 hospitality influencers in Nigeria and currently the Executive Director/Co-founder at Rehoboth Recruiters, A specialist Recruitment firm tailored to the hospitality industry for UAE and Africa.

He is young, articulate and resourceful individual with a strong work ethic dedicated to building talents for the hospitality industry.


ABOUT ROSANA FORSUELO

Rosana Forsuelo is a social entrepreneur and an educator whose main passion is to transform the lives of girl-child and young women from all walks of life though training and value education in hospitality. She is a strong advocate for gender equality and empowering women.
Rosana has more than 25-year experience within the hospitality industry in the Philippines and Nigeria; worked in Makiling Conference Centre, Philippines, Iroto Conference Centre, Ijebu Ode; Provost, lecturer & training consultant at Wavecrest College; a member of the: The National Board for Technical Education accrediting team, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Fellow member of the Hotel and Tourism Association of Nigeria (HATMAN) and the Institute for Tourism Professionals (ITP). Her professional focus is targeted towards the promotion of hospitality education and training, a veritable tool for transforming the lives of women by providing them employability, economic independence and sustainable career. She is a qualified Internal Quality Assessor for NSQF.
She holds a Masters Degree in Tourism Administration – Destination Management, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA; a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management & Marketing Management from St Scholastica’s College, Manila, Philippines; alumna of Lagos Business School

Rosana Forsuelo

Provost Wavecrest College of Hospitality, Lagos


Dewald Kruger

General Manager the Envoy Hotel, Abuja

ABOUT DEWALD KRUGER

Dewald Kruger is an outstanding hotel professional with uncommon passion for Hospitality development, revenue management and workforce development. From Pretoria South Africa, and had his hotel school degree at the Johannesburg University, South Africa and an Advanced Businesses Practice Degree at the Tshwane University of Technology. He also trained at the Cordon Blue Cookery where he got his Gourmet Certificate in addition to Wine Producing and Tasting Certificate (3) at KWV -South Africa. Before joining The Envoy Hotel Abuja, Dewald had worked in Hotels, Restaurants and in Facility Management. Specifically, his franchise exposure to global brands transcends continents having been exposed to Protea, Marriott's, Best Western, Mantis, and ACCOR. He has worked in Nigeria for 6 years.


ABOUT CYRIL MOKWE

Cyril has 32 years of experience in the food and beverage with a serious background in fine dining environment. Committed and detail oriented, Cyril is playing a key role in the F&B operation of Transcorp Hilton. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administrations and Management from Nasarawa State University.
Cyril has Undergone Several Hotel Training such as, Customer Focus Selling (Hilton Sandton, South Africa) Pro Active Leadership Training (Hilton Sandton, South Africa) Rev Max Train The Trainer (Hilton Sandton, South Africa) Leadership @ Hilton 11, Supervision 11, Hilton International lesson in Teaching Effective Supervision (HILITES), Service Excellency, Management of Quality, Train the Skill Trainer, Train the Group Trainer, Advance Industrial Relation and Effective Leadership Training, Total Quality management.

Mr Cyril Mokwe

Assistant F&B Manager Transcorp Hilton Hotel


Aisha Abubakar, Achonu

Co-Founder, VHOOLINK Platform

ABOUT AISHA ABUBAKAR, ACHONU

Aisha Abubakar Achonu is an entrepreneur focused on growing the fashion and tourism industry. With about 6 years experience as the creative director of Aisha Abu Bakr, a contemporary Women’s Wear Brand, and two years of journalism at Leadership Newspaper, she understands the need for the gap of the fashion industry’s value chain to be filled. She is also the co-founder of Vhoolink: A platform that helps small-medium enterprises and female owned businesses in the tourism sector to access and compete in a domestic and international market. Vhoolink offers business consultancy, creative media, branding and marketing to these enterprises. She is passionate about gender equality, decent work environments and economic growth. Her experiences and passion have led to the birth of Fashion Spaces Hub and Training Center as well.


ABOUT EXCEL OPUARU

A prolific hotelier and business developer with apt customer service relations skills, Mr. Excel Opuaru is the Managing Director of xcellenciO Hospitality. He possesses a good knowledge of the hospitality industry having served in several hotels in Nigeria including Emerald Hotel Asaba, Havilah Suites, Hotel Benizia, Summerset Court Victoria Island and Molit Hotel in Victoria island as the General Manager. He has consulted for Signature Grand Hotel Enugu, Luster Suites Okota, Treat Me Hotel Ajah, Marcopolo Hotel & Suites Lekki, Finotel Classique Hotel Awka, Cihcotel Hotel Awka, EHH Hotels Surulere, Cichotel Hotel Awka, Bella Rose Hotel Ikotun, DE Fellas Hotel Ibadan, May Villa Suites Oron, Squash Court Lounge Asaba and Quiet Lane Hotel Ikeja His in-depth knowledge of hotel operations and business development has led to a very improved market and healthy returns to these organizations. As the Managing Director of xcellenciO Hospitality, Mr. Excel Opuaru directs the entire management team of the organization. His operational, marketing ability, customer relationship management skills and professionalism have helped in the development of the organization. He also served at Royal Exchange Assurance as a Marketing Executive before joining the hospitality industry. He is a graduate of Sociology from Delta State University, Abraka. He is currently studying Hotel Service Operations Management and Tourism and Hospitality at the Griffith University, Queensland Australia. He is a member of the Institute of Hospitality UK, Nigeria branch.

Excel Opuaru

xcellenciO Hospitality (Nomadic Hotelliers)


Justina Ovat

Principal Consultant, Calabar Hospitality House

ABOUT JUSTINA OVAT

Justina Ovat is the founder of Calabar Hospitality House Limited, a firm that consults for the tourism and hospitality industry to ensure international best practices and manpower development. She’s a seasoned, creative and passionate Tourism & Hospitality expert with experience spanning over 10 years, a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) and a Certified Guest service Professional with the American Hotel Lodging & Educational Institute (AHLEI) and also a Certified Hospitality Establishment Grading Assessor with ProServe South Africa, an alumnus of the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and she holds a masters in Hospitality management from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. She serves as the Senior Special Assistant, hospitality to the Governor of Cross River State and General Manager of the Tinapa Lakeside hotel. She is a member of the African Tourism reactivation society. Justina started her career at the Cross River State Tourism Bureau where she gathered a lot of experience working as an assessment and enforcement officer responsible for ensuring that all tourism and tourism related enterprises operate within the provisions of the regulations and laws governing the industry. She is married with 3 children


ABOUT DON EBUBEOGU

Don Ebubeogu is an industrialist whose industry experience in manufacturing, production and trading is best described as phenomenal-having grown a small trading company into a bespoke manufacturing firm with focus on the food and beverage sector. He is the Managing Director of Tiger Foods Limited, the proud owners of Tiger Spices, Lasor Brand of Seasonings and the revolutionary Vegeta Cocoyam. With an unbroken continental reach, Don Ebubeogu is also the Managing Director of Tiger Foods (Liberia) Limited, Tiger Foods (Ghana) Limited and Tiger Foods (Cameroun) Limited. He is also the Industrial Investor in RoseCross Oil Limited, Green Sahara Farms Limited with solid interests in raw materials produce. Don Ebubeogu, from Akokwa, Ideato North L.G.A of Imo State is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago American Institute of Baking, Manhattan American Spice Trade Association, Washington, Nigerian Herbs and Spices Association. Having spent over 17 years in the Executive Council of the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce he was elected as the 12th President of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce in June 2017. Ever since, the fortunes of the chamber have increased in terms of knowledge growth, quality representation, national appeal and growth path. Currently, this very resilient Don Ebubeogu is working on the legal framework to actualize a lifelong dream of sustainable investment pool to be known as ‘Onitsha Investment Club’ with membership that cuts across captains of industries, financial institutions, government agencies and corporate organizations. Don Ebubeogu’s industrial strides have been of immense benefit to the hospitality and tourism industry. His emphasis on homegrown products (like Cocoyam, Ginger, Turmeric, Curry Powder, Ready-To-Eat products) that are built on quality research, innovation, technical partnerships, refined on excellence and efficient service delivery have further deepened the discussions on the pride of place of local content in the tourism industry. Truly, he has become a clear leader in developing quality local content in products, services and human capital. Don’s energetic and open-minded personality is infectious and he has developed a responsible approach to leadership and community service, possesses an ability to work with and motivate others, thus ensuring an excellent working environment for team members and partners.

Don Ebubeogu

MD, Tiger Foods Limited