Goodwood House’s Operations Manager has today been announced as one of the winners of a national award celebrating the hospitality industry’s most talented stars aged under 30.

Shelley Freeland, attended a prize giving event at the luxury five star Coworth Park Hotel in Ascot, Berkshire, and a celebratory weekend which included team building exercises to test their teamwork and competition skills. Previous recipients of the Acorn Award include the celebrity chefs Marco Pierre White and Jamie Oliver.

Speaking about her award, organised by the industry magazine The Caterer, Shelley said: “Winning an Acorn is one of the greatest achievements in my career. I love my job as no day is ever the same at Goodwood and you cannot always predict how your day will turn out.”

“Working in hospitality at Goodwood is such a diverse industry and the opportunities for growth and to experience new things keeps you engaged and motivated. It can be very rewarding, from the wonderful people you get to work with, to delivering a great customer experience. You really do have the power to make someone’s day and that’s a great feeling.”

At the age of 19, Shelley began her Goodwood career as Junior Supervisor for the Aerodrome Café, where she was responsible for its day-to-day running. She moved on from the café into a role as Events Administrator with the Goodwood House team. Shelley worked closely with the House Manager and learnt about the running of Goodwood House, which is home to world renowned events such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, as well as being a location for conferences and weddings.

Since then her drive ambition and determination has projected her to the role of Operations Manager at Goodwood House in 2017 and at the age of 26 and she is the youngest member of the senior leadership team at Goodwood working alongside the Directors and Managers. Within her role, Shelley has financial responsible for Goodwood House and Motor Circuit Catering.

“In my first year in the role of Goodwood House Operations Manager I had to make a big step up from a co-ordinator role to be responsible for delivering 120 events per year and over 350 staff at events. I had to get to grips with everything extremely quickly, make some tough decisions to help save costs and turn things around;” Shelley added.

Goodwood Entertaining and Hospitality Managing Director Andrew Coggings said: “Having beaten off competition from across the country, this should be recognised as a huge achievement for both

Shelley and Goodwood and we are all very proud of her. This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement in Shelley’s career.” Some of the other 2019 Acorn included: Max Fenlon, financial controller of UK, Park Plaza Hotels; Tomas Kubart, restaurant director Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel; Charles Coulombeau, head chef, Gravetye Manor; Katie Muliss, restaurant manager, the Hand & Flowers; Alexander Wilson, reception manager, Brown’s hotel, Rocco Forte Hotels.

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