The operations director for Sodexo’s airport lounge portfolio was named area manager of the year at the FSM Awards.

Richard Cripps (pictured right) won the award for growing Sodexo’s airport lounge portfolio from £2.5m to £11m in two years, and for maintaining a client retention rate of 100 per cent.

Richard is responsible for operations across a portfolio of major international airline clients including Qatar, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Gulf Air and Emirates, at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester. He leads a team of 350 providing catering and cleaning services to 10 airport lounges welcoming 5,000 passengers a day.

Sodexo has more than 70 airport lounge operations in more than 80 cities across a total of 23 countries. In addition to those above, its aviation clients include Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and International Airlines Group’s head office at Heathrow.

Six more Sodexo employees were shortlisted in the FSM Awards, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Richard Cripps, operations director for Sodexo Sport & Leisure, said: “It’s an honour to be recognised in this way, but this award really belongs to my people. Without them I couldn’t do my job at all. I get great satisfaction from walking into an airport lounge, or one of the offices we clean, and seeing our employees doing their jobs with smiles on their faces. Without your people you don’t have a business.”

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