Sodexo held its annual Star Awards ceremony at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London last night (24 November).

The Star Awards ceremony is the highlight of the Sodexo calendar and recognises the most outstanding of its 34,000 employees across 23 categories. This year it was hosted by the BBC’s Fiona Bruce.

The ceremony, which was attended by over 640 people including Sodexo’s global CEO Michel Landel, began with a drinks reception, followed by a three-course dinner and prize giving led by new Sodexo UK & Ireland regional chairman Sean Haley.

This year, the Sodexo Star Employee of the Year Award was won by food service assistant Debbie Russell from the Sodexo Sports & Leisure contract at the American Express Community Stadium, the home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Judges described Debbie as thoughtful, kind, hardworking and hugely fun loving, someone who lives the Sodexo values every day.

Jane Farrell, Centre of Excellence development manager in Service Operations, was this year’s recipient of the coveted Alan Tilley Award. Alan Tilley worked for the company for over 40 years and was awarded an OBE for his services to hospitality. The award is given to an individual who exemplifies Alan’s qualities of dedication.

The Rising Star Award was won by security co-ordinator Diane Gleeson, who has personally led the deployment of the Security Industry Authority licensing system and process across all security contracts in the UK

Sean Haley, regional chairman, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said in his opening speech: “Tonight is a huge honour for me as your regional chair. We have a global ambition to be ‘always chosen and rewarded for making every day a better day’. There are people in this room tonight who spend their time at work making every day a better day for our clients, consumers and each other. You deserve to be recognised and rewarded for everything you do; you are critical to the future of this business.”

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