QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 80 - Page 5

scheme which recognises excellence in customer service delivery. The award specifically acknowledged the high standard of service offered by Queen Margaret University’s library, accommodation, conference & events and sports & leisure services. The Customer Ser vice E xcellence Standard focuses on organisations that deliver customer services which are efficient, effective and empower the consumer. Particularly, it values organisations which always place costumers at the heart of the service provision. ❒ Sir Rocco Forte provides an insight into his business empire I NTERNATIONAL HOTELIER SIR Rocco Forte, founder of Rocco Forte Hotels, recently gave a speech to first year Event Management students about his experience of working in the luxury hospitality industry. Sir Rocco, who was awarded an honorary degree from QMU in 2002, spoke to a packed audience of QMU Event Management students and industry professionals. In his presentation ‘Creating world class luxur y experiences for every guest’ Sir Rocco gave a very open and honest account of some of the biggest challenges he has faced as a hospitality business leader. This included losing his entire empire in global recessions, building a new business, online travel agents and the issue of cut pricing, and the challenges of dealing with the Trip Advisor rating system and negative commentary. In addition, Sir Rocco discussed the importance of attracting the best staff to help strengthen his business. The event ended with a speech from Boyen Moshelov from Sophia, Bulgaria. Boyen is a third year QMU Event Management student who works at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh - part of the Rocco Forte Hotels group. Boyen spoke about his experience of working at the Balmoral and how Sir Rocco creates a unique atmosphere were staff feel more like family members than employees. T h e e ve n t , w h i c h w a s o r g a n i s e d b y Q M U ’s Int e r n ati o n a l C e ntre fo r th e S tu d y of Pl a n n e d Events, can be viewed on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIzXsFRBs9g ❒ Community Engagement Sir Jackie Stewart motors in for University dyslexia event F ORMER WORLD CHAMPION Formula One racing driver, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, made a rare appearance in Scotland in November when he spoke at QMU about his personal experiences of living with dyslexia. The fascinating public event helped raise awareness of dyslexia and the issues associated with improving access to higher education by increasing understanding of the condition amongst the audience of over 200 people. ‘An Audience with Sir Jackie Stewart’, offered guests the opportunity to ask the former World Champion direct questions about how he deals with dyslexia. Sir Jackie left school at 15 years of age, but his dyslexia was not diagnosed until much later. He found his personal voice in sport; first as an Olympic-class shot, then as a three-time World Champion motor racing driver. He is a long standing campaigner for better support for people affected by dyslexia and is Vice-President of the Scottish International Education Trust. As well as being awarded an OBE in 1972 and knighted in 2001, he holds eight honorary doctorates from US, Scottish and English universities. ❒ The Kelpies maquettes stabled at QMU F OR THE FIRST TIME, the set of maquettes that were used to launch the The Kelpies in New York are on display in the UK at an outdoor public space. The equine art works are being ‘stabled’ over the winter months at QMU. The maquettes were the models for the award-winning 30 metre high horses’ heads known as The Kelpies. Together with Kelpies Marina, they form the dramatic gateway to the new section of canal in the Falkirk District linking the Forth and Clyde. Hand crafted by Scottish sculptor, Andy Scott, the three metre high maquette sculptures are positioned in University Square. QMU has a special connection with The Kelpies. Working in partnership with the project partners, the University’s Media Practice Lecturer, Walid Salhab, produced the dynamic stop-motion/time- lapse film charting the creation of The Kelpies. His film has been shared on social media all over the world and has received nearly 93k hits on the Helix website alone. Walid was the only filmmaker to have unlimited access to the full four month build phase of the momentous structures, and his mesmerising work helped launch The Kelpies in New York and in Scotland. Sir Rocco Forte To celebrate the arrival of the maquettes at University Square, pupils from the Prestonlodge High School Pipe Band played at the launch following the installation of the sculptures. To watch Walid Salhab’s film of the creation of The Kelpies visit: http://vimeo.com/90747645 ❒ QMYOU / Community Engagement 5