APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2023

May22239 As Auckland’s oldest private club, the Northern Club is a venue at which members can dine, relax, stay, and be entertained in style while connecting with other professionals in the city. The Club’s current CEO, Michael Shah, is dedicated to making the member experience as luxurious as it should be, leading his team to deliver excellence every day. Here, we speak to Michael about his leadership style and his past experiences in 5-star hospitality. Boasting stunning architecture and gorgeous décor, the Northern Club is an elegant Italianatestyle quarry stone building nestled in the heart of the business district, covered with a mantle of Virginia Creeper that boasts vibrant colours of red and green throughout the year. Combining the new with the old, its interior features contemporary design with antique finishes. The Club spans four floors, with three dining spaces, three bars, multiple private dining rooms, a range of beautiful function areas, and an ornate billiards room. Since 1990, the Club’s membership criteria have been relaxed and are no longer based on gender, wealth, or ancestry. Today, members come from a wide range of the city’s professional and business communities. The Club’s well-respected Chief Executive, Michael Shah, leads its excellent hospitality team to provide world class service to all members. Michael is a highly experienced professional in the five-star hospitality sector, who has always delivered exceptional, engaged, and customer-centric service. His career encompasses managerial positions at many establishments, including well-known luxury brands such as Hyatt Hotels, LVMH and Qualia Resort. With extensive experience in the hospitality industry, where interpersonal skills and teamwork are essential, Michael prides himself on his ability to read the room and intuit dynamics within groups, which helps him gain an insight into the nature of corporate and organisational relationships. Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated the ability to quickly and effectively adjust and adapt to new situations, cultures and operations with a positive and proactive attitude. At the Northern Club, Michael puts people at the centre of everything he does, forging genuine connections with members and their guests, providing authentic hospitality, and a warm welcome. "No matter what business you are in, the key is to have meaningful relationships with your customers," says Michael. "It is important that they feel they can be candid with you and trust you to be honest with them. My career has taught me that you cannot underestimate the power of personal connections." The dedicated team at the Northern Club is essential to providing an excellent customer experience. Michael leads by example, personally demonstrating the behaviours and values he expects the team to deliver. He prioritizes treating members with the utmost importance, and when he notices employees doing things correctly, he acknowledges their positive behaviour and thanks them for their success, which results in more significant achievements. Michael enjoys mentoring staff at all levels of the business to encourage further success. His methods of leadership have resulted in a proven track record of increased productivity and performance across his various teams. The past three years have been challenging for the hospitality industry, with Covid, lockdowns, staff shortages, and restricted travel. Michael became CEO of the Northern Club a few months before the pandemic hit. He notes, "My experience as a CEO has continually been in crisis mode, which I believe has accelerated my learning about business, strategy, and action, which would otherwise have taken many more years to understand." Although 2023 was supposed to return to normality, Auckland recently experienced two severe weather events that caused significant damage to housing and infrastructure, including the Northern Club's heritage building. Despite these challenges, Michael strives to foster a supportive, communicative, authentic, and open working environment at the Northern Club. As a result of his dedicated leadership as CEO of the Northern Club, Michael Shah has been awarded Best Hospitality CEO in the APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2023. We congratulate him on this success and look forward to seeing what the future holds for him and his team at the Northern Club. Contact: Michael Shah Company: The Northern Club Web Address: northernclub.co.nz Best Hospitality CEO 2023 (Auckland): Michael Shah