‘The unpredictable nature of the past year and the uncertainty for the future has been challenging.’Dec 13, 2020
Chelsey Hutchinson, new chair of Wyboston Lakes.
Chelsey Hutchinson is the new chair(man) of Wyboston Lakes Resort.
After a decade of working across every area of the resort including four years as a board director, she has taken over the helm of a growing business that has been developed over nearly 40 years.
Wyboston Lakes now includes a four-star luxury hotel, restaurant, bar and award-winning spa, 18-hole golf course and picturesque water sports lakes, two state-of-the-art residential event and training centres, business units and land for future enterprise, spread across the 380-acre site near the A1 in Bedfordshire.
Chelsey is the third Hutchinson to take on the role of chair. She succeeds her father Steve in the business founded by Peter Hutchinson in 1983. Now Chelsey, who has a law degree from the University of Manchester and a Masters in management, is preparing to make her mark in the hospitality industry.
What are the major challenges you see facing the organisation as you take over?
There is the obvious one: Covid. The unpredictable nature of the past year and the uncertainty for the future has been challenging. It has impacted our business in a way nothing has before and we had to make some really difficult decisions to ensure we still have a business.
Other than that, it’s essential to stay ahead of the game in areas such as technology, which will only become more important.
Diversity and equality are well represented within the company as the senior management team has equal male and female representation. How important is this to you and how do you see this developing?
We are living in a world where diversity and equality are paramount. Men and women bring different approaches to the table, see things differently and complement each other. It is good for younger generations to see gender isn’t a barrier and that hard work, ambition and dedication will pay off.
What do you think is the secret to great leadership?
Leaders must know every part of their business inside out and understand that every job is as important as another. You must understand the positive and negatives of each role and be able to see it from your staff’s point of view. Get to know people – they will open up more to you and see you as human. It is the best way to discover better or more efficient ways of doing things.
How would you like the business to develop in the next five to ten years?
We’ve made significant investments in developing and refurbishing our venues and products over the past few years and we have a fabulous team so I’d like to see us become an even bigger player in the hospitality world. It is extremely important to me that we stay true to who we are and our family culture.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
Despite all the uncertainty and worry that has come with the global pandemic, I am optimistic and excited for the future and where we can go. I’m very proud of the business and where we are today. We have a great team in place, great products and a great culture.