Diane Webster, Head of Sales & Marketing of Beacon Purchasing, the largest purchasing consortium for the independent hospitality industry, scooped the Woman Technology Innovator of the Year Award at the annual Shine Awards held at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel on Thursday, 21st January in Lodnon, and attended by the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture and Tourism.
The awards, now on its sixth year, are designed to recognise outstanding femail achievement and role models in the hospitality, travel and tourism.
Diane won her award for her innovative use of technology in helping to grow a business, specifically in relation to beacon's award-winning 'virtual green hotel' website, www.beacongreenhotel.co.uk, the first of its kind in the UK.
She hatched the idea of a 'real hotel in a virtual world' to help beacon memebrs - numbering over 2,000 hotel, bar and leisure establishments across the UK - to find out what actions they can take to make a genuine contribution to responsible purchasing. The website, which is endoursed by Envirowise and Green Tourism, won the prestigious Caterersearch.com Web award for innovation in 2009, and will serve as a platform for beacon's venture into social media.
Commenting on her award, Diane said, "I'm accepting this on behalf of everyone at beacon who worked so hard to get the green hotel off the ground. The website shows what good things can come out of working in collaboration, which is what beacon is all about. "
For her prize, Diane will be able to draw on the IT team of London Metropolitan University Business School as she furthers the development of the green hotel. She will also become a mentor to other women in the industry.