VICTORIA – Ian Powell, a hotelier with over 40 years in the international hospitality industry and who became a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada later in life, was named hotelier of the year last night during the BC Hospitality Summit in Kelowna, BC.
The annual industry award recognizes an individual displaying the management, leadership and communication skills at the highest levels of excellence along with a commitment to employees, community and the industry at large.
The Reverend Ian Powell, managing director of Paul’s Restaurant Ltd. and general manager of Inn at Laurel Point, began studying tourism and hospitality in England before embarking on a 40+ year career, including stints running the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel in Bermuda. Powell’s desire to become ordained brought him back to BC to commence his theological studies at Vancouver School of Theology. He was ordained into the Anglican Church of Canada in November 2008. Leading up to this additional career path, Powell joined Victoria based Paul’s Restaurants Ltd in 2006.
“I am deeply grateful for this recognition and clearly, I must be getting old,” says Powell “My path to the present has been quite the ride and I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it. I’m delighted I get to share my experience with the next generation of hotelier’s coming up the ranks.”
“Mr. Powell’s hallmark laugh can regularly be heard echoing throughout our offices,” says Judy Elder, Powell’s long time Executive Assistant. “We have so enjoyed his leadership style and not to mention his hospitality and life experience which guides us all daily.”
This recognition also comes at a time when the Inn at Laurel Point is undergoing a major renovation of its ground floor and surrounding gardens. The goal is to complete the original vision of the late, Paul and Artie Arsens who commissioned world renowned architect Arthur Erickson for the hotel’s first renovation in 1989. It has been Powell’s longtime dream to complete this dream before his retirement. This renovation project is set to be complete by the summer of 2019.