Sofitel So Singapore Names Six Pre-Opening Team Members
Including General Manager Tony Chisholm
- Gabrielle Choy as Director of Casting and Coaching
- Prerna Pant as Director of Marketing and Communications
- Jessica Khoo as Director of Sales and Business Development
- Lloyce Lau as Director of Finance
- Jerome Le Gall as the Wine and Dine Guru
- Aung Khaing as the Mac Mini Guru
Aligned with Sofitel So's ambition of being a savant representation of its destination, Gabrielle, Prerna, Jessica, Lloyce, Jerome and Aung together share more than 80 years of regional industry experience and are bringing their keen knowledge of the local and international hospitality sectors to helm the team. This will ensure that the boutique soul of the luxury hotel blends effortlessly with the uniquely Singaporean experience of amalgamated cultures and traditions that have stood the test of time.
"Hotels are all about its people, and we have gone through an immersive selection process with each applicant to ensure that the hotel's values resonate with those coming on-board," said Tony Chisholm, General Manager of Sofitel So Singapore. "These exciting appointments reinforce the establishment of a dynamic pre-opening team of signature So Ambassadors and pave the way for the trendy, design- focused and technology-savvy new hotel."
All of Sofitel So Singapore's Ambassadors will personify five core values – stylish, creative, dynamic, playful and sociable – espoused by the designer, boutique hotel vision of Sofitel, creating a new brand mandate for quality in service, design, gastronomy and culture in Singapore. These So Ambassadors will share the vision of providing guests a differentiated cousu main service enriched with their individual personalities, performance and a passion for excellence that is reflective of what any guest would expect of a Sofitel establishment across the globe. Where Karl Lagerfeld makes his mark on Sofitel So Singapore with his signature emblem, the hotel's astute service team too will lend the establishment a heart and personality that in time will become So Singapore's very own signature of excellence in the local hospitality industry.
Building on the time-honoured establishment of Sofitel Luxury Hotels and their unique brand blueprint that combines the best of French luxury with an emphasis on local tradition, Sofitel So is its designer hotel label featuring trendy hotels in contemporary locations – Singapore being the third addition globally to Sofitel So's rapidly expanding portfolio.
Sofitel So Singapore is located at 35 Robinson Road, in an iconic neo-classical heritage building that was first built in 1927. The boutique hotel resides in the heart of Singapore's central business district, within arm's length from uniquely Singaporean experiences that complement its luxury lifestyle offerings.
Sofitel So Singapore is scheduled to open later this year.
Tony Chisholm - General Manager
As the General Manager of Sofitel's first property in Singapore, Tony is responsible for establishing a pre-opening team and to pave the direction for the trendy, design and technology-savvy Sofitel So Singapore. Taking the lead on the strategic overview and roll-out plan for the upcoming boutique establishment, Tony plans to turn his vision for Sofitel So Singapore to be the benchmark for service, design, gastronomy and an immersive Singaporean culture, into reality.
Tony is a seasoned professional with close to two decades of regional hospitality experience managing hotels throughout Asia Pacific, having been part of the Accor network since 2004. Bringing his keen industry insights and passion to fuel his knowledge of all things Singaporean to the table, Tony's aim for every guest is to leave Sofitel So Singapore having experienced the hotel's promise of being the ultimate in comfort and customised luxury, as well as having a taste of local culture, lifestyle and gastronomy. Tony's personable style and hands-on approach to hospitality services is set to redefine the context and meaning of boutique luxury living for not only guests of Sofitel So Singapore, but members of his own team, too.
Tony is an admirer of Singapore's Asian philosophy that everything is possible. An eager explorer of the little-explored spots around the country, Tony wishes other countries could adopt similar models of infrastructural development alongside an unwavering commitment to eco-friendly values and a Green Planet. The technorama of Gardens by the Bay's Supertrees are a perfect example of such development where form is married with function – achieving both environmental sustainability and a canopy to shade fitness buffs like Tony, whose jogging route snakes through the Gardens.
Gabrielle Choy – Director of Casting and Coaching
Gabrielle has taken the lead in sourcing talent at Sofitel So Singapore, ensuring they espouse values that make them So Ambassadors and true representatives of the trendy, designer vision of Sofitel Luxury Hotels. In addition to mentoring them in their professional development, she will work closely with them to bring their individual sense of style, creativity, dynamism, playfulness and sociable nature to their daily work environment at the hotel.
Gabrielle held managerial positions at the InterContinental Hotels Group before she joined Accor as the Quality and Attitude Manager in 2008, within the pre-opening team of the Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park. She later took the role of Human Resources Manager at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth in 2009, where by focusing on increasing employee engagement and fostering a learning and development culture, she reduced turnover in 3 years by over 60%. Stepping back in Singapore has been more of a homecoming to Gabrielle who arrived in the thick of Chinese New Year celebrations, taking in award-winning lion dance performances and the pulsating beat of drums, gongs and cymbals. Soaking up the atmosphere of the New Year while walking through the ornate streets of the Chinatown Festival Market, Gabrielle and her family joined throngs of locals and tourists to usher in prosperity and abundance for the New Year earlier this year. This annual tradition is just one of many cherished memories she fondly remembers her father regaling to her, from the days of his childhood lighting firecrackers and tossing 'yusheng' with the family's elders.
Prerna Pant – Director of Marketing and Communications
With extensive experience as a communications professional across five cities across the globe, Prerna will create, implement and measure the success of Sofitel So Singapore's marketing, communications and public relations initiatives. Driven by her strong track record delivering sound communications solutions for clients through both traditional and digital channels, she will maintain a strategic positioning unique to Sofitel So, weaving the hotel into Singapore's rich and vibrant tapestry.
Through her years in marketing and communications, Prerna has successfully led projects for key clients such as Citigroup London, Singapore Tatler, Mercedes-Benz Singapore Fashion Week and Tarun Tahiliani Design Studio. In 2006, Prerna joined a first-of-its-kind luxury online network and magazine in Asia, Dianefay.com, as its Fashion and Lifestyle Editor, and later wrote for The Straits Times' weekly URBAN supplement. A testament that Prerna has both brains and heart, she committed herself to giving back to society, joining not-for-profit organization Sparkz as the company's Assistant Director, spearheading the planning and organisation of a benefit-cum-fashion show that raised over S$150,000 for disadvantaged special needs children in 2008. Prior to her appointment at Sofitel So Singapore, Prerna was a Senior Digital Strategist for social@Ogilvy, where she created and executed award-winning integrated solutions for brands such as Singapore Red Cross, Guinness and KFC.
Having lived in Singapore for over twelve years, Prerna has been witness to the city's transformation into a global hub for the arts and culture. Her favourite spots in Singapore embody traits similar to the hotel – heritage buildings or places of historic relevance, that have been given a new lease of life like Dempsey Hill, Duxton Road and the Ann Siang neighbourhoods.
Jessica Khoo – Director of Sales and Business Development
Jessica brings her high-level of motivation and keen business insights to the table at Sofitel So Singapore, carefully piecing together an enterprising sales strategy that will put the upcoming hotel at the top of industry players' lists. Besides setting corporate account strategies in place, she will also drive the expansion of the hotel's clientele and opportunities for it to grow into new networks, driven by her enthusiasm and understanding of its unique selling properties.
Jessica held directorial positions in the areas of sales and marketing for The Ascott Group, Hilton Singapore, Orchard Hotel Singapore and M Hotel Singapore. While at The Millennium & Copthorne Group, she also received the awards of Invincible Best Sales Person and the Conqueror Best Sales Person for four years in a row from 2003 to 2007, a feat that has yet to be surpassed.
Like any self-respecting local, Jessica is just as obsessed with street food as she is with fine dining, knowing just where to go for the right cuisines to fit the right occasion. Hawker centres are her personal favourite, taking a leaf from her parents' book as they travel across the island for their favourite hawker fare. A reflection of Singapore's multicultural society and Singaporean's approach to life, hawker centres have fed the nation for more than a century, with the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market right beside Sofitel So Singapore even being gazetted as a national monument since 1973.
Lloyce Lau – Director of Finance
Lloyce will hold the purse strings at Sofitel So Singapore, where he will play a crucial role in planning and managing the hotel's pre- and post-opening budgets. Beside overseeing the financial aspects of the hotel's strategy and its flow of financial information, Lloyce has also eagerly taken up the less-traditional task of sourcing and purchasing smaller items for the boutique hotel –and linen!
Lloyce held senior managerial positions in Grand Park Hotel and Holiday Inn in China before he joined Accor in 2004 as Director of Finance & Administration for the Renmin Square Hotel Xian. He has successfully managed budgets for a host of marketing and operational initiatives in the span of his career, with his most recent position being the Director of Finance at the Accor Asia Pacific Head Office in Shanghai.
Lloyce fondly recollects Singapore's heritage restoration projects that kicked off in the 1990s when he was part of the opening team for The Inn of Sixth Happiness, now refurbished as The Scarlet Hotel. The unique row of pre-war shophouses along Erskine Road was gradually being repurposed to front-facing boutiques and split level hotel rooms at the time, leading similar conservation projects in Little India and the East Coast over the past two decades.
Aung Khaing – Mac Mini Guru
With technological efficiency being a key pillar in Sofitel So Singapore's service operations, Aung will hold the vital responsibility to plan and successfully launch all digital streams at the hotel. In addition, he will also take the lead in the search for innovative and productive solutions that will keep Sofitel So Singapore at the helm of technological capability in the hospitality industry.
Aung has held senior managerial positions in the field of information technologies for more than seven hotels in the region, including leading pre-opening IT teams at Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen, St. Regis Hotel Singapore and Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort in Siem Reap. He has successfully set up, upgraded and maintained various secure IT infrastructures, both for the corporate teams and the hotel's end users.
Believing that age is but a number and one is never too old for a good adrenalin rush, one of Aung's favourite things to do in this garden city is to visit Universal Studios Singapore with his family. Getting in early to beat the snaking queues Singapore is amusingly identified for, Aung and his family star as the protagonists with the Autobots in Transformers and flee from a giant Tyrannosaurus via the rapids of Jurassic Park, thoroughly enjoying Southeast Asia's first movie theme park.
Jerome Le Gall – Wine and Dine Guru
No hotel is complete without delectable food and beverage offerings, and Jerome is stepping into Sofitel So Singapore to ensure all guests are pampered with an exquisite dining experience at the boutique hotel. Sofitel So Singapore's range of culinary options include three food and beverage outlets – a lobby bar, a destination rooftop bar and an iconic multi-cuisine restaurant, as well as a comprehensive in-room service dining menu. All three outlets will be deftly managed by Jerome and his dedicated team, who believe that the ultimate wine and dine experience is not just about eating or drinking, but discovering, surprising and most importantly having a great time!
Having studied hospitality management in Paris and gaining meaningful work experience at various luxury hotels and cruise ships in France, Jerome is no stranger to juggling his day-to-day managerial duties with the demands of his VIP clientele. While 2006 took him to exotic locations from Miami to Marbella, Jerome was appointed Fine Dining Restaurant and Bar Manager at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach after moving to Australia in 2007. In both Gold Coast and Sofitel Brisbane Central where he was the Food and Beverage Manager, Jerome trained and managed his supporting staff while planning exciting bar concepts and special themed events. Jerome is also a proud winner of the "Ma"tre d'hôtel of the Year" 2008 – 2009 at the Queensland Gold Box Awards, an initiative of the Australian Culinary Federation.
A foodie by nature, Jerome has taken to local favourites such as satay and laksa as much as he is keenly exploring the palates of Michelin star restaurants that have increasingly popped up around the island. When not armed with a fork and knife, Jerome can be seen partaking in water sports such as kite-surfing and water skiing at East Coast Parkway and the Kallang River. With his passion for food, fun and travel, one could say that Jerome is truly Singaporean at heart!
Sofitel, World Class Hotels & French Elegance - Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 120 addresses, in almost 40 countries (more than 30,000 rooms). Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today's more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, London, New York, Shanghai or Beijing, or nestled away in a country landscape in Morocco, Egypt, French Polynesia or Thailand, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French "art de vivre".
Sofitel Legend and & Sofitel So are two labels that come to enrich Sofitel Luxury hotels.
Sofitel Legend hotels are iconic and mythical; they are often centuries-old listed heritage buildings: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam and Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan.
Sofitel So hotels are new « boutique hotels » characterized by a stylish focus on contemporary design by famous architects and/or embellished by international celebrities from the world of fashion, design or art: Sofitel So Mauritius Bel Ombre, Sofitel So Bangkok and Sofitel So Singapore (2013).
Discover Sofitel on www.sofitel.com