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Celebrities Interview / Parting Thoughts

President of the Society of the Golden Keys of Hong Kong--Woody Leung

Woody Leung is the newly elected President of the Society of the Golden Keys of Hong Kong. The ever-youthful Chief Navigator Concierge of the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong shares his thoughts on his new role.

 

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 25 years – time flies when you are having a blast! I started at the Excelsior Hong Kong right after school, working as a bell boy, and taking on different jobs within the concierge department including managing the Fitness Centre and a short period at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong as a Cultural Exchange Ambassador. I spent 21 years there before moving to the Marriott Group, spending time in several Marriott hotels including The Ritz-Carlton, The St. Regis, The W Hotel, JW Marriott Hong Kong, Ocean Park Marriott, SkyCity Marriott, Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Le Meridian Cyberport, and the Courtyard, conducting cross-training before taking up my current position.

I love being a concierge. I am curious by nature, and love to learn. The concierge job keeps me on my toes and motivates me to continue learning to help satisfy the different needs of our hotel guests from all over the world. That’s why you’ll find that, in many hotels, the concierge staff tend to be more mature because the job does require experience and knowledge.

I joined the Society as a Full Member (now called ‘Les Clefs d’Or Member’) in 2014 and went on to the committee four years ago, eventually joining the Board as general secretary before my recent election to president. Today, the society has 167 members including 109 chief concierges and assistant chief concierges.

The Hong Kong chapter of the society is one of the oldest in Asia, as you would expect, given the city’s long professional hotelier tradition. The society is a professional membership organisation for in-service concierges, with goals to promote fellowship and professional development, a mission we take very seriously.

As the new president, one of my goals is to inject new blood to our society by recruiting new and younger members. To do that we need to continue to ensure that the society remains relevant, up-to-date, and interesting to our members.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, that means we meet virtually to stay in touch, using communication tools such as Zoom and WhatsApp. I am looking to initiate more activities for the society, and on a more decentralised and grassroots basis.

In this current environment, it is important that we as concierge proactively embrace change and become more functionally competent. As a personal example, I've myself started a project at our hotel's children’s zone to help improve operation in the areas of safety, hygiene, cleanliness, and queue management.

We want to do our part to help the hotels during this pandemic period. As most hotels have primarily staycation guests, we need to provide even faster and more efficient service, to meet the expectations of our local Hong Kong guests.

My favourite thing to do is to explore different parts of Hong Kong with my kids while they are still young, so they can have lasting memories of the city – places like Sham Shui Po and Cheung Chau. We all like to try out different local foods and restaurants.

I love Hong Kong; it’s my home. The city is super-convenient and fast-changing, you need to be quick to adapt, and I love that. Hong Kong is a great city!

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