Asia Pacific Updates

Robin Yap named Mentor of the Year

Mentorship should be a lifelong engagement, says Yap.

The Travel Corporation’s chairman emeritus, Robin Yap, has been recognised as the 2019 ‘Mentor of the Year’ by ACI HR Solutions.

Benoit Badufle, managing director of Horus Development & Consulting (which offers marketing services to national tourism and convention offices in the APAC region), was awarded highly commended.

Now in its third year, the annual award programme seeks to acknowledge industry leaders and raise awareness of the importance of mentorship. Professionals in the hospitality and events industry can nominate and vote for their preferred mentor online. Four industry leaders were shortlisted this year, with voting taking place throughout October.

ACI HR Solutions founder and CEO, Andrew Chan, says this year’s winners are very high-profile individuals, but stresses that “anyone can be a mentor”.

“You don’t have to be a senior business leader – mentorship can occur across all designations,” he says.

Nevertheless, a high-profile winner can get conversations started about the importance of mentor-mentee relationships in promoting professional and personal growth.

“Mentorship provides a platform for open dialogue and communication,” Chan says. “These relationships are particularly important as millennials are not looking for a ‘boss’ in the traditional sense, instead they often seek understanding and guidance.”

For Yap, mentor-mentee relationships can last a lifetime.

“I said to all colleagues when they joined my organization that I hope when they leave the company one day, I have value-added to their professional development,” he says.

“The relationship should not just be confined to current employment but really a lifelong engagement of ensuring their success. Every successful mentee is a feather on my cap.”

And after more than 40 years in the travel and tourism industry, Yap can add yet another feather to his illustrious cap as the 2019 Mentor of the Year.

“[This award] reaffirms my believe in human capital development within the industry,” he says. “I wouldn’t have known what my past colleagues, students, community leaders and present colleagues thought of my work if not for this campaign. I am deeply touched by their comments.”