Madeleine Calon to be next president of the Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain and the Commonwealth

George Sell By George Sell
02 February 2018 | Updated 02 February 2018

UK: The first female president of the concierge society will take over from Antony Lynch, who steps down after four years.

Calon, originally from Liverpool, is the head concierge at St. James's Hotel and Club in London, and is one of only 15 women in the UK to be a member of the society. She received her keys in 1996 and was the first British woman to receive this honour.

With more than 30 years' experience in the hotel industry, her career began as guest liaison officer at the 1,000-room Cumberland Hotel. Her next move was to the Waldorf Hotel as guest relations manager and it was here that she found her niche, interacting with guests at the concierge desk. The head concierge of 28 years, Mel Demetriades, recognised that Calon's previous training as a stage manager in the theatre and her guest relations experience in hotels could easily translate into the qualities and skills of a great concierge. He initiated her transfer and training, and in 1995 he proposed her as a suitable candidate to join the Society of the Golden Keys.

She was later appointed assistant head concierge at The Cavendish Hotel in 1996, then moved to the five-star Berkeley Hotel in 2002, also as assistant head concierge. In 2003 she was promoted to concierge services manager, with responsibility for a team of 29.

She joined the St James's Hotel and Club as head concierge in 2008 prior to it reopening following a major refurbishment.

Calon has served on the Committee of The Society of the Golden Keys with numerous past presidents, serving previously as secretary, associate liaison and vice-president, and she will represent Great Britain and the Commonwealth on the Board of Directors of Les Clefs d'Or at their annual International Congress to be held in Seoul, South Korea in April 2018.

The Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain and the Commonwealth was founded in London in 1952. It was one of the founding members of the UICH (Union Internationale des Concierges d'Hôtels) Les Clefs d'Or. The Society's principle aims were to develop friendship amongst concierges, to help develop a network of contacts in the hotel fraternity and to provide development and training.

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