Debbie Taylor has been elected President of the Hospitality & Real Estate Group and a member of the Corporate Operating Committee of Kohler Co.
Having joined Kohler Co. as Managing Director of The Old Course Limited in September 2007, Debbie Taylor led the complete renovation of the Old Course Hotel in rooms, food and service taking it to a new level of appeal while attaining many industry accolades.
In her new role, Debbie will have responsibility for leadership of the Kohler Group in its global hospitality operations ensuring that its facilities, amenities and service levels are among the best in the world. The portfolio includes The American Club Resort-Hotel and Whistling Straits, both in Wisconsin, with the latter having hosted the U.S. Senior Open and the Palmer Cup, and twice hosted the PGA Championship, most recently in August of this year.
Debbie Taylor has been instrumental in the expansion and growth of the destination and played a pivotal role in positioning the Old Course Hotel as the official hotel of the 2010 Open Championship in St Andrews. Debbie Taylor will also manage the development of Hamilton Grand, Kohler’s latest acquisition. Set to provide 26 luxury apartments, this unique private residence will afford spectacular views over the 18th green of the Old Course, to The Sands and the Bay of St Andrews.
With over 25 years of experience in the hotel, travel and tourism industry, Debbie Taylor boasts extensive skills in management, operations, and sales and marketing. She previously managed and held the role of General Manager at Sir Rocco Forte’s five-star Balmoral in Edinburgh (2003-2007) where she became the first woman to manage this hotel in its 101- year history.
As one of the United Kingdom’s most prominent hoteliers and a leading figure in Scottish tourism, she has been Chairman of British Hospitality Scotland for the past three years, is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, and one of only nine women in the world to hold the title Master Innholder. She was named Manager of the Year by two separate industry organizations in 2006 and 2007.
Debbie, who places a great emphasis on staff training and development, has amassed an outstanding array of awards over the past few years; she is the current holder of a prestigious Catey accolade for Manager of the Year 2007 (awarded by Caterer & Hotelkeeper Magazine) and in 2006 was the RAC Manager of the Year.
Of her new role Debbie Taylor says, “I am absolutely delighted to take up this exciting new opportunity to work with Kohler Co. on a broader basis to achieve our overriding objective to restore historic buildings with ‘a story to tell’ and develop unusual pieces of land into iconic resorts and destinations.”
Debbie holds a general manager certificate from Cornell University in New York and a Master of Science degree with distinction in Hospitality Management from the International Management Centre Association in Buckingham.