Meet Andrew Stotter Brooks, the Vice President of Learning and Development for Etihad Airways, an international airline based in Abu-Dhabi, providing service to hundreds of destinations in 74 countries. As the Vice President of Learning and Development, Etihad Aviation Group, Andrew leads the creation of innovative, leading-edge learning solutions to support the development, growth and performance of Etihad’s incredible employees.
Andrew started his career in a small hotel in Dorset and learned the Art of Service in a variety of hotels on the south coast of England. In 1985 he joined Berni Inns, where he was tasked with the daily operational running of restaurants and Public Houses with Grand metropolitan in London. In 1987, he moved to Bass Hotels as an Operations Director and handled the daily operation of three small Hotels on the Southeast coast of the UK in 1992, Andrew joined the London YMCA as Hostel Manager, where he ran a multi-unit operation with over 200 bedrooms, restaurants, a children’s activity center, and a gym with a large after-school service and outreach programs for the broader community around London. In September 1995, Andrew joined TGI Fridays in Leicester Square, Central London.
In 1998, he joined Pinnacle Health Clubs now Nuffield Health as a Training/Recruitment Manager, responsible for the training department’s conception, creation and leadership development strategies. In 2003, Andrew joined Hilton Hotels Corporation and looked after the development of 16,000 team members across the 8 Hilton Brands in the UK and Ireland with a primary focus on Performance Management, Guest Service and Leadership Development. After serving Hilton for more than seven years, Andrew joined Carnival Australia, where he worked in partnership with the Regional HR Directors and the People and the Performance teams to provide specialist training and development advice and support to the South Pacific fleet. In 2011, Andrew joined Kout Food Group and it’s family of brands including Pizza Hut and Burger King in Kuwait in 2011 as Head of Learning and Development then in 2013 joined M.H. Alshaya Co. as Head of Learning and Development, where he was responsible for providing field education and development to thousands of leaders and team Members across the MENA region — supporting and developing learning and human capital for over 90 world class retail and restaurant brands, including Starbucks, the Body Shop, Harvey Nichols, H&M, Muji, the Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs and Foot Locker in 19 Countries, ultimately joining Etihad Aviation Group as Vice President Learning and Development in August 2019.
Tackling the Pandemic
Six months into his role and with growing numbers of coronavirus cases and travel bans around the globe, Andrew formed an online community to share knowledge and daily updates that connected teams around his network to keep communication human. Thousands of employees joined to listen to and enjoy, regular updates from fascinating people and famous guests. Daily video recordings of conversations quickly morphed into a weekly podcast.
“We’ve competed 135 episodes of the World Class Wednesday Webinar (WCWW); it’s been a fascinating and insightful journey. We’ve had an amazing time thanks to all of the incredible and brilliant guests that have joined us.”– he explained.
Advice for future talent
“It’s difficult to avoid hard work. But aspiring leaders should also think about their legacy and the value they add to the people they lead. Never underestimate the importance of understanding what the person in front of you needs, keep it human. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. People will never forget how you make them feel. All humans need four things from each other. Respect, Acknowledgment, to be Heard and ultimately Remembered.”
“Never underestimate the power of strong eye contact and a smile. Two, focus on a genuine, warm welcome. Three, a friendly offer of assistance, How can I help you today? What do you need from me? Four, follow up with additional offers of help and a personal introduction, for example ‘my name is Andrew if you ever need anything from me just ask! Finally offer a fond and sincere farewell.