President of Skal International Sofia
Born: 1960 into an industrial family.
After his high school degree in Verden (Aller), Germany, compulsory military services in the prototype tank testing of Leopard 2, Henning began his hotel career at Steigenberger Hotels in 1982, receiving the DVT diploma business and administration in early 1985 in Stuttgart. The company moved him to Bad Neuenahr, later asked him to become a traveling front office manager. In this role he went to Turkey in 1988, when Steigenberger opened its first Turkish resort hotel. Henning opened the second one in Sarigerme (Dalaman region) in 1990 and became the youngest General Manager of the group at that time. Projects, openings and management followed for a subsidiary of Neckermann. 1993 saw him taking over a resort in Thailand, followed by hotel openings and management in Tunisia and Egypt.
The fusion of Neckermann hotel brands with the Mallorquin Grupo Iberostar made Henning taking over 8 countries, developing local and regional structures und strong business development for the Iberostar brand.
One of those countries was Bulgaria, where Henning and his international team opened the first hotel in June 2000.
A career change happened when Henning was invited to join the company structuring of what is today the Croatian Valamar chain (listed Epic and Dom Fund) in 2004. As COO he created, in collaboration with Horwath Consulting, the operational structure and the long term Capex planning, partially in collaboration with tour operators and their particular travel brand requirements. Consulting services followed with clients in the Balkan region.
In 2006, Henning has been invited to join the Board of Directors of Sigma Capital Management, based in Sofia and managing an international investment fund, owning and developing hotels at the Black Sea Coast. Soon it became visible that the existing international hotel brands did not perform, and a major change happened by calling in Melia Hotels & Resorts as the management company in 2007/08.
Once this management was settled, Henning went on delivering services in the area of international branding (Hilton, Swiss-Bel, others), project planning, investment memoranda, architect conceptual planning, hospitality assessments, turn-around management of privately managed hotels, planning of rehabilitation centers and senior residences including dementia care, further on travel industry products.
Henning speaks a variety of languages, has been living in many different cultures, has a choir conductor degree from the Hannover Music High School, has a passion for trains. Currently, Henning serves as the president of Skal International Sofia as the chapter of the oldest tourism leadership organization in the world (www.skal.travel). He moderates travel and hospitality conferences.