For over 12 years, Sonya Chan has been a stalwart of the Auckland hospitality scene. She’s worked at VBG, Pontoon, Monsoon Poon and spent eight years at Molten in Mt Eden. She’s now venue manager at White + Wong’s and Sardine Bar. Her efforts saw her acknowledged at last week’s Lewisham Awards, winning the antipodes water Outstanding Maitre’D Award.

People are the heart of the industry, so its unsurprising that they are Chan’s favourite part of her job as well as the most challenging.  “I enjoy working with a team who are striving to exceed expectation and being part of a unique social network,” she said, while acknowledging that every day is unique and people can be the difference.

Chan was thankful and grateful to be acknowledged by her peers. “It reminds you of where you came from, who you’ve met and what you’ve learned along the way.”