NewsMay 23, 2023

2023 ISHC Young Leader Award goes to Florian Montag

Berlin — 23 May 2023 — The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) in partnership with the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) presented the prestigious ISHC Young Leader Award to Florian Montag, Vice President of Business Development at Apaleo.

Florian co-founded Hotelhero, a successful hotel tech startup that was eventually purchased by Apaleo. He is an industry thought leader, advocating for the importance of technology in the hospitality sector and providing innovative solutions to complex problems. He has been a panelist and keynote speaker at leading industry conferences, including HITEC 2018 and IHIF 2019, guest lecturer at various hotel schools like EHL and The Hague, a member of several Technology expert groups, including HSMA Technology Expert Circle and Fraunhofer IAO Future Hotel, as well as co-founder and host of Smack hospitality podcast.

Ulrich Pillau, Co-Founder and CEO of Apaleo said, “Florian has been a key player in the Apaleo leadership team since he joined and has been instrumental in shaping the company’s strategic and operational decisions. His expert input is highly valued and sought after by his colleagues. As VP of Business Development, Florian heads the commercial strategy and team at Apaleo, and has been a driving force behind the company’s rapid growth to over 900+ hotels in 15 countries.”

ISHC’s CEO Andrea Belfanti commented, “Florian’s career as an entrepreneur and rising hospitality leader is an inspiration and a great example of someone who is passionate about the hospitality industry and already making an incredible impact.  ISHC is proud to continue this partnership with IHIF to recognize and encourage the future leaders or our industry.”

“Our theme for IHIF this year was ‘Fortune Favours the Bold’ and never has a winner embodied the theme in such a fantastic way. Florian clearly made some bold decisions, and demonstrated admirable leadership and strategic qualities when he began his startup company and is continuing to demonstrate his influence as part of Apaleo’s leadership team. He is one to watch and a highly deserved winner of this year’s ISHC Young Leader Award. Questex is delighted to continue our work with the ISHC in recognizing young talent in the wonderful industry that is hospitality.” commented Alexi Khajavi, Group President, Travel and Hospitality, Questex.

The Young Leader Award was established by ISHC and IHIF in 2009 to recognize and celebrate the excellence of young emerging leaders in the hospitality industry. Candidates must meet the following criteria and be nominated by someone they work with:

  • 35 years of age or younger. Born on or after 23 May 1988
  • Currently works for or directly within the hotel sector
  • Is recognized by peers and industry members as an emerging leader in the hotel industry
  • Whose contributions are already making an impact on the hotel industry

Respected CEOs from across the hotel industry reviewed a shortlist of nomination forms of outstanding candidates before voting on the winner.


For more information:
Jennifer Castellarin
Director of Membership & Marketing
+1 413.563.6449

About ISHC
The International Society of Hospitality Consultants is truly The Leading Source for Global Hospitality Expertise, represented by over two hundred of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents. Collectively, ISHC members provide expert services in over fifty functional areas and have specialized skills in virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. ISHC is dedicated to promoting the highest quality of professional consulting standards and practices for the hospitality industry. Candidates undergo a rigorous screening process, ensuring that all ISHC members have a reputation of integrity and are qualified by their experience, training, and knowledge to develop and express sound judgment on industry issues. Additional information about the organization, along with a directory of ISHC members, is available on the ISHC website at   

About Questex Hospitality Group
Questex Hospitality Group serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to global GDP. Through our innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations. The Questex Hospitality+Travel Group serves every B2B segment of the industry via our proven demand generation, learning, loyalty, and rewards solutions as well as our network of live events. For more information visit