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Ivan Chadima (1940) - Biography

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Every end is just a new beginning

Ivan Chadima was born on the 17th of October 1940 in Prague. Due to political reasons he was not allowed to study at a gymnasium but thanks to his father's contacts he was accepted to a vocational restaurant school and at the start of his third year he transferred to a hotel school in Mariánské Lázně. Following his final exams and military service he spent ten years working in the Alcron hotel which focused on foreign clientele. From September 1967 to August 1968 he attended lectures organised by the Hotel Institute, back then a unique school for top-level management of international hotels in Czechoslovakia. Shortly after the invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies he emigrated to Western Germany and in mid-January 1969 he left for Canada. Working at the Château Champlain hotel in Montréal he quickly worked his way up from a waiter to a beverage manager and thanks to his knowledge and experience from Alcron he gained his colleagues' respect and was employed in top positions in hotels belonging to companies like Ramada Inn, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton both in Canada and the United States. By the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s he was already considered to be one of the best hoteliers in the world. Between the years 1983 and 1990 he worked as the director of the United Nations Plaza hotel in New York. After the Velvet Revolution he co-organised the first travels of Václav Havel and the Czechoslovakian government to the USA and Canada, started a business in his home country, and in 1992 he moved to Prague. Today he is the executive director of the Four Seasons hotel in Prague, runs an affordable housing project, a one hundred and fifteen room accommodation facility project, and remains very active as a consultant.

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