Head of Group Human Resources of the Hayleys Group Sunil Dissanayake has been honoured with a Lifetime Gold award for his contribution to the Human Resources (HR) profession.
The award was presented by the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) at the National HR Excellence Awards 2011 on Tuesday 28 June 2011 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.
Over two decades of Dissanayake’s illustrious professional life have been in the field of human resources development and management, and have encompassed training, advisory, consultancy and senior management roles in leading companies in Sri Lanka and overseas.
A Graduate in Hotel Management and an Honorary Member of the Institute of Personnel Management, Dissanayake who hails from Baddegama in the Galle District, joined the Hayleys Group in July 2007 and was appointed to the Group Management Committee in the same month. He is also a non Executive Director of Hotel Services (Ceylon) PLC, the owning company of the Ceylon Continental Hotel and Director of Hayleys Group Services (Pvt) Ltd.
Prior to joining Hayleys, he held several senior management positions in large private sector entities in Sri Lanka and overseas in human resources management and in hotel management. Over the past 20 years, Dissanayake has served as Head of HR (Gulf) for Citibank NA (based in UAE), Director of Human Resources at Carson Cumberbatch, Head of HR at SriLankan Airlines and Vice President HR and Learning & Development at HSBC Global Resourcing.
Among the many achievements to his credit are the establishment of Group HR Divisions for Hayleys and Carson Cumberbatch; setting up and operating a Learning & Development Department for Citibank (Gulf), development and implementation of a successful voluntary retirement scheme which included offering retraining opportunities for over 1,000 employees of SriLankan Airlines in the aftermath of the terror attack of 2001 and facilitating optional employment in other organisations; facilitating the introduction of a pioneering policy against sexual harassment at the workplace at the national carrier in 2005 and the introduction of ‘toast mastering’ at SriLankan Airlines in 2001. Under Dissanayake’s leadership, SriLankan became the Overall Runner-up at the first National HR Awards.
He also pioneered the launch of the ‘HR Ball’ for the HR community in Sri Lanka in 2002. The event is now held on an annual basis.
Dissanayake has also been called upon to accept many significant honorary and advisory positions in the sphere of HR and in the hotel industry. He has been President of the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association and a Member of the Hotel Classification Committee of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
He is at present a member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Steering Committee for Human Resources and Education and is also a Steering Committee Member of the Lanka Business Coalition (LBCH) for the prevention of AIDS.