Where are they now - LeRoy Hand (SPC 1993-98)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College recently reconnected with LeRoy Hand (SPC 1993-98) who returned for his recent 20-Year Class Reunion. LeRoy is working in the flourishing techospitality industry and is excited about his son following in his footsteps and starting as a student at St Patrick’s next year.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Since completing Year 12 at SPC in 1998, life has taken me on many journeys. In the summer of 1998, I began my full-time apprenticeship as a chef at the Crown Hotel in Buninyong. However, it took four years and 12 different restaurants, cafes and pubs along the way before I was qualified.
I was engaged to my high school sweetheart Narelle in 1999 and we were married in 2003. We now have two beautiful children, Charlton, aged 12 (commencing St Patrick’s College in 2019) and Elodie, aged 5 (St Patrick’s Primary School in 2018). This year was our 15-year wedding anniversary.
My career has taken a few twists and turns over the years, from cooking, real estate, managing teams on the fast track rail build between Ballarat and Melbourne, hospitality venue ownership and finally to my current position as Director of Techospitality, which provides training, employment and consultancy solutions to the hospitality industry.
My other passion has always been the world game (real football) and while I took a 10-year break as my career took priority, the past five years, I have been able to return to the game as a coach. I currently volunteer over 20 hours a week to three teams including the Ballarat Soccer Club Under 13 Div 1 team, the Senior Women’s team and the Victorian Country Championship Under 14 Rep Squad.
What are your career aspirations?
Techospitality is the sole focus of my career aspirations at this stage, it is growing rapidly and with the employment of my first trainer in 2018, it will only continue to grow. We now provide hospitality services to over 45 venues across the Goldfields region and into the surf coast.
While Ballarat has always been a tourist town, we are now becoming a food destination and Techospitality plans to be at the forefront of that movement.
What are your favorite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
I have so many great memories from my time at St Patrick’s College. Sporting victories, Boat Race, Jerks (the game), even Thursday night detention with Mr Farley, but most important of all the friends I have made.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Mrs Leahy. She was a passionate English teacher whom never gave up on me. I was poor at spelling and comprehension to say the least and in Year 10 I was so lucky to find myself in her class. Thank you, Mrs Leahy.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
St Patrick’s College gave me strength, courage and self-belief, combined with a good education they have been the secret to my success in both my personal and professional life.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Immerse yourself in the spirit of SPC and take every opportunity the College presents. Not only will it give you life-long friends and great memories it will open many doors later in life.