After graduating from Shannon College of Hotel Management in 1981, Dempsey joined Forte Hotels and worked his way up through the organisation, before he was appointed CEO of Restaurant Associates with Compass Group UK and Ireland.
In 2003 he became the CEO for Macdonald hotel before joining Whitbread as managing director of Marriott in the UK the following year. He then served as managing director of Premier Inn from 2005 to 2009 before assuming his current role as managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants.
Remarking on his award Dempsey said: “’I am delighted to have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list, particularly in this Jubilee year. I consider this award to be recognition for everybody that I have had the pleasure of working with over many years in the industry.
“This award encourages me to continue to champion our industry, in particular the work we are doing to help the long term youth unemployed find work, and to support the various charities that we work with.”