Speakers for HOSPACE 2019:
Jane Pendlebury - CEO, HOSPA
Jane Pendlebury is CEO of HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association. Kickstarting her career with a degree in hotel management, Jane worked with De Vere Hotels, the independently owned Castle Hotel in Taunton and then as an agency conference planner. Following a move to London, Jane spent many years assisting hotels with their technology decisions on Property Management, Point of Sale and Revenue Management ending up as VP and General Manager of Agilysys in Europe. Her relationship with HOSPA was first as a sponsor and member, then after volunteering her time assisting with the annual conference HOSPACE, she was taken on to run the membership and events office finally being promoted to CEO in early 2016.
Peter Hancock - Chief Executive, Pride of Britain Hotels
Peter was appointed Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels, a consortium of independent luxury hotels, in 2000. Before that he was Group Publishing Director at Johansens and was a hotel General Manager in Sussex and Hampshire in his early career, starting as a waiter in the late seventies. He writes a regular column in The Caterer Magazine and is frequently invited to address audiences at business seminars and dinners, bringing him into contact with a wide cross section of the hospitality Industry.
Chris Upton - Chairman, HOSPA
Chris Upton is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in senior financial positions in the hospitality sector for over 20 years. He has been finance director of many hotels, pubs and restaurant groups. Before that, he held senior positions in finance and IT at several commodity trading companies.
He was Finance Director of Arcadian International plc – during which time the company developed a group of four-star country house hotels, started the Malmaison group and renovated the Great Eastern Hotel in the City of London.
He was a founder and non-executive director of Pod Food; and co-founded Snoozebox Plc, an innovative portable hotel concept. In addition, he is currently non-executive director of a London hotel company and runs a consultancy practice, C U Associates Ltd, specialising in hospitality. He was appointed to the then BAHA Council in 2007 and served as Deputy Chairman until his new appointment as HOSPA Chairman September 2014.
Harry Murray – President, HOSPA / Chairman, Lucknam Park
Distinguished hotelier and Master Innholder, Harry Murray MBE, President Of HOSPA, as it enters a key period for attracting British talent into the hospitality industry.
Harry, who is the chairman of Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, has worked in the hospitality industry for over 60 years and has been recognised with numerous awards for his tireless efforts to raise standards of excellence. His awards include Hotelier of the Year, Catey Lifetime Achievement Award and an MBE for services to the hospitality industry. In July this year he was the recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor to the University of Essex following his valued contribution to The Edge Hotel School the UK’s first hotel school.
Professor Chris Cowls - MBE, Eproductive
Chris is Chief Executive of Eproductive, the tech business that he founded with his brother Nick in 2000 and which provides EPS, a leading People Management System, to hotel groups in the UK and elsewhere. Before Eproductive Chris set up a restaurant business and he and his team consulted extensively across the hospitality sector to help fund the brand’s development. Chris’s prior corporate background was in international hospitality management working in senior roles for companies such as Compass, Burger King and Forte.
Chris also co-founded and coordinates fiftytwenty, a hospitality leaders network with 250 members. In 2015 he was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Chris has been a volunteer NED and Trustee at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the iconic church in Trafalgar Square, for over 25 years.
Professor Andrew Lockwood - Emeritus Professor of Hospitality Management - School of Hospitality and Tourism Management - University of Surrey
Professor Lockwood has been an educator and researcher at the University of Surrey for over thirty years specialising in operations management in hospitality businesses. He has a particular research interest in productivity in hotels and tourism and with colleagues from the School has recently authored a report on productivity for Visit Britain.
David Selves - Entrepreneur, financier, business advisor, broadcaster, mediator – Selves Group
David Selves is a business advisor at The Selves Group. He has enjoyed an eventful 50-year career as a seasoned broadcaster, entrepreneur, publican, hotelier, financier and businessman. Making his name in hospitality by purchasing struggling hotels and pubs and turning them into award-winning venues, David has built a reputation as a respected and highly regarded businessman. He was also the former Regional Chairman and National Board Member of the Small Business Bureau.
In addition to his business success, David has also raised almost £1m for charity on his gavel as an auctioneer and is a highly entertaining after dinner speaker. He is Deputy Chairman of the London Press Club, a member of the Ethical Publishers Association editorial advisory board and founded the London Grill Club.
Adam Rowledge - Managing Director, Rowledge Associates
Adam is the Managing Director of Rowledge Associates, a consultancy and training business which supports companies to put their people first to achieve business success and to enrich the lives of team members through positive impacts in the workplace. Prior to this he enjoyed a career spanning 18 years in the hotel industry, most recently as General Manager of the five star Georgian House which, under his leadership, the boutique property invested significantly into team development and the guest experience and won a number of prestigious industry awards. Named Independent Hotelier of the Year by the Independent Hotel Show Awards in 2018, Adam has also been awarded British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Young Manager of the Year in 2017. In addition to his role at Rowledge Associates, Adam is a St. Julian Scholar, Guardian Member of Hospitality Action and Ambassador for Room to Reward. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality as well as Vice Chair of its Supervisory Board.
Sarah Duncan - Business Development Consultant & Author Sleeping Lion / The Ethical Business Book
Sarah Duncan is a marketing consultant and author of The Ethical Business Book (50 ways you can help protect People, the Planet and Profits). She worked in 5 star hotels and international club and spa development before setting up her own consultancy, Sleeping Lion, in 2005. She now provides advice and training on ethical and sustainable business development – highlighting that doing good and making money are not incompatible.
Kathy Dyball - Head of Marketing - Caterer.com
For over 20 years, I’ve worked with hospitality employers to help them meet their attraction, recruitment and retention needs. Now, these companies are facing unprecedented challenge, from yawning skills gaps to crushing budget constraints – and they’re innovating to solve those challenges, as never before. It’s inspiring.
As Head of Marketing for Caterer.com and CatererGlobal, I’m proud to work with hospitality employers across the globe. We deliver technology, research, insight, social, content and events that unite and support them in championing the industry as a great place to work, and help them hire the people they need to make their businesses thrive.
Frank Reeves - Co-founder and CEO, Avvio
Frank has acquired a reputation for being one of the top innovators in travel technology. Since co-founding hotel technology company Avvio in 2002, Frank has become the brand.com champion by developing cutting-edge technologies that enable outstanding growth in hotel direct bookings, while reducing dependence on online travel agent channels.
Frank's unwavering focus on innovation has ensured that Avvio's award-winning technology leads the field. In October 2017, Frank placed Avvio as the first company in the world to provide the hospitality industry with a fully guest-centric booking platform powered by artificial intelligence. Allora now serves hoteliers with multiple skills, including Machine Learning, Recommender Engine, Chatbot functionality and Networked Intelligence.
Under Frank's leadership, Avvio has gone from strength to strength and consistently delivers impressive results for hoteliers across the world. Avvio is now partnering with around 600 hotels and accommodation providers to help them be more direct, and drive their online business forward. To find out more about Avvio, visit www.avvio.com.
Jeremy Ward Co-host of Cloudbusting Podcast at Cloudreach
Jeremy co-hosts one of the industries leading podcasts, Cloudbusting, that addresses all issues related to transformation and Cloud adoption.
Jeremy Ward is an Enterprise Cloud Strategist with 23 years experience in industry roles dedicated to accelerating clients’ business value with Cloud. He advises and helps CxOs develop their actionable plan, take advantage of the latest innovations, and deliver high-impact business outcomes.
Jeremy is experienced at creating a winning vision and building consensus across enterprise stakeholders. He’s successfully led several digital transformation projects, including initiating and completing Kempinski Hotels’ adoption of Public Cloud.
Stephanie Timsit - Finance Consultant - Magnolia Finance Consulting
Stephanie started her hospitality career with Intercontinental Hotel Group at the Forum in London. She then moved as Financial Controller successively in two hotels of the Lancaster Landmark Hotel Group, namely the K West Hotel & Spa and the Royal Lancaster. Following her London experience, she went on to open Jumeirah’s stunning property in Abu Dhabi (UAE), Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, and its residences. In 2015, Stephanie came back to London as Director of Finance for the long-awaited renovation of the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, and for One Hyde Park Residence. Following the renovation of the hotel, its temporary closure and its re-opening, Stephanie decided in February 2019 to take a gap year to pursue some personal endeavours. She continued however to provide financial advice through her Consulting company, Magnolia Finance Consulting.
Chris Phillips – Managing Director - IPPSO
After 30 years policing service Chris Phillips is now a consultant, speaker and recognised Counter Terrorism and security expert. He has written many articles for magazines and is a commentator on Policing, Security and Counter Terrorism matters on all the main media outlets. He is widely acknowledged as an expert in Counter Terrorism and Security. His specialism is Counter terrorism advice and best practice. As Head of the UK’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office Chris had the responsibility of working with the Hotel industry to develop and distribute Counter Terrorism Security best practice advice. In 2018/2019 he wrote security best practice and crisis management guides for hotels and other crowded place sectors.
Bob Quick – Executive Director – Global Secure Accreditation
Bob is a highly respected and well-known figure inside and outside of policing in the UK and overseas. A former Chief Constable, he also held one of the UK’s key national security positions as Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations at New Scotland Yard, London, where he was responsible for coordinating the UK’s counter terror operations and protecting the UK Royal Family, UK Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Heads of State visiting the UK. Bob specialised in dealing with organised crime and terrorism for most of his police career and led the Metropolitan Police Anti-Corruption Command and a major organisational change programme to strengthen integrity. Since leaving the police he has worked extensively with both the government and private sectors internationally, helping to develop policing and security capability and solve security related problems. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2003 for his distinguished service.
Chetan Bhanot - General Manager - The Mandeville Hotel
Chetan has 22 years of global hospitality experience and is a Cluster General Manager and has been a Hotel Director for multiple properties during which time he has been able to develop his commercial, financial and leadership skills. Recognising that communication and interpersonal skills support his reliability and hardworking nature, he has achieved significant success accomplishing performance objectives focused on business revenue, guest and employee satisfaction, and cost effectiveness. With a keen eye on the bottom line, he consistently challenges himself and teams to deliver the best in class experience for his guests, colleagues and property owners.
Sandy Moring – Managing Director - Strategic Travel Solutions
Sandy’s extensive knowledge of the corporate travel market derives from her varied roles with global TMCs and her work as Director of Education for the Institute of Travel Management. Additionally, she delivers training to corporate travel managers across Europe for the Global Business Travel Association, including the critical topic of travel risk management, and is often seen moderating/speaking at business travel events. At Senior Director level, she was previously responsible for delivering corporate operational and account management services, including the UK Government Travel Programme, for several years before moving into commercial marketing. With a history of working closely with corporate travel buyers, she has led projects to improve productivity, engagement, sustainability and travel risk management and devised award-winning solutions.
Russell Kett - Chairman of the London office of HVS
Russell Kett is Chairman of the London office of HVS, the leading global specialist hotel valuation, consulting, asset management and brokerage firm, which he joined in 1995.
Russell has 40+ years' specialist hotel consultancy, investment and real estate experience focused on providing valuation, feasibility, property, brokerage, investment, asset management, strategy and related consultancy services, advising hotel, serviced apartments and hostel companies, banks, developers and investors on all aspects of their hospitality industry related interests, throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.
He is a frequent writer, moderator and speaker on the international hotel industry, especially on topics relating to hotel valuation, investment, marketing and finance. Russell received a Lifetime Achievement Award from HOSPA in 2011 and the ‘Hall of Fame’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hot.E hotel investment conference in London in 2017. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the International Hotel Investment Council.
William Gibbs - Director of Hotels - Sir Richard Sutton Limited
An experienced financial Asset Manager and action orientated individual with a proven track record of improving owner returns through engaging with the management company and focusing on the out performance
Extensive operational and financial management experience in the hospitality industry, encompassing operational and financial asset management, capital expenditure, due diligence, opening, closing and refurbishment
An astute leader with strong organisational and interpersonal capabilities demonstrating a collaborative approach to diving enhanced performance in the European hospitality industry
Specialties: Hotel Operations Management, Financial Analysis, Hospitality Asset Management, Hotel acquisition, Hotel development
Louise Wallace – Partner, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Louise Wallace has been a partner in the Hotels & Leisure group since 1997.
Louise specialises in the hotels & leisure and the consumer and retail sectors. She is ranked in the Band 1 of Chambers 2019 for her work in the hotels & leisure sector and is recognised in Chambers for M&A deals.
Louise has acted on many of the leading M&A transactions in the hotels & leisure sector including Lone Star, Patron Capital, RBS and LRG. She also advises owners and financiers on countless Management and Franchise Agreements.
Steve Cassidy - Senior Vice President & Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Hilton
Steve Cassidy is Senior Vice President & Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Hilton, and is responsible for the company’s multi-brand 150 strong portfolio across the British Isles. He joined Hilton’s revenue management team in 2009, moving into hotel operations in September 2011. His remit expanded in 2015 to include all Hilton’s owned and managed properties in UK & Ireland.
Steve’s current position sees him responsible for the operations of hotels ranging from London Hilton on Park Lane to a growing portfolio of value focused Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn properties. The UK portfolio has expanded this year with the opening of Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property, The Biltmore Mayfair, LXR. Next year will see the opening of a new Hilton Garden Inn at Britain’s iconic racetrack, Silverstone and the rejuvenation of Woking town centre will be boosted by the opening of Hilton Woking in 2021.
Steve has driven the development of Hilton’s management services in the UK & Ireland, innovating and enhancing Hilton’s proposition to owners. Leading almost 18,000 team members Steve is proud that Hilton has been ranked as No. 3 Great Place to Work in the UK. With 50 hotels in the pipeline in the UK the Hilton team is set to grow by around 4,000 in the next 3-5 years.
Steve is a Board Director of UKHospitality.
Richard Eaton-Hart - Director, Hospitality Asset Management
Richard Joined as Director of the Hospitality Asset Management team following a successful hospitality real estate career, both as a trusted advisor and as an in-house asset manager and acquisitions director for several leading European hotel owners and operators.
Over a career that spans over 25 years Richard has combined his hotel real estate and asset management expertise to provide clients with sound advice on how to maximise returns from acquisitions to disposals throughout the business cycle.
Richard has experience of asset managing hotels in the UK and Europe; independent and branded, from budget to luxury, leased to franchised, for a wide range of owners including opportunity funds, and institutional investors. Richard advises on the setting of appropriate Business Plans and through hands-on asset management ensures that investment returns are maximised through the best operational performance, targeted capital investment, and the full and best use of the real estate.
Richard has significant experience in analysing and implementing capital investment plans; from routine bedroom refurbishments, to major extensions, and the complete re-configuration of ground floor facilities in order to maximise revenue and improve operating efficiencies.
Combining his investment expertise with operational experience, Richard offers hotel investors the insight they need from pre-acquisition, through every stage of their operating hold period, to maximising profits in a successful disposal.
Ascan Kókai - Senior Director Development & Asset Management Northern Europe - NH Hotel Group
Ascan Kókai sits on the management committee for the business unit Northern Europe of NH Hotel Group and is responsible for the expansion activities with a particular focus on the DACH region, UK & Benelux, as well as the asset management of the 127 strong hotel property portfolio in the business unit. With more than 25 years of experience in hotel real estate investment and hospitality industry with leading market participants JLL and Invesco Real Estate, Ascan Kókai has extensive knowledge in asset, investment and fund management, including contract negotiations, hotel transactions and real estate financing. Mr. Kókai started out as a trainee in the luxury hotel sector and is a graduate of University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. Today he lives with his family in Berlin.
Michael Heyward - Managing Director - Heyward Hospitality Solutions
Michael Heyward is the principal of the consulting business, Heyward Hospitality Solutions, focusing on the development of high performing teams. World class tools are used to develop team members as individuals, develop as a team and provide business processes that support the transformation. From behaviour profiling for career development, digitising business processes for improved productivity and Radical Collaboration workshops to transform the way teams work together.
Working at all levels or professional development: from Graduate and Post Graduate, as a consultant Lecturer at Glion Institute of Higher Education. Development of the new L+R Hotels graduate fast track program. Course Director for the highly successful AccorHotels program, developing high potential middle managers into first time Hotel General Managers. Executive management, with coaching and mentoring from global corporations to entrepreneurs.
Michael has over 25 years of experience in operations and specialist corporate roles, across Europe, Asia and the Pacific. With a proven track record for delivering market out performance and developing teams of highly skilled, diverse, competitive people.
Heather Hart - Hospitality Consultant - RevExcel
Heather builds on her 35 years of experience across the hospitality segment to bridge the divide between rooms revenue and other hotel sales and marketing functions, helping companies improve the yield from their Meetings & Event space through higher conversion and better space utilization. Heather previously operated a successful revenue management consultancy, RevExcel for 8 years, and has held senior management positions at hotel chains/groups across the U.K. Europe and USA. As the founder and creator of Smart Space, a cloud-based tool that provides comprehensive demand profiles, performance measurement and selling strategy models, Heather was responsible for helping hotels and conference venues see the power behind a dynamic pricing strategy for meetings and events. The application of these, in Smart Space, helps enhance strategic decisions and increases revenue growth. Smart Space was acquired in 2017 by IDeaS, and having continued to work for the company for the following 2 years Heather is now enjoying a sabbatical.