Nicolas Roach – Chairman of Nicolas James Group and Harbour Hotels
“I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to facilitate this initiative. We have all known that there are so many hidden heroes in charities who do amazing work for others and whose efforts often go unsung.”
Nicolas Roach is a Chartered Accountant who qualified with Price Waterhouse Coopers in 1995. He has been developing (and retaining) property for over 20 years.
Executive Chairman of the Nicolas James Group and Founder of ‘Room to Reward’, it was Nicolas Roach’s ownership of what is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting luxury hotel groups, ‘Harbour Hotels’, that opened his eyes to the simple and effective way the hotel industry can say ‘thank you’ to the hidden heroes in charities, through the ‘Room to Reward’ programme.
The Harbour Hotel Group now spans 13 coastal, country and city locations across the UK. Each hotel is located in a premium setting, with renowned dining and luxurious facilities. From sensational views to stepping out into the heart of a city, the Group offers an exceptional variety of locations. www.harbourhotels.co.uk.
David Guile – Executive Leadership Coach
David has over 29 years of hospitality experience, having enjoyed continuous service with 2 leading hotel companies – Forte Hotels and Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.
Having been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Macdonald Hotels and Resorts in 2008, he established the business as a leading UK hotel company with a strong track record of financial success and industry recognition.
Following six successful years as CEO of Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, David stepped down at the end of 2014 to develop his own Executive Leadership Coaching Business. David’s debut leadership book, ‘Potential’ is to be released in early 2017.
Bob Lowndes – Director of the Autism Education Trust
The Autism Education Trust is a voluntary sector programme to raise standards and increase capacity in the education system’s response to children and young people on the autism spectrum.
Prior to this appointment, Bob spent twenty-one years as Chief Executive Officer of Autism Wessex and has over thirty-five years’ experience in the voluntary sector. Autism Wessex is a leading UK regional charity providing high-quality specialist services for people affected by autism and associated difficulties across the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset.
Out of work, Bob sails, runs, plays the guitar and with son, Henry, supports AFC Bournemouth.
Bob is extremely proud to be a trustee of Room to Reward.
Robin Sheppard – Executive Chairman of Bespoke Hotels
Robin Sheppard co-founded Bespoke Hotel Management in 2000 and has grown the group’s portfolio to now own or manage an eclectic mix of 170+ properties.
Robin has won a plethora of awards, including the Queens Award to industry for export achievement, ‘Hotel of the Year’ four times, Egon Ronay Stars, RAC Blue Ribbons, Michelin Stars and many AA Rosettes. After training with British Transport Hotels at the Old Course at St Andrews, he worked as GM for the Historic House hotels group, the Lygon Arms, and Hilton Hotels for whom he opened the Royal Berkshire in 1988, where Robin was selected as Egon Ronay’s ‘Hotelier of the Year’. Robin was the driving force behind the multi-award-winning five star Hotel Gotham in Manchester, including both the ‘Hottest’ and the ‘Coolest’ hotel at the same time!
Passionate about improving standards of hospitality for the disabled, Robin’s most recent campaign is the Bespoke Access Awards. This is a competition designed to promote innovation and design excellence in the provision of facilities for disabled customers, launched at the House of Lords and run in conjunction with the RIBA. He is a Trustee of the Institute of Hospitality and GAIN, the charity support group for Guillain-Barré Syndrome sufferers. Robin is a Visiting Fellow of Oxford Brookes.
Before joining the BHA in 2010, Ufi was Chief Operations Officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), where, working with governments and industry across the world, she advised on policymaking and the development of planning frameworks for economic and social prosperity through the long-term success of travel and tourism. As a keen promoter of public and private sector dialogue, she was pivotal in the establishment of the Global Travel & Tourism Summit – the annual meeting of world leaders to discuss and agree on key priorities for the industry
Ufi Ibrahim is the former Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the national trade association for the hospitality and tourism industry, representing more than 40,000 businesses across the UK. Since joining the BHA, she spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives including; the establishment of the Tourism Industry Council – a joint government and industry working coalition where she serves as a member and is chaired by the UK Minister for Tourism, the Agenda ‘300,000 Jobs by 2020’ (unifying 40,000 businesses to drive the political and economic agenda for growth) and The Big Hospitality Conversation (targeting the creation of 60,000 new career opportunities for 16 to 24 year olds across the UK by 2016) and The Hospitality & Tourism Summit (the ‘Davos’ of the UK industry).
Paul Callingham – Managing Director Starboard Hotels
Paul started in commercial Real Estate in the mid 70’s. In 1988, Paul, together with his partners incorporated Roselodge Group, to purchase and manage hotels and residential property in London and ultimately throughout the country, working with local authorities and Central Government.
Paul founded Starboard Hotels in 2006, which today is an award-winning owner and operator of world leading franchised hotel brands such as Ibis (Accor), Holiday Inn Express (IHG), Days Inn (Wyndham) and Best Western, situated throughout the UK.
Starboard based in Beaconsfield, now own and operate 13 hotels providing over 1,050 bedrooms across four international mid-market brands, with more acquisitions planned for 2017. Hotels within the portfolio include the Ibis Gatwick, Plymouth, Leicester, Sheffield, and Birmingham Bordesley Circus, Best Western Plus Epping Forest, Best Western Carlton Hotel Blackpool, Days Inn Wetherby, Holiday Inn Express Greenock, Leeds Armouries, Burnley, Tamworth & Ramsgate.
Andy Townsend – CEO Legacy Hotels and Resorts Ltd.
With over 28 years of operational experience in the hospitality and leisure sector, after early career years with DeVere Hotels and Whitbread Lansbury Hotels, Andy is a former Divisional Managing Director of Barrett International Resorts, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts and previously Director of Food & Beverage with Hilton Group and formerly Stakis Hotels & Resorts.
In 2005, Andy co-founded Legacy Hotels & Resorts as a dedicated full-service management company focused on 3 & 4-star hotels throughout the UK & Southern Spain. Today Legacy Hotels & Resorts owns or manages a little over 2,000 guestrooms across a portfolio of independent or branded assets to include Pullman, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express, Mercure, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton and Best Western Hotels
In September 2012, Legacy Hotels & Resorts created Branded Hotel Management (BHM) in a new joint venture partnership.
In early 2013, BHM were announced as the operator selected by Liverpool City Council to manage the 216 bedroom, four star headquarter hotel which opened in Q1 2016 as part of the development of the convention centre at the Echo Arena. This development in the North West delivered the first ever, new build Pullman branded hotel into the UK.
For 2018, Legacy Hotels & Resorts have six new build branded projects underway that will deliver more than a further 850 keys to the portfolio.
Andy is the independent non-executive director of a 200-bedroom hotel, exhibition and convention centre in Skopje, Macedonia and current Chairman for UK Hospitality – Heart of England.
Often Andy supports the recovery, turnaround of assets, Independent Business Reviews, Bank Monitoring and NED positions for various banks and stakeholders through the advisory business Andy co-owns, Hospitality Ventures Ltd (HVL).
Simon Numphud FIH – Managing Director, AA Hotel & Hospitality Services
Simon has spent his entire career in the hospitality industry, from managing hotels and restaurants through to the last twenty years with the Automobile Association. As Managing Director, he is responsible for both AA Hotel and Hospitality services and VisitEngland Assessment services. This includes the various AA and VisitEngland classification and award schemes which in total numbers over 15,000 hospitality businesses.
Wider industry involvement includes fellow and vice chair of the Institute of Hospitality, member of the South West Board of Hospitality Action, Springboard Ambassador, member of the Reunion des Gastronomes, and regular judge for various national hospitality awards. Simon is also a mentor for Oxford Brookes University hospitality management students, having studied hospitality there himself during his formative years.
Inderneel Singh – Managing Director, The May Fair Hotel
A Chartered Accountant, Inderneel trained with KPMG before joining Edwardian Hotels London as Business Development Manager. Inderneel has been General Manager, and subsequently Managing Director, of The May Fair Hotel since 2014.
Hazel Kilvington – Operations Director, Banks Sadler York
Having joined Banks Sadler in 1996, Hazel has over 20 years’ experience in the MICE industry, working for one of the UK’s most respected event agencies. Hazel opened the York branch of Banks Sadler in 2005 and is very proud to see it successfully grow to the 40+ team there is today. Hazel manages supplier relations for the group, looking after long-standing relationships built up over the years with hotels & venues worldwide.
Mark Lever – CEO of the National Autistic Society
“The pastoral care of volunteers and staff is of great importance”
Mark Lever joined as National Autistic Society CEO in March 2008. He sits on the Department of Health’s Autism Programme Board and Social Care Reference Group.
The NAS is the UK’s leading organisation for people affected by autism. The NAS run eight independent autism specific schools and delivers thousands of packages of community-based support for autistic adults.
Prior to the NAS, Mark worked for 12 years at the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), holding a range of roles, including, Director of Strategic Development and Operations and then CEO.
Tracey Bleakley – Chief Executive of Hospice UK
Tracey Bleakley was appointed Chief Executive of Hospice UK in 2015. Hospice UK is a national hospice charity which supports and champions the work of more than 200 hospice care providers across the country.
Prior to her role at Hospice, UK Tracey was Chief Executive of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and has worked at an executive level in the charitable and public sector since 2009. Tracey was appointed to the board of the Insolvency Service by Business Minister Jo Swinson, and is a trustee of the Money Advice Trust and Mid Bedfordshire Citizens Advice, a member of the BBC Charity Advisory Committee, a fellow of ACEVO
Luke Cameron, Co-Founder, Nicest Jobs
Starting his blogging journey 4 years ago, Luke set on a quest to do a random act of kindness every single day for a year and blog about his experiences in 2014, which shot to him to viral stardom. He now holds the title of the ‘Nicest Man in Britain’ and spends his days tirelessly working to support charities across the UK along with running his business which significantly contributes to charitable causes.