I was born in Richmond and still have family connections in and around Richmond. I have spent the majority of life elsewhere before moving back to the area in 2016.
I retired in 2018 after over 30 years in the holiday, hospitality and leisure sectors; all in senior customer-facing roles encompassing business development, marketing, IT and operational management.
Most recently, as Business Development Director at the University of Edinburgh for 16 years, I was responsible for:
• the marketing and allocation of all University owned and managed student accommodation to around 10,000 students each year from over 150 countries; this included key planning and liaison with the University’s Student Recruitment team, the International Office and all main welfare and support services;
• product development, marketing and maximising revenues from across a wide range of commercial operations, including 4 year round hotels and an events business with over 2,500 events (including major conferences) each year;
• acting as the University’s lead on engagement with many of Edinburgh’s major festivals, including the Fringe and International Festival.
• engagement on a number of Project Boards including the refurbishment of 3 historic, heritage University buildings, with total costs of £50m and all with a strong emphasis on commercial, community and arts engagement.
Prior to this I was variously IT, Marketing and Commercial Director of Shearings Holidays, Europe’s target coach holiday operator. During this period, I chaired local tourism groups and was for some years on the board of ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, with specific interests in domestic tourism.