Patrick Dempsey OBE

Non Executive Director of Unite Plc

After graduating from Shannon college of Hotel Management in 1981, Patrick joined Forte hotels and worked his way up through the organisation, becoming Managing Director of the UK in the late 90’s. On the sale of Forte Patrick was appointed as CEO of Restaurant Associates with Compass Group UK and Ireland.

In 2004 he joined Whitbread as Managing Director of Marriott in the UK before becoming Managing Director for Premier Inn in 2005. In 2009 he was appointed Managing Director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants he was invited to join the Whitbread PLC main board as an Executive Director.

He attended Harvard Business School in Boston in 2009 to complete the Advanced Management Programme. Patrick sat on a number of charity and industry boards during his time at Whitbread; Hospitality Action, GOSH Corporate Charity Board, Talent and Skills Council, BHA and Chairman of the Big Hospitality Conversation.

In 2012 Patrick was awarded an OBE for his services to Hospitality, an honour which he is obviously very proud of.

After 10 successful years as MD of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, having grown Premier Inn to be the largest and best loved UK hotel chain, with over 60,000 rooms, he stepped down from his role in March 2015.

Patrick is now a Non Executive Director of Unite Plc and Staycity.


Nicholas Dickinson FIH MI

Managing Director, Congham Hall

Nicholas joined Chewton Glen in 1982 as its first ever trainee manager, progressing through the ranks to reception manager and then sales manager, before moving to Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in 1989 as hotel manager and subsequently managing director.

In 1993, Nicholas established Luxury Family Hotels, developing groundbreaking hotels specialising in the family market. To this day, Woolley Grange, Moonfleet Manor, Fowey Hall and Ickworth are still regarded as marketleading hotels in their field. In 1999 Nicholas created a second concept, Alias Hotels, a niche city-centre hotel business aimed at the mid-market business and leisure traveller. He sold both groups in 2006.

Nicholas returned to his roots as a hands-on hotel proprietor in 2012 through the acquisition of the 26-bedroom Congham Hall in Norfolk from the administrators of the von Essen group.

  • BHA Eastern Region, committee member
  • IOH East Anglia Branch, committee member
  • Freedom of the City of London

Anna-Marie Dowling

General Manager, Sofitel London Heathrow

Anna-Marie has held a number of senior positions including General Manager of The Brewery, and London Marriott County Hall. For five years she was General Manager of Le Meridien Piccadilly and the Café Royal. In 2008 she moved to Jersey to manage the Grand Jersey Hotel but returned to London in 2010 as General Manager of the Royal Horseguards Hotel.

In 2012 she took a nine month career break but has since returned to the industry and is currently General Manager of Sofitel London Heathrow.


Adrian Ellis FIH MI

General Manager, The Lowry Hotel

Adrian Ellis is a hotel executive with 24 years’ experience of managing luxury international properties in the UK, Europe and Asia. In February 2015, he returned to Manchester to become the General Manager at The Lowry Hotel. He joined The Lowry Hotel from his role as General Manager of the 318-bedroom Fairmont Baku Hotel in Azerbaijan where he spent more than three years initially responsible for pre-opening operations of the iconic hotel which forms part of the prestigious Flame Towers complex.

Prior to his position in Baku, Adrian was General Manager at Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest, Hungary, Le Royal Meridien Bristol in Warsaw, Poland, Le Meridien Changi, Singapore, Manchester V&A and Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich.

Adrian, who hails from Norwich, was named one of the top hoteliers in the world by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in 2008 and won an Acorn Award in 1993 as one of the top 30 hoteliers under the age of 30 in the UK.


Patrick Elsmie FIH MI

Managing Director, The Gleneagles

Patrick’s career has taken in a broad mix of countries and cultures , involving city centre hotels as well as resorts, from busy year-round operations to seasonally influenced properties. His time abroad has been spent with Mandarin International Hotels and Orient Express Hotels (South Africa), with a spell as Resident Manager at the Gleneagles Hotel. In October 1994 he took up the position of General Manager at the Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, returning to Gleneagles in 1999 as Director and General Manager. He was promoted to Managing Director in 2007.

  • BHA Member, Scottish Region
  • Freedom of the City of London
  • Hotelier of the Year 2004

Ciarán Fahy FIH MI

Chief Executive Officer, Ellerman Hotels

The Cavendish Hotel was sold by Ellerman Investments in September 2012 and Ciarán was appointed Chief Executive of the hotels division which includes The Ritz London. General Manager of The Cavendish London for eight years from 2004 -2012 promoted to Managing Director in 2009. Twelve years with Whitbread Hotel Company managing four Marriott Hotels in the UK in that period, including the opening the London Marriott Kensington in 2003 after a £20m conversion project.

Awarded Marriott International General Manager of the Year in 2004. The Cavendish was named Considerate Hotel of the Year in 2007. In 2009 The Cavendish won the Visit London Gold Award for Outstanding Customer Service and Bronze Award for Sustainability and the HRS Business Excellence Award Large Hotel. It was the first hotel in London to achieve Green Tourism for London Gold Accreditation. The Cavendish was the only hospitality company listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For in 2010.

  • Graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management
  • Chairman Jermyn Street Association
  • Executive Board member of Heart of London
  • Freeman of the City of London
  • Executive Committee member of The Master Innholders
  • Chair of the 2013 Masterinnholders Conference
  • Member of Oxford Brookes Bacchus Mentoring Programme
  • President Shannon College of Hotel Management Alumni Association

Roland Fasel FIH MI

General Manager & Regional Director UK, The Dorchester

Roland has worked in three continents. Having studied in Friberg, Switzerland, he worked for Four Seasons in Boston and at the Bel Air Los Angeles before moving to the Regent Bangkok. He was Hotel Manager at the 830 room Shangri La, Singapore in 1996 before being promote to their hotel in Malaysia as General Manager and from there to Jakarta. He returned to Switzerland in 1999 as Managing Director of Badrutt’s Palace in St Moritz, working for Rosewood.Roland arrived in London in 2004 to take over the Inter-Continental at Hyde Park Corner, 18 months before its closure. He saw though the redevelopment and reopening in late 2007.

Roland moved to his current position with the Dorchester Collection in 2008, where he is the General Manager of the Dorchester and is also responsible for their two new hotels currently under construction: 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park near Ascot. He holds a Masters Degree of Business Administration, from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital charity
  • Tree Lighting charity in St Moritz
  • IHG European GM of the year 2007
  • Freedom of the City of London

Trevor Forecast – Ch ENG, MCIM, FIH, MI,BHA Fellow

Trevor & his wife Christine purchased Congham Hall near Sandringham, Norfolk & opened it as a Country House Hotel in 1982. From then until they sold it & retired in 1999 Congham Hall was consistently voted the best hotel in Norfolk & won National awards such as Johansens Hotel of the Yea, AA Red Stars, RAC Gold Ribbon & silver “England for Excellence Award”.

Trevor has been involved with the British hospitality Association since 1972, chairing various regional committees, became National Chairman from 1996 – 1998 & was made a fellow in 1999.

He became chairman of the marketing consortium “Pride of Britain” from 1993 – 1997 & was invited to become a Master Innholder with the Innholders Livery Company in 1991. He was chairman of the Master Innholders for the year 2000.

In 1992 he won a “Catey”, the hospitality industries equivalent of an “Oscar”, for the best Independent Hotel Marketing Award in the UK.

Since retiring he has been an active member of the Master Innholders & various hospitality committees & has been chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in West Norfolk for the last 10 years & is now Chairman of the Trustees.


Marco Gervasoni FIH MI

General Manager, Brooklands Hotel

Marco started his career as a graduate trainee for Marriott Whitbread Hotels in UK, joined the Sheraton Hotels group based in Belgium and after 8 years re-joined Marriott in UK. Over his 10 years with Marriott amongst a few properties he managed Marriott Forest of Arden as an Operations Director and hosted two Golf British Masters amongst many PGA tournaments. He was then appointed General Manager at The Marriott Meon Valley Country Club and left after 2 years to join the then 5 star Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton. He then decided to test his skills and run for over 2 years Hotel Russell in London where he was then approach to finish construction, design, open and running since 2010 the Brooklands hotel in Surrey, a luxury independent property.

  • Vice Chairman BHA South Eastern Region
  • Institute of Hospitality, MIH
  • Freedom of the City of London

Mark Godfrey FIH MI

Godfrey Adamson Assoc. Ltd

Mark started his career with De Vere hotels as a trainee manager and spent eight years working in the Dormy Hotel, Ferndown, The Grand Hotel, Brighton and The De Vere Swindon where he was appointed Deputy General Manager. He decided to change style and moved to a small luxury hotel the Alexander House, West Sussex as General Manager. He then moved to their sister property Stoke Park Club as General Manager where he led the hotel to become an inaugural member of Leading Small Hotels of the World. Mark was tempted back to the coast by the Dart Marina, Dartmouth and a forward thinking New Zealand owner who wanted to transform the hotel and site into something quite special. He was later promoted to Managing Director.

In 2009 he took a career break and set off round the World with his wife for a year. On return to the UK, Mark was appointed to Harbour Hotels as its very hands-on Managing Director, overseeing a small but growing collection of waterfront properties on the South coast. He is currently developing a consultancy business within the hotel industry.

  • BHA South West committee: past chairman
  • St Julian Scholar
  • Freedom of the City of London

Michael Gray FIH MI

Area Director & General Manager, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

Having obtained his National Diploma in Hotelkeeping and Catering from the Westminster Hotel School, Michael held various positions to gain practical experience. In 1982, whilst at the Carlton Tower, Hyatt International assumed management of the hotel and Michael was appointed Resident Manager. This was the beginning of his long association with the Hyatt International group which would take him to Singapore, Canberra and Melbourne and back to London. He was General Manager of the Hyatt Carlton Tower for several years and took over as GM of the Churchill when Hyatt took over the management contract. Michael was Hotelier of the Year in 2007.

  • BHA Member
  • Chaine des Rotisseurs
  • Hotelier of the Year 2007
  • Freedom of the City of London
  • Chairman: The Master Innholders 2009 2010
  • Chairman, the London Advisory Board of Springboard
  • Committee member of the People 1st sterring group for Hospitality
  • Committee member: The Ark Foundation
  • Committee member: EHMA

Ross Grieve FIH, MI

Managing Director, Seaham Hall

Ross joined The Ritz London on the Management Trainee Scheme in 1994, eventually being promoted to Assistant Palm Court Manager, from there he moved to The Westbury as Assistant Food and Beverage Manger prior to moving to Dublin where he was the Food and Beverage Manager at The Clarence Hotel, owned by U2. His travels then took him to the Caribbean island of Mustique made famous by Princess Margaret during the 1970’s and 80’s where he was Deputy General Manager at The Cotton House, moving back to the UK in 2003 to become Hotel Manager at The Chester Grosvenor where he spent 10 years before taking the helm as Managing Director of Seaham Hall.

  • Visit County Durham, Board Member
  • North East Hoteliers Association, Executive Committee Member
  • British Hospitality Association
  • St Julian’s Scholar (2004)
  • Institute of Hospitality, MIH

Tim Hassell FIH MI

Co-Ownder & General Manager, Islington Country House Hotel Dartmoor

Tim grew up in the hotel industry, the fourth generation in the family to continue this tradition. From the age of 14 he was thrown into his parents’hotel kitchen to try to put him off the industry but this ploy failed! He graduated from Oxford Polytechnic in 1992, during which time he completed a year in industry working at Dukes Hotel in London and Stapleford Park Leicestershire. On graduation he joined The Marriott in Grosvenor Square, London.Tim returned to the South West to the Thurlestone Hotel in Devon as Assistant Manager.

In 1997 he returned to the family business in Torquay shortly before they purchased the Ilsington Country House Hotel on Dartmoor.

  • BHA South West Regional Chairman
  • South Dartmoor Academy chairman
  • Widecombe in the Moor Primary School school governor
  • Dart Angling Association trustee
  • Freedom of the City of London

Greg Hegarty FIH MI

Executive Vice President UK and Chief Commercial Officer, PPHE Hotel Group

Greg holds the position of Executive Vice President UK and Chief Commercial Officer at international hospitality company, PPHE Hotel Group.In this role Greg has overall responsibility for the delivery of PPHE Hotel Group’s Commercial Strategy and oversees the UK operations, the Company’s largest operating region. He brings to the role over 22 years’ experience in the hospitality sector and has been a driving factor in the success of the Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts’ brand positioning as one of the biggest international upper upscale operators in London. Greg previously held roles at PPHE Hotel Group including Regional General Manager UK and General Manager Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London.

Prior to PPHE Hotel Group, Greg upheld roles at operators including GLH and BDL.

Greg holds positions and is an active member of Springboard Charitable Trust’s London Advisory Board, European Hotel Managers’ Association and Freedom of the City of London.


James Hiley-Jones FIH MI

Operations Director, Greenclose Hotels

James joined Greenclose Hotels in 1993 as a trainee manager at Careys Manor Hotel following an HND in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management at Highbury College, Portsmouth. James became food and beverage after 2 years and then left the following year. He joined Ston Easton Park, Somerset before moving onto The Bath Spa Hotel as Operations manager. James enjoyed a 3 year stint and became Resident manager before moving onto The Athenaeum Hotel in the same capacity.

James rejoined Greenclose hotels as General Manager at the Montagu Arms Beaulieu in 2001 before moving to sister property, Careys Manor, to reposition the hotel and launch SenSpa a Thai themed destination spa. In 2012 James became Operations Director overseeing the group’s 3 hotels.

James’s son George has followed in his father’s footsteps and is currently studying a degree in hospitality management at the Edge hotel school.


Nick Holmes FIH MI

Hotel, Spa & Golf Consultant, NHC Management

A native of the Wirral and graduate of Sheffield Hallam University, Nick’s career has spanned 35 years starting at Gleneagles Hotel during the 80s before becoming General Manager of Craigendarroch Hotel in Ballater then opening Cameron House as Resort Managing Director in 1989. As Operations Director for the Craigendarroch Group during this period he was also involved in the opening of the 4 star Westpoint Hotel in East Kilbride. For the next 12 years from the mid-90s, he became involved with the development of a number of award winning golf and leisure projects including Branston Golf & Country Club in the Midlands and Bristol Golf Club as Managing Director and Consultant. In 2008 he was approached to return into Resort Management with the opening of Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf Course in County Durham, achieving 5 star status within 12 months of opening along with a number of other significant hotel, spa and golf industry accolades. More recently the hotel has been named VisitEngland’s Large Hotel of the Year. In 2014 he set up his own business as a Consultant in the hotel industry.

  • Committee member of the North East Hoteliers Association (NEHA)
  • Committee member of the BHA Northern Region
  • Committee member of North East Chamber of Commerce Tees Valley region
  • Member of the Teesside University Business School (TUBS) advisory board

Terry Holmes FIH MI

Executive Director, Red Carnation Hotels

Before he joined Red Carnation, Terry had been involved with The Stafford for 37 years. He was also Managing Director of The Ritz and Duke’s Hotels when the Cunard Line owned all three hotels. During his 45 years in the hotel industry he has been involved with many industry associations and was the founding chairman of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. In 2001 Terry was voted International Hotelier of the Year by the prestigious Hideaway Report in the United States.

  • Reunion des Gastronomes
  • Chaine des Rotisseurs
  • Jurade de St Emilion
  • Order of Napoleon
  • Member of EHMA
  • Hotelier of the Year 1985
  • Past Chairman, Prestige Hotels
  • Past Chairman, Small Luxury Hotels of the World
  • Freedom of the City of London

Tim Howard FIH MI

General Manager, Judges Country House Hotel

Tim completed the Savoy Management Training Programme where he trained exclusively at the Connaught. In 1990 he took up his first management position as Assistant Manager at the Priory Hotel, Bath. In 1996 he became General Manager at Flitwick Manor, Bedfordshire. Four years later he moved to Haley’s Hotel in Leeds as General Manager. In 2003 Tim was appointed to his current position as General Manager at Judges Country House Hotel at Kirklevington Hall, Yarm.

  • Club des Amis 
  • Darlington College Employers Advisory Board
  • St Julian Scholar
  • Cornell Hotel School Alumni
  • Freedom of the City of London

Matthew Johnson FIH MI

Director & General Manager, Bodysgallen Hall and Spa

Matthew has worked in the hotel and catering industry for 25 years, most of which have been with Historic House Hotels and at Bodysgallen Hall. Before Bodysgallen he was at Hartwell House and Lord of the Manor. During his time at Bodysgallen, the hotel has gained four red stars, it was named AA Hotel of the Year for Wales in 2012/13 and has 3 AA rosettes for food, collectively making it one of the highest rated country house hotels in Wales. He became a director of Historic House Hotels in 2000. Matthew is a great supporter of his local catering college: Llandrillo College where he is a member of the Hopsitality Consultative Committee.

  • Former Board Member Pride of Britain Hotels
  • Director, Historic House Hotels
  • Member BHA
  • Freedom of the City of London

Stuart Johnson FIH MI

General Manager, Brown’s Hotel

Following The Savoy Management Training Scheme, Stuart held the position of Assistant Banqueting Manager at Claridge’s, Personnel and Purchasing Manager at The Connaught and Hotel Manager of The Savoy. He was a member of the opening management team of Cliveden, finishing his nine-year tenure with four years as Director and General Manager. Stuart held the post of Publishing Director at Conde Nast-Johansens International Hotel Guides between 2000 and 2004 before overseeing the refurbishment and re-opening of Brown’s as General Manager.

  • Past chairman of the Master Innholders
  • Chairman of the West One Managers Association
  • Member, British Hospitality Association
  • Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs
  • Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne
  • Reunion des Gastronomes
  • Savoy Society Chairman BHA Committee members
  • Freedom of the City of London
  • St Julian Scholar
  • Member of the Worshipful Company of Innholders

Ronald F Jones OBE Hon DUniv FIH MI

Retired Director & General Manager, Claridge’s

Ronald Jones retired as Director and General Manager of Claridge’s. During his tenure the hotel won a host of international awards.

His hotel management career spans over 50 years and includes Gleneagles and Turnberry in Scotland, the Midland Manchester, and the Royal Garden and Athenaeum Hotels in London. Voted Hotelier of the Year in 1987, he received the O.B.E. from Her Majesty the Queen the following year.

In retirement Ron spent several years as a hospitality consultant, and a director of Dormy House Hotel. He has co-authored several books including ‘Grand Hotelier: Inside the Best Hotels’; and ‘The World on a Plate’ (relating his experiences as a guest lecturer on cruise ships, and of ‘accidentally’ managing a plantation house hotel in Louisiana).

  • Freeman of the City of London
  • Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Innholders Honorary Doctorate University of Derby
  • Former Visiting Fellow Oxford Brookes University
  • Chairman Master Innholders 1981-1982
  • Hotelier of the Year 1987
  • Hon Academician Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
  • Réunion des Gastronomes

Colm Kelly FIH MI

General Manager, K+K Hotels George, London

Colm Kelly obtained his BA Degree in Hotel and Catering Management at the Galway Regional Technical College (now Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology) in Ireland and went on to gain practical experience with Hilton International, Intercontinental, Marriott and Ramada hotels throughout the UK in Finance and Financial Controller roles. Colm joined Hotel George in 1994 as Financial Controller and Deputy General Manager. K+K Hotels acquired the hotel in 1995 and was appointed General Manager in 1998.

  • Chairman West London Hotel Managers Association 2011 – 2014.
  • Member of the London committee of British Hospitality Association 2012 – 2014.
  • BHA Member
  • Executive Board member and former Vice Chairman of Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.
  • Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, awarded President’s Cup 2010.
  • Freeman of the City of London.

Stephen Kyjak-Lane FIH MI

Director, Summitt Recruitment

Stephen was appointed General Manager of Lancaster London in 2008, following a period of seven years as General Manager of sister hotel K West in West London. During that time the hotel was awarded Advance Performance Hotel of the Year 2003 Best Management Team and Theme Design Awards Hotel of the Year 2002 Best Hotel. Stephen was Chairman of West London Hotel Managers Association for 3 years, helping to grow the Association from 9 to 17 members across West London with particular focus on employment and encouraging young people to join our industry.

  • Springboard Chairman: London Advisory Board
  • Institute of Hospitality Trustee and Executive Board
  • West London Hotel Managers Assn past chairman
  • Springboard Ambassadors Programme chairman
  • Hyde Park Hoteliers Association chairman
  • Chaine de Rotisseurs Maitre Hotelier
  • Hospitality Action active member
  • Freedom of the City of London

Peter Lederer CBE FIH MI

Director, Diageo

Peter Lederer joined Gleneagles in 1984 as General Manager and was appointed Managing Director in 1987 and Chairman in 2007. In 2005, Lederer was made a CBE for services to the industry.

In recent years, Lederer played a broader leadership role for Diageo’s business in Scotland, representing the company on the CBI Scotland board and the Secretary of State for Scotland’s Business Board. He also led the establishment of the Diageo Learning for Life Scotland programme, a £5m initiative launched in January 2014 to help young unemployed people find training and job opportunities in the hospitality industry.

Peter is committed to improving quality, educational standards and training opportunities within the hospitality and tourism industries and is a Patron of The Queen Margaret University College Foundation. Peter has been appointed an Honorary Professor by the University of Dundee and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration by Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.

  • Freedom of the City of London
  • Liveryman Worshipful Company of Innholders
  • Chairman Visit Scotland
  • Hotelier of the Year 1997
  • Tourism Catey 1993
  • Trustee Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland
  • Trustee Springboard Immediate Past President
  • The Institute of Hospitality
  • Chairman The Master Innholders: 1992-94