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own consumer products as well as offering product development, innovation and design management consultancy to private client- companies, business support organisations and other consultancy companies. Ellis works for a broad range of clients to help them develop and implement design strategies that lead to differentiated products and services. Some of his clients have included Lakeland Plastics which sold some of his own designed products, Shakespeare on a packaging commission and Richard Burbidge Ltd. and Richard Edward Ltd. on idea-generation. His passion is working with companies in a practical and down-to-earth way to help them grow using all aspects of design.


FRANK WEBSTER (speaker & mentor) Frank Webster is a Senior Investment Associate at Seedrs, Europe’s most-active online platform for investing in start-ups. Frank is an England and Wales qualified lawyer who works with start-ups throughout the fundraising process, from creating crowdfunding campaigns and drafting shareholders agreements through to follow-on funding and exit.


GORDON ANDERSON (speaker & mentor) Gordon served in the Royal Navy and became a diamond diver in his early career before entering the world of hotel procurement, where he worked on major projects including the Balmoral and the Royal Crescent Hotel. During the 1990’s he managed numerous hotel projects for the likes of Whitbread PLC (Marriott UK), Radisson SAS, Queens Moat and Runnymeade and Athenaeum Hotels. In 1999 he accepted a 2 year contract with Zara Consultancy based in Amman, Jordan as Procurement Manager. Highlights included the construction of two InterContinental Hotels in Bethlehem and Jerico, the Grand Hyatt Amman and the Movenpick Hotel in Aqaba. In 2001 he joined the InterContinental Hotel Group initially as a consultant before accepting the full time role as Director Projects Procurement. Amongst the many projects delivered were the new build InterContinental Hotels in Davos, Marseilles and London Westminster as well as a host of Crowne Plazas, Holiday Inns and Holiday Inn Express. In addition he lead the European and Middle East rebranding of the Holiday Inn estate and was instrumental in launching the new style Holiday Inn Express room. After 13 eventful years with IHG it was time for a new challenge and he launched Blue Moon Hotels Procurement Services Ltd.


HUGH TAYLOR OBE (speaker) Hugh has been in the hotel business for over 20 years. He has run four hotel marketing departments including Marketing Director of Radisson Edwardian & Ramada Jarvis, and Vice President of Marketing for Hilton UK & Ireland. He then became a Regional Vice President for Hilton with overall responsibility for 30 hotels before moving over to the owning side of the industry as CEO of a privately held, over 100 strong UK hotel business. He has held a number of industry roles including Chairman of The Hotel Marketing Association, Chairman of Visit England and a Director of Visit Britain. He was also Chairman of the Hilton in the Community Foundation, one of the largest corporate charities in the country. Hugh was awarded an OBE for services to tourism and hospitality in 2008.


JACK SHARKEY (mentor) Jack Sharkey is current Chairman of CEDA (Catering Equipment Distributers Association) and Managing Director for Vision Commercial Kitchens, one of the leading suppliers in the UK of commercial kitchens. He launched Vision Commercial Kitchens in 2002, along with his co-investors and directors and they are now one of the largest suppliers and designers of commercial kitchens in the sector and one of the few with ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 accreditations.


He actively


works with some of the UKs leading hospitality business’s across multiple market sectors including hotels, restaurants, garden centres, care homes and the education sector and has been involved in delivering commercial kitchen projects such as Dinner by Heston, Bar Boulud and the new Mondrian Hotel on the south bank of the Thames. Jack is well respected for his knowledge of different styles of operations and due to his enviable relationships with all the major international foodservice equipment manufacturers has an unrivalled knowledge of the foodservice equipment market and products, enabling him to match client’s needs, expectations and budget with practical durable and innovative solutions.


JAMES DILLEY (speaker & mentor) James Dilley heads up the hotel, hospitality and interior design teams at award-winning architecture and interiors practice Jestico + Whiles. Working internationally with prestigious independent and private developers and clients including Hilton, Starwood, Marriott and InterContinental, James has delivered a diverse range of high-profile projects including


the vibrant W London on Leicester square, the exclusive Villa Honegg, a privately- owned mountain top retreat in Switzerland, the ‘ultraluxe’ Yas Hotel on the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix racetrack and most recently the first European Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza. James is currently working on projects in West Africa, Australia and Russia. Beyond his hotel work, James’ portfolio includes the aqua shard restaurant in the iconic London skyscraper, the new Alston Bar & Beef restaurant located in the atmospheric catacombs beneath Glasgow’s Central Station, and the Playboy Club in London. The studio has won numerous awards, including the European Hotel Design Award, BD Interior Designer of the Year Award and FX International Design Awards. W London won the MIPIM Award ‘Special tribute to UK Country of Honour’, which followed the award of the same prize for Andel’s Lodz (Poland) in the previous year. James lectures internationally on hotel design and is a judge for the European Hotel Design Awards, European Hospitality Awards and the World Interior News Awards.


JOHN HUNT (mentor) John Hunt has worked for three leading management recruitment companies over the past 30 years where he has developed a specific expertise in hotel general management recruitment. He has built an enviable reputation in the hospitality industry, based on trust and integrity. Of his work John says ‘My objective is to provide honest, informed and professional advice to candidates and clients. I aim to facilitate and support a successful management recruitment process, to ensure that the outcome is right for career and company alike.’ John completed an HND in hotel and catering management and then enjoyed a management career in hotels and restaurants for 10 years before progressing into hospitality management recruitment in 1984.


KAREN FEWELL (mentor) Digital Blonde is a digital consultancy specialising in hospitality, foodservice and food. Karen Fewell, director, started learning about the industry at the age of two when both parents were hoteliers. Today, her company advises businesses on traditional and digital marketing and


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