Chief Executive Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)
What was your favourite subject at school?
The subjects I enjoyed most at school were Modern Studies and PE. I have always been interested in most sports, playing, and watching. I also have a keen interest in current affairs.
- What was your first job?
My first part-time job when I was at school was as a shelf stacker in a local supermarket. My first real job within the industry was at the Cavendish Hotel London as a full-time cocktail barman.
- Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?
I have many favourite hotels; in Scotland it would have to be Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire. The quality of product is exceptional and the delivery of service excellence on such a large scale is truly impressive. When I’m In London on business I like to stay in Citizen M hotels because they are small but efficient bedrooms and comfortable and stylish public areas and reasonably priced. In terms of international hotels The Mandarin Oriental hotel group have an incredible service culture throughout all of their hotels.
- How do you inspire your team?
It has always been important to me to operate a values-based business where qualities like trust, loyalty and respect are demonstrated both ways. The team need to 100% believe in your vision for the business. They also need to genuinely contribute to the overall success of the company’s vision and so if your own values are aligned with your senior team’s principles, then inspiring them is straight forward.
- Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?
The people who inspire me generally are team leaders who don’t necessarily take centre stage. They are the individuals who confidently and successfully get on with making a difference within their own working environment. As General Managers go the late Tony Quinlan (TQ) (Crest Hotels then Holiday Inn) inspired me because of his unwavering loyalty to his team and his ability to get the best out of them. Roy Ellis, Co-founder, and Ex CEO of Inventive Leisure is another person I admire for his extraordinary ability to create and implement successful pub brands. His Revolution Bar brand grew from 1 to over 90 bars in the UK. Roy also operates his companies from a values base.
- How do you manage your stress levels?
I love to I play golf with my Son (fair weather) I also enjoy open water swimming in local lochs and coastal waters. My daughter studies in London and I enjoy going to the theatre with her.
- Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?
My business is active on all three social media platforms and more. I personally don’t use any.
- If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you think you would be now?
I’ve been in hospitality all of my adult life and can’t imagine doing anything else. Being a formula 1 racing driver would be cool or an international rock star?
- What did you do on your last days off?
I took my son to the Scotland V Italy rugby match at Murrayfield. It was a great day fundamentally because Scotland won!
- What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?
I enjoy dining out with friends