Joanne Taylor-Stagg FIH – General Manager at The Athenaeum
Joanne is a seasoned hospitality professional with over twenty-five years’ experience. She has held many integral positions in hotels throughout her career, and has used her creativity and strong leadership to facilitate the growth of her team as well as the establishments during that time. Progressing and nurturing young talent is one of the reasons Joanne gets out of bed in the morning and is an initiative she is fiercely passionate about. She played a pivotal role setting up the inaugural IHG Academy programme to help young and long-term unemployed individuals return to the workplace, as well as assisting Dr Hilary Cooke to setup of a mentoring scheme between St Julian Scholars and the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma graduates.
She has overseen multi-million-pound refurbishments, due diligence work on acquisitions and refinancing deals and helped and supported her teams to delivering exceptional results; with record breaking revenue and exceeding both guest and staff satisfaction indexes. Joanne is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Master Innholder, and St Julian’s Scholar. Joanne is currently the General Manager of the five-star Athenaeum Hotel & Residences in Mayfair, London.
Mark Taylor FIH– Healthcare sector lead, Premier Foods and Regional Chair, The National Association of Care Catering
Mark has been in the Food & Hospitality sector virtually all his life. Having trained at Westminster College in Vincent Square and held various positions within the sector – it’s his absolute passion. For the past 28 years he has been involved in selling products and solutions to the public sector for Unilever Food Solutions UK and Premier Foods, whilst maintaining close contact with relevant industry associations and networks.
During the past 10 years with Premier Foods, he has mainly been involved within Education and Healthcare sectors. Throughout his time he has driven work which resulted in winning various industry awards & recognition and was humbled to receive the Public Sector Award in 2019, by Cost Sector Catering – which was a real personal & professional highlight. He is passionate about our Industry and delighted to be joining the panel.
Francisco Macedo FIH – General Manager at Cliveden House
Francisco began his hospitality career in early 2000 after switching from studying Medicine to a degree in Hotel Management, and has worked for many reputable hotel groups worldwide since. He has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in every hotel department during his career and learn about all aspects of the industry from many different perspectives. At 22 years old, he was promoted to Assistant F&B Director for 3 properties with turnovers of over £15m in F&B, and shortly afterwards managed several hotel openings worldwide. In 2009/2010 he came to the UK, initially wanting to stay for a year, and is still here 10 years later! He has subsequently worked at many reputable hotels throughout the UK, including being General Manager of Bovey Castle, property that went from no Star Rating into 5 Red Star in 24 months, this all before he even turned 30 years old.
He is currently General Manager of the Iconic Cliveden House and spends most of his time giving back to the industry and is a member of Springboard London Advisory Board, Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a member of the Champagne Academy, a qualified WSET Educator and a mentor for Springboard and the Institute of Hospitality.
Francisco was nominated in the Top 10 Trailblazers in the Hospitality industry by Boutique Hotelier in 2018.
Ben Purton FIH – Culinary Director, Off to Work
Ben has now been in the hospitality industry for over 25 years and has worked in some of London’s most exclusive establishments including The Carlton Tower, The Royal Horseguards Hotel, Selfridges Department Store, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Goldman Sachs, The Royal Lancaster London and Off To Work where he is now the Chef Director.
His roles have included Kitchen Porter, Chef at all levels and Director of Food and Beverage and there is not any role that he would not take on if something needed doing.
Ben loves training and helping all that he works with to be the very best they can be. He works with and mentors students from schools and colleges such as UWL, Westminster Kingsway, and Waltham Forest College.
He is active with organisations like Craft Guild of Chef, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Food and Beverage Managers Association, Chaine des Rotisseurs, Springboard UK, Institute of Hospitality, Hospitality Action to name just a few and all doing amazing work within our industry.
He knows what the industry needs, how to inspire, develop and grow talent and has been putting the right people in the right place, doing the right job at the right time for all the companies that he has worked for.
His motto – improve today what you did yesterday and then improve that tomorrow.
Brenda Collin – Managing Director, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Based in Preferred Hotels and Resorts’ London office, Brenda Collin manages a portfolio of 50+ independent properties within the UK, Ireland, Nordics and The Netherlands, driving development opportunities and expanding the company profile across these regions. Brenda also ensures that member hotels maximise revenue opportunities and utilizes the vast network of Preferred’s sales, marketing, PR and revenue teams across the world.
A graduate of Galway & Mayo Institute of Technology Hotel School of almost 30 years, Brenda has worked on property and in sales positions for Hilton, Pegasus, in addition to co-founding her own company before joining Preferred Hotels in 2013.
Brenda is a long standing mentor for hospitality students and graduates and is passionate about attracting talent to the industry. She is also on the IoH London branch committee and an avid supporter of Hospitality Action.