Corporate Travel Consultant
39 Years Experience
I have worked in travel for over 35 years, starting in British airways reservations. I have twice worked overseas in travel, in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), and also started up a travel agency in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, eventually guiding it to IATA membership. In the course of my career I have worked for large multiple agencies such as Pickfords and American Express, and smaller independent agencies. It was my experience of starting up a travel agency which helped my application to Executive Travel Associates, starting up from scratch in December 1999 in an attic at the Cumberland Hotel. There were just 2 of us looking after some major accounts which had offices in both Washington and London. ETA is a large independent agency based in Washington DC, and I was running the London office prior joining HRG.
ETA joined HRG in February 2007, and we eventually moved to HRG offices at the Arena in March 2008, and to Holborn Gate in December the same year. We have since taken over the account for Discovery Communications and we currently have a team of three managed by Andre van Aardt.
Last December I received a 10 year award for service with HRG, seven years of which were spent with Executive Travel Associates.
With all my history with the role, and also the fact that we are using Sabre GDS, I think my experience is useful to the team. I think we all dovetail nicely with shared responsibility, and am proud of the working relationship I have with Spencer Stuart, a large executive recruitment company we have looked after from day one in December 1999. We spent about four years on site, and I got to know the whole company and almost felt part of the organization.
As a keen traveller myself, I enjoy the daily contact and establishing a good rapport with all my clients, and still get a buzz after so long in the industry.
I can look back on 10 years worth of establishing ETA in the UK, and continuing to develop under the banner of HRG.
I have three children and am lucky that they are all quite successful in what they do. My son Colin is a professional freestyler (ball juggler) and has done a lot of TV work featuring in TV shows, adverts, music videos and also a couple of films. Last year he volunteered to help out in ‘HRG’s got Talent’ and performed at the Mayfair Theatre for a successful fundraiser.
My daughter Tania married the GB athlete Mo Farah earlier this year. He has always been a talented and successful runner, but recently has been all over the news following his double gold medal success in the European Athletic Championships in Barcelona. My wife and I were featured on ’London Tonight’ and also ITV News filmed us watching him win gold in the 5,000m after his 10,000m success. We are a close family and all support each other, and are Mo’s number one fans. We are all looking forward to London 2012. I still enjoy playing and spectating in all sports, but not so much recently. I was persuaded to turn out for a veterans football team a couple of years back and felt like I was having cardiac arrest after five minutes…..I am happy to cheer on Mo Farah from my living room these days.
Additional Languages Spoken: