Meet our mentors:

Cindy Lam

Cindy Lam, founder and director of aviation supplier Clip Limited, has over 23 years experience in the hospitality and travel supply industry. Based in Hong Kong, she has extensive experience in hospitality (having worked with the Grand Hyatt and Peninsula Hotels in Hong Kong) and is familiar with major players both on the supply and customer side of the airline business.

Having worked for Gate Gourmet, Dester, FiveOceans, Helios and again Dester in executive level positions (all part of Gategroup spanning from 1999 to 2012), Cindy launched Clip in 2015 with an award-winning international design studio based in Switzerland. The design team from outside the aviation industry brings a fresh perspective to the design and innovation process that is paramount to our business model.

With strong design support coupled with many years of inflight expertise, especially on the project development, management and consultancy side, Cindy brings to the market something unique that few in the industry can match.

Since its’ launch, Clip have won several industry awards in the past two and half year’s and are launching more surprising and innovate products across the globe to help customers enhance the overall passenger experience.

Mike Pooley

Next year Mike will celebrate 40 unbroken years in a career that has spanned the world and enabled him to offer a deep and valuable insight into the mechanics of business, the make-up of business leaders, and the performance of winning teams of all sizes and ambitions.

A graduate of Oxford Brookes Hotel School Mike has a rich set of references in delivering service excellence in the hotel and hospitality sector, an international supply chain management brief for leading food service brands and has also spent nearly 20 years as a senior manager with the gategroup.

He first joined at its inception as Gategourmet in the UK in 1994 moving to Switzerland in 1996. He was head of innovation when the wider group was formed in 2007 and present at its listing in Zurich in 2009 when he also took up a key strategic role in Singapore running their Asia Pacific division for four years until 2013.

Today he is based in Bath, Somerset from where he runs his own entity advising on business and core product development and strategic programmes as well as providing executive coaching in support of food, service, travel, and lifestyle brands. He is an established Student Mentor at Oxford Brookes University for both graduate and post graduate students in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

In the past four years since leaving gategroup he has enjoyed close collaborations with corporates and several SMEs at various points in their growth curve requiring specialist support in breaking into new territories and diversifying their portfolios. He is retained as a senior advisor by ceos of ambitious and dynamic businesses and uses his career experience to help bring value to their planned projects and business priorities.

Beat Ehlers

Beat Ehlers has over 35 years of experience in the global hospitality and travel industry, having worked in countries such as India, Italy, Germany, USA, Switzerland and most recently the UK.

Starting as a trained chef and a graduate of the Swiss Hotel Management School in Lucerne, Beat soon gained much experience in delivering service excellence in the 5 star hospitality and travel catering industry, working for international companies such as Lufthansa, gategroup and Rail Gourmet (RG), an SSP company. In addition, Beat holds a dual MSc in Marketing from the universities of Zurich and Wales.

Being a truly passionate foodie, Beat has dedicated most of his career to serving nothing but the best ingredients to people on the move – either up in the air on a plane or on the ground travelling on a train. He has been instrumental in developing award winning concepts (i.e. World Travel Gold Award for First Class Airport lounge 2015-17 for the unique Mumbai lounge concept, or the 2006 Mercury Award for Gate Gourmet’s culinary excellence program called SPICE) and is today responsible for Rail Gourmet (RG) as ceo, with 2,000 staff members in nine countries.

Beat also represents companies as board member and chairman of the board in India, Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway and Belgium, and he is also a Student Mentor at Oxford Brookes University for both graduate and post graduate students in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Marc Warde

Marc started in the hospitality industry as a part time washer up in a local, and comes from a family of hoteliers, publicans and talented cooks and growers.

Having attended the Cordon Bleu School, he was the youngest person ever accepted to join the Mount Charlotte Thistle Hotels graduate programme. He has worked as a chef, restaurant manager, fine-dining and chain (Café Rouge) operations, before setting up Crussh juice bars in 1997.

He has worked for Restaurant Associates, the then fine dining division of Compass Group running catering contracts such as LWT and the Willis Group; Unilever Ventures as operations director and boutique contract caterer Artizian.

In 2007 he launched his own business, Couture, a national concession catering company operating in the museum and arts, film and television sectors throughout the UK. He joined Graysons Hospitality Associates as business development director, after selling his business, and then launched Niche|Gluten Free Dining in 2013 with friend and business partner Adrian.

He has worked as culinary director for Alpha LSG other hotel and hospitality organisations. He writes regularly for Onboard Hospitality and his new cookbook Not a quick fix guide to living well gluten free will be released later this year.

Lance Hayward

Lance Hayward is the md and founder of The Hayward Partnership – a group of independent experts providing management consultancy and interim management services to the travel catering and retail sector.

He is also a non-executive director with Ireland Craft Beers, Gastro Culinary Innovation and Scorpio Worldwide. With over 30 years of industry experience, his focus is on helping small, medium and large organisations to succeed.

Since its launch in June 2014, The Hayward Partnership has helped numerous organisations including IAG, IFS, Deluxe Private Jet Catering, Ireland Craft Beers, Wine Traders, Chikas Foods, Gastro Culinary Innovation, Estechoc and Scorpio Worldwide.

Roger Williams

Roger has worked in the travel, hospitality and catering industries for 40 years, starting with BTH hotels and then moving into the travel catering industry.

Part of an MBO team after the privatisation of British Rail, he managed large commercial contracts with UK railway companies, being involved in commercial negotiations, contract development and major projects.

In 2005, he became RG’s business development director, delivering significant new revenues and change management in the UK, privatising Irish Rail’s national catering services, and developing contracts in Belgium, Norway and Russia. He was appointed to the board of Avecra, RG’s joint-venture business in Finland in 2009, and is chairman of the International Rail Catering Group (the trade body representing members with a combined £2b procurement).

He is also the Royal Warrant holder for Royal Train Catering, writes regularly for Onboard Hospitality, a member of the Advisory Board of the World Travel Catering Expo and a School Governor. In 2014, he started his own business consultancy, offering commercial advice, market research and concept development, as well as mentoring for people in any business, and has recently assisted a local communication sector franchise start-up in the UK and an international joint-venture bid in Morocco.

Jo Chapman

Jo Chapman is an effective business woman who had over 15 years of FMCG senior management experience in PepsiCo and Diageo before founding her own successful management consultancy Bean Solutions Ltd. in 2011.

Her fast track career path has helped her to build deep knowledge and experience in key functional areas including Sales, Marketing (Commercial, Shopper and Brand), and Procurement.

Whether the task at hand is building a brand, implementing a new process, or building a relationship with a customer, Jo is able to quickly get to the nub of the problem, identify a range of solutions and implement the change; providing end-to-end strategic change management and delivery.

Since founding Bean Solutions Ltd, Jo has successfully built up an impressive client list with both large corporations including Mattel, RS Components and Kraft Foods and with new start-ups and SME’s such as Chika’s Foods and Informed Funding where she was instrumental in establishing Britain’s largest funding platform in just 3 months.

Her skills, experience and personality make Jo a tenacious, driven and positive individual who can build relationships at all levels of an organisation; an experienced and effective business consultant who can help you grow your business.