Hilton Boss Steve Cassidy To Become Chair Of UK Hospitality

Steve Cassidy, Managing Director, Hilton UK & Ireland, will take over as Chair this week from Steve Richards, CEO of Parkdean Resorts, who moves to President

In line with UKHospitality’s policy, the change will take place at its summer conference and AGM on Wednesday 14 June. The conference also marks constitutionally scheduled changes to the wider membership of the UKHospitality Board.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
“I’m delighted that Steve has taken on the role of our Chair, to which he will bring a wealth of knowledge from decades working in hospitality, tourism and travel.

“There’s never been a more important time to have one voice to Government and I know that Steve will continue working across our broad membership for the betterment of the sector, as he did in his role as Vice-Chair.

“UKHospitality is continuing to build on its success – bringing in new members from across the sector and further extending our work across hospitality, tourism and leisure – and I’m looking forward to working with Steve to develop our offering even further.”

Steve Cassidy has been a key member of the UKHospitality Board since it was formed, most recently as Vice-Chair, and has more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry. He joined Hilton in 2009 and now heads up the international hotel company’s business in the UK, Ireland and Israel where it has more than 170 hotels.

He said: “I am incredibly proud to become chair of UKHospitality, an organisation that has supported and championed our industry with such passion and drive, especially through the recent tough years we have endured.

“Our industry is unique in its ability to create economic value, enable social mobility and build communities. I look forward to working with Kate and the UKHospitality Board to further galvanise our powerful sector and speak with a united voice to Government, helping deliver meaningful change for our members, benefitting the whole of the UK.”

Kate also paid tribute to Steve Richards, who served as UKHospitality Chair since 2018. Steve will remain on the board and succeed Nick Varney as President of UKHospitality.

She said: “I’d like to thank Steve Richards for his diligent service to UKHospitality since its inception five years ago, and for his dedication in his time as Chair, where his leadership and ability to bring people together had a hugely positive impact on our sector, particularly during the pandemic. He is a fantastic ambassador for the sector and I know he will continue working hard on its behalf, both in his new role as President, and also as chair of the Hospitality Tourism and Skills Board.”

There have also been a number of changes to the Board’s membership. Joining the Board are:

• Fiona Eastwood, Chief Operating Officer, Midway and Resort Theme Parks at Merlin Entertainment
• Simon Emeny, Chief Executive, Fullers
• Steve Holmes, CEO, Azzurri Group
• Dave McDowall, CEO, Stonegate Group
• Rob Pitcher, CEO, Revolution Bars Group
• Martin Robinson, Non-Exec Director, Burger King, Parkdean Resorts and Travelodge
• Catherine Roe, Chief Executive, Elior

Leaving the Board after full terms are Wendy Bartlett, Executive Chairman, BM Caterers; Peter Marks, Executive Chairman, REKOM UK; Calum Ross, Proprietor, Loch Melfort Hotel and Restaurant; Nick Varney, former CEO, Merlin Entertainment; Paul Wigham, CEO, All Our Bars.

Steve Richards said: “As I move on from my role as Chair, I’d like to thank Wendy, Peter, Nick, Calum and Paul who have worked tirelessly, and I know they will continue to lend their considerable influence to the work we do as our sector faces into a fresh set of challenges and political uncertainty.”

Kate concluded: “I want to thank those Board members whose tenures have come to an end, many of whom have also served since UKHospitality’s inception. They have all brought valued expertise and insight, which has helped influence our campaigning over the past five years.”