Our board and senior team

BTA board

The BTA board decides our overall direction, working within a framework agreed with our sponsoring Government department, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). Below are the details of board members as at 10 October 2018.

Steve Ridgway CBE
Steve Ridgway CBE
Chairman
Steve became Chairman of BTA in April 2017, after having sat on the BTA Board since 2013, he is Non-Executive Chairman of StartJG, an international brand agency, following 13 years as Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways. He began his business career at Sir James Goldsmith's Cavenham Foods and later joined the Toleman Group, as Business Development Manager (1979-81). When the company bought Cougar Marine (1981-85) he became General Manager based in Miami. On return to the UK he became the Project Head and Chief Pilot of the two 'Virgin Atlantic Challengers', the boat in which he re-captured the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic in 1986. He remained close friends with Richard Branson and formally joined Virgin Atlantic as Managing Director of Virgin Freeway. His career with Virgin progressed rapidly becoming Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1998 and Chief Executive from 2001-2013. He is currently Chairman of Scandlines Ferries in Denmark.
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Angela Bray
Angela Bray
Board member
Angela Bray was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Ealing Central and Acton (2010-2015), and spent two years as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office. She also served on the Transport and Culture, Media and Sport Select Committees. She was previously a Member of the London Assembly (2000-08), and her early career was in journalism, broadcasting and public affairs.
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John Lindquist
John Lindquist
Board member
John Lindquist is a strategy consultant and adviser with extensive international experience in travel and tourism. He is a Senior Adviser at The Boston Consulting Group, specialising in international tourism development, and combines this with his role as a Non-Executive Director at Kuoni Group, the Zurich-based global travel services company. He was first appointed as a Board Member of VisitBritain in 2010.
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Ian McCaig
Ian McCaig
Board member
Ian McCaig is Chief Executive at First Utility, the largest independent energy retailer in the UK. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive at lastminute.com, where he led the successful integration of lastminute with Travelocity Europe and steered the company through its most successful years. He joined the board of VisitBritain formally in February 2014.
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Lord John Thurso
Lord John Thurso
Board member
Lord Thurso is Chair of VisitScotland and has significant industry experience having led a number of hospitality businesses including Blakeney Hotels of Cliveden, which became the UK’s highest rated hotel under his leadership. He served as a Non-Executive Director on a number of public company boards including The Savoy PLC, Millennium and Copthorne PLC and sat in the House of Lords between 1995 and 1999. He was MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross from 2001-05.
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Denis Wormwell
Denis Wormwell
Board member
Denis Wormwell is Chief Executive of Shearings Group, a private equity-backed tour operator and hotel business. He has a vast amount of travel, leisure and transport experience having held several Director roles and sitting on boards for Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), ABTA and Federation of Tour Operators (FTO).
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Katy Best
Katy Best
Observer
Katy Best was appointed as an Observer to the VisitBritain Board in 2014. She is the Commercial and Marketing Director at Belfast City Airport and is responsible for all revenue streams, marketing, communications and tourism related activity at the Airport. She also serves as a Non-Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, The MAC, Tall Ships 2015 Ltd and is a Council member of NI Connections.
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Giles Smith
Giles Smith
Observer
Giles grew up in Hastings and held part-time jobs at Hastings Castle and the Smuggler’s Caves giving him an early insight into the tourism sector. Following university, Giles worked in the City before joining the Department of Trade and Industry where he worked as a Private Secretary and on a range of policy areas including European employment law, energy and planning policy and cyber security. Giles was appointed Head of Tourism, Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy in November 2016.
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Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG LVO
Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG LVO
Board member
Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG LVO joined the British Tourist Authority (BTA) Board in December 2017. Dame Judith was British High Commissioner to South Africa from September 2013 until March 2017, when she retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after a career of some 40 years in the Diplomatic Service.
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VisitEngland advisory board

The VisitEngland Advisory Board advises on the development and implementation of an 'England Action Plan.' Below are the details of board members as at 10 October 2018.

Denis Wormwell
Denis Wormwell
Chairman
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Denis Wormwell is Chairman of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, a post he took up on 1 April 2017. Denis was formerly Chief Executive of Shearings Group, a private equity backed tour operator and hotel business. Prior to this he spent six years at National Express Group PLC where he held Chief Executive positions at both the Bus and Coach Divisions. He has vast amount of travel, leisure and transport experience having held Director roles at Thomas Cook, Flying Colours Leisure Group and Club 18-30 Holidays as well as previously sitting on boards for Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), ABTA and Federation of Tour Operators (FTO).
Suzanne Bond
Suzanne Bond
Observer
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Suzanne Bond is the Chief Executive of Cornwall Development Company and sits on our board in an ex-officio capacity. She has a 25-year track record in economic development, and has held senior executive positions with and within European, national, regional and sub-regional organisations. She has been an advocate and negotiator for Cornwall at EU, national and regional level for over 20 years.
Nigel Halkes
Nigel Halkes
Board member
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Nigel Halkes has, during a 36-year career in Ernst and Young, held a variety of senior roles in the firm, advising major clients in tourism, hospitality and other sectors. As well as the VisitEngland Advisory Board, Nigel’s non-executive portfolio include the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon and Rowdeford School in Devizes.
John Hoy
John Hoy
Board member
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John Hoy is the Chief Executive of the Blenheim Estate in Oxfordshire, and has previously held senior positions at the National Museum of Science & Industry and Madame Tussaud’s in London. He is also a Member of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Forum, and a Member of the Tourism & Commercial Development Committee at the Historic Houses Association.
Sarah Stewart
Sarah Stewart
Board member
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Sarah Stewart is Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative. A former Deputy Chair of both the Port of Tyne and the International Centre for Life, she is Chair of the Beamish Development Trust, a non-executive Board Member of Beamish Museum Ltd and a non-executive director of the Tyneside Economic Development Company. She holds no other public appointments.
Giles Smith
Giles Smith
Observer
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Giles grew up in Hastings and held part-time jobs at Hastings Castle and the Smuggler’s Caves giving him an early insight into the tourism sector. Following university, Giles worked in the City before joining the Department of Trade and Industry where he worked as a Private Secretary and on a range of policy areas including European employment law, energy and planning policy and cyber security. Giles was appointed Head of Tourism, Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy in November 2016.
Fiona Pollard
Trustee
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Fiona Pollard has been appointed as Trustee to the VisitEngland Advisory Board for a term of 4 years, from 5 March 2018 to 6 March 2022. Fiona runs her own events company and also sits on several boards. After a career in the City working in the derivatives sector with a number of international banks, she ran the Hop Farm Country Park in Kent until 2006. Following several years living in Australia, Fiona has recently returned to the UK and now lives in Bath, where she is on the Board of the Roman Baths.
Allan Lambert
Allan Lambert
Trustee
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Allan Lambert has been appointed as Trustee to the VisitEngland Advisory Board for a term of 4 years, from 5 March 2018 to 6 March 2022. Allan has a proven track record within the UK Travel & Tourism sector. He has gained wide ranging experience in a number of senior leadership roles within many of the leading private and publicly owned UK holidays providers. Allan is the Managing Director - Property & Portfolio for Wyndham Vacation Rentals UK, encompassing Cottages.com and Hoseasons. Previous roles include Managing Director, Blue Chip Holidays and senior Commercial and Marketing roles within Bourne Leisure Ltd – Haven Holidays, Warner Leisure Hotels and Butlins. Allan is an ambassador for the charity Family Holiday Association and holds no other public appointments.

Senior team

Our directors each lead a division and report in to the CEO. Below are details of our senior team as at 10 October 2018.

Sally Balcombe
Sally Balcombe
Chief Executive
Sally joined our team as CEO in September 2014. Prior to that, from 2013, she was a member of the VisitBritain Board, having held the position of Chief Marketing Officer for Travelport GDS from 2008-2011, where she was responsible for marketing, the product portfolio, strategy, pricing and global communications.
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Hazel Cunningham
Hazel Cunningham
Business Services Director
Hazel leads our Business Services division, providing a shared service for both VisitBritain and VisitEngland in HR, IT, finance and facilities management.
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Carol Dray
Carol Dray
Commercial Director
Carol leads on retail product development, maximising the effectiveness of our online shop, product development and distribution across Britain and England as well as shaping our Britain and England commercial partnerships.
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Robin Johnson
Robin Johnson
Director Europe
Robin leads on our Europe directorate focusing on building awareness of reasons to 'travel now' and change perceptions through compelling and engaging content. Our work aims to grow new and repeat visits from European markets, as well as building a range of products to be distributed to the customer through partnerships.
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Gavin Landry
Gavin Landry
Director Americas
Gavin joined the VisitBritain team in August 2017. Our priorities in the USA, Brazil and Canada are to increase new and repeat visitors from all markets, focusing on our key segments and top performing regions as well as develop a range of bookable regional products and support the Government's post Brexit agenda in commonwealth markets.
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Clare Mullin
Clare Mullin
Marketing Director
Clare leads our Marketing Division, shaping our England and Britain marketing strategies and leading the delivery of our campaigns to ensure that we are meeting our objectives and those of our partners. In addition, content creation and distribution, digital and social media, PR, brand, and Business Visits & Events (BV&E) are key delivery areas.
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Andrew Stokes
Andrew Stokes
England Director
Andrew leads on the development and delivery of the £40 million ‘Discover England Fund’ to ensure bookable English regional product is being created for international markets that will also benefit domestic tourism. He is responsible for developing an England Action Plan that focuses on the Discover England Fund and on business visits and events tourism.
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Patricia Yates
Patricia Yates
Director Strategy & Communications
Patricia Yates leads our Strategy and Communications Division which delivers on our statutory duty to advise Government on tourism matters that impact on England’s tourism as well as those that affect Britain’s global competitiveness; provides research and insights on England and inbound tourism to Britain, strategic partnership engagement, communication with our stakeholders, media and staff; and leads the industry in time of crisis.
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Manuel Alvarez
Manuel Alvarez
Director of China and North East Asia
Manuel joined the team as Director of China and North East Asia in July 2018. Our work in China and North East Asia focuses on building aspiration and driving consumers to conversion through key local channels, in addition to addressing capacity issues during the peak season through route development and developing more effective partnerships.
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Tricia Warwick
Tricia Warwick
Director APMEA
Tricia joined us as APMEA Director in August 2017. Across APMEA we are leveraging partnerships to open up distribution and promotion opportunities together with building compelling content targeting core drivers for travel through traditional and digital channels and addressing barriers to travel.
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