David Vaughton FIH is Managing Director of EEF Venues, a group of three venues; Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa, Broadway House in Westminster and Engineers’ House in Bristol, all of which are members of Venues of Excellence.
David has over 30 years of general management experience in hotels, conference centres and stadia. Over the last 15 years David has established Woodland Grange as a reputable, high performing venue, and successfully launched the EEF Venues group in 2009, with responsibility for the growth strategy for the group. David has been heavily involved with Venues of Excellence over the last 14 years, having served previously as a board director and vice-chair on two occasions. Following the successful rebranding of the consortium, David views its continuing strategic focus as one of growth and promotion of excellence in the meetings sector. A critical driver to underpin the consortium’s continuing success will be return on investment to support members in the achievement of their objectives.
Mandy Jennings offers over 25 years sales & marketing experience in hotel and conference centres including senior sales positions with Thistle, Forte & Le Meridien, Marriott Hotels and in particular offers Venues of Excellence her extensive knowledge gained as Group Sales Director for the De Vere Group and Principal Hayley Hotels and Conference Centres. Mandy set up Paje Consultancy over 5 years ago which now is a successful business and is delighted to be working in partnership with Venues of Excellence. Mandy is responsible for the guidance and direction of the Venues of Excellence sales team, generating new business and working with the key clients to find them the solution that meets their needs.
Business Development Manager
Nicola offers vast experience in sales and the development of new business including senior sales roles for Principal Hotels, Handpicked Hotels, Arcadian, Forte Heritage and latterly she was Head of Sales Development for De Vere Hotels. She has worked with Mandy Jennings for the past five years developing new business for their clients and working closely on the training and conference market projects. Nicola is responsible for researching and targeting new clients and developing the client relationships for the Venues of Excellence venue members.
Michelle brings a diverse range of skills to the team encompassing all aspects of venue & event management, international hotel sales and corporate hospitality through to more recent specific membership services experience. Michelle has worked for Forte at Heathrow in a proactive sales role in addition to Heritage, MacDonald Hotels and the National Trust. Michelle’s focus will be to prioritise, nurture and develop the relationships with our members and the Venues of Excellence team to ensure that the best possible return on investment across all areas is achieved.
Venue Finding Consultant
Maria joined Venues of Excellence in October 2015 as Sales Co-ordinator. Before coming to the UK, Maria finished her degree in Tourism Management and had the chance to travel and experience the hospitality industry from very different jobs and perspectives. Once settled in UK Maria progressed at Hellidon Lakes Golf & Spa Hotel, which provide her with a great deal of experience in meetings, events and customer relationships. Driven by the passion of delivering excellent customer service and a love for learning, Maria is eager to deal with all our incoming enquiries from clients and support the sales activities placing business with our member venues. “I am very excited to belong to the team at Venues of Excellence, and it will be my pleasure to help as much as I can to our members and clients to achieve their goals.”
Venue Finding Consultant
Sarah has over 20 years’ experience within the Hospitality Industry and shares our passion for delivering excellent customer service. Her career began at The Belfry as a Duty Manager and then as Special Event Sales Manager. She then worked at a well-known booking agency as a Venue Finding Consultant and later as Reservations Manager before going to work as Sales Manager for Handpicked Hotels at New Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield. Sarah then had a career break to raise her two sons and went back to work for a Reservations company in 2015 as Cluster Manager dealing with 4 & 5 star properties across the UK. Sarah says "I am delighted to be joining the Venues of Excellence team as a Venue Finding Consultant and am really looking forward to visiting our fantastic venues in the not-too-distant future."
Christine works with us on a freelance basis managing some of our key Marketing Projects throughout the year. With over 30 years in the Hospitality Industry, Christine has a wealth of sales, marketing and PR experience to share with the team.
Throughout her career, Christine has held a number of senior sales and marketing roles within the four and five star market in Hotels and Venues across the UK.
Her knowledge spans broadly from private elite events, luxury loyalty programmes to fund raising charities. Her knowledge of the MICE market is significant having worked with Conference Aston, Kents Hill Park and Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa before setting up Oomph Sales and Marketing in 2013.
Over the years, Christine has been part of the Venues of Excellence consortia working on various focus groups, and in her role as Interim Marketing Manager has managed the project to rebrand Conference Centres of Excellence to Venues of Excellence.