Thursday 1st, January - Thursday 1st, January

Speaker Profiles

Select Session - Block B

Speaker Profile

Emma Furnival  
Emma has worked at the University of Wolverhampton for over 12 years in the role of Estates & Facilities, Hospitality & Accommodation Services, Assistant Director. In her role, she has responsibility for Student and Hospitality Catering, Retail, Conference Solutions, Accommodation and Nursery facility. Emma took over responsibility for CUBO Chair 2 years ago and during this time, with the support and help from the Executive team, she has instigated a strategic review and changes to the way in which CUBO was structured. Away from the day job, she is a Director of a limited company operating a successful dairy herd of over 600 cows and a Director of a property company with a portfolio mix of commercial and private accommodation. In her spare time, Emma volunteers as a School Governor at her son’s primary school.

Amanda Shipley
Amanda has worked within the HE Sector for 7 years, previously working within the commercial contract caterers areas. She has over 30 years’ experience within the hospitality industry as a whole. Amanda has a passion for quality and improving service delivery to customers.  Amanda has also been a Non-Executive Director of the TUCO Board since 2014 with responsibility for PR and Marketing.

Oliver Stokes
An ambitious, motivated leader, with 24 years’ experience in activating brands through creative, innovative POS, POP, Social Media, Logistics and Retailer experience.  Knowledge of nostalgic to contemporary manufacturing practices with focused achievements across temporary print and permanent POP activation.  Experienced technical project manager across many different formats. Account Direction of Global Blue chip clients. Owner of multiple Client focused relationships as both Account and Client Director.  A proven, committed, hardworking individual who leads from the front line, with integrity, enthusiasm and with the common sense to make informed decisions in achieving outstanding, profitable results.

Michael Lees MSc
Michael’s first degree was from Manchester Metropolitan University and his Master of Science in Coaching and Mentoring was awarded from Sheffield Hallam University in 2015. In 2016 he embarked on his DBA, researching the correlation between coaching and academic progression with mature students.  Michael worked in America and Australia before joining Boots as Head of Operations for the Wellbeing Division. In 2004 he joined Nottingham Trent University as Head of Campus Services and holds a broad operational portfolio, from Student Accommodation to Security, Catering to Conferences. His department holds a number of awards including Conference Centre of the Year and Customer Service Excellence accreditation.  As well as being a listening volunteer for ‘Samaritans’, Michael has undertaken a number of pro-bono coaching assignments,  including working with ‘The Big Issue’ on seller retention and is currently writing a book entitled ‘The Customer comes Second’.

Richard Watson
Richard Watson FCCA is the Head of Finance and Facilities at the University of St Mark & St John (MarJon) in Plymouth. Having begun in practice and agricultural advice with AgriPlan Cymru, Richard moved into HE in 2003 as a Management Accounting Assistant with University of Exeter. When he left Exeter in 2012 Richard was responsible for College Business Partnering and TRAC, which sought to incentivise and align behaviours with the strategic plan.  Since joining MarJon, Richard continues to use cost and performance indicator information to stretch targets (financial and utilisation) across a campus with large swings in activity through the year. Alongside developing a working, living and teaching masterplan for 2024. Outside MarJon Richard continues his interest in agriculture, namely breeding sheep and sheep-dogs.

Graham Holmes
Multi award winning former Royal Air Force Physical Training Instructor and NCO Aircrew, private squash/fitness club owner, freelancing sports polymath, current Director of Sport Physical Activity and Recreation, and still World Record Holder (since 1989) for Badminton Singles Endurance (playing non-stop for 85 hours), Graham is described as an ‘exceptional all-rounder’.  His unrelenting tenacious spirit has seen him complete a number of remarkable endurance events following reconstructive surgery on a number of knee & lower leg injuries.  Graham has relentlessly transformed the University of Kent Sport and Physical Activity Service since being promoted to Director in 2008.    

John Iveson
John has 24 years of experience in the hotel, leisure, higher education sector, having joined King’s College London in 2012, after 4 years working on the Olympic & Paralympic Games with LOCOG. Currently the Director of Customer & Commercial Services at King’s College London, he oversees campus operations at the Strand, the 2 million sq. ft. of prime real estate in central London, coupled with the Commercial Operations (catering and conferencing) across the four main campuses. John is considered as a leader in hospitality customer service management, having implemented customer service cultures at Sandown park, known as the SP Way, to his latest programme at King’s College London, Fit For King’s, where the 700 strong team are continuously coached on delivery World Class Services for a world class university.

Richard Kington
Richard has been Director, Accommodation Catering and Events at the University of Edinburgh since September 2003. His role is to define, develop, implement and drive the University’s strategy for the provision of a range of student facing and commercial activities, including: providing accommodation for over 9000 students including Residence Life and other support services to provide an outstanding student experience; catering facilities for students and staff across the University, the commercial use of University core buildings and residences for accommodation catering and events, year round and during vacations; university festival activities and the provision of Day Nursery facilities for children of staff and students. Additional roles of note include: Board membership of Marketing Edinburgh; Vice Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG); Chair of the Acuho-I Membership Committee and Portfolio lead for International affiliations on the CUBO Executive.

Tracey Russell  
Tracey Russell has worked at the University of Hertfordshire for over 9 years and is currently Interim Director of Estates having previously been Assistant Director of Facilities and Property Management. In her role she has responsibility for the whole Estates function including construction, FM and property services, catering and conferencing. Over the last 9 years Tracey has led on strategic 10 year FM partnerships which have led to savings of approximately £7.5 million whilst following a theme of continuous improvement. Prior to working for the University Tracey spent 5 years in a PFI environment working for Carillion Facilities Management.

Kevin Stukey
Kevin is the Head of Student Residences and Conferences Services at the University of Kent. He has been at Kent for 18 years and prior to joining the University, his commercial experience was gained in Hotel and Conference Management at a number of internationally recognised hotels and venues in central London and overseas. The University is the largest conference venue in the South East and it operates an extremely successful and lucrative business during the student vacation periods working within in the conference, group/leisure and OTA markets and generating significant income from these activities. 

Louisa Harvey
Louisa joined the University of Kent conference team in 2010 having gained her degree in Event Management from the University of Gloucestershire. In 2014 she was promoted to the post of Senior Events Co-ordinator with specific responsibility for the management and on-going development of the University’s Event Management and Delegate registration service. This bespoke service has been a major success and is particularly valued by our academic community who now make Louisa their first port of call when they are considering bidding for and hosting international conferences at Kent.  

Gagan Kapoor
As the Head of Catering for Loughborough University, Gagan Kapoor plays an important part in the award winning student experience that the university is renowned for. Along with balancing the need for commerciality and value for the university community, his strategic focus is to ensure the services are proactively aligned in order to enhance customer experience. With a passion for product innovation and concept development, he promotes productivity through efficient solutions and simplified processes.  Gagan holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Sheffield Business School along with Hotel management qualification and a degree in Mathematics. As a career hospitality professional, he has 19 years of experience working for higher education catering, hotels, restaurants and contract caterers in the UK and India.

Clive Singleton 
As the General Manager for Central Conferences and Catering at Warwick University, Clive plays an integral role delivering service to the University and everything that brings, along with driving surplus through Warwick Conferences (Award winning venue that Conferences are well known for).  Every day brings its challenges and changes in such a large and ever growing campus, the focus is always on what’s next for the customer, the University and department.  With a number of years driving change and the ability to bring teams together, he promotes a real can do challenge to all situations.  Clive has worked for a number of years in the Hospitality industry including the world renowned “Belfry Hotel and Golf Resort” home to the Ryder Cup. Along with a number of Hotel and Hospitality management qualifications, he has over 30 years of experience working for higher education catering, hotels, restaurants and contract caterers in the UK and India.

Stewart Elsmore
Stewart Elsmore is Director of Campus Services at Cranfield University, a world leading and distinctive, wholly postgraduate University.  Having trained as a hotelier and spent ten years in hotel general management, he moved into the conference centre sector in 1989 and joined Cranfield Management Development Centre, one of the first purpose built conference centres.  In 2010 Stewart became Director of Residential Services at Cranfield University, a role which includes all student accommodation, three and four star standard delegate accommodation, a portfolio of lecture rooms and food outlets.  On 1st August 2014 the role of Campus Services was created where responsibility for the student accommodation, conference centres and food outlets was broadened out to include Cranfield Design and Print, the Preschool, Sports, lecture room bookings and a range of additional services.  Stewart has been Vice Chairman and then Chairman of the Association of Milton Keynes Hoteliers since 1991, and is a Board member of Destination Milton Keynes and Venues of Excellence (a national marketing consortium of quality venues).

Simon Westerman 
Simon Westerman is Director of Commercial Services at the University of Kent, where he has worked for over 20 years. He has held commercial roles at the Mermaid Theatre, Blackfriars, The National Film Theatre (now BFI SouthBank), London Weekend Television (now ITV) as well as at Imperial College, London.  Simon has a strong commitment to lifelong learning and heads a department which has been accredited with Investors in People Gold for 7 years.  He recognises the need for a highly skilled, well-trained, flexible and motivated workforce to help achieve business objectives, deliver an excellent student and customer experience and build towards expansion in the future, and he has introduced reward and recognition processes to the service which are highly valued by his staff.