Bob Cotton BSc (Hons), OBE
Non Executive Director
Bob is a veteran of the hospitality industry. He started with Gardner Merchant (now Sodexo UK), one of the country's leading contract catering companies, in various parts of the UK and abroad. He was Director of Communications and Strategic Development, UK and abroad for Sodexo, when he was appointed to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as tourism advisor.
He headed up the national trade association of the hospitality, catering and leisure industry, with over 60,000 establishments in membership as Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) for ten years having been appointed in 2000. He was a member of the London Mayoral Commission examining the potential for a London International Convention Centre.
In 2002, Bob was presented with the Special Catey Award, organised by Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, for services to the hospitality industry as well as the Arena Accolade for his work promoting the industry. In 2003, Bob was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours List for services to the tourism and hospitality industry. Bob is a trustee of Springboard and was the first Chairman of the Hospitality Skills Academy. He was Chairman of Hospitality Action from 2002 to 2008, and is currently its President.
He is a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University and has an honorary Masters Degree from London Metropolitan University and an honorary Doctorate from Brighton University.