BII announces new chair elect

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has announced the appointment of new chair elect Mark Robson. Managing director of Red Mist Leisure in Farnham, Surrey, he becomes chair elect as the membership have to ratify his appointment at the AGM next Summer.

Mark graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2000 with a degree in hotel and catering management. His first graduate position was with Sodexo Prestige at Sandown Park Racecourse where he worked his way up to deputy general manager. In 2003 he left Sandown Park to become general manager of the National Film Theatre and IMAX cinema in London still with Sodexo.

In 2004 Mark formed Red Mist Leisure with the acquisition of a tied lease at the Half Moon pub in Charlwood, Surrey. He expanded the business and by the end of 2008 the company had acquired a further three leases on pubs throughout Surrey. In 2009, at the height of the economic downturn, Red Mist purchased three of its four public houses from Punch Taverns and sold the lease of the Half Moon. The Red Mist Group now has nine pubs with the tenth due to exchange contracts imminently.

BII chief executive Mike Clist said: “The BII has been transformed over the past four years under the excellent leadership of Anthony Pender. Mark’s appointment will ensure that Anthony’s great work will continue into the future. The Red Mist Group is the epitome of all the BII stands for, professional standards in excellently run pubs where talented members of staff are able to develop their careers. I look forward to working with Mark.

Mark Robson commented: “I am delighted and immensely proud to be appointed as the new Chair of the BII, an organisation that I have long admired. I look forward to building on the excellent platform Anthony has established over the last four years and steering the BII forward to provide exceptional guidance and support for licensees and staff in the hospitality industry in these challenging times.”

Anthony Pender added: “It has been a great source of pride to have been involved in the BII’s transformation over the last four years. At times we’ve had to face tough challenges and make some difficult decisions, but I can’t fault the commitment of the entire team at Farnborough.  I would also like to thank the Trustees and the hundreds of stakeholders who have all ensured we have an organisation now that can really focus on Training, Professionalism & Standards. I believe there is now a platform for some exciting future projects and in Mark, the BII has the right person to support and steer the organisation.”