It’s a time of change at Leeds Hotels and Venues Association (LHVA), who are saying a fond farewell to their long-serving general manager and welcoming a fresh face into the position.
After fourteen years of leading the organisation, Gordon Jackson is retiring as General Manager of Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa and also as Chairman of LHVA.
He will be handing over the reins to Wayne Topley, the general manager of The Queens Leeds.
During his time as chairman, Gordon has overseen the growth of the organisation, which has more than doubled its membership from the original fifteen who were affiliated at the beginning of his tenure.
Wayne Topley has a passion and dedication for hospitality and service and brings over twenty-five years of experience in hotels to the new role. He has worked in Leeds as general manager of Marriott Hollins Hall and De Vere Oulton Hall. In 2008, he moved further afield and expanded his experience in roles of executive general manager, group manager and divisional director. Returning to his roots in September 2016, he took on the role of general manager at The Queens Hotel, Leeds.
In his new role, Wayne aims to work with the members of LHVA to maximise on opportunities to promote the city of Leeds. He is also keen to engage with the education sectors to encourage more talent into the hospitality industry.
Gordon Jackson said: “It has been a fantastic journey managing the association, developing our Hotels and Venues group into a coordinated and powerful business voice for hospitality in Leeds.
“So many successes come to mind; the national and international events we have participated in, helping to promote the city to key buyers and opinion formers. Plus our very own special awards dinners, where we celebrate everything that’s good about the talent in the industry.
“Personally, I believe that the biggest success has been the consistent engagement with and networking between the thirty strong hotels and venues. This has given the sector a framework and a ‘home-base’ for all things ‘hospitality’.”
Wayne Topley said: “I would like to thank Gordon for his hard work over the years and wish him well with his retirement. He has been a driving force behind the association from the start and I know he will be missed by us all.
“This is an exciting time to be taking over the running of the association. I have seen Leeds’ status increase over the years and it’s great to see the city gaining recognition for its facilities in both business and leisure.
“Leeds has grown so much as a conference destination since my early times here and it’s so rewarding to see the callibre of conferencing coming to the city. As an association we are so excited that the cultural assets are now taking centre-stage and we look forward to taking this forward with the City of Culture Team 2023.
“With the strength Leeds now has in terms of dedicated teams of people focused on growing the city reputation, including Leeds Business Improvement District, Leeds City Council and Welcome to Yorkshire; I am looking forward to seeing how much the association can support growth, development and the city’s reputation as a great place to stay, visit and enjoy.”