National Board

 

President - Julian Clark
Independent Investor / Owner – Boutique Hotels Sector


Julian is CEO of The Lancemore Group, a family owned and managed business and one of the largest boutique hotel operators in Australia.
 
Julian has extensive experience in the accommodation industry and in his current role manages several iconic properties across Australia that regularly feature in Gold List’s and Good Food Guides.  
 
Julian is also a board member for the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and a past board member of Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC). 

 

Deputy President - Simon McGrath
AccorHotels -  Hotels Sector

Simon McGrath is the Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Pacific responsible for over 385 hotels, 53,000 rooms and 21,000 employees in the Pacific region.
Simon has had an extensive and highly respected career in the hotel sector having worked in executive management positions throughout Australia in key cities and iconic destinations. In addition to his local experience, Simon has worked throughout Asia in key locations including Malaysia and Thailand.
 
In addition to his role as Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Pacific, Simon holds the following Directorship Roles:
  • Director of AAPC Limited
  • Director of Accor Vacation Club (AVC)
  • Director for Reef Casino Trust
Simon also currently holds positions on the following industry Boards:
  • Deputy Chairman of Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) 
  • Deputy President, Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA)
  • Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School Industry Advisory Board
In 2018, Simon participated in a special Taskforce for the NSW Government – Visitor Economy Taskforce.
 
Outside of tourism and hospitality, Simon holds the position of Independent Director of Genesis Care (leading healthcare company).
Simon has played a major advocacy role in advancing Indigenous employment in hospitality and wider economic employment. He has also championed and taken a lead role to greatly improve gender diversity in the tourism sector. 
Simon has been recognised for his contribution to the hospitality industry with numerous individual and company awards of excellence. He was awarded Australasian Hotelier of the Year in 2009 and again recently in 2017 and 2018 at the HM (Hotel Management) Awards. Also at the HM Awards, AccorHotels was named Best Accommodation Chain 2013. In addition, Simon received a Gold Bernache, the highest accolade for AccorHotels globally, for Performance in 2012.
 
 
 
Treasurer - Bruce Copland
Independent Director

Bruce Copland is a professional company director and hotelier who has worked in the hotel, hospitality, tourism and related consulting business since 1969.  He has many years’ experience in the international arena spanning the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Mexico, and Australia.
 
Bruce first migrated to Australia in 1986 to work for Western Resorts in WA as Group Development Manager. He has since held other senior group management positions with Quality Pacific, Country Comfort, Austotel and was CEO of Toga Hospitality until June 2007.  During his tenure at Toga both Vibe Hotels and Travelodge were coupled to the already successful Medina brand and the first Adina Hotels were opened in Europe.  
 
Bruce continues to serve on the board of TFE Hotels.  Bruce is also a Director of McKenzie Scott & Associates, providing consulting services and back office systems to a wide variety of companies across Australia.
 
Bruce is the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee overseeing all remuneration, accounting and compliance issues for the Association.

 

Colin Hughes
Independent Owner Operator - Motel Sector

Col is a Director on the Accommodation Association of Australia's Board

Col’s background is in Aviation having held senior Executive positions at Cathay Pacific Airways, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and QANTAS, in Australia, Asia, Europe, Middle East and USA.

Col is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Director International Operations for Aviation Online (AOL). He is also past Chair of Business Events Sydney (BES), Chair & cofounder of the National Tourism Alliance (NTA), Director of the travel compensation fund (TCF), Director of Best Western Hotels Australasia (BWA), Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Chair of Hong Kong based WinLu holdings, Chair of the Asia Pacific advisory Board of USA based Ensemble Travel Group (ETG).


 

Trent Fraser
Chief Executive Officer, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac


Trent Fraser began his hospitality career in 1988 with Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation (SPHC) and by 2002 he had held several senior management roles in a broad range of locations around Australia and South East Asia. Trent joined Choice Hotels in 2002 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in April 2012.

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is the largest Hotel Franchisor in this region with more than 270 properties across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is a 100% owned subsidiary of Choice Hotels International who are a publicly listed (NYSE:CHH) company in the United States with more than 6, 300 hotels and in excess of 500, 000 rooms in more than 40 countries around the world.

Trent led the successful launch and implementation of the Econo Lodge brand in 2009 and Ascend Hotel Collection in 2013 into Australia and New Zealand.

Coupled with record growth in the Australian and New Zealand markets in 2014, Trent announced Choice Hotels had signed a development agreement with Hangzhou-based Boli Hotel Management Co., Limited, an independent authorized licensee of Choice Hotels, which will be responsible for the development and operation of 30 hotels in China, across the Clarion and Quality brands. Construction of the first new Clarion build is underway in Hangzhou, with plans to move ahead and deliver the remaining 29 properties in other cities across the Greater China region by 2021.

Trent holds an Associate Diploma of Business from the Canberra Institute of Technology and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and lives in Melbourne with his wife, Michelle and their three daughters.

 

 

Barry Robinson
President and Managing Director - International Operations, Wyndham Vacation Clubs

Barry Robinson serves as President and Managing Director of International Operations for Wyndham Vacation Clubs, overseeing operations of the company’s timeshare business outside North America.

Barry served as president and managing director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific for 14 years, driving significant property acquisitions and enhanced resort developments, including growing the business to become the world’s largest vacation ownership development operation outside North America.

Barry was also responsible for leading Wyndham Hotel Group’s growth across South East Asia and the Pacific Rim.  Under Barry’s leadership a renewed customer focus was instilled across both businesses. The service culture that Barry continues to emphasize across Wyndham Vacation Clubs is to create personalised and memorable experiences at every customer touchpoint.

 

 

Dino Mezzatesta
Chief Operating Officer, The Star Sydney 

Dino Mezzatesta was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) at The Star Sydney in January 2019.

Responsible for the property’s day to day management and operations, and in guiding the delivery of outstanding guest and team member experiences, his appointment comes following two years as COO of Hotels, Food & Beverage and Retail. 

With more than 30 years’ experience in the corporate travel and leisure markets, Mr Mezzatesta is deeply experienced in hospitality and hotel management, team leadership and setting solid strategic direction.

 

 

Chris Sedgwick
Chief Operating Officer, TFE Hotels

Chris Sedgwick has been the Chief Operating Officer for TFE Hotels since April 2017, and is responsible for over 70 hotels, 10,000 rooms and 2,500 employees across Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark and Hungary. 

Prior to TFE Hotels, Chris worked with Accor Hotels for 10 years in various leadership and executive roles, including Regional General Manager Northern Territory & South Australia, General Manager Operations Accor Vacation Club, Vice President Operations Queensland & Northern Territory and more recently Senior Vice President New Zealand, Fiji & French Polynesia.     

Chris has over 22 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and has held senior leadership, management and executive positions in key Australian city and tourism destinations including; Hamilton Island, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Gold Coast as well as internationally in New Zealand & Thailand.

 

 

 

Ramy Filo
Chief Executive Officer, Classic Holidays

Ramy is the CEO of the Classic Group of Companies.

Ramy is also the current President of the Australian Timeshare & Holiday Ownership Council. Previously 12 years’ management experience with an international engineering corporation (Bently Nevada) as South East Asia Regional Manager.

 

 

 

Leanne Harwood
Managing Director for Australasia & Japan
, IHG

Leanne Harwood is IHG’s Managing Director for Australasia & Japan, responsible for the operations, growth and performance of more than 80 hotels. In this role, she oversees the success of IHG’s business at a time when it continues its fantastic growth momentum in Australia and prepares for some major upcoming sporting events in Japan.

Leanne has more than 20 years’ hospitality experience with more than a decade at IHG, and has worked in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and French Polynesia.

Originally from NZ, Leanne is a relentless globetrotter, avid reader and wannabe wine connoisseur.

 

 

 

Heidi Kunkel 
Vice President of Operations, Australasia, Hilton

Heidi Kunkel was appointed Vice President Operations, Australasia at Hilton in April 2018. 

Heidi is responsible for the overall performance of the growing portfolio of Hotels & Resorts in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific that currently encompasses 27 Hotels and over 10 new properties in the pipeline.

As a member of the Asia Pacific Executive Committee, Heidi reports directly to Alan Watts, Area President Asia Pacific, and leads Hilton’s ambitious growth strategy to increase our footprint and awareness across the Australasia region.

In her previous role, Heidi worked for Club Med for 15 years, most recently as CEO of New Markets Europe & Africa (based in Paris) where she was responsible for over 15 commercial markets, including the UK, South Europe, South Africa, Russia and the Middle East – a region which achieved double digit growth during her tenture. Club Med was awarded Brand of the Year at the 2018 World Branding Awards, an accolade which recognized the holiday chain’s worldwide achievements.