Thirst Link plays its part in charity event

Thirst Link was delighted to be able to support one of its clients, Bidfood, at their 2018 Key Supplier Golf Day.

The golf was played at the exclusive Notts Hollinwell Golf Club and those that played had an enjoyable yet challenging course in perfect weather conditions.

All the supporters helped Bidfood raise just over £42,000 which will be distributed amongst its key charities.

Apparently, over a period of 10 years, with the help of its supporters, the team has managed to raise a massive £294,000 – which is a fantastic achievement and a real commitment to good causes.

Queen’s Birthday Honours for Scottish businessman

Alastair Storey was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Alastair is Chairman and CEO of Westbury Street Holdings (WSH), which he founded in 2000.

Storey joined P&O’s Sutcliffe Catering Services as a trainee manager in 1975, rising to managing director of Sutcliffe Catering South East. In 1993, Granada bought Sutcliffe, and then Forte in 1996, and Storey became managing director of the newly formed Granada Food Services division.

In 2000, he formed Wilson Storey with Keith Wilson, his former finance director, and after further mergers and acquisitions, Wilson Storey Halliday merged with BaxterSmith to become BaxterStorey in 2004.

WSH owns BaxterStorey, Portico, Caterlink, Holroyd Howe, Benugo and Searcys, and its headquarters, WSH International Investments Limited, is in Reading, Berkshire

Brydon returns to Bartlett Mitchell

One of the UK’s leading independent caterers, Bartlett Mitchell, has announced the re-appointment of Angus Brydon as Operations Director.  Brydon rejoins the company after a three year term at Elior.

Reporting to Francois Gautreaux, the operational managing director, Brydon becomes one of three operations directors at Bartlett Mitchell, joining Antony Prentice and Heather Day.

Gautreaux said: “We are delighted that Angus has returned to the Bartlett Mitchell family. We are exceptionally proud to have three operations directors who truly understand our values from the ground up having been with us for many years.

“As a business, the training and development of our teams is a priority so we are truly thrilled to be able to support and facilitate the next step in Angus’s career.”

New CEO announced for the AVA

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) has appointed Jonathan Hart as the new Chief Executive to run the organisation.

Jonathan began his career working for newspapers and radio outlets, including the BBC before moving into PR and public affairs. Most recently, Mr Hart has been running the campaigning group, the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance, which represents over 20,000 independent retailers across the UK.

“I’m delighted to be joining the AVA at what is a very interesting time for the organisation’, Jonathan said. ‘I feel that the combination of my experience in journalism and communications will be extremely useful in building on the success of the AVA. I’m keen to raise awareness of the key issues affecting the industry at a media and a political level, so that the needs of the membership are met.”

DarenthMJS welcomes new MD

UK-based company DarenthMJS has announced a new appointment to their Board of Directors. The company designs and manufactures vending, catering and drinks dispense equipment as well as bespoke automatic retailing machines.

Simon Marsden joins the business as its Managing Director, whilst founder and previous managing director Mark Simpson becomes chairman/CEO.

Mark Simpson said: “Simon has been working with us on a part-time consultative basis for the past few months and now has agreed to come on board in a full time executive role. He joins us from outside the industry and is already introducing exciting new ideas and a refreshing view on things. Simon is a trained engineer but has spent the last 20 or so years in senior leadership roles in both engineering and manufacturing businesses and has enjoyed considerable success in both. He has a particularly strong focus on customers and his appointment underlines our commitment to making sure we continue to provide our customers with the very best products the industry has to offer, with unrivalled levels of service and customer care.”


Auto Vending-e calls it a day

Thirst Link have heard that Auto Vending Magazine (or Automatic Vending as it was originally known) will soon cease to exist.

Since 1991 the magazine has been providing the vending industry with a source of news, features, event coverage and general information. Two years ago, the printed magazine format became out-dated and Auto Vending-e was born allowing readers easy and quick access to the latest vending industry news and promotions in real time.

After working together for 23 years, editors Amanda Roberts and Phil Reynolds have decided to go their separate ways in business.

Amanda is forging ahead with a new career as an author and has had one novel published already. Phil is going to concentrate his efforts on the further development and growth of Vendex. Future Vendex events will be run by Phil under a new name of Trade Events.

Caterer appoints new Board member

Caterer Wilson Vale has appointed Claire Long as sales director.  Her appointment comes nine months after Wilson Vale appointed Alan Beddie as operations director.

Claire joins the Leicestershire-based foodservice firm from Compass Group, where she was strategic partnership director for more than six years and had responsibility for a portfolio of 300 business & industry clients.  Prior to that she worked as business development manager with Roux Fine Dining, Leith’s, Eurest and for Restaurant Associates.

Commenting on her appointment, Andrew Wilson, co-founder and managing director of Wilson Vale, said: “We are confident that Claire’s pedigree and reputation within this highly competitive sector will impact positively on our growth and development. Her additional operational experience gives her insight and understanding into the challenges and practicalities of running a busy catering operation.

Wilson Vale is projecting an annual turnover of £19.5m for 2014. The independent caterer employs 550 and hold 75 clients within the B&I, independent schools and conference venue sectors.

For five years, year-on-year growth has averaged at 12% yet its culture and ethos have remained unchanged.


Women in the City award goes to FM

Skanska’s Katy Dowding has been named the 2013 Woman of Achievement Award.

The announcement follows her win in the facilities management category in October, in which Lucy Jeynes, Rana Nazir and BIFM Awards 2013 Facilities Manager of the Year winner Deborah Rowland were also nominated.

It is the first time a woman from the facilities management category has won the overall prize.

Upon receiving her award, Dowding said: “It really is a great honour to receive this award and to be recognised by such an inspiring group of women.

“I am a strong supporter of women in business, particularly in the facilities and construction sectors. I hope this award encourages fellow women in my industry to be brave – to be yourself, develop your skills and grab those opportunities when they come along. Thank you to all of those people who have helped me over the years.”

The Woman of Achievement Award prize for 2013 includes a place on the prestigious Accelerated Development Program delivered by The University of Chicago Booth School of Business at its London campus.

New deputy Chair of BIFM

Ian Townsend is to be the next deputy Chair of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).

Townsend, business director at Norland, will be deputy to chair elect Julie Kortens, who also commences her two year term in July. His two year tenure will commence in July 2014, replacing current deputy chair Liz Kentish.

Townsend was appointed to the BIFM board in July 2012. He is also currently the chair of the BIFM’s Home Counties region.

On his appointment by the board, Townsend said: “Since I joined the board in July 2012 I have seen the direction of BIFM changing for the better. Our new mission, vision and values have set out who we are and where we want to be. I know my term will be one of further progress for the institute. These are exciting times for our sector, and I am proud to be an ambassador for FM.”


The EVA welcomes new team members

The European Vending Association, EVA, has appointed two new members to its team. David Irvine has joined the EVA as communication and public affairs manager and Laura Zerbini is the new office assistant.

David Irvine is a British national who studied European Integration at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is enthusiastic and passionate about the interests of the vending industry within the European Institutions, having previously worked for a coffee vending machine operator in the UK.

Prior to taking up his new post, David worked in local government in the UK and as an assistant to a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels. He has worked extensively with legislation and the EVA is confident that his professional experience and knowledge will assist and complement the EVA team.

Laura Zerbini graduated in June this year as a management assistant, and is already familiar with the European world through a traineeship in the European Council. Laura is also highly motivated to serve the vending industry, and will support the team in several areas including updating the website, maintenance of the database and administrative and events support.