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Meet the Team

Michael Begley - Managing Director
25/06/2015

Michael Begley - Managing Director


Heading up the UK’s no1 venue finding website is something that Michael takes in his stride and developing new opportunities and innovations is something he thrives on. Achieving this by working with the amazing team at venudirectory.com is what makes him get out of bed every morning. His passion comes through in everything he sets his mind to, working with the leading venue groups, meeting planners or technology partners and working together to move the MICE industry forward and break new ground.

Heather Swatkins - Client Services Director
24/06/2015

Heather Swatkins - Client Services Director


After many years experience and success in the Meetings, Conference and Events sector, Heather has earned herself an enviable reputation as a forward thinking and fast reacting achiever.

Tim Clark - Strategic Development Director
24/06/2015

Tim Clark - Strategic Development Director


Tim’s career is well and truly grounded in the Meetings and Events industry having been one of the owners and the Managing Director of Velvet Software, a specialist application focused on the Meeting Destination Market. Following the sale of Velvet Software to Passkey and later Lanyon, Tim continued as Strategic Account Director for the business until joining venuedirectory.com

Richard Parkin - Founder
23/06/2015

Richard Parkin - Founder


Richard Parkin is the Founder of venuedirectory.com. He created the company back in 1993 as the first electronic directory of searchable venue information for event planners, originally supplied as floppy discs and later as CD’s.

Simon Lester - Chairman
22/06/2015

Simon Lester - Chairman


Whilst Chairman of the successful event booking agency VRG, Simon worked with Michael Begley and Heather Swatkins - together they made a formidable team.

Nicky Hampson - Financial Controller
20/06/2015

Nicky Hampson - Financial Controller


Cool, calm and collected at all times, Nicky is the office swan; graceful on the surface but working efficiently below the surface to ensure everything is in order ‘financially’. With a cheery manor and perfect nails (all the time!) we don’t know how she does it!

Emma Reeves - Operations Manager
20/06/2015

Emma Reeves - Operations Manager


The world needs more gorgeous and talented people like Emma! She runs venuedirectory.com’s offices with military precision but with such a warm smile and thankful tone, we all flock to please her.

Elaine Long - Venue Support Team Leader
20/06/2015

Elaine Long - Venue Support Team Leader


Elaine is the organisational hub of the venue support team, she brings 30 years of experience working at BT before wanting a career change and we are glad to have her!

Graham Bintcliffe - Head of Venue Sales
19/06/2015

Graham Bintcliffe - Head of Venue Sales


As business grows, so do the roles, talent and personalities in the office here in Bournemouth, which is why we asked Graham to join us to support, develop and guide our sales team.

Kirsty Gallagher - Head of Venue Renewals
18/06/2015

Kirsty Gallagher - Head of Venue Renewals


With nearly 10 years of local print and radio advertising experience under her very fashionable belt, Kirsty has joined us here at venuedirectory.com to help ensure our venue groups are completely looked after.

Andy Lakin - Venue Sales Manager
16/06/2015

Andy Lakin - Venue Sales Manager


Venues relate easily with Andy, as he’s experienced the fun and stresses of life as a General Manager of a collection of busy hotels.

David Aleu - Development Operations Engineer
14/06/2015

David Aleu - Development Operations Engineer


Arriving from the sun drenched shores of Spain over twelve years ago; David continues to excel in delivering technical and commercial solutions for our database.

Jenine Clark – Renewals Co-Ordinator
14/06/2015

Jenine Clark – Renewals Co-Ordinator


Jenine joined venuedirectory.com’s venue renewal team in April 2016. She coordinates Group hotels and Independent venues to provide client reporting and supporting Kirsty and Caroline with their diary management and sales targets.

Chris Frith - Senior Software Developer
13/06/2015

Chris Frith - Senior Software Developer


Chris started his career as a Royal Engineer in H.M. Forces where he drove specialised Royal Engineer Centurion and Chieftain tanks, since then he has over 17 years experience developing software. During this time he spent 3 years teaching in a Singapore polytechnic passing on his knowledge of electronics, mathematics and software development.

Gareth Lee - Head of Development, GRATIS
12/06/2015

Gareth Lee - Head of Development, GRATIS


Gareth is master of wit (the lowest form) and wisdom in equal measure, but never fails to put a smile on our faces.

Hainan Wang - Live Availability Team Leader
11/06/2015

Hainan Wang - Live Availability Team Leader


Hainan is meticulous and conscientious, yet very humble, sincere and so great to work with. Hainan’s function is to programme and enhance all areas of the venuedirectory.com database and web pages, and we think he’s a real talent!

Kristina Koysina - Senior Software Developer
10/06/2015

Kristina Koysina - Senior Software Developer


Originally from Chelyabinsk, Russia, Kristina has extensive commercial experience working for a number of software warehouses that specialised on building solutions for the financial industry (short-term payday lending software).

Simon Carr - Software Developer
09/06/2015

Simon Carr - Software Developer


Simon’s vast software knowledge and skills are underpinned by over a decade of industry experience.

Sarah-Louise Green - Live Availability Product Manager
04/06/2015

Sarah-Louise Green - Live Availability Product Manager


Since graduating from Brighton University with a degree in Events Management, Sarah spent some time working in a local hotel before joining venuedirectory.com’s Venue Support Team. She now works on our latest product as our Live Availability Product Manager.

Taisha Vurchio - Lead Venue Quality Administrator
23/05/2015

Taisha Vurchio - Lead Venue Quality Administrator


After receiving the Employee of the Quarter award in December 2016 as Business Administration Apprentice, Taisha quickly worked her way up to Lead Venue Quality Administrator, showing how her dedication really paid off!

 

Rachel Jackson – Venue Administrator
22/05/2015

Rachel Jackson – Venue Administrator


Rachel’s effortlessly calm demeanour complements her role within customer service and administration – which is why she receives so much praise from our clients!

Swati Vaidya – Venue Support Administrator
22/05/2015

Swati Vaidya – Venue Support Administrator


Before working here at venuedirectory.com Swati studied in India for her British Master’s degree in HR. She is always able to tackle anything that the Venue Support team throws at her, and is always interested in learning new things about the MICE industry here in the UK.

Leanne Stewart - Client Services Executive
21/05/2015

Leanne Stewart - Client Services Executive


Leanne joyfully exploits her digital experience and charismatic attributes to deliver fantastic customer service to our booking agents!

Rachel Woodman - QA Analyst
21/05/2015

Rachel Woodman - QA Analyst


We think Rachel is amazing, never flustered, always calm and composed with a telephone voice like liquid chocolate – is she the woman from the Marks and Spencer’s advert? 

Supriya Saxena – Systems Tester
20/05/2015

Supriya Saxena – Systems Tester


Supriya joins the Quality Assurance Team as our latest System Tester. She admits being a very process-oriented person and enjoys working towards goals.

Michelle Dobbs - Client Services Executive
19/05/2015

Michelle Dobbs - Client Services Executive


Michelle is the frontline support for venuedirectory.com’s end-to-end booking system: GRATIS. A coffee fuelled, northern lass with a fantastic sense of humour. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love Michelle.