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Leading people and culture experts
from the world of hospitality

Shine People & Culture Summit is an event hosted by MAPAL Group to
share knowledge, experience and insights within the hospitality sector.

Contributing hospitality brands


Registration 🛎️
Official welcome

James McLuckie  |  Group Chief Learning Officer at Mapal Group

Panel - Creating a Culture of Continuous Learning and Innovation
Dan Barnes
Founder & Managing Director at Flourish Hospitality
Dan Barnes is the Founder and Managing Director of Flourish Hospitality; a consultancy specialising in Hospitality Learning and Development partnering with pre-open and experienced hospitality businesses. Dan is a hospitality learning and development specialist, working in the industry for almost 25 years. After Operational and leadership experience in hotels in the UK, Dan turned his passion for hospitality and developing people into a career in learning and development, specialising in hospitality apprenticeships and eventually transitioned into Head of Learning and Development roles for luxury hotels, restaurants and private member's clubs. Dan has built L&D departments from the ground up, trained and developed hospitality professionals at all levels and spearheaded openings for Luxury hospitality brands such as Annabel’s and, most recently, The Peninsula London.
Ian Leigh
Managing Director at Thai Leisure Group
Ian is passionate about organisational development and working within high-performing teams to create real business success. He loves working within a strong values-based environment and he thrives on creating and living a vision, stimulating change, developing leaders, managing talent and in helping everyone he possibly can to reach their potential. Thai Leisure Group is a remarkable business and he assure he’s determined to preserve its core values whilst pushing it forward as fast as it can possibly go.
James Partington
Head of Talent at The Ned
James is the Head of Talent at The Ned City of London. Having had a successful career in restaurant operations before making the move into HR, James has been at the forefront of leading people, culture and development at brands such as Honest Burger, Busaba, and Ocado. James brings his operational background and love for hospitality to every role with a particular flare and passion for helping to create amazing leaders in an industry that allows for rapid growth like no other.

Karen Bates  |  Global People Director at BrewDog

Moderator: Leo Espouy  |  Head of Sales Development at Mapal Group

Keynote – 86 The Silence: The Story of So Let’s Talk and Our Learnings Along the Way
Paddy Howley
Founder at So Let's Talk
Ey up legends my names Paddy and I spent well over a decade in the hospitality industry. I started as a glass collector in a working men's club in good old Burnley and worked my way up to have managed some of the most beautiful sites around the North West. I “earned my stripes” in the industry and while doing so, fell into a destructive cycle of long hours, no sleep, poor nutrition, high alcohol consumption and recreational drug use. The catalyst for 'So Let's Talk' happened when I experienced suicidal ideations for the first time, after working yet another intense Christmas period back in 2019. The decision came from not having an avenue for help during the last decade working in hospitality and realising it was time to create one. The rest is future history ...
Interview – Sustainable Hospitality : Balancing Profit and Planet
Jill Scatchard
HR Director at Oakman Group


Moderator: Harry Bennett  |  UK Sales Director at Mapal Group


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Break ☕
Panel – Create an Inspiring and High-Performance Team
Theresa Mitchell
Learning and Development Business Partner at JW Lees
Theresa Mitchell is Learning & Development Business Partner for UK Brewer & Pub Operator JW Lees, specialising in creative solutions for talent and leadership development within the hospitality sector. She is a passionate champion of customer experience and team development, responsible for designing and delivering a number of industry leading training programmes during her extensive career. She has worked within some of UK Hospitality’s foremost organisations, including Bass Plc., Mitchells & Butlers and Punch Pubs. Theresa has a BSc in Business & Management and received her post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of Huddersfield 2020, subsequently joining the faculty team as a part-time lecturer with the Business School, whilst continuing to advise and support a variety of SMEs and independent operators, via her HR consultancy. Since joining JW Lees, Theresa has successfully implemented a new LMS across the multi-divisional organisation, enhancing compliance and created a bespoke Future Leaders programme to advance internal progression into senior leadership roles.
Michael Whitehead
Area Vice President Human Resources - London HQ | Europe | Asia at Yotel
Michael Whitehead is an experienced hospitality Human Resources professional with over 15 years of experience. As the Area Vice President Human Resources for Europe and Asia at YOTEL, he oversees the development and execution of the company's Human Resources strategy. Michael joined YOTEL in 2019 to support the expansion plans of the business from a Human Resources perspective. This included opening 6 European hotels to date, with future opening hotels in London Stratford, Tokyo and Bangkok to come. He has been instrumental in developing the Human Resources strategy at the company, which has included ensuring the right tools and support are in place to make YOTEL an engaging and empowering place to work for all.
Ryan Ashton
Director at Constellation / Levy


Moderator: Jonny Ballance  |  Enterprise Business Development Manager at Mapal Group

Presentation – Springboard & Mapal : Supporting Employability for Hospitality
Kelly Johnstone
Chief Operations Officer at Springboard
Kelly is the dynamic leader at the helm of The Springboard Charity across the UK and Ireland. Previously the Director for Scotland, NI, Ireland and North England, a post she has held since 2014. She has driven remarkable growth and vastly improved the impact of the Springboard Charity improving the prospects for employment of tens of thousands of young people as well as unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged adults within hospitality and tourism, in so doing helping the industry raise its profile as an employer and access fresh talent. Her passion for the industry combined with a natural desire to help people, has meant Kelly’s influence has seen the charity flourish and win numerous awards. Kelly’s ethos is action orientated and getting things done, but is a stickler for quality, practicality, and collaboration – working closely with key partners from across the industry, government and other stakeholders. Prior to Springboard, Kelly spent 17 years with Thomas Cook and was one of the Founding Members of the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity established in 2009. She is the Chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance Tourism Skills Group; A member of the Tourism and Hospitality industry leadership group and a board member of Apprenticeship in Hospitality Scotland. Her other passion is football!
Ted Blackwell
Head of Digital Development at Springboard
With over a decade of experience in Hospitality management and consultancy, Ted started with Springboard as a Trainer in early 2018, having previously been an ambassador volunteer, working with the Employability team to deliver Qualifications and Practical Skills training to those the Charity supports. When Springboard defined its response to the combined effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ted’s background in hospitality Project Management lead to him leading on the Springboard to 2022 project to futureproof the talent pipeline for the industry. With that project nearing completion, Ted moved into a new position as the Head of Digital Development to oversee the variety of online assets that the Charity relies upon to complete its mission, and to develop and implement the strategy for our digital services. Since then Ted has overseen projects covering our Information Security alignment to ISO 27001 as well as driving transformative change through automation, reactive machine and generative AI, and transforming our tools to meet AA/AAA WCAG online accessibility standards.
Panel – Practical AI Applications Emerging in Hospitality
Arica Allen
Vice President Hospitality and Innovation at Sodexo Live
Arica Allen is a global executive for Sodexo Live, focused on innovation, talent experience, and guest hospitality. She is a trailblazing leader in customer experience and team development, responsible for globally scaling a world class e-learning system, a holistic guest experience strategy, and a state-of-the-art training center in Atlanta, Georgia. Arica has led teams in the healthcare, business + industry, and travel + leisure sectors, including progressively increasing responsibility for global, diverse, and high achieving teams. Her passion for people is fueled by her vast operational experience, giving her leadership a common-sense flavor that is easily understood, deployed, sustained, and measured. She has worked with many world-class organizations, including Boeing, Yale, New Haven Healthcare, United Airlines, Chase, American Express, Merk, and Delta Airlines. Arica is a graduate of Spelman college and received her MBA from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. She is a Six Sigma blackbelt and the founder of the Darden School of Business, Black Executive MBA Association. Arica is a board member for the Constellation Theatre in Washington, D.C. and a two-time winner of the Sodexo Hero Award.
Dmitry Filimonov
CEO & Co-Founder at Inservo
In 2023, Dmitry co-founded the tech start-up Inservo. Inservo's vision is to create an AI-powered unified system for restaurant management. Dmitry has worked in hospitality since 2016 and has experience in opening and running premium restaurants in Switzerland and the UK. He currently owns Restaurant Le Museum in Montreux, Switzerland, and previously owned Heritage Soho in London, UK.

Mohammad Hamid | Lead Technology Advisor at Inservo & Contractor at Google DeepMind

Rik Esselink  | Chief Revenue Officer at Mapal


Moderator: Rick Grammatica  |  Learning Experience Designer at Mapal Group

Keynote - People First Customers Second

JJ Goodman  | Creative Director at Nightcap

Networking Social 🍹