I have been a member of AWTE since 1988. At the time, I was working for the Hotels division of the Rank Organisation.
My Sales and Marketing career in the Hotel Industry, specialising in Conferences, Meetings, Events and Exhibitions has been challenging and rewarding. With over 40 years experience in the Conference and Meetings field, I have acquired vast knowledge and experience of the marketplace and am proud to say that I have worked in several well known four and five star London hotels, including the Royal Lancaster, Royal Garden, Grosvenor House, The Cumberland, the Group Press Office of THF and Choice Hotels Europe.
I have been involved with a number of charitable organisations and was, for 13 years, the Chair of MICE (Meetings Industry Charity Event), organising themed events for 5/600 people in London, raising money for various charities, including Macmillan Cancer Relief, Childline, Barnados, Guide Dogs, Cancer Research as well as many others.
In 2006, I joined the AWTE board as Events Director, then Treasurer of AWTE Benevolent and since April 2012 Chair of AWTE Benevolent.
In addition to the AWTE rewarding positions, I have been involved with various projects organising Events and working with RT the TV News Channel – responsible for it’s distribution in fine hotels across Europe.
I am committed to and enjoy my work and meeting people. I find it extremely rewarding working with charitable organisations and Helping People in Need.
I have had a great career in the travel industry, both in the UK and as Director of VisitSweden, with responsibility for the promotion of Sweden in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, the USA and Ireland.
In work, I deliver bespoke projects for clients, including regional tourist boards, hotel groups and regional development companies. Offering extensive experience, networking and energy to organisations who wish to develop their travel and tourism proposition, I also serve on the board of several travel and non-travel organisations.
I am very dedicated to ensuring the future success and growth of the AWTE Benevolent. I have been a stalwart supporter of women in business generally and in the travel industry in particular and as the longest-serving member of AWTE as well as past chair of the Association. We will support and help when we are needed.
Sue Kavanagh has been in the travel industry for over 25 years. Travel has always been in her blood and after leaving school she went to Durham where she graduated from one of the first ever travel and tourism courses run in the UK.
Sue’s career started with Lunn Poly, a retail travel agent, as a graduate trainee. It was at Lunn Poly that Sue first moved into the world of training and by the time she left was National Training Manager for the UK.
Sue’s next move was to Pickfords Travel (a mixed leisure/business travel agent) as their Training Manager. After a year Sue also took responsibility for the Human Resources function. Pickfords was to later become Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
She became the first female member of the UK Board of Directors and ten years later was appointed to be responsible for the HR in Northern Europe.
Nine years ago Sue decided to try her hand in the Aviation world and joined Qatar Airways. Here she was responsible for all areas of Human Resources and Training in North, South and West Europe.
‘After almost ten years with QR Airways I decided to set up my own HR consultancy business. I can offer ad hoc support to businesses in travel that are looking for some additional support in the areas of HR and training.’
Sue is a regular attendee of AWTE events and you will often spot a flash of leopard print across the room which is Sue’s trade mark and regularly her outfit of choice!
My professional career working within sales, marketing and business support spans over 25 years and I’ve worked within blue chip companies, business support agencies and running my own businesses.
I cut my teeth working at British Airways in the marketing department and then moved agency side to join Senior King Advertising where I managed campaigns for a variety of travel clients – Hilton Hotels, Eurotunnel, Tourist Boards.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, I took a leap of faith and left the agency world to develop my own Italian style restaurant where I gained invaluable hands-on experience. Following the sale of the businesses I consulted at the London Chamber of Commerce and went on to set-up my own marketing communications consultancy. More recently in 2017 I co-founded Shipshape Consulting, a global boutique executive consulting network specialising in travel, tourism, retailing and passenger shipping.
I have been an active member of AWTE and have previously served 4 years on the board as PR Director and Events Director.
My background is in marketing and PR, starting with a 20th century art book company I formed in the 1970s.
I’m a Trustee of AWTE Benevolent and have found it rewarding helping members through the ups and downs of life. I was previously on the committee of the International Federation of Women’s Travel Organisations (IFWTO) to which AWTE was affiliated.
When I am not working my interests include spending time with my two sons and their families, amateur singing with a local choir, gardening, painting, making books and calligraphy. I fundraise for Medicin Sans Frontier for children in Syria and for the homeless near my home in Hammersmith, west London.
Previous to starting my own company, I was based in London for Kenes Tours Europe. (Conventions), Sonesta Hotels & Dan Hotels of Israel as European Sales Director. While In Israel I was with Concord 55, & Intertours as Assistant Manager, for Incoming groups, and Eilat Charters as well as T.W.A Airlines At Ben Gurion airport. Now, I offer Consultancy services To the Travel Trade &Travel Related organisations in the U.K. and Europe, Representation, Marketing ,Product Training & press PR.
I have had a wide and varied past in the industry, have a superb network of clients and colleagues and I speak English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish & Polish. As an active member of the AWTE I felt I could lend my services to supporting the board and our members by taking a position on the committee and am delighted with our progress.
When not at work or helping our members with the AWTE Benevolent committee I enjoy theatre, classical music, opera, ballet, reading, & gourmet cooking.