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Sponsored by All Leisure Holidays and White Hart Associates LLP, the annual AWTE Chair’s Awards 2012 took place at Dirty Martini in London’s West End on 16 October.

Members and guests enjoyed a great evening to celebrate summer 2012 and recognise our award winners.

AWTE has much to celebrate as we approach our 60th birthday in 2014, including our new look website and our new membership tier which now ensures that our male colleagues are included in AWTE. We are delighted to announce that along with All Leisure Group and White Hart Associates LLP, who were our first company members, new company members include: ACE, Attraction World, Teletext Holidays and Muse Advertising.

During our event we celebrated London 2012 with our own Paralympian, Bethy Woodward, who spoke about her personal experience of the event that gripped the nation! This was followed by a Q&A session by Lucy Huxley, Editor of Travel Weekly and our guests. Bethy entertained us sharing her personal highlights: her ice bath experience with Oscar Pistorius, being smuggled out to attend her own celebration party, the lure of the free McDonalds restaurant in the Athletes Village and the cheers of the Olympic stadium crowd! Bethy’s enjoyment and delight at winning her medals was clear. She is proud to run for her country. Bethy is moving to Loughborough to continue her training and her next major competition is the World Championships in France in 2013, followed by the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and then, of course, the build up to Rio 2016. I know we will all enjoy watching her in the future and we will link to her own website to enable you to read more about her progress in the future.

The final part of the evening was the announcement of our award winners.

The AWTE Honorary Award (in memory of Joan Richardson) recognises an AWTE member who has contributed signficantly to the association or the travel industry.

The 2012 winner of this award is Barbro McAusland.

Barbro came to the UK to join the chamber of commerce and her travel career spans over 35 years with many of those spent working for VisitSweden in the UK, New York and across Europe. She was Chair of the Board of Governors at the Swedish School in London and led a team to restructure the school thereby turning its fortunes around. Barbro founded Svea Britt, a networking organisation for Swedish professional women with over forty UK members, and has been a board member on the female advisory group of New Wave Group in Sweden. Barbro now works in an advisory capacity to organisations in travel and tourism matters in Germany and Sweden.

Barbro has been a member of the AWTE since 1973 and is current Finance Officer of the AWTE Board, working tirelessly for our Association and was delighted to receive this award.

Our second award is the AWTE Business Impact Award, which goes to a female in the travel industry who has shown great innovation in her role – either as an employee or her own business – and as a result impacted her business, or the industry.

This was awarded to Nikki Spoor of White Hart Associates LLP.

Nikki qualified in 1996 and is both a chartered accountant and chartered certified accountant. She runs a small team of travel specialist staff and oversees, as audit partner, some of the most significant audits in the UK travel industry as well as acting in an advisory capacity to many of the industry’s trade bodies such as AWTE, The Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), the Association of Cruise Experts (ACE) and the Travel Trust Association (TTA). In addition, Nikki heads up a thriving tax team advising individuals and SMEs on wide-ranging personal and corporate tax issues.

Nikki was thrilled and surprised to receive this award which recognises her significant contribution to our industry.

Finally I am delighted to announce a brand new award for 2013: The AWTE Company Award – supporting our women in business.

We were delighted to be working with event management company, Beyond Certainty, who arranged our venue and supported our event.

Amanda Taylor, Chair, AWTE

Click on the photos below to see full image, and don’t forget to check out the external gallery for more photos of the evening.

Andrew Wright
Published by Andrew Wright