ABPCO Executive 2017-07-31T10:44:39+00:00

ABPCO Executive

The Executive Committee is comprised of the Chair and up to five others drawn from the full members, together with one member drawn where possible from associate, friend and corporate member categories.

Members of the Executive Committee are registered with Companies House as Directors of the company.

The Executive committee are responsible, in conjunction with the Association Director, for the general running of the Association, handling membership applications, business development strategy, finance, information services, and the preparation of policy for discussion by members. The Association Director, ABPCO chair and members of the Executive Committee will also represent the interests of the Association to all appropriate Government agencies, industry bodies, and the media.

Executive Committee members are elected to serve for a three-year period. At the conclusion of this three-year term, members will have the opportunity either to elect replacements or to renew the appointment of the retiring member(s) for a further period of one year.

The current board is made up as follows;

Rose Padmore
Rose Padmore
Rose has been trading as an independent PCO since 2000 under the banner of Opening Doors and Venues, a small ‘yet perfectly formed’ Midlands based agency and she joined ABPCO as a full member in 2006. Rose is renowned by clients for exceeding expectations every time and for bringing cohesion and order through skilled planning and exceptional communication strategies.

Over the years, Rose has become more and more passionate about the conference and events industry, with a growing desire to ensure it is recognised and valued as a strong business sector. Much of her recent inspiration has been fuelled by young event management graduate colleagues and the monumental changes to the industry that technology and social media have brought.

“I love this exciting and invariably demanding industry and if I had to choose three reasons why I keep coming back for more they would be;”

►The challenge of taking a vision and, through communication & creativity, plus an accurate and confident planning process, make it a reality.

►The wonderful experience of meeting new and inspiring people that goes with the opportunity to build and manage a cohesive and effective team that results in a shared sense of achievement.

►The continuous opportunity to learn about new subject matter and the buzz of innovation

Having worn PCO shoes (flatties of course) for nearly 15 years Rose hopes that her experience and enthusiasm for the industry will be of value to ABPCO as it continues to progress on behalf of all its members.

When not organising conferences and events Rose can be found in her local church where she’s a volunteer Authorised Lay Minister or, with her husband, walking the Clent Hills and sailing at Barnt Green Sailing Club.

Therese Dolan
Therese DolanJoint-Chair
Therese has been Events Senior Manager at Diabetes UK since 2014, heading up the Events Team, responsible for a range of conferences, awards ceremonies, launches and support events. Before moving into the charity sector, Therese worked in PCO’s in both the UK and Ireland for over 8 years and gained extensive hands-on experience across all elements of conference organising such as registration, finance and budget management, exhibitions and sponsorship.

At Diabetes UK, Therese is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of Diabetes UK Events Team, developing and delivering a coherent event programme that meets the information, education and support needs of the charity’s professional and public audiences while maximising income generation and increasing brand visibility.

Since becoming a member of ABPCO, Therese has benefitted hugely from the vital support, education and networking opportunities on offer and she looks forward to contributing to the association’s ongoing development as a member of the Executive Committee.

Caroline Windsor
Caroline WindsorPCO representative
Caroline Windsor founded Meeting Point Conferences in 1984 and has spent her career organising conferences for associations around the world. Now part the TFI Group, a full service event led marketing and communications business, TFI Meeting Point is one of the longest established pcos in the UK. Caroline’s role is Account Director with responsibility for key association clients. She is passionate about building on the success of TFI Meeting Point through exceptional customer service leading to repeat business and longstanding professional relationships.

Caroline was a founder member of Asconet, the global network of pcos, of which TFI Meeting Point is the UK representative. She is a past President of MPI UK and has served on numerous industry advisory boards. Caroline is delighted to have been appointed to the ABPCO executive board and hopes to use her experience to contribute to the ABPCO initiatives shaping the future of the pco industry.

Nicole Leida
Nicole LeidaABPCO In-house PCO representative
Nicole is a professional event organiser with relevant experience in various fields. She has a sharp eye for detail and quality and is passionate about delivering excellent organisational practices. She has organised events for international organisations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Swedish Society of Medicine and the New York Academy of Medicine amongst others as well as well-established charities such as Kids Company, Hepatitis C Trust and Dance UK. She has extensive experience of working for both commercial organisations and not-for-profit ones across the UK and Europe. She has been a member of ABPCO for over 4 years and was elected co-chair in 2014. Her expertise is multifaceted and varied and she hopes to bring to ABPCO some new ideas, enthusiasm and passion for her profession. Nicole is particularly keen to give her input on the ABPCO educational programme and will work with other committee members to deliver meetings that can be a platform to share experiences, best practice and professional development.
Anthony Hyde
Anthony HydeTreasurer
Anthony Hyde is a specialist in venue management, sales and operations. Formerly General Manager of the Business Events division at the Barbican in London, one of Europe’s largest combined arts and conference centres, Anthony was responsible for the commercial sales, marketing, public relations, event management and technical production for conferences, banqueting, exhibitions and corporate hospitality. He joined the team in 2001 after several years in hotel sales.

A strong belief in increasing the credibility and professionalism of the meetings industry has led to Anthony’s active involvement in various associations for over 15 years. He is past president of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) UK and Ireland Chapter and a member of the MPI Foundation Task Force. He also sits on the board of the London City Selection, a consortium of venues within the City of London which he also co-founded.

Anthony now works with clients internationally across the events industry, offering strategic direction, business planning, sales & marketing, catering, team development, service standards, design and operations, specialising in multi-purpose venues and organisations that often need to balance multiple priorities. Anthony also lectures on the subject and has recently co-authored a book “Winning Meeting and Events for your Venue”

Martin Linfield
Martin LinfieldSponsor representative
I am Global Head of Event Insurance at Hiscox. My main aim is to give event organisers a fantastic customer experience through building an effective insurance solution to protect event budgets and reputations from “events” beyond anyone’s control.

I began the Hiscox Event Insurance sponsorship agreement with ABPCO around 6 years ago to support the association’s growth. I feel Hiscox is an integral part of the PCO world, protecting so many conferences organised by ABPCO members.
I am keen to join the board so I can support and assist with ABPCO activities, debate and direction. We deal with hundreds of UK and EU based PCO’s every year so I hope I understand some of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

I have been at Hiscox for 18 years in various underwriting and management roles. Before becoming head of event insurance, I managed the Hiscox underwriting centre with 50 staff. The centre provides superior service to all of Hiscox UK’s existing high net worth and professions business customers and brokers.

Sue Etherington
Sue EtheringtonCorporate representative
Sue has been at Queen Elizabeth II Centre since 2004 and has been responsible for generating new clients from the UK and international markets. With a background in the hotel and conference centre sector of many years, Sue has extensive knowledge of the corporate and association markets.

Since joining QEIIC Sue has become extensively involved with the International Association Market and has been interacting with associations and PCO’s at various events, contributing to bringing a number of International Association congresses to London and QEIIC.

Sandra Eyre
Sandra EyreCorporate representative

Sandra has recently joined ICC Wales, forming the new team and working with the Association and Non-for-profit sector, introducing them to the UK’s next new International Convention Centre and destination for large events.  Sandra has worked in the business tourism field for over 20 years, and the last 7 specifically in the national and international association market, and has a passion for the conference and events and the continuous education, challenges and change of the industry

Sandra is keen to support ABPCO’s initiative through the budding network of PCO’s, and being more involved with membership engagement and best practice, along with understanding and inputting ideas for PCO and venue relationships and education.

Celia Lloyd
Celia LloydPCO representative
Celia’s experience as a professional conference organiser and business director matches closely with ABPCO’s mission. She has a keen sense of the day-to-day issues facing PCOs as well as a real excitement about the way that emerging business practices and technologies can improve the way they work and the conferences they deliver.

• Using technology to make a difference

Working for a scientific association for seven years, Celia managed conferences in the UK, Europe and North America. There, she delivered new systems to benefit members, introducing online registration, CPD accreditation and meeting evaluations.

• Leading in best practice and professional development

In 2003 Celia set up Intelligent Events, concentrating on association conferences in Scotland, while also managing events in Germany, the Netherlands and across the UK. Throughout that time she has drawn on best practice in the way that the company is organised and the way its conferences are resourced. She runs Intelligent Events as a collaborative, multidisciplinary, flexible team of experts. While continuing her own studies in management, Celia finds new ways to co-ordinate with specialists in conference organisation, secure website development, financial management, graphic design, social media and stakeholder engagement – helping her clients to adapt to the constantly changing conditions of the conferences and meetings industry.

• Networking and collaboration

Sharing knowledge, transparency and collaboration are at the heart of Celia’s approach to conference organisation and business management, and reflect her experience of ABPCO. Since joining in 2007, she has attended conferences and workshops, and made many new friends. Celia is delighted to be on the board of ABPCO to contribute to the on-going support ABPCO provides for its members.

Clare Beach
Clare Beach
Clare Beach, PCO and Managing Director of Azura Events Limited is renowned for her hard working enthusiasm, ‘can do’ attitude and attention to detail, and her clients have come to expect nothing else. Her experience in the conference industry has been spent in both commercial as well as not-for-profit organisations. Clare is a list Queen and prides herself on attention to detail. She is fairly new to the ABPCO community and has already benefited hugely from the professional, relevant networking and sharing of knowledge. Clare is very keen to help develop the education calendar for PCO members and in particular independent PCO’s to include topics relevant to challenges regularly faced in association conference organisation.

When not organising conferences Clare enjoys spending time with her young family, baking for friends and family, singing in a community choir and being by the sea. In fact, Clare firmly believes that making, sharing and eating cake solves most things in life!

Sarah Fitzpatrick
Sarah FitzpatrickPCO representative
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Conference Director at Conference Partners has gained over 25 years working in the events industry with experience in both the corporate and association sectors. She moved into the PCO event management sector in 2002 starting out as a project manager and progressing to the position Managing Director in 2006. She has gained a wealth of experience in managing congress events on behalf of several national and international associations managing events with up to 10,000 attendees worldwide; providing both operational and strategic delivery. More recently she focused on providing Association Management and Consultancy to National and European associations providing effective solutions and strategy development for her clients.

More recently she focused on providing Association Management and Consultancy to National and European associations providing effective solutions and strategy development for her clients. Her talent lies in providing a hands-on client centred approach. Success to her is all about exceeding client expectations, building and developing lasting relationships.

Characterised by her passion for the industry and driving quality standards she regularly participates in industry forums and held the position of Chair of the IAPCO Quality Committee from 2008 – 2012 and is currently a member of ABPCO Board.

Sandro Carnicelli
Sandro CarnicelliAcademic representative

Dr. Sandro Carnicelli is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the MSc International Events Management at the University of the West of Scotland. Sandro has a PhD from the University of Otago in New Zealand and has published his research in international journal in Tourism and Events. Sandro also worked with educational, corporate and conferences both in Brazil and New Zealand and he is also a member of the Executive Board of ABPCO, a member of ABRATUR (International Academy for the Development of Tourism Research in Brazil), and the Treasurer of the Leisure Studies Association.


Heather Lishman
Heather LishmanABPCO Association Director
ABPCO’s mission is to develop and enhance the professional status of conference and event organisers and increase the recognition given to its members and to ABPCO as the leading representatives of the profession in the British Isles.
Noemi La Torre
Noemi La TorreABPCO Member
I am Noemi, a current BA (Hons) Events Management student at the University of Greenwich, London, and Marketing and Administration Consultant Freelance at Azura Events Ltd
I come from Italy, near Milan, where I achieved a Certificate in Marketing and Event Planning with Specialisation in Conferences and Trade Shows, along with a 5-month internship as Conference and Investors’ Days Coordinator at Expo Italia Real Estate 2014. This experience, and especially the people I was blessed to meet, inspired me towards a career in the Meetings Industry. I place great value on communication and bringing people together, and I believe conferences are the main drivers to expertly facilitating education, innovation and responsible thinking, knowledge sharing, motivation and relationship building.

I chose to pursue my career by moving to London in September 2014, first of all because I had long ago decided I would live here – when I was 9 years old in fact, so I can say: mission accomplished! London is not only a beautiful, vibrant, diverse city, it is also the best place to be to seize as many opportunities to learn and progress in my professional development. Since then, I have worked and volunteered as a freelance Events Consultant, qualified as a Certified Meeting Specialist, started learning Spanish, have been actively involved with MPI, and I was co-opted to the ABPCO board in April 2015.

I became involved with ABPCO because I believe peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and networking are key to enhancing quality and professionalism. So far, I have met inspiring colleagues, learnt from best practices, and developed a deeper understanding of industry issues and trends. ABPCO members are truly committed to ensuring excellence in our industry, and I am proud to contribute to this mission from an early stage in my career.

A curious fact about me? I become extremely emotional when people applaud, be it at a theatre performance, presentation, marathon… I can’t help it!