Jimmy Carroll is co-founder of Pelorus, a new, experiential travel specialist that offers private adventures and yacht expeditions to the far corners of the planet.
Carroll formed the company with Geordie Mackay-Lewis and both are ex-British Army with experience leading British reconnaissance units on long-range desert patrols and helicopter operations, including tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. The knowledge and skills they forged during these years lay the foundations upon which Pelorus is built, with the company focused on key areas of specialisation, Private Adventures; Yacht Expeditions; and Special Projects:
Pelorus plans exceptional journeys whilst remaining committed to protecting the planet – in particular, the places that they are fortunate to visit. The company supports special conservation and environmental projects through their official partners Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and World Land Trust (WLT).
Carroll also worked as head of marketing and communications for the design studio Winch Design, a world-leader in superyachts, private aviation and architecture, and was previously Global Tour Manager for Manchester United.
He is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, mountain leader and advanced diver with a passion for adventure and was appointed expedition manager for Xtreme Everest 2, the largest ever medical-research expedition conducted on Mount Everest.
Senior Partnerships Manager, What3Words
Lily comes from the world of SaaS start-ups, working for a company that improved digital user experiences for brands such as Air Canada, Skyscanner, CNN and Booking.com.
As a Spanish and Dutch speaker, when travelling she loves immersing herself in the local culture and discovering hidden corners of the globe, but is very aware of her inability to ask for directions in all languages or navigate foreign addressing systems.
Now heading up travel for what3words, she's focused on the solving the issue of poor addressing for travellers and businesses who want safer and more efficient experiences.
Managing Director, Elegant Resorts
Lisa started in travel 31 years ago and her career has taken her all over the world, she is passionate about specialist tour operations and has worked for a number of companies including IHG, Tailor-made Travel, Airline Ticket Network, TUI ( Austravel ), STA Travel and Diethelm Travel in Australia, Canada, Thailand and the UK.
Her experience has given her not only a global view to the travel industry but a great understanding of managing people across different cultures and experiencing all aspects of the industry from the DMC, hotel, tour operator and travel agency viewpoints.
Director of Restaurant and Bar Development, Rocco Forte Hotels
The daughter of Sir Rocco Forte and the niece of Olga Polizzi, Lydia Forte is director of restaurant and bar development at Rocco Forte Hotels and in her role, she is responsible for the concepts, management and performance of the group’s restaurants and bars, of which there are currently 14.
This includes developing new restaurant concepts and maintaining quality of food and service in all the restaurant and bar outlets within the hotels. It also involves responsibility for profits, including cost control and driving of sales - food and beverage across the group accounts for as much as 35% of revenue in each hotel, making it a vital part of the group’s business.
Lydia sets out to create restaurants that are revered by the locals living in the city, as well as by the hotel guests. In 2015, Lydia opened Irene, the Tuscan Bistro at Hotel Savoy, Florence and in 2016, re-launched Sophia’s Restaurant and Bar, the new botanical bistro at The Charles Hotel, Munich, which has become a central Munich hub. Most recently, Lydia has worked on the five outlets at the new Assila Hotel, Jeddah, ranging from Argentine Steakhouse to Arabic-Mediterranean mezze.
Since joining the company in 2014, Lydia has increased the revenue of the restaurants and bars across the group by over 20%, and the profits by 30%. Lydia’s efforts have also received industry recognition with Rocco Forte Nourish, a healthy eating project launched with expert menus, which was nominated for a Catey Award.
Before starting work for Rocco Forte Hotels full-time in 2014, Lydia managed a new restaurant opening in Chelsea, The Markham Inn, and led projects to update and improve two restaurants - HIX Mayfair in London and Bocconi in Brussels. She also completed an MBA at INSEAD in 2013.
After school, Lydia completed a professional cookery course at Leith’s, a four-month rotating internship at Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg, and spent time in sales and marketing at Brown’s Hotel, London. During her time studying Modern History at Oxford University, Lydia trained as a Maitre d’ at The Wolseley.
Managing Director, Abercrombie & Kent UK
Kerry Golds has been managing director of Abercrombie & Kent UK for more than five years, responsible for leading A&K’s tour operation, villas business and retail boutiques in Harrods and Monaco.
Kerry's travel career spans some 30 years. Much of her career was spent at Travel 2, where she opened the Manchester office at the age of 19, growing what started as a small office to a team of over 100. She returned to London in 1997 to become operations director for the company and took her seat on the Travel 2 main board. Kerry left Travel 2 in 2006, three years after a successful sale of the business to the Cendant Corporation.
It was at this point that Kerry began to move into the luxury sector, joining Western & Oriental as director of tour operations where she managed the merge and rebranding of some 13 businesses into one, eventually becoming the managing director until her departure in late 2012.
Since joining Abercrombie & Kent as UK managing director in early 2013, Kerry has taken a seat on the global board and has been responsible for company revenue growth of over 130%.
Chief Executive Officer, LuxuryBARED
Some people are born to wander and explore. Others are content to stay in one place and marvel at the beauty of the world from the comfort of an armchair. Well and truly from the former school of thought, Grant Holmes was born in New Zealand, and when he graduated from university, packed his bags and never sat still again. Something to do with having grown up so far away from the rest of the world may be the reason. But whatever it is, he's lived life on almost every continent, and has worked in travel, a good deal of it luxury, since he began his career with Qantas way back when. He co-founded LuxuryBARED Ltd. in 2015, in Chester in the UK, a booking website with a difference. Not only does Grant spin an entertaining yarn, but he has a lot of valuable information to share about the way forward for luxury travel.
Senior Vice President, Global Member Partnership
In his role as senior vice president of Global Member Partnerships, David Kolner oversees Virtuoso’s relationships with more than 385 travel agency partners, spanning 700 office locations in 37 countries, and the 11,400 travel advisors they represent. David has been an integral part of the Virtuoso team since 2008, serving in leadership roles within technology and consumer marketing.
David leads a worldwide group of in-market regional directors and business development managers that work side-by-side with agency members on five continents. This team helps Virtuoso members grow their businesses through the acquisition of new clients, the retention and growth of existing clients, as well as increase preferred partner sales, by utilizing unique programs and services offered by Virtuoso.
In addition, David is responsible for the network’s strategic expansion around the world, attracting new agency members as well as travel advisors and independent contractors who wish to align with Virtuoso-affiliated agencies.
David also looks after Virtuoso’s extensive professional development offerings, which include thousands of pre-recorded courses and hundreds of live events held annually via the Virtuoso Travel Academy and at Virtuoso events worldwide.
David also developed and manages the Virtuoso Incubator, the network’s own think tank of forward-looking technology partners that are reinventing the category with the assistance of Virtuoso’s advisors.
He has driven the strategy behind some of Virtuoso’s highest-profile projects, including the development and launch of Virtuoso.com; co-branded and hosted websites for its members; lead-generation programs; the exclusive, 100%-verified consumer Reviews and Recommendations program; consumer segmentation initiatives; and the company’s industry-leading data warehouse, Virtuoso Reports. David also oversaw relationships with more than 50 governmental tourism boards.
His 25 years of industry experience includes a variety of roles in corporate and leisure travel, as well as technology, with companies such as WhitePages.com, Orbitz for Business (formerly Highwire), OAG, and United Airlines.
Based in Virtuoso’s downtown Seattle, Washington office, David directs staff located across the US, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Creative Director, Hannah Lohan Interiors
Hannah first discovered her passion for design while producing interiors programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 television.
In 2006, she went on to establish an event-production company, rapidly building a reputation for orchestrating theatrical events with imagination and highly creative design.
After training at the Interior Design School in Queens Park, Hannah began styling and designing small hotels before setting up her studio in West London in 2012.
She and her team now create beautiful commercial interiors, including the completion of The Dunstane Houses Hotel, in Edinburgh in 2017, and Hook restaurant in the Cotswolds this year, along with a range of luxury tree houses. Current projects include a country gastropub, holiday cottages and boutique hotel in North Devon.
Hannah’s signature style is to incorporate vintage elements into contemporary schemes to create fresh new interiors with a distinctive character and narrative. This passion for seeking out one-off pieces of furniture, from antiques fairs, flea markets and auction houses, has also led to the opening of her own shop, selling unique vintage finds and homeware.
Founder, Artist Residence
Justin Salisbury took over his family guesthouse in Brighton in 2008, aged just 20 following his time at Leeds University.
The hotel was in need of some attention so Justin set about inviting local artists to decorate the rooms; and so the first Artists Residence was born. This was shortly followed by the opening of Artist Residence Cornwall in 2010, which houses 13 bedrooms and five apartments.
Artist Residence Pimlico is the third boutique hotel from Justin and his wife Charlie, which opened after a year-long renovation in September 2014. The pair have also opened their third restaurant, Cambridge Street Kitchen, and a new bar, Clarendon Cocktail Cellar, within the 10-bedroom Pimlico hotel.
This follows The Set & Set Café restaurants with the Brighton Artist Residence, and The Cornish Barn within their Penzance hotel.
The group are set to open their fourth hotel, in Bristol, this year.
The Artist Residence Hotels have been included in The Condé Nast Hot List and The Sunday Times Best Places to Stay 100 top British hotels.
Global Director of Advisory Services, Stylus
With over 15 years' experience in trend consulting, research, design, brand strategy and journalism, Antonia directs Stylus' Advisory services, applying company insight and expertise to clients' challenges, including Mattel, Volkswagen and Ferrero. Former editor of design magazines FX and New Design, and managing editor at The Design Council, Antonia has given keynotes at conferences, run seminars and workshops and chaired judging panels internationally. Antonia has an MA from the University of Liverpool and a PhD from the University of York.