Former Olympic catering boss Jan Matthews has been named chairman of the hospitality industry networking association Arena.
Her appointment was announced at the Arena Face2Face Interview with Compass Group chief Ian Sarson earlier this week, and comes after Matthews led the 22,000-strong team that delivered the catering and hospitality at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
She will officially take up her new position on 3 December at the Arena Christmas Lunch.
Matthews has extensive industry experience – her past roles include senior positions in the hotel sector including Moat House and Forte, contract caterers Aramark and Elior, the NAAFI, and now chief executive of RP Global, the major events arm of the Russell Partnership.
She joined the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) in September 2009 as head of catering, cleaning and waste services, a programme that included the largest peacetime cleaning operation in the world.
The position saw Matthews lead a team of 500 volunteers, 140 Locog staff and 22,000 contractors, serving 14 million meals in six weeks.
Arena director Lorraine Wood said Matthews’ appointment as chairman marks the start of an exciting new period for Arena.
“Jan is probably now best known for her key role and fantastic achievements during the incredible London 2012 Olympic Games, but let’s not overlook the impressive career that led her there. Her experience and knowledge developed in the hotel sector, contract catering, NAAFI, and of course the Olympic Games, will be of immense benefit to Arena and our members,” said Wood.
“I very much look forward to working with Jan and continuing to progress and evolve Arena as a thriving and valuable industry association.”
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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