Jonathan Raggett appointed chair of Hospitality Action as William Baxter steps down

07 June 2023 by
Jonathan Raggett appointed chair of Hospitality Action as William Baxter steps down

Jonathan Raggett has been appointed chair of Hospitality Action, succeeding William Baxter, who steps down after 13 years guiding the charity.

The Red Carnation Hotels chief executive takes the helm as Hospitality Action welcomes Exclusive Collection managing director Danny Pecorelli to the board, along with new patrons including Atul Kochhar, Chantelle Nicholson, Craig Prentice, Michel Roux Jr, Vivek Singh, and Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala.

Baxter said it had been an honour to have led Hospitality Action during such a pivotal period in its history.

He added: "The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has grown to become an industry-leading scheme... And I'm incredibly proud of the way the whole team responded to the Covid pandemic by mounting a response so quickly and working tirelessly to support an industry facing collapse."

Raggett said he would build on Baxter's work and focus on expanding the EAP scheme by developing a mobile app and adding employee benefits to the service.

He told The Caterer: "For me, hospitality has been a fantastic part of my life. I wouldn't change any of it. I'm now of an age where I can spend some time helping others in the industry and keeping people in the industry.

"I do worry that there are many pressures on our people. Loneliness is certainly a real issue now too. I want to make sure the Hospitality Action footprint is as broad as possible to help as many people as possible. We've done well over the years, but we want to do more."

Hospitality Action chief executive Mark Lewis credited Baxter with being a catalyst for change in the organisation. He said: "Under William's visionary leadership, Hospitality Action has gone from strength to strength. He has been a catalyst for change, and set us on a course that led to the creation of our EAP a decade ago. The programme, which now protects some 200,000 hospitality professionals and sets the standard in employee care for the sector, will be a lasting legacy to William's tenure as chair. I am personally particularly grateful for William's unwavering support as we mounted our response to the pandemic.

"Under Jonathan's leadership we are excited to start our next chapter. The last three years have taught us a great deal about the role we can play in making our industry an even better and more nourishing place to work.

"I'm also delighted to welcome Danny and our new patrons. Patrons play a vital role not only in amplifying our message, but also in ensuring that the charity is relatable and reflects the beliefs, culture and values of the industry we support."

Since the start of 2020, Hospitality Action has spent £3.5m on grant-giving and awarded more than 10,000 grants.

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