Meet Our Team of Experts

International Venue Management is a global team of experts comprising the two founding partners, together with outstanding industry specialists in the Sport, Heritage and Themed Attraction sectors. 

Angus Houston
Founding Partner

As a founding partner of IVM, Angus has led venue improvement projects and delivered outstanding results for clients. He has worked in the sport and leisure sectors since the 1990s, managing some of the most iconic venues, stadia and events in the UK, from racecourses and Premier League football clubs to heritage organisations. He was responsible for the build, opening and managing of Limerick Racecourse in 2001, the first such greenfield development in the UK and Ireland since the war. He has managed numerous capital and business specific strategic developments. He also supports Board level due diligence on acquisitions, operational excellence and transformation processes.

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Rob Quick
Founding Partner

As a founding partner of IVM, Rob’s role is to identify and maximise commercial opportunities for clients. Rob is quite possibly one of the most connected people in the sports business. Following a successful career in advertising, marketing and sponsorship, he has focused on offering full management solutions to professional sports bodies. As well as delivering commercial solutions to many top sports clubs in the UK and around the world, Rob has worked with a number of venues to rebuild their back-office capabilities through restructuring and outsourcing. Rob set up Jockey Club Services in partnership with The Jockey Club, which is now a core partner to IVM, and is also chairman of his own global software business.

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Anthony Frost
Operations Associate

Anthony has a huge breadth of operations experience working in stadiums and racecourses delivering profit growth and leveraging new commercial opportunities. Anthony’s time as Operations Director at Chester Race Company, developing and growing the business to become a world leading course for hospitality and events all year round, has seen it become one of the most profitable businesses within racing. Successfully delivering high profile events for members of the Royal Family through to large scale events with 30,000+ visitors, Anthony’s operations experience will be hugely valuable to clients looking to improve their commercial performance and deliver new revenue streams. Within the past five years Anthony has also focused on global development, most recently with international customers within China and EU countries.

Alan Kotz
Travel Associate

Alan is a hugely experienced travel executive, who for sixteen years was the owner and Managing Director of AKA Sports & Events, delivering B2B travel and destination management services at worldwide sports team events, inbound accommodation programmes and sponsor destination management. Following the sale of his company to a global travel conglomerate, Alan has since provided consultative travel services on a global basis, including multiple football World Cups, Champions and Europa League Finals and the Olympic Games in Brazil and London. More recently, Alan currently handles the UK travel requirements for FC Porto, FC Braga and The Brazilian Football Federation. He is also a consult for ATPI, the travel partner of the International Federation of Equestrian Events and delivers corporate travel programmes at multiple racing events in the UK and Dubai.

Chris True
Leisure Sector Associate

Chris is a leisure and attractions specialist, working with clients to review existing performance and develop business plans, feasibility studies and growth strategies. He has over 15 years of experience across the leisure and attraction sectors specialising in new business development and the operation of large multifaceted health clubs, leisure centres and visitor attractions. As Head of Business Development for Parkwood Leisure, Chris spearheaded Parkwood’s entry into the Outdoor Education, Visitor Attraction and Heritage Market.  Prior to this he operated the largest visitor attraction in South Wales. Chris wrote Rufford Abbey Country Park in Nottingham’s growth and investment strategy helping it to become a financially sustainable, award winning attraction.

Damion Wan
China Associate

Damion Wan is a vastly experienced exhibitions and trade shows consultant and organiser working with venue management companies throughout Europe and Asia. He is a consultant for Hannover Messe in Germany, the biggest trade show fair ground in the World. He is an advisor to the Board of Guangdong ICE in Foshan, China. Damion has worked with regional governments and state-owned companies including Beijing Oriental Plaza Exhibition and Training Center, Zhengzhou ICC, Greenland Expo in Zhengzhou, Guangdong Tanzhou ICEC in Foshan, Nanjing Lishui ICEC, Shenzhen New IEC and the Urumqi ICEC in Xinjiang. He has also received numerous trade awards as an outstanding leader in the exhibition business in China from 2009-2015.

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Dan Smith
IT Associate

Dan's role is to analyse and review ICT infrastructure based on client and project objectives. His speciality and expertise in the technology market focuses on the human interface between business and technology, solving business challenges with the right balance of people, process and tools. Dan's love for all things tech started when he received his own PC at the age of 14, soon establishing himself as the go-to expert for anything that involved a microchip. A flourishing career over the next 20 years has seen him lead and transform organisational business delivery, through the ever changing face of technology and communication systems.

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Dominic Fleming
Sales Associate

Dominic is one of the most accomplished and well-regarded sales executives in the sporting, confex and leisure industries. He is currently head of business development at Stadium MK. His track record reflects an unparalleled success in establishing and growing venue sales, through a simple approach of people relationships and processes, combined with an instinctive recognition of market position. After taking the new MK Dons Arena to an enviable national market position, Dom has recently focused on offering his services to speciality organisations in the sector. As an associate of IVM, Dom will lead sales and marketing client requirements from inception to long-term sustainability, growth and profitability.

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Gerald Salt
Venue Structure Associate

Gerald Salt is managing director at Stagecraftuk and a project manager with a wealth of experience. He is an expert in project managing conference exhibition services and construction developments. Throughout his career, he has been at the forefront of a number of major developments, including most recently the Telford International Centre conference suite, a semi fixed auditorium with retractable seating and a full production facility including sound, lighting, vision and stage set.

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Gill Howarth
HR Associate

Gill is responsible for focusing on what is arguably every organisation's most important aspect, its people. Gill started life in operations within organisations such as Manchester United and iconic theatre venues. This evolved into the highest spectrums of organisational HR and people management. CIPD qualified, she has worked in sectors from sport, leisure and retail to destination attractions. Gill has delivered and worked on significant projects based on shared service models including recruitment, payroll, HR administration, safeguarding strategies and the highest levels of general HR due diligence.

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Imad M. Bitar
Saudi Arabia Associate

IMB is a high‐performing, strategic‐thinking and driven individual with years of event services and experiences in various business & government industries and within multitude of settings, experiences & environments. Worked on the agency and client side, specializing in consulting, development, management, marketing, PR, brand experiences, and entertainment ultimately focusing on the customer journey. Passionate and proud to have led and being part of projects in Canada, KSA & GCC. Worked in automotive, defense & security, government, and financial industries, successfully delivering motor shows, brand launches, strategic conferences, workshops, high profile meetings, gala dinners, festivals, sports hospitality, and activations for Abdul Latif Jameel, Toyota, Lexus, Komatsu, FCA, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, IFC, IDB, Microfinancing, World Bank, GACA, GSA, GEA - Riyadh Season, Janadriyah Cultural & Heritage Festival 26, Mondelez, Saudi Cup 2020 and Dinner in the Sky Canada.

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Jamie Arnall
Legal Associate

Jamie supports and executes all legal elements of the client business dynamic relating to supply chains, commercial partnerships and people. Jamie has the skills to tackle any legal negotiation regardless of complexity, relationship type or size of supplier. He focuses on stakeholder due diligence and compliance from a buy, sell or merger perspective. Jamie graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2007 with a degree in law. Having qualified as a solicitor, he spent a number of years working as in-house legal counsel for organisations such as Norwich City Football Club and more recently as senior counsel for Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, which included advising Thomas Cook Sport.

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Janice Dunphy
Theming & Attractions Associate

Janice has over thirty years’ experience of play, education and leisure operation. As owner and operator of the award winning Web Adventure Park for 15 years, Janice has been constantly engaged in raising standards, research and development within the sector and leading industry change through committee positions at the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) and as Chair of the Family Entertainment Centre (FEC). Janice speaks regularly on behalf of BALPPA in the UK, and internationally for The Global Association For The Attractions Industry (IAAPA), specialising in customer retention and family customer service.  A consultant for play and family leisure facilities for many years, clients have ranged from the UK’s largest soft play group to farm parks and smaller, niche attractions.

Jeanette Proctor
Executive Assistant

Jeanette Proctor is a highly experienced organiser and administrator who has worked in a wide range of roles including executive office manager, HR, management accounting, compliance, safeguarding, disability awareness, facilities management and procurement. Her career in business has covered sectors including the automotive industry, an Irish racecourse, a thoroughbred stud, an equestrian magazine and a sports governing body. As executive assistant to the team at IVM, Jeanette will be responsible for organisational processes and activities, interfacing between client and associates as required.

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John Benson Smith
F&B Associate

John Benson Smith is a high profile, award winning food and catering consultant with over 40 years’ experience working to improve F&B offerings. His clients have included many top European football clubs, the Scottish FA, the Arts Council, the London 2012 Olympics and major theme parks. A former judge on BBC MasterChef, John also ran the JBS Cookery School for nine years. His restaurant experience is vast, from two-star Michelin restaurants to simple casual dining. John’s other projects include being chosen by Tony Blair to improve food in NHS hospitals, the Government-led Food in Schools initiative, designing menus for first class train services and working with food manufacturers on R&D. As a Private Chef, John has cooked for many celebrities, HM Queen Elizabeth II, overseas royalty and heads of state.

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John Jackson
Venue Mobilisation Associate

John has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality, events and leisure industry. He has worked at the most senior level of venue operations and service provision and has managed building and contract implementation projects at some of Europe’s premier venues including The O2 arena and ExCeL Conference and Exhibition centre in London, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and the AccorHotelsArena in Paris. In addition he has successfully completed change management assignments in South East Asia, the Middle East and continental Europe. A culturally aware and pragmatic solution finder, John has broad experience in venue design, build and fit-out as well as the practical nuances of venue mobilisation, recruitment, operations and customer service delivery.

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John Sheehan
Media Associate

John is a journalist and editor with more than 25 years of experience. He started his career in newspapers and worked for the Press Association news agency before moving on to the business sector and trade publications. His experience includes working with industries ranging from sports to energy, food to shipping. He is the editor of Panstadia & Arena Management magazine, the leading global publication for the business of stadia, arenas, sport & live entertainment events and venues, giving him unique access and insight into the world of venue management.

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Neil Levett
Publishing & Expo Associate

Neil has worked in the global media world of stadia and arena management for over 20 years as the owner and organiser of the Stadia & Arena series of events and as publisher of Panstadia & Arena Management magazine, until selling the business recently. He is a skilled project leader and has hired large scale venues to run events for the stadia and arena sector. These have focused on revenue generation and the fan experience. This unique insight gives Neil an in-depth knowledge of suppliers, venue managers and international contacts who have supplied and managed some of the most iconic venues in the world. For six years Neil was also the CEO of the UK Venue Manager’s Association, helping to set up a degree in venue management at Bucks New University.

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Nick Bradley
Design & Build Associate

As design director at Restaurant Design Associates (RDA), Nick is an expert in catering, retail and hospitality design, helping clients across the UK to create bespoke operations and customer experiences to suit the correct F&B strategy. Nick’s design and build experience allows the mobilisation of a catering solution on a true “turn-key” basis, including conceptualisation, detailed design development, procurement, and on-site installations. Essentially, Nick’s passion is born from supporting clients in generating increased sales revenue, be it through an increase in customer throughput or a fundamental increase in occupancy of a facility. It is this passion that has led Nick to deliver high profile sports and leisure projects in some of the UK’s leading entertainment venues, including The O2 Arena and SSE Arena, Wembley. As an associate of IVM, Nick’s role will be to deliver all design and build requirements.

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Philip Shepherd
Corporate Finance Associate

Philip is a strategy and finance specialist, advising companies on their international growth strategies, operating models, pricing structures and business plans. He has experience across the sports, entertainment and leisure sectors. He is a former Partner at PwC where he led the Hotels, Leisure and Attractions practice in the UK and Middle East. He has over 25 years of experience advising companies and financiers, working with hotel owners and operators, travel and destination management companies and operators and investors in leisure and entertainment attractions, restaurants and sports facilities. Project examples include a strategic review and financing of a hospitality loyalty programme, advising a Middle East government on its sports improvement programme and the expansion financing for a UK wildlife park.

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Robin Taylor
Partnerships Associate

Robin is a senior executive within the sports industry having worked at the coal face for over 20 years. He has a strong commercial and strategic background but specialises in advising rights owners on their sponsorship strategy and sales execution. Robin has extensive experience of working with the world’s largest sport and entertainment properties including: the NFL, WWE, UFC, Honda Motor Europe, Chelsea F.C, The Jockey Club and Williams F1. Robin’s strong commercial expertise has been strengthened through holding senior positions at Triumph Media Group, Octagon Worldwide and most recently Prestige Sport & Entertainment. He has also advised and negotiated on significant sponsorship deals including ISOFOTON & Mercedes F1 and WellBet & Serie A, and recently worked for Airways i360, The Jockey Club, Great Leighs racecourse and Edgbaston Cricket Club.

Steven Coleman
Security Associate

Steven is an industry recognised event safety, crowd management and security specialist with over 15 years’ experience in planning and delivering some of the UK’s largest sporting, concert, festival and conference based events. Steven has delivered some of the most complex safety and security operations across many high-profile events such as the Europa League Cup Final, Aintree Grand National, V-Festival, European Championships, FIFA Club World Cup, AFC Asian Cup and Special Olympics World Games. Steven is experienced in consulting on security and crowd management projects worldwide with the scope of works focusing on event planning, crowd management, security plans and procurement, security training and licensing, supplier management, industry best practice and security innovations. Steven is an active member of the UK Crowd Management Association, Football Safety Officers Association and National Outdoor Event Association.

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Tim Banfield
Venue Consultant Associate

Tim is a venue management professional who has worked for some of the UK’s major venues including the NEC, SECC, ACC Liverpool, and latterly as executive director of Doncaster Racecourse. As commercial director, Tim was responsible for revenue growth at the ACC Liverpool Group of over 40% in five years including delivering the business case for Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Over the last two years, Tim has had overall executive responsibility for the group one Doncaster Racecourse, home to the St Leger Festival, where he was also responsible for the delivery of the new Hilton Garden Inn. Tim left the racecourse in November 2018 to undertake venue consultancy working with International Venue Management.

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Tim Hymans
Senior Marketing Associate

Tim is a change management specialist with a particular focus on marketing technology that allows organisations to ‘do more with less.’ He has a flawless track record of success in driving new leads, repositioning brands, building competent and successful teams, implementing new technology and ultimately delivering better customer value. Tim started his career in the Sports industry in the 1990s, and has since worked in the technology, automotive, luxury and financial services industries, successfully running marketing divisions internationally for brands such as Ferrari, Crestron, and Xchanging. As senior marketing associate at IVM, Tim will work with clients to plan and deliver against their corporate marketing objectives that will drive profitable, long-term and sustainable growth.

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