Mark Jones has been appointed managing director of Wyboston Lakes Venues, the UK’s largest privately owned single site specialist conference and training centre.
For the last six years he has been group general manager of Whittlebury Hall Management Training Centre, Hotel and Spa and Scalford Hall Hotel in Melton Mowbray.
During his tenure, Whittlebury Hall has twice been awarded Best Large Hotel in the East Midlands and in 2011 won the Judges Award for Innovation in the Conde Nast Johansens Most Excellent MICE Awards. In 2010 Scalford Hall was awarded the Conde Nast Johansens Most Excellent Dedicated Venue.
This year Wyboston Lakes Venues celebrates its 21st year of operation. It has established a leading national and international position as a provider of specialist facilities for the full spectrum of residential and non-residential events.
The company has built a large and diverse portfolio of customers in the UK and increasingly from overseas, ranging from FTSE Top 250 companies and government departments to SMEs, charities, associations and not-for-profit organisations.
Since it opened, more than £35 million has been spent in developing the site as an award-winning provider for both day and residential events.
Jones said: “The high quality management training and conference market is a specialised field and, having spent the last six years heading up one privately owned first class and award-winning operation in this market, I am particularly pleased to be joining another highly regarded, award-winning and forward thinking team.
“To represent the three excellent venues that Wyboston Lakes offers as managing director is a real personal prize and with owners that continue to be committed to growth and development, the future is very positive indeed.”
Jones began his career in 1974 as a graduate trainee for British Transport Hotels, taking up his first GM role in 1981 at the age of 25. In 1983 he moved to Zimbabwe with his family and became General Manager of the historic Victoria Falls Hotel.
For the next 15 years he held a number of roles in Africa, joining Lonrho Hotels in 1988 in East Africa as group operations director based in Nairobi, where his responsibilities included two five star Leading Hotels of the World – the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi and the Mount Kenya Safari Club.
In 1994 he moved to Tanzania as project manager and general manager for Mashado a new-build luxury, deep sea game fishing lodge and director for Mashado Luxury Tented Safaris in the Serengeti. In 1997 Jones and his family returned to the UK when he was appointed UK operations director of Center Parcs. When Center Parcs was sold in 2001, he became director of operations of the Eden Project.
At Wyboston Lakes Venues he succeeds Nigel Hollis, who moves to non-executive deputy chairman with the company’s venues business and will lead its property division as managing director.
• Photograph shows: Mark Jones, managing director of Wyboston Lakes Venues