Nigel has been creating and growing businesses in the leisure sector for the last 12 years. This includes being a founding-director of the Chill FactorE, the UK’s largest real-snow indoor ski centre, with hundreds of thousands of visitors using the skiing, play, f&b and other facilities in the centre we built next to Trafford Centre in Manchester. He arranged the funding for Forest Holidays’ new generation of sites in Forest of Dean and Sherwood, and then the private equity transaction taking Forest into LDC, after first working with Forestry Commission and Camping & Caravanning Club to restructure the business and split out the camping businesses from the lodge brand. He’s worked with numerous other family and corporate holiday businesses including holiday parks and glamping & camping, as well as luxury lodges and hotels. While principally focused on leading Plum, Nigel is currently helping in the creation of a holiday resort in France, developing a new activity holiday concept and helping owners create & make practical hands-on use of management information and dynamic business models. Nigel previously created and acquired businesses in the residential equity release markets and social housing, after earlier pioneering structures in the international risk markets and capital markets. To escape all this Nigel enjoys his family, racing sailing dinghies, kayaking, walking in remote and beautiful places and good food in bustling noisy ones.
John has worked in the industry since 1980 when he joined one of the leading specialist property advisers. A spell as the general manager of a large park in Yorkshire followed before founding Anderson Associates, which provided property and development advice to park owners from the largest to some of the smallest. During this time he was chairman of the Yorkshire Inland branch of the BH&HPA. In 1997 he sold Anderson Associates to Humberts Leisure later becoming chairman and was involved in the sale of Humberts Leisure to GVA. He left GVA as a director in 2014 and is now enjoying working actively as part of the SRP and Plum teams.
Graham is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at University of Surrey, after 5 years as Head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, where he holds a Chair in Sustainability in Business. He is currently co-editor of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, the lead judge for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow awards and Chairman of Considerate Hoteliers. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for the Future of Travel & Tourism and an adjunct professor at Wakayama University, Japan.
Entrepreneur and technology enthusiast, with passion for technology and research. Bogdan, graduated in 1994 with a BSc (Honours) in Computing and IT from the University of Surrey, UK, where he also accomplished his PhD (2004) in the area of multimedia and neural computing. He is the CTO of Synoptic Technologies Ltd, and previously he was also the Director of Studies and lecturer in Intelligent Systems at the Department of Computing, University of Surrey.
Paul Herve is Head of Engineering at Synoptic Technologies Ltd, overseeing development and infrastructure operations. Paul has designed and engineered several applications and services on a number of technology platforms and now has a wide skill-set covering web frameworks, big data/stream processing, mobile and security. He enjoys working on projects that are challenging both technically and intellectually and has a Bachelors of Computer Science from the University of Surrey.
Maria, has graduated from the University of Surrey in 2013, with a BSc in computer Science and a MSc in Internet Computing, and she has been working at Synoptic Technologies Ltd since, as a Software Developer and Researcher. She enjoys researching and learning new technologies around the area of Computing specifically around Artificial Intelligence. She also enjoys implementing intelligent algorithms for solving real time problems and analysing and processing big sets of data.
Gemma graduated in 1999 with a history degree from the University of Surrey. She started her career in a support role in fund management including a spell with an Asian focused fund manager. This gave her a great insight to the workings of the fast-paced finance sector, supporting the Chief Financial Officer and trading desk with all compliance, financial, HR, company secretary and legal processes. Gemma started working for Nigel Edwards in 2007 as his Personal Assistant and Project Manager, supporting him while he has been growing and creating businesses in the leisure sector. She has been involved with Plum since inception, helping to create the background operational systems to enable the business to thrive. When Gemma isn’t thinking about holiday parks she can generally be found chasing around after young children.
Leo is Head of Hospitality Management at the University of Surrey, where he holds a Chair in Hospitality
and Events, and is Director for the Centre for Research and Enterprise.
He was previously the inaugural Chief Economist and General Manager
of Tourism Research Australia, where he was responsible for the establishment and management of
Australia’s national tourism research agenda. Leo has been involved in the development and operation
of a range of benchmarking systems in the accommodation and business events sectors. In addition to
his academic and government experience, Leo owned and operated a range of successful tourism and
hospitality businesses over a period of 18 years.
He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the tourism industry and to education.