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Women in Tourism Event 8 March 2017: Meet Our Speakers

Women in Tourism is delighted to be hosting its first event of 2017 on International Women’s Day.

Join us for an evening of networking and debate on Wednesday 8 March 2017 – sign up here.

We’ll be presenting on how you can join Women in Tourism and shape its future. Meet some of the inspiring contributors on our industry panel. 

Cathy Craig, Commercial Director ScotRail: Cathy Craig has worked in Scotland for the last three and a half years as Commercial Director at Caledonian MacBrayne and now at Abellio ScotRail; having been headhunted for the new franchise. Cathy’s background is based in management consultancy and a variety of business development roles through Dixons Group International and her own consultancy supporting small businesses.  She is passionate about the development of Scotland’s tourism business which she develops through roles as a Non Exec role on the board of Visit Scotland and an elected Director of Argyll & Isles Tourism.  An experienced development orientated individual, Cathy enjoys working collaboratively to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes with multi stakeholders and her own team.

Julie GrieveJulie Grieve, CEO, Information Apps: Information Apps launched their first product, CRITON, which is an app self-build tool into the tourism sector in December 2016. Prior to this Julie was the CEO of Lateral City, a serviced apartment operator. Her early career was spent in serviced offices where she eventually became MD of Abbey Business Centres, a UK wide serviced office operator, which she returned to profit, grew to a turnover of £20m and successfully sold in 2011. Julie also owns a “compact and bijou” gift and homeware shop in the beautiful seaside village of Elie, which she runs with her husband and where she now lives.


David AllenDavid AllenDirector Scotland, People 1st: David has over 26 years’ experience of leading charitable, not for profit and commercial business operations across the Scottish and European Visitor Economy sector and is responsible for working closely with sector employers and key stakeholders to ensure alignment with government policy on skills and vocational education.  David joined People 1st in August 2007 having spent the previous 16 years working in various operational, regional and senior management roles within the Visitor Economy. In addition to his role at People 1st David also sits on, chairs and leads a number of other industry working groups, advisory boards and forums, including the Scottish Tourism Skills Group which he formed in 2009, all focusing on qualifications and skills development.

Melissa Raffaeli, Director of Sales, Starwood Hotels & Resorts: Melissa joined the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in 2002 as a Guest Services Agent in the Front Office, before transferring to the Spa Reception and eventually moving into Group and Events Sales.  She subsequently held a number of positions in the hotel sales team, including Assistant Director of Sales before being promoted to Director of Sales in 2013. An experienced sales leader with a proven track record of exceeding goals and revenue targets, Melissa is experienced in managing and motivating a sales and events team to exceed expectations. She is passionate about progressing in sales and continuing to grow both the business and develop her team.


Panel Chair: Aileen Lamb, Tourism Programme Manager, Scottish Enterprise

In addition to her role as Tourism Programme Manager at Scottish Enterprise, Aileen is an experienced non-executive director and a national charity ambassador. She combines strategic leadership with a practical understanding of both the public and private sectors – particularly in relation to tourism. During her career, Aileen has worked in the newspaper industry, in destination marketing and in both delivery and strategy roles helping large and small businesses, cities and towns achieve their potential. She has a strong economic development background specialising in business innovation and collaboration, tourism destination development, digital and business growth. Aileen ran a business network in the food & drink sector, and is co-creator of the UK’s first qualification for tourism destination leadership. Aileen’s passions are tourism and travel and she is well-known as a co-developer and regular host of #Scotlandhour – the country’s most powerful tourism focused monthly Twitter chat.