Laurence Murrell, Chair
Laurence Murrell entered the hotel and leisure industry 40 years ago from an engineering background joining the family business, TLH Leisure Resort. Since becoming involved TLH has grown from one hotel to the present complex operating all year round. During this period TLH Leisure Resort became the first hotel group to achieve the Investors In people award in the UK.
Laurence has been involved in several tourism and training initiatives both locally and regionally helping to develop and promote the industry
Martin Brook, Vice Chair
With 3 decades of experience, Martin is a valued problem solver in financial management, managing multi-million pound portfolios for professional clients. A graduate in economics with specialism in regional development, he has successfully built Pilgrims Rest Cottages his own award-winning venture in tourism from scratch at the beginning of the financial recession.
Martin was a founder of Torbay ‘Street Pastors’ and is currently Director of a locally based national charity, Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN).
Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive Officer
Carolyn has over 35 years experience working in the UK tourism industry. In January 2017 Carolyn was appointed as the Chief Executive of the new ERBID Company. Previous roles include: Chief Executive of the English Riviera Tourism Company, Chairman of Visit Devon, Managing Director of Close Focus Tourism Consultancy, Specialist Tourism Advisor for Business Link Devon and Cornwall, Senior Tourism lecturer at Plymouth CFE and UK Product Development Director SAGA Holidays.
Carolyn is a member of TMI (Tourism Management Institute) Tourism Society and representative of the Visit England Destinations Forum with responsibility for leading on the new England’s Seafood Coast Project.
Using his entrepreneurial skills and his passion for success, Barry helps leaders of SMEs improve the bottom line. He acts as a critical friend, more a resultant than a consultant, helping translate intentions into tangible outcomes.
His background is primarily the hospitality and retail sectors, with a Diploma from the Hotel School in Lausanne working in the UK, Switzerland, France and Austria. He was Managing Director at the Riviera International Conference Centre for 15 years.
Barry’s contribution to Tourism was acknowledge with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Visit Devon.
Pippa has over 20 years of marketing experience in the leisure and tourism sector. She is Director of Marketing & Development at South West Environmental Parks Ltd., operators of Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo.
Having previously been in the retail sector, she started at the Zoo in 2000 and was involved in the development and launch of the Living Coasts attraction in 2003. She has strategic marketing and fundraising responsibility for all three zoos.
Pippa is also Deputy Chair of the English Riviera Attractions Partnership, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Member of the Tourism Society.
Born and brought up in the Bay, Richard is a partner at the Bygones tourist attraction in Torquay, managing the day to day running of the business. He is the Chairman of the English Riviera Attractions Partnership (ERAP) and also chairs the judging panel for the Herald Express Tourism & Hospitality annual awards.
Richard is a keen supporter of building partnerships and moving the English Riviera forward at as many levels as possible.
Chairman of TBF from 2015-2017 and former Vice-Chairman since March 2013. Partner of Bishop Fleming, Chartered Accountants in Torquay, heading up the Business Services Team looking after local family owned businesses across many sectors.
Passionate about the regeneration of Torbay both physically and in the business sense.
Trustee of Torbay Advice Network, a charity providing training to frontline advisors to those trying to access the benefits system.
Chris is Managing Partner at Wollen Michelmore Solicitors, Torquay.
Previously Chair of the English Riviera Tourism Company, Chair Law Management Section, Law Society, Chair Practice Management Sub-Committee, Devon and Somerset Law Society Trustee, Friends of South Devon College. Vice Chairman South Devon Cricket Club.
Director of Beverley Holidays in Paignton, Claire has worked in her family’s successful awarding winning holiday park from an early age. She has been involved in the tourism sector all her life, is active with several tourism groups and is passionate about the bay.
Claire is chair of the Best of British Holiday Parks marketing group and also a committee member of the British Home and Holiday Parks Association.
Kevin is the Executive Head of Tor Bay Harbour Authority and has overall management responsibility for Tor Bay Harbour and the enclosed harbours of Brixham, Torquay and Paignton. He is also responsible for the management of Torbay Council’s Beach and Resort services along 22 miles of coastline.
Kevin is a marine industry professional with more than 30 years experience. Over 20 years in Local Government as a harbour manager with knowledge of business management, strategic planning, project management, governance and leadership. A fellow of the Nautical Institute and council member of the British Ports Association and the UK Harbour Masters Association
Michelle Pugh is a company Director for DC Media, which is the biggest newspaper & online publishing operation across the region and is part of Trinity Mirror PLC.
In her role as Media Sales Director, Michelle has extensive experience in Management within the Media Industry with a responsibility stretching across South Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon & North Devon. She works at the forefront of one of the most challenging and innovative industries, where change is ever present and a catalyst for success.
Her career of over 20 years spans Media Sales & Marketing, Event Management, General Management & Digital Development. She oversees 11 annual award ceremonies per annum celebrating the best of communities. Michelle also has much experience in local network organisations and is currently active in selected groups in South Devon and Exeter both professionally and privately.
Outside of work Michelle has two young children who to whom she dedicates all of her spare time. Together they enjoy hobbies in Musical Theatre and dance. Their education and well-being is of the utmost importance.
Mark is particularly passionate about living and working in Torbay. He is a Director of Bays Brewery in Paignton and Managing Director of SSG Training and Consultancy based in Plymouth providing health, safety, HR and employment law services nationally.
As well as being on the board of the English Riviera BID Company Mark is also on the Executive Team of the Torbay Business Forum and a Trustee of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Family time is key and his three young daughters make sure that he is kept on his toes at all times!
Owner of Sonachan House, a 4* Guest Accommodation since 2002. Member of the initial tourism steering group and served as a Board member of the English Riviera Tourism Company for the duration of the company.
Founding director of Torbay Accommodation Providers.Past member of Torbay Hospitality Association, former executive member and for two years chairman.
Roy’s career started in the music industry as a performer, manager and promotor. He then moved into executive travel before moving back to the Bay in 2002 with his wife Marita and three young children and buying, rebuilding, refitting and rebranding the Hotel Iona in Torquay.
Roy has been a executive member of the THA and is now Chair of the Bridge Group of Hotels, a buying/social group of over 100 small hotels and guest houses.