Board members of Visit East Anglia
Richard Ellis, Norfolk Country Cottages
Richard Ellis is the current Chair of the Board of Visit East Anglia. Richard started Norfolk Country Cottages in 1992 with his wife, Lesley Ellis in a room at their cottage in Reepham. Having trained as an accountant and worked in large companies, Richard wanted to develop his own business based on a strong set of personal values about quality of service, attention to detail, valuing and respecting people as well as playing an active and responsible role in the community and environment in which we are based. Richard and his team between them are very active in local community affairs with the belief that "you can't have a business without a community and you can't have a community without business". Richard himself is involved as a trustee or board member of the Norwich Theatre Royal, The Forum Trust, The Prince's Trust in the East of England, as well as being the Chair of Governors of the Earlham Early Years Centre and a member of Norwich Cathedral's "Inspiration for the Future" Campaign Executive.
Richard has been involved in many other local organisations such as Business in the Community and their Market Town Regeneration initiatives as well as chairing the Broadland Business Forum and the East of England Sustainable Development Round Table and Arts & Business East. In December 2003 he was appointed Chairman of the East of England Development Agency. After three terms of office, he stepped down and is now Chairman of the private/public partnership of Norfolk Tourism.
Pete Waters, Executive Director, Visit East Anglia
Pete has been on the board of Visit East Anglia as Executive Director since April 2014 and combines the role with being Brand Manager at Visit Norfolk, which he took up in November 2012.
Pete was born and raised in Norfolk and worked for 13 of the last 20 years at the Eastern Daily Press, the country’s largest-selling regional morning newspaper, the last three as editor during which it was awarded Regional Newspaper of the Year. As well as changing the title from broadsheet to compact format and initiating the Norfolk glossy magazine, he launched the title’s Holiday Here campaign and was instrumental in the development of the Norfolk Food & Drink Festival, of which he is a board member. Pete has also worked as a magazine publisher in the Cotswolds, the South West, London and Brighton.
Sean Clark, Search and Social Media Marketing
Sean is Google AdWords Certified, a Hootsuite Certified Professional and volunteer Hootsuite Ambassador.
Sean’s clients cover industries in sectors such as FMCG, Insurance, Pet Supplies, IT and Construction, all with one thing in common: They are in the early stages of developing their presence online.
Sean has also been featured in the book “Brilliant Online Marketing” by Alex Blyth.
Specialties include: Social Media, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, blogging, E-Business, Project Management, Online Marketing, SEO, Web Development, E-commerce, Conversion Optimisation.
Paul Rous, Bruisyard Hall
Paul grew up and was schooled in Australia before becoming an Army officer, which included a successful tour of Iraq with the Light Dragoons. He also has experience in the City at Goldman Sachs and has worked with start-ups in the UK and the Middle East.
Elected in 2015 as the representative for Framlingham Ward on Suffolk Coastal District Council, Paul is also the new CLA Suffolk chair. He supports local charities such as EACH and the Suffolk Community Foundation, as well as Prince’s Trust and the armed forces charity SSAFA.
Landowners in the county since the 1300s, the Rous family farms in Dennington with Paul working on the diversified businesses, which includes residential and commercial lets, renewable energy, a wedding and events venue, holiday lets, pubs, and external catering.
“I’m passionate about rural business, tourism and improving training, skills and opportunity for younger generation, especially in rural areas."
After graduating from Kingston University in Surrey Keith joined British Airways as a commercial trainee and worked in marketing specialising in third party partnerships including car rental and hotel sector development. He then moved directly into the hotel industry and held several senior marketing roles and was Vice President of Marketing for Hilton plc until 2006 after which he joined East of England Tourism as Chief Executive. As a result of the total withdrawal of its public sector funding and EET's eventual closure, Keith has been worked with a small group of East Anglian business leaders on a new commercially driven organisation that culminated in the launch of Visit East Anglia on 1 September 2011.
Barbara Greasley, Norfolk Broads Direct
Tom Blofeld, BeWILDerwood
Tom's family have lived in Hoveton, Norfolk for generations and he recently took over the running of the Estate from his father Sir John Blofeld. He is married to Leslie, a film journalist and they have a son, Rufus and a very recent daughter, Eve.
Previous to dreaming up the concept of BeWILDerwood Tom had a ‘maverick' career.
• He ran his own company ‘Templestone' fire surrounds for 12 years
• He was a Curator at the Courtauld Institute
• By his own admission a bad art dealer
• and also a one time worker at McDonalds.
Tom has always had a sense of fun and together with a passionate interest in Children's literature and a dream of having his own book published, ‘A Boggle at BeWILDerwood' and BeWILDerwood could be said to be that dream come true.
Tom is a founding member of Visit East Anglia, a new organisation funded by the private sector to promote tourism across East Anglia. Tom is also Vice President of Autism Anglia.
Tim Rowan-Robertson, TA Hotel Collection
After spending 24 years, living in London, working for large brewers and leisure companies Tim decided, in 1996, to move out to Suffolk, where he and family spent week-ends and holidays. In that year he acquired, with a friend, Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club and has since increased the size of the business to 5 hotels, a pub and Country Club - all in Suffolk. The business is now known as TA Hotel Collection Ltd and employs around 350 management and staff. Tim has been heavily involved in various aspects of tourism in Suffolk and, in particular, the Suffolk Coast around Aldeburgh, where 4 of the hotels are located. Outside work, Tim is a keen golfer, chairs The Aldeburgh Cinema and tries to find time for a rapidly increasing horde of grand children.
Tim also chairs the Suffolk Coast destination management organisation.
Ian Russell, Wroxham Barns
A founding director of Visit East Anglia in 2011, Ian Russell MBE is a director of family attraction and shopping outlet Wroxham Barns.
Before Wroxham Barns, Ian created his own media agency, Shorthose Russell, which he subsequently moved on from.
A marketing expert, Ian was instrumental in establishing two local DMOs, Visit Norwich and Enjoy the Broads, and has been a keen advocate and supporter of other Norfolk destinations, including north Norfolk and Great Yarmouth.
Chris Coubrough, Flying Kiwi Inns
Born in North Island, New Zealand in 1971, chef Chris Coubrough has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the world before finally settling in Norfolk 10 years ago with his wife and 2 children.
Chris owns some of the most popular gastro-pubs in Norfolk and amongst them they have an increasing list of notable awards and achievements including Best Gastropub, Best Freehouse, Best Turnaround Site for East Anglia in The Great British Pub, Norfolk Dining Pub of The Year 2010 and 2011 in the prestigious Good Pub Guide to name but a few.
Growing up on an isolated farm where if they wanted to eat something they had to grow it first, Chris soon realised his natural flair with food and took a three year cookery course before winning the New Zealand Trade Board's Swiss Scholarship which sent him to Michelin starred cooking in The Hotel Hirschen on Lake Zurich and later to Bern. Continuing his world travels Chris moved to London, cooking at Frederick's restaurant in Islington for two years, before moving to Southwold in Suffolk, where for eight years he ran the kitchens of the well-known Adnams hotels, The Crown and The Swan before in 2002 moving to Norfolk and opening his first Hotel, The Crown in Wells-next-the-Sea.
His complete understanding of food has meant he is as relaxed demonstrating to 500 people as he is in front of the camera always imparting a little bit of knowledge that he hopes will give people a greater understanding of the food they eat.
Chris' television career started after he was talent spotted during a cooking demonstration in 2006 his natural camera presence meant he was soon presenting Coastal Kitchen (ITV Anglia) as well as appearing on Eating for Britain (Channel 4) and Market Kitchen (UKTV). He has just come back from filming the third series of a food and travel programme ‘A Taste of Greenland' which has been sold to BBC World.
Chris thrives on a challenge - He'll cook anything anywhere and has; from a cave to a boat even on an isolated iceberg.
Martin Dupee, Banham Zoo and Africa Alive!
Martin Dupee joined the Goymour Group as Commercial Manager for Banham Zoo in 2004, where in the intervening years he became Operations Manager at Banham Zoo, Head of Operations for Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! and, following the acquisition by the group in 2006, Dinosaur Adventure. In January 2012 Martin was appointed to the role of Director of Operations. In February 2013, the Zoological Society was formed which incorporated the two zoos, Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! enabling the conservation work of both zoos to be developed for future years. Martin is responsible for all guest services including marketing, catering, retail and cleaning across the both visitor attractions.
Prior to joining Banham Zoo, Martin's career covered many aspects of retail and catering having worked for companies including Little Chef, Vision Express and Going Places after an early career in the Merchant Navy working mainly for Shell UK and P&O Cruises. He was also a Magistrate serving on the Norwich and Norfolk Benches for 21 years.
In addition to being a founding member of Visit East Anglia, Martin is also a Director and Chairman of Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions.
Robert Gough, Gough Hotels
Robert was educated at Uppingham School and continued his education at London University (Queen Mary's college and the LSE) from where he graduated with a BA Hons in History. This was later followed by an MBA in Tourism from Oxford Brookes University.
Robert worked for the Trust House Forte Plc from 1988- 90 before returning to become managing director of the family hotel business where he has progressed his particular interest in the long term strategic planning and development.
In recent years Robert has overseen the expansion of his family hotel from 40 to 80 rooms and in 2004 the opening of the Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich's first 4 star boutique hotel. Outside of his own company Robert was Vice Chairman of the British Hospitality Association (Eastern Region) from 1998 to 2002 before serving as Chairman from 2002 to 2005. He was also Chairman of the Suffolk Tourism Partnership from 2005 to 2007 and Director of the Suffolk Development Agency.