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Thu 11th Apr 2013 - Breaking News - David McHattie named as new ALMR chief executive
David McHattie is the new chief executive of ALMR: David McHattie has been named as the new chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) in the wake of a decision by Nick Bish to stand down after 20 years in the role. Chairman Steve Richards said: “David joins us at an important stage in the ALMR’s history. David has the breadth of experience and drive necessary to ensure that ALMR works in dynamic partnership with its members to show the vital contribution our sector makes in delivering jobs and growth across the country. We will also continue to benefit from Nick Bish’s experience and support through his advisory part time role on the ALMR Board.” David McHattie joins ALMR after developing the Hospitality Benchmark brand endorsed by the former National Skills Academy for Hospitality (now People 1st). He was also the former CEO of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality and former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of People 1st developing skills strategies and programmes with employers across the UK. A seasoned operator, McHattie owns The Devonshire Arms in Baslow. He has held senior operations roles in The Restaurant Group, Fuller Smith & Turner  and Mitchells & Butlers during which period he won numerous awards for performance and innovation. He will formally take up the position at ALMR at its Annual General Meeting on 8 May 2013. McHattie and his wife Emma plus business partner Gary Hodgkinsson run Inn Idea and re-launched Punch Taverns’ Devonshire Arms, just around the corner from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, in December last year. The venue is a new concept called Inn & Kitchen that incorporates a tea, coffee and cake offer called Hatties. McHattie also runs Customer Service Benchmark, which benchmarks guest experiences for companies like Living Ventures, Las Iguanas, Camino, Ego, Crussh and Travelodge. David McHattie said: “Building on the strong legacy left by Nick Bish, I am looking forward to playing my part in promoting our industry and securing support for our businesses. ALMR members have a terrific record of looking after their staff and customers and adding real value to our society and economy.” Nick Bish, outgoing ALMR chief executive, said: “I have been privileged to be part of ALMR since its foundation and growing it to the substantial and influential trade body it is today. David brings with him the vital skills and expertise to ensure that ALMR remains indispensable to our industry and I look forward to supporting him in his new role.”

Richards pays tribute to Nick Bish: ALMR chairman Steve Richards has paid tribute to out-going chief executive Nick Bish who has overseen the development of ALMR into the leading trade body for multi-site pub and restaurant operators with 160 members employing 325,000 people. The last couple of years have seen particular momentum with a host of big name recruits including Mitchells & Butlers, JD Wetherspoon, Spirit Pub Company, Stonegate Pub Company, TGI Friday’s, La Tasca and LT Pub Management. ALMR has also strengthened its membership among emerging companies with Loungers, Lovely Pub Company, Grand Union Group, Chameleon Pub and Dining, New Pub Company, Intertain and Absolute Pubs among the many that have joined in the past year. ALMR chairman Steve Richards has told members: “Last year was a watershed for ALMR as it celebrated its 20th anniversary; growing from a very small committee set up by a group of entrepreneurs to the substantial trade body it is today serving its 160 member companies. ALMR is in rather rude health and continues to grow membership substantially as well as its political and industry influence - long may this continue! Nick Bish has been at the centre of this journey from day one and has successfully steered ALMR through the many challenges that have occurred over these last two decades and I think it fair to say he has done it in a dedicated, professional and always friendly manner. Nick obviously has a wealth of knowledge, contacts and experience and fortunately that won’t all be lost to ALMR as Nick has agreed to stay on in a part time capacity (couple of days a month) in order to help the transition but also to concentrate on identified strategic projects that need delivering.”

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