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Thu 11th Sep 2014 - McHattie steps down as ALMR chief executive
McHattie steps down as ALMR chief executive: David McHattie, chief executive of the ALMR, has announced today that he is going to relinquish his current role and take up a position on the Council as from the end of September. Kate Nicholls, currently strategic affairs director, has been appointed chief executive with immediate effect. McHattie’s decision to step down coincides with his move to the north of England to develop his pub operation, The Devonshire Arms in Baslow, a Punch Taverns pub, and the desire to develop more sites. He has been responsible for not only growing the core membership but introducing food-service pubs and casual dining into the ALMR with the recruitment of Tragus, Carluccio’s, Brasserie Blanc and Red Hot World Buffet among others in the last few months. “As a Council Member, I will be able to represent the interests of food-focussed businesses within our sector, whether casual dining restaurants or traditional pubs and bars offering a high quality food experience,” said McHattie. “My personal circumstances have changed and I am relishing the opportunity to move north with my partner and remain in this industry which we all love. The ALMR is in a position to finally become the united voice that licensed hospitality retailers deserve. I hope I have helped in developing the ALMR and look forward to continuing to do so.” ALMR chairman Steve Richards said: “David leaves the executive of the Association in a much stronger position with a breadth of membership that now spans all sectors. I am delighted at David’s continued involvement on the Council as we continue to grow the representation of food-led businesses.” A spokesman for the ALMR board said: “Kate brings 20 years’ of experience with her of the sector and an unrivalled insight into politics and public affairs. Her appointment retains the ALMR’s consistent, individual and effective voice and we are really looking forward to continuing to work with her.” Commenting on her appointment, Kate Nicholls added: “I am honoured to be given this opportunity to represent our dynamic and vibrant industry. I have enjoyed working with David, the Board and our membership over the past year to drive forward a new and ambitious agenda for the ALMR and relish the challenge of delivering a strong, united and robust voice for licensed hospitality.”

Propel Opinion: David McHattie replaced Nick Bish as chief executive of the ALMR. Bish held the position for two decades - McHattie’s tenure has lasted for just 15 months. But he made a very worthwhile contribution in that time. The goal for the ALMR is to become the voice for licensed hospitality, adding restaurant companies of all sizes to its membership alongside the multi-site managed pub companies of all sizes. In this there has been remarkable progress thanks in large part to McHattie’s advocacy and energy. Mitchells & Butlers and JD Wetherspoon have both stepped away from the British Beer & Pub Association to focus their lobbying through the ALMR in recent years. Now a swathe of restaurant companies of all sizes have joined the ALMR, from the brilliant Smith & Western chain and Red Hot World Buffet through to larger brethren such as Carluccio’s, Tragus and Brasserie Blanc. The decision to pick Kate Nicholls to replace McHattie will be well-received. The ALMR’s strategic affairs director is hugely respected for her first-class intellect – and is utterly devoted to the ALMR where she worked alongside Nick Bish for many, many years. Many were surprised she wasn’t given the ALMR top job in the first place. 

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