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Academic Venue Solutions welcomes new board member in latest changes at top

Academic Venue Solutions has strengthened its link with a key sector partner, announcing that Mike Haslin, CEO of TUCO – The University Caterers Organisation Ltd, is to join the board.

It’s the latest in a series of changes at the consortium, which last month appointed Clare Forster, conference office manager at the University of Salford, as its new chair and Harry Warner, head of conference sales and marketing at King’s Venues, as vice-chair.

The consortium, which has 52 member venues, has key objectives for the next few years which include: increasing membership; maintaining academic venues as a key sector for the events industry; and to showcase their members through networking events, such as the AVS Showcase in London in March, exhibitions and new initiatives.

Haslin brings to the board a wealth of combined experience and knowledge within the hospitality and academic sectors having worked in director-level capacity for the North Western Universities purchasing Consortium (NWUPC), Scottish & Northern Universities Purchasing Initiative (SNUPI) and his current role as CEO of TUCO.

He said: “I’m looking forward to meeting and working with the Academic Venue Solutions board and their members. Working as TUCO CEO I already know many of the member venues, and I’m acutely aware of the everyday and strategic challenges they face. There’s a lot of knowledge and experience on the board already, so I hope I can offer an alternative perspective, solutions and ideas, and help them achieve their objectives”

Clare Forster, board chair, said: “I’m delighted that Mike has agreed to join the board. His experience as both director and CEO will be invaluable to us, specifically in relation to the experience he has had at TUCO. The board are looking forward to learning from and working with Mike, especially his experience with the development of the TUCO Academy, commissioning research and developing commercial partnerships.”

The membership has seen significant growth over the past 18 months, welcoming 20 new member venues. The key strategy for Academic Venue Solutions is to put its members at the heart of everything it does.

The Academic Venue Solutions vision is to be the leading collection of academic venues offering fit for purpose, ethical, meeting spaces and learning environments providing solutions for event organisers.

The Academic Venue Solutions mission is to offer member venues the opportunity to work collaboratively to generate opportunities, make new connections and inform customers about the unique offering at academic venues.