Yvonne joined the board of the UK Spa Association in 2016 and took the lead within the Benchmarking team, assisting operators in understanding the value in their KPI’s and where they stood in comparison with like for like businesses in the industry. In 2019 Yvonne moved over to lead on the Work for Wellness initiative where she has provided the team with initial research support and guidance and has presented this initiative to industry in order to drive forward the recruitment crisis which we so often see within our industry. Now, in 2021 Yvonne has secured the role of General Manager for the association and brings over 20 years’ experience in the international spa, wellness and hospitality industry.
Yvonne graduated with a BA (Hons) in Hospitality Management with Tourism and Leisure in 2003 and went on to work her way up through the Front of House and Rooms division within many iconic hotel companies such as DeVere, Destination Hotels and Resorts and finally as Front of House Manager with Rocco Forte in 2011. Throughout this time, Yvonne has developed a love and a passion for Wellness and her journey into Spas began, starting at Malmaison and working again up through the roles of Assistant Spa Manager and Directors both nationally and internationally, again working with iconic brands such as ESPA, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Conrad, Hilton Worldwide and being an integral part of the Pre-Opening team of the Waldorf Astoria Syon Park.
Recognising the recruitment and retention crisis within spa, wellness and hospitality sector, Yvonne turned to academia and education to assist in training, developing and inspiring future professionals where she became Senior Lecturer and Employability lead at the University of Derby in 2012. During this time, she furthered her academic qualifications with a Masters (MSc) in International Spa Management alongside her Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. There she remained working closely with brands in all sectors and the students to provide work ready graduates, placement students and management projects for 8 years prior to returning to the industry. Yvonne’s background and knowledge within education has led her to speaking at conferences such as Professional Beauty, Spa Life, The Teaching and Learning Conference and Professional Beauty’s education forum as well at many other events to assist in joining the link between education and industry. Yvonne continues her interest in education and the Work for Wellness initiative is just one of the avenues that this has created.
With a keen interest in all thing’s wellness, Yvonne is also a qualified Yogi and meditation teacher and enjoys many wellness activities in her spare time.