I got into the event industry because I needed some extra money during university, however I was hooked after my first taste of working in catering as a summer temp at a local golf club.
I dabbled with the idea of becoming a teacher but left the PGCE course after the first term. I got a job at Dine initially as a driver delivering 500 sandwiches a day to offices around Yorkshire, and I loved it. The rest is history.
I have worked here since 2001. In 2004 I went full time as a trainee event manager and in 2009 I became commercial director.
I was attracted to this particular role because of the people who work here. I knew I had a lot to learn about the industry and I was impressed by the quality of the food and the slick service – it was something that I hadn’t seen much of before. I remember thinking I wish I could be as good at what I do as the staff.
Not many people know that I went to the same school as Matt Dawson, Luke Donald and Jimmy Carr. I also used to see James Corden a lot - he caught the bus across the road from me.
The best event I’ve been involved in was a global conference for luxury paper manufacturers G. F Smith. I arrived at a factory in Hull on a cold January day with a brief to totally transform the space. The client wanted to impress guests who had travelled from across the world, by transporting them to a totally different environment.
Colour was a major focus and designed specifically to evoke certain feelings at particular points during the event. We completely transformed the wasteland behind the factory into a luxurious venue with a bar, conference area and a hidden dining room. We had fun continuously changing the lighting to match each course served throughout dinner.
If I could do it all over again I would live in another country for a couple of years before settling down to my career at Dine.
The one thing I can’t stand is poorly clothed tables.
Outside of work I spend my time tinkering – I have recently made a dining table. I can also be found singing made-up songs to my seven-month-old daughter, Thea.
If money were no object I would buy a massive house or plot of land and create a commune where my family and friends could live.
If I could switch places with anyone else in the industry it would be Marcus Wareing, because of his amazing food, and he does a great job on Masterchef: The Professionals.
If I ruled the event industry I would put quality at the heart of everything.