Arena Executive Committee

Arena is run by industry people for industry people.  Our Executive Members are all successful and respected foodservice and hospitality professionals who believe in the vital role Arena plays in keeping the industry connected.  These passionate individuals invest their valuable time, knowledge and expertise in Arena to ensure that we continue to benefit our members and the wider industry.

Steve Norris

Chairman, Arena

Steve Norris, sales director at Nestlé Professional, is a well-known, liked and respected figure within the foodservice and hospitality industry. His extensive experience and passion spans over 30 years and his impressive foodservice career includes national account manager at Bidvest Foodservice, national account controller, RHM Foodservice, and wholesale controller leading to sales director at Nestlé Professional.

Steve is a long term supporter of Arena and fully understands its role and value within the industry. 

Lorraine Wood

Director, Arena

Lorraine is Arena.  She is a natural networker and knows how to put on a great event!  Her extensive event management expertise and skill is evident at every Arena event.   And having worked in the foodservice and hospitality industry for over 20 years, most notably as director of The Restaurant Show and Head of Events for the Publican Awards, it’s also clear that there aren’t many industry names that Lorraine doesn’t know.  

Andy Kemp

Lifetime President, Arena

Andy Kemp is group sales director of Bidfood and is responsible for all corporate/group accounts.  He is the past Chairman of Arena and has sat on the Executive Committee for 18 years. 

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Founder Director of the One and All Foundation and Board member of Springboard UK.

Peter Green

Treasurer, Arena

Peter Green is the managing director of FusionFSM a company specialising in the foodservice market place, providing outsourced sales resources and research services to food manufacturers and suppliers.  Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and prior to FusionFSM had an extensive career in contract catering. He has been in foodservice for 39 years and a member of Arena for 10 years.     

Tim Adams

Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales

Tim began his career in foodservice back in 2002 and has gained invaluable experience from a variety of roles over the past 16 years.  In his early career, Tim worked within the buying team before moving into customer development, which ultimately led to his current role as Director of Marketing & Corporate Sales.  Tim oversees the corporate accounts team and customers, as well as the contracts and tenders, corporate marketing and customer and channel marketing teams.  Tim joined Bidfood back in 2004 having spent the previous two years at foodservice provider, Brakes in their purchasing department.

Andrew Allen

Commercial Director and Partner, Biff's Kitchen

Andrew represents the challenger brand side of the industry on the committee.  Having co-founded his first business, Snaffling Pig, as a passion project, he grew it to a nationally known brand before leaving to focus on plant-based business.
Andrew is currently Commercial Director and Partner at vegan ‘junk’ brand Biff’s, in addition to being an advisor, NED or investor in a number of other F&B businesses including Oggs and Olly’s Olives. 

Mark Aylwin

Chair of Unitas

Mark is the Chair of Unitas, the UK’s largest buying group. Unitas has over 150 wholesale members across retail, foodservice and the on-trade, who generate combined sales in excess of £8bn. 
Mark has over 40 years’ experience in wholesale and retail, having previously served on the Boards of Safeway, Musgrave GB, Blueheath, Matthew Clark/Bibendum and Booker. Prior to joining Unitas Mark was COO of Carrefour Business in the Middle East.  
In addition to his role at Unitas, Mark is a board advisor and investor in a number of start-ups.

Peter Backman

Peter enlightens his clients about the opportunities in foodservice. He works closely with senior people in operating companies, investors and suppliers.  He has been involved in the foodservice sector for over 30 years. He founded Arena and, together with Naomi Arnold, was the inspiration behind its development.

Matt Collins

Trading Director

Matt Collins is the Trading Director at KP Snacks. KP Snacks, part of the Intersnack Group, is the UK’s number one manufacturer of nuts and number two manufacturer of bagged snacks, making some of Britain’s most iconic snack brands including McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, KP Nuts, Butterkist, Tyrrells, Popchips & POM-BEAR.

Previously, Matt held numerous roles at Premier Foods across his nine years of service after starting his career at Tchibo Café Service. He graduated with Honors from the University of Brighton with a degree in Food Retail Management.

Frank Coughlan

Executive Head Chef, BaxterStorey

Frank is an exceptional leader who has extensive experience working in challenging and thriving environments. He has experience of managing teams of up to 200 chefs taking responsibility for their training and development resulting in them leading the way in the culinary industry. He also successfully leads the culinary planning and execution of large-scale events with multiple audiences which include high volume meals to high end, intimate dining. As well as Arena, Frank is also on the Fundraising Committee for Springboard and won the Chris Beaumont Special Award 2018.

Ann Elliott

Ann has over 30 years’ experience of living and breathing hospitality. She works with businesses to solve strategic questions by focussing on customer needs, cutting through the noise and getting to the crux of an operator challenge. Ann understands and loves the industry bringing insight, people and creative solutions together. Supporting and connecting industry leaders and giving them a chance to grow, network and most importantly have a voice is incredibly important to her.

She is a NED, a speaker and facilitator, a co-founder of Plan B mentoring, a founder of the Hartwell Dinner Group, an Arena board member, a member of both the UKH events and casual dining committees, and a regular contributor to Propel events.

Coral Rose

Managing Director, Fairway Foodservice

Coral has extensive experience in the food wholesale industry and has been working with foodservice wholesalers and manufacturers for more than 30 years.  As MD of Fairway Foodservice she leads a central team who provide buying and marketing support to their membership of 20 independent foodservice wholesalers who supply to thousands of independent caterers across all sectors of the market.  Coral attended her first Arena event when she worked for Watson & Philip in the early ‘90’s and has been a supporter ever since.  She is a founding supporter of Women in Wholesale and a member of the council of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, completing a three term as FWD Chairman in 2022.

Paul Whiteley

Food Purchasing Director, Greene King

Paul Whiteley is Food Purchasing Director for Greene King, the country's leading pub retailer and brewer, with over 2,900 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK. Paul has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector and has been attending Arena events for over 12 years. Paul joined Greene King in September 2018, and prior to this spent 10 years at ISS Facility Services as Procurement Director. Previous to this Paul worked in a number of customer development roles with Brakes and Bidfood before moving into purchasing in 2010. 

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