September 21, 2011
One of the UK hospitality industry’s most respected and successful hoteliers has been elected President of HOSPA (Hospitality Professionals Association for Finance, Revenue Management and IT) – the new name for BAHA (British Association of Hospitality Accountants) which was officially launched last night (19 September 2011) in London at the Radisson Edwardian Mayfair.
Robert Cook – Chief Executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin Hotels and recipient of Caterer & Hotelkeeper’s prestigious Catey award for ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2006 – has been elected by the HOSPA Council to replace outgoing President David Cook, who has been BAHA President since 2004. David Cook – who prior to his retirement in 2006, was Chief Executive of CHE Hotel Group – has relinquished his post with BAHA to concentrate on his charity work.
Commenting on his election as HOSPA President, Robert Cook said: “I am delighted to have been elected as the very first President of HOSPA following the Association’s name change and evolution from BAHA. I am immensely proud and honoured to have been chosen to lead this prestigious and influential Association at such a momentous time in its history, and look forward to nurturing its aims and objectives. The future success of British hospitality lies in the growth of real talent – people are the very lifeblood of our hotels; and HOSPA’s highly regarded Education and Training Programmes, together with its events and workshops, play a vitally important role in helping hospitality finance, revenue management and IT professionals become even more effective in achieving success for their businesses.”
BAHA Chief Executive Carl Weldon said: “We are delighted that Robert Cook, who officially took office on 19 September, has been elected President of HOSPA. There can be few more successful, forward thinking and dedicated professionals in the UK hospitality industry than Robert; and HOSPA’s rapidly growing membership will be able to benefit from Robert’s invaluable leadership and experience at this exciting time of change for the Association.
“Whilst the election of Robert Cook is extremely exciting for the future of HOSPA, there is also obvious sadness at saying goodbye to a truly great servant to the Association in David Cook (no relation to Robert). He joined BAHA only two years after the Association’s formation in 1969, as member number 54! Sixteen years later, he became a Fellow and soon moved up the BAHA ladder. In 1992, David was elected to the BAHA Council, where for two years he chaired the Meetings Committee before being elected in 1994 as BAHA Chairman – a post he held until 2004 when he was elected BAHA President. In December 2008, it gave us all great pleasure at the Association to present David with a special BAHA Lifetime Achievement award for outstanding service to hospitality industry financial management – only ever awarded twice before. We offer David our deepest thanks for all he has done for BAHA in the past and wish him the very best for the future.”
During David Cook’s time as BAHA Chairman then President, the Association has grown in many ways and achieved a number of important landmarks. Some of the many highlights include the Association’s involvement with the Uniform System of Accounts 9th and 10th editions; two successful conferences in Birmingham, followed by the birth in 2006 of the highly successful BAHA Annual Conference and IT Exhibition; the redesign of the BAHA Educational programme and achieving the landmark of exemptions from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), as well as accreditation from CIMA and the Open University; the Strategic Partnership in 2007 with BAHA’s US counterpart – Texas-based HFTP (Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals); and last year, the formation of the BAHA Hospitality Revenue Management Community.