HE PLAYED a central role in preparing a conference centre in Milton Keynes to house UK citizens returning from China at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Now Simon Thatcher has been hailed as an inspiration by the business meetings and events industry.
Mr Thatcher, general manager at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, has received this year’s Extraordinary Performance Award from the Meetings Industry Association.
Kents Hill Park was used by the UK government to quarantine 150 British citizens and their families who were flown from Wuhan City, China back to the UK. All tested negative for coronavirus but Mr Thatcher and his team worked with government agencies to establish many of the Covid-secure practices now seen in venues across UK venues.
The judges said: “Throughout a very difficult year, Simon has been quick-thinking, accommodating and adaptable to changing circumstances and challenges. He led his team through a very challenging period and was enthusiastic and proactive.
“He has been a team player and worked well with the multiple agencies, suppliers and internal teams. Simon was a key player in ensuring the business did not just deliver but excelled at providing a safe, professional yet human-centric environment for guests.”
The MIA awards recognise and celebrate inspiring individuals in the business meetings and events industry who continually go the extra mile and play a pivotal role in making their organisation successful.
Kents Hill Park is part of The Venues Collection group of conference and meeting facilities. Managing director Joanne Barratt said: “I take great pride in the part Simon played at this difficult time.”