Meet the ERTC Board

The English Riviera Tourism Company takes its direction from predominantly private sector, non-executive directors. You can find the profiles and contact details of all the board members below.

Chris Hart - Chairman

Chris Hart - Chairman

Chris Hart is the Managing Partner of South Devon based lawyers Wollen Michelmore having joined the firm in 1986, and is a specialist in contractual and licensing matters. He has worked extensively with the tourism and leisure sector throughout his professional career.

Chris was born and educated in the Bay and is passionate about the promotion and delivery of success in the tourism sector, together with the development of future prospects and the significant part that tourism has to play within the economy of Torbay.

Chris was appointed Chair of the English Riviera Tourism Company in June 2011.



Carolyn Custerson - CEO of the ERTC and Board Director

Carolyn Custerson - CEO

Carolyn has over 30 years experience working in the UK tourism industry and is known for her infectious enthusiasm and passion for progressive tourism. Previous roles include Director of UK holidays for SAGA, Specialist Tourism Advisor for Business Link Devon and Cornwall and Senior Tourism lecturer at Plymouth CFE.  For the past 10 years Carolyn has run Close Focus Tourism Consultancy. In March 2009 Close Focus was awarded the contract by Torbay Development Agency to prepare a new tourism strategy  Turning the Tide for Tourism in Torbay which was published in July 2009. Carolyn was subsequently contracted to set up the ERTC as Project Manager and will take up the role of CEO.



Claire Jeavons - Vice Chair

Claire Jeavons

From an early age Claire Jeavons has worked in her family’s successful 5*  holiday park which has won many awards. She has been involved in the tourism sector all her life, both in the UK and abroad, and is an active member of a number of tourism groups and businesses in the bay. She is a member of CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) and BHHPA (British Home and Holiday Parks Association) and is also a Director of the Best of British Holiday Parks group.

Under her current remit, she focuses on the marketing at Beverley Holidays and is responsible for up to 200 employees in the peak season. Her role and experience builds on her postgraduate certificate in business/marketing undertaken at the University of Sydney. She regularly attends a range of marketing and PR courses, workshops and conferences including most recently the Online Marketing Week conference in London and has been is personally involved as a mystery visitor in the South West England for Excellence Awards.



KEVIN MOWAT - Board Director (Torbay Council representative)

Kevin is the Executive Head of Tor Bay Harbour Authority and has overall management

responsibility for Tor Bay Harbour and the enclosed harbours of Brixham, Torquay and

Paignton. He is also responsible for the management of Torbay Council's Beach and Resort

services along 22 miles of coastline.

Kevin is a marine industry professional with more than 30 years experience. Over 20 years in

Local Government as a harbour manager with knowledge of business management,

strategic planning, project management, governance and leadership. A fellow of the Nautical Institute.

Council member of the British Ports Association and the UK Harbour Masters Association






Laurence Murrell - Board Director

Laurence Murrell - Acting Chair

Laurence entered the hotel and leisure industry around 30 years ago, from an engineering background. He learnt on the job about finance, sales and customer care, but more importantly, that what makes a business successful is its people. TLH Leisure Resort was the first hotel group to achieve the Investors in People award in the UK. Since Laurence first became involved in the family business it has grown from one hotel to the present complex operating all year round.




Michelle Pugh - Board Director

Michelle Pugh

Michelle Pugh is a Sales Director for South West Media Group and represents the Herald Express which has been in South Devon since 1925.

She is known both inside and out of the industry as being highly motivated and brings a huge amount of expertise from her long serving career history working in the region.

Michelle said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge that being a non executive director will bring and being a part of the team that will evoke change for the benefit of all.”

Michelle is married with two children, Hollie and Katie, who are her inspiration.




Vince FlowerI have spent my entire career working in the Leisure Industry.  During that time I have worked for various leading UK based holiday operators: Warner, Haven, Ladbroke Holidays and Mecca Leisure as well as Shearings Group Ltd, Europe's largest coach holiday operator.

I believe that I will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Board of the ERTC, particularly from an industry wide and national tour operator perspective.



Cllr. Nicole amil - BOARD DIRECTOR 


Paul Lloyd - Board Director


Paul Lloyd retired from the Royal Navy in Dec 12 having served for 33 years, reaching the rank of Captain RN.  During his time in the Navy, Paul had 4 Command appointments, including as Commander of HMS OCEAN, the Navy’s largest warship, and as leader of the Royal Navy Presentation Team and served in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf, Adriatic, Indian Ocean and Africa.  He finished his career in the Navy as Captain of the Devonport Surface Flotilla of ships and brings a wealth of executive and management experience to the Board.  Currently a partner in a small family run Tea Shoppe business in Cockington Village, Paul is greatly looking forward to working with the ERTC Board. 



Tony Smyth - Board Director

Tony Smyth

Tony Smyth has been married to Julie for 25 years and has 3 children.

Between 1978 and 2002 he was employed as a Legal Executive for a firm of solicitors in London.

Tony moved to Paignton in October 2002 when they bought Sonachan House, a 4* guest accommodation.

In 2003 Tony joined the THA and was elected to the executive in December 2003.  In December 2004 he was elected Chairman, a position he held for 2 years.

In 2007, Tony started the process of setting up Torbay Accommodation Providers (TAP) in order to give individual businesses a voice within the hospitality industry.  TAP was formed in April 2008 and currently has over 60 members.



John Rowe - Board Director

 John RoweJohn provides specialist advice to both incorporated and unincorporated businesses on their structure and development, with particular emphasis on tax planning and the efficient use of information technology.

John has many years of practical experience gained from advising and assisting businesses in the South West region.

He is highly skilled at identifying workable solutions to the types of problems experienced by businesses. His advice and practical assistance are designed to add value to the client, from both a financial and operational perspective.

He is a Chartered Accountant and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.



Mick Bettesworth - Board Director

 Mick Bettesworth, a chartered surveyor, recently retired from 25 years with The MDL Marinas Group, to set up his own Marina Consultancy. A fluent French speaker, he is also Chairman of the prestigious Global Marina institute, President of MDL Italia and on the board of MDL France. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and speaks regularly at conferences worldwide.



Richard Cuming - Board Director

 Richard is a partner at  the Bygones tourist attraction in Torquay ,managing the day to day running of the business 

He was born and brought up in the Bay .

He is the Chairman of the English Riviera Attractions Partnership ( ERA) .He  also chairs the judging panel for the H/E Tourism & Hospitality annual awards .

He is a keen supporter of building partnerships and moving the English Riviera forward at as many levels as possible 




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