Leading hospitality, catering and event management group, Smart Group, today announced that it has appointed Jan Matthews to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer.
Renowned for her dynamic approach to business, Jan has enjoyed an illustrious career within the hospitality industry, including managing a team of 22,000 to deliver catering for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and still holds the position as Food and Beverage Advisor to the International Olympic Committee, travelling around the world advising on each and every Games. Jan joins Smart Group as it embarks upon an ambitious growth strategy.
Commenting on the appointment Greg Lawson, Chief Executive Officer, Smart Group, said: “Jan and I have worked together in various guises for many years, including the London 2012 Olympic Games where we worked closely with Jan and her team as caterer for the Olympic Hospitality Centre. I am delighted that Jan is joining Smart Group’s Board of Directors; I’ve always held Jan in the highest regard and I’m looking forward to seeing our team reap the benefits of her vast experience, enthusiasm and passion for her work.”
Jan Matthews commented: “I’m very excited to take on this new challenge with Smart Group. I’ve long admired the team for their attention to detail, genuine passion for the industry and for the fact that they are incredibly innovative in their approach. I’ll be working alongside the team to ensure Greg’s ambitious vision is realised as we look to grow the individual businesses within the Group whilst driving synergies behind the scenes. Ultimately my remit is to design the processes the business needs to ensure consistent delivery, allowing us to repeat that model as we grow.
“I’m passionate about supporting talent and will be focusing a good deal of my time on helping our people fulfil their potential so that we can continue to bring new opportunities to what is a talented and dedicated team.”
Jan has been named as one of the top 100 influential women in the hospitality and travel industry and has held a number of Board-level roles, including Leading Expert for Cleaning and Waste Management on the P&G Professional Advisory Council; Chairman of hospitality networking association, Arena; and CEO of event and food strategy consultancy RP Global.
In 2012 Jan served as Head of Catering, Cleaning and Waste Management for the London Olympics, having developed the London 2012 Food Vision. Jan led the procurement and negotiation of contracts and was responsible for an annualised budget of £1.6 billion. Jan also brought a number of sponsors and suppliers to the programme, working closely with strategic sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s to ensure that both the organizing committees’ and the sponsors’ objectives were achieved within budget.
The Smart Group is a dynamic collection of hospitality, catering and event management businesses with over 25 years’ experience; founded and led by CEO, Greg Lawson, and consisting, Smart Hospitality, Smart Sport, Smart Live, Moving Venue, Smart Christmas Parties, Battersea Evolution and other Smart Venues.
The Group host, cater and manage over 700 events per year worth in excess of £30 million revenue, from international sporting events such as Royal Ascot Village and Wimbledon to corporate and charitable functions including the Sports Industry Awards and Battersea Collars & Coats Ball, as well as Christmas parties for ITV and JP Morgan and conferences for Samsung and Google.