Thom Hetherington – CEO @ Holden Media
Thom, one of founders of the PPA-award winning Restaurant magazine and the 50 Best Restaurants in the World awards, is a speaker, consultant and writer on art and culture and food and drink in the North of England.
As CEO of Holden Media, he organises world class Northern events including the Northern Restaurant & Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards, the NRB Top 50 Powerlist, the NRB Debate, Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary.
Thom is a board member for Castlefield Gallery, Hospitality Action and Pro:Manchester’s Hospitality Sector Group, and is an ambassador for MMU’s Hospitality Department. Previous board roles include the British Food Trust, Urbis and the North West Food Tourism Executive.
With a specialism in marketing, visitor experience and audience dynamics, Thom also advises major national hospitality operators on their Northern expansion plans, institutions including Whitworth Art Gallery, the Manchester International Festival and Manchester Museum on their food and drink strategy, and major property developers on cultural meanwhile uses.
In addition, Thom chairs the NRB Debate where he has interviewed Jay Rayner, judges awards including the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, the National Restaurant Awards and the New Light Art Prize, and reviews for respected guides including Mr and Mrs Smith and Hardens. He also speaks at hospitality conferences such as BDO Restaurant & Bar, R200, and the Institute of Hospitality’s Northern meetings, guest lectures at MMU, and has written about Northern culture and gastronomy for titles ranging from Caterer & Hotelkeeper and Restaurant Magazine to Olive, the Guardian and the FT, as well as appearing on BBC TV and Radio 4.
Thom has scooped several personal awards, including a Crain’s “40 Under 40” gong, and has been picked out as one of Peer Index’s ‘Most Influential Mancunians on Twitter’ (admittedly ranking below Liam Gallagher but above Professor Brian Cox) as well as being listed as one of PHA Media’s ‘Most Influential CEOs on Twitter’. He was also crowned “Man of the Year 2014” in the Downtown in Business Manchester “Mancoolian” awards.