Academic Venue Solutions have strengthened their link with a key sector partner, announcing that Mike Haslin, CEO of TUCO - The University Caterers Organisation Ltd, is to join the board with immediate effect.

Mike brings to the board a wealth of combined experience and knowledge within the hospitality and academic sectors having worked in Director level capacity for the North Western Universities purchasing Consortium (NWUPC), Scottish & Northern Universities Purchasing Initiative (SNUPI) and his current role as CEO of TUCO.

On his appointment to the board, Mike Haslin commented: “I’m looking forward to meeting and working with the Academic Venue Solutions board and their members. Working as TUCO CEO I already know many of the member venues, and I’m acutely aware of the everyday and strategic challenges they face. There’s a lot of knowledge and experience on the board already, so I hope I can offer an alternative perspective, solutions and ideas, and help them achieve their objectives”

The board comprises Directors from member organisations across the UK, with both commercial and academic backgrounds, and members are always encouraged to join the board or to nominate an individual they feel will make a difference.

Clare Forster, Chair and Conference Office Manager, University of Salford, commented: “I’m delighted that Mike has agreed to join the board. His experience as both Director and CEO will be invaluable to us, specifically in relation to the experience he has had at TUCO. The board are looking forward to learning from and working with Mike, especially his experience with the development of the TUCO Academy, commissioning research and developing commercial partnerships.”

The membership has seen significant growth over the past 18 months, welcoming 20 new member venues. The key strategy for Academic Venue Solutions is to put their members at the heart of everything they do. Higher Education faces a myriad of challenges and Academic Venue Solutions is in place to help their members overcome them.

The consortium, which has 52 member venues, has key objectives for the next few years which include: increasing membership; maintaining academic venues as a key sector for the hospitality & events industry; and to showcase their members through great networking events, such as the AVS Showcase in London in March 2020, exhibitions and new initiatives.