2012February 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 9 NEWSThe CEO of creative digital design and marketing agency Big:group, Nick Scott has announced the appointment of Debbie Donaldson, formerly of Grass Roots, as its new Business Development Director.In this newly-created position Donaldson will spearhead the agency's national advancement strategies and international development plans.Donaldson was the Global Development Director of the meetings, events and communications division of event management agency Grass Roots and had worked for the company since March 2006.She joins former Grass Roots colleague Nigel Egerton-King, who recently returned to the Big:group, which he co-founded, to take up the new position of COO.As a Board Director of several companies within the group, Donaldson had roles which used her knowledge of consultative selling, business and fi nancial planning, leadership skills, and employee engagement using multi-channel communications to improve brand advocacy and loyalty."We're at a stage now when we need to take our business operations to the next level," said Scott. "With her proven track record in this arena, Debbie was the obvious choice for the new position of Business Development Director."Grass Roots' Donaldson joins Big:group agencyThe Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has confi rmed its executive committee for 2012.Chris Peacock, MD of Conference Care, will lead the HBAA as Chairman over the next 12 months taking over from Juliet Price.In his new role he will be supported by Zibrant's MD Chris Parnham, who has been elected as Vice-Chairman. Parnham has been involved with the executive committee since November 2010.HBAA's Executive Director, Peter Ducker, said: "Chris Peacock and Chris Parnham's knowledge and experience in the UK and overseas will be a great addition to the Association as we grow the brand abroad." Other members of the board include Trinity Event Management's Stephen Usher as Treasurer; Ellis Salsby as Academy Committee Chair; Absolute Corporate Events' Jill Fleming as Events Committee Chair; Hotelscene's Adam Woods as Technology Innovation and Environment Committee Chair; BSI's Tracey Symcox as Membership Committee Chair; Zibrant's Gareth Crowder as Meetings Committee Chair; Inntel's Sue Burgess as Special Projects; Logical Venue Solutions' Steve Ockerby as International Projects; Hotelworld's Ricky Kapoor as Serviced Apartment Sector Chair. Ocean Media aquired by former ownersFormer Ocean Media owners David Moran and Ulric Kenny of Ion Equity have acquired Ocean Media Group, who organise the inaugural UK Venue Show and Event Production Show at London Olympia, back from Anglo Irish Bank.According to a company statement, the buyout was fi nanced privately and will leave Ocean Media debt free. "As such it is able to, and intends to, launch and acquire new business," the statement read.Moran and Ion Equity owned Ocean from July 2006 to October 2007. Under the new deal, Kenny will become chair of Ocean Media, while Moran will assume the CEO's post. CN understands Ocean's current Chairman, Trevor Barratt, will depart the company shortly.News of Ocean's sale comes nearly 12 months after the publishing and organiser group's banks assumed shareholder control in a bid to fi nd a permanent solution to the company's multi-million pound debt problem. Business travel management agency ABT UK has joined the UK's fourth largest business travel buying group, Advantage Focus Partnership.The partnership will allow both parties to offer access to the "best fares and products for its corporate clients, while retaining the benefi ts of a bespoke, independent business travel service," says ABT UK.The Focus Partnership, part of Advantage Business Travel, will enable ABT UK to tap into the competitive airline fares, commercial arrangements on technical solutions as well as a range of business travel products and services.Consisting of 77 'Focus Partners', the Partnership benefits from a combined buying power and access to a wider global network.ABT UK joins the Advantage Focus PartnershipHBAA confi rms new committee
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