Kathryn joined the NEC Group in 2007 and for 12 years before her retirement in early 2020, led the strategic direction for the largest of the Group’s five divisions - the NEC - focusing on exhibitions, live events, conferences and long stay experiences. In 2016 she took on additional management responsibility for the Group’s second division of conventions and conferencing – the ICC and Vox venues. Running both divisions side by side under one MD, drove more collaborative working within the teams, and commonality between the businesses. James successfully navigated the business through a global recession and introduced a significant outsourcing programme that catalysed the evolution of Team NEC. Her guidance also supported the development of the NEC Campus into a 24/7 destination, which welcomes over seven million visitors annually.
Prior to joining the NEC Group, Kathryn was Managing Director at London Luton Airport – the fifth largest UK airport – and was responsible for an operation handling nearly 10 million passengers every year. She was previously a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and has a First Class Honours Degree in Accountancy in addition to an honorary Doctorate in Business administration for her services to Bedfordshire.