Meet our people

At HF Holidays, we put people at the heart of everything we do. Here’s an introduction to our senior members who help drive our defining principles: friendship, fun, fresh air, and the feelgood factor.

Meet our board

As a co-operative, HF Holidays is governed by a board of 12 volunteer Directors who are elected by the Society's members. This board sets the strategic direction of the company and is made up of members who have a passion for walking holidays in the UK, Europe, and beyond. Collectively, our board aims to reflect the interests and background of the wider membership. Individually, Directors offer professional or commercial expertise. 

Each Director serves on one or more of the board’s committees, which are aligned to the Society’s strategy: People, Product, Performance, Membership & Governance, and Audit & Risk. Their roles are to enable Directors and members of the Senior Management Team to consider matters in more detail than is possible during a board meeting, including the appropriate strategic objectives and goals and to make recommendations to the board. 

<h3>Ben Reid</h3>

Ben Reid

Chair
Having joined the Society in 2013, I’m a relative newcomer to HF Holidays but I have felt at home from the start. I love the ethos of a member-owned business run by and for the benefit of its members. I have enjoyed several HF Holidays in the UK and overseas and the one constant factor has been the quality of our volunteer leaders. We need to ensure that this important element is at the heart of our future plans.
<h3>Stephen Guile</h3>

Stephen Guile

Vice Chair
It was my privilege to serve as a director from 2018 to 2022. I worked with our highly committed CEO, staff, and fellow board members whilst we developed our current strategy, ‘Building our Tomorrow’. As Vice Chair I want to drive success over the next four years by improving our holidays, viability, and workplace.
<h3>Linda Haydon</h3>

Linda Haydon

I took my first HF holiday in 2013 in the Lake district and since then I have stayed in most of the UK houses and travelled to Puglia and the Dolomites with HF. My entire career has been in the travel industry which enables me to contribute to the future development and success of HF Holidays as a Board Director. HF is a unique organisation which brings together people drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, but who all share a love of walking and the great outdoors.
<h3>Stephen Swift</h3>

Stephen Swift

My senior-level experience of the leisure industry includes holidays, hotels, and restaurants. This involved strategic planning, property, digital technologies, and financial performance. Professionally I was a main board member of the National Trust responsible for all its commercial activities including holidays and hotels and Chief Executive of a major animal rescue charity. I am passionate about HF Holidays and believe I have the right blend of professional skills and experience to help take the society forward.
<h3>Richard Drury</h3>

Richard Drury

HF Holidays has been an important part of my life since taking my first holiday as a child, then with my own family and now as an HF Holidays Leader. I’m keen to help preserve those things that make HF Holidays so special, whilst recognising the need to evolve our holiday experience and attract new guests of all ages and backgrounds. As a recently retired Human Resources Director I have a strong interest in our people, and I’ll do my best to bring together my professional and personal experiences to support the business.
<h3>Rebecca Horlock</h3>

Rebecca Horlock

Having enjoyed HF Holidays from childhood, I am looking forward to introducing my own young family to all that HF Holidays has to offer – the sense of community, coupled with fun, exploration, and exercise. I value the opportunity to volunteer my time and expertise to keep this very special organisation thriving for many more generations to come.
<h3>Keith Sellens</h3>

Keith Sellens

I have been involved with HF Holidays constantly since 1987, as a guest, a member, and more recently, as a leader. Our family have derived great fun and fellowship from HF Holidays and its continued wellbeing and development is close to my heart. My focus is on maintaining the core values of inclusivity and sociability which have been promoted throughout our history, whilst ensuring that we are fit and ready to continue providing excellent value holidays.
<h3>Robyn Lynch</h3>

Robyn Lynch

Of Irish heritage and trained as a lawyer in New Zealand, I believe that everyone, especially women, should be able to enjoy all the benefits of our society. I have spent my professional life as a solicitor helping others achieve that goal. As a single woman, I am acutely aware of the limitations this status can put on taking holidays with confidence. I want to ensure this aspect of membership is addressed and the single women in our guest base are represented.
<h3>Andrea (illy) Illingworth</h3>

Andrea (illy) Illingworth

I am fairly new to HF Holidays but as a walk leader and member I already feel part of the community. I bring a fresh pair of eyes and a collaborative leadership approach. I have a service industry background, having worked for the NHS for 36 years in a variety of roles. I value the opportunity to apply my skills and expertise at a strategic level, supporting HF Holidays to continue to lead the way for unique walking holiday experiences both nationally and internationally.
<h3>Jerry Gould</h3>

Jerry Gould

With a career in leisure management, then at a Big 4 professional advisory firm, latterly as a partner, I am now Vice-Chair of a large teaching hospital and a Cotswold Voluntary Warden. I joined the HF Board in 2023 and hope my background and range of experience has provided the support to the Board in delivering its strategy that HF’s members would expect. Having been elected for another four years, I intend to work hard to continue adding value.
<h3>Malcolm Oliver</h3>

Malcolm Oliver

Our first HF holiday was in the Canadian Rockies in 2007 and it combined excellent value and great, sociable walking with people we have remained friends with ever since. I have senior business, IT, and project management experience with the RAF, roles within industry, Local Government, and an environmental charity, plus a range of voluntary work. Having served previously on the HF Holidays Board, including as Chair, I aim to continue making a positive, strategic contribution to an organisation I truly believe in.
<h3>Steve Couper</h3>

Steve Couper

In the last 10 years, my wife and I have been on 32 HF holidays and because we enjoyed them so much, I applied to become a Board Member. Being a Finance Manager/Director in Local Authorities and committee working, I bring significant experience to the business. Using my skills and the feedback I have received from HF Members and walk leaders over the last ten years, I want to ensure that we deliver the best holidays possible within the inevitable financial constraints.
<h3>Manuela Gordea</h3>

Manuela Gordea

Society Secretary
Although I only recently joined HF Holidays, I already feel part of the team. Our Board members are dedicated and experienced professionals whom I consider it a privilege to work with. My legal education, knowledge, and commitment will contribute to the future success of the Society. When it comes to walking, my favourite destination is Scotland, especially St Andrews. A stroll along East Sands Beach is a must-do and it’s made all the better by stopping for an ice cream and spending time admiring the view.

Senior Management Team

The Board of Directors delegate the day-to-day running of the Society to the CEO and the SMT who are each responsible for a particular area of the Society. The CEO reports to the chair of the Board.

<h3>David Harrington</h3>

David Harrington

CEO
Working for HF Holidays has been life-changing. In fact, I even met my lovely wife here. My first HF Holiday was to Alnmouth in Northumberland where the highlight was walking barefoot to Holy Island. I’ve been passionate about what we offer ever since. Looking to the future, I want to bring stability, growth, and success to the business, without losing the features that make HF Holidays so special – shared holiday experiences in the great outdoors.
<h3>Justine Gibbs</h3>

Justine Gibbs

Head of Finance
I've just celebrated my six-year anniversary with HF Holidays. My goal is to leave our finances in a much better place than I found them. I’ve had a long career in finance spanning over two decades and have always enjoyed working in the hospitality industry. I’ve visited our much-loved Monk Coniston country house in the Southern Lake District several times, but the stunning views, fantastic food, and wonderful guests never fail to amaze me.
<h3>Toni Douglas</h3>

Toni Douglas

Head of Hotel Operations
I’ve worked in hospitality for 25 years, both here in the UK and abroad. I also completed Cornell University’s coveted General Manager programme in New York. I believe HF Holidays has unique values that put people at the heart of everything. Since joining the business in 2021, I have tried to inspire our hotel teams to treat guests to a home-away-from-home experience complete with incredible food, genuine care, and attention to detail. Our long-term goal is to ensure our country houses are fully sustainable and well-maintained so that they can be enjoyed for generations come.
<h3>Rob Box</h3>

Rob Box

Head of IT Transformation
My first HF Holiday is one I’ll always cherish. I took my dad to the Southern Lake District for his 70th birthday and we stayed at Monk Coniston. We enjoyed gentle strolls around the lakes and climbed the Old Man of Coniston – the highlight of my dad’s holiday. At the end of a walk, nothing beats a cold pint and a packet of crisps. My goal for the continued success of HF Holidays is to refine our strategy and bring in suppliers who understand our ethos and ultimately add value to the Society.
<h3>Ali Bull</h3>

Ali Bull

Head of People and Culture
Having worked in the travel, retail, recruitment, and hospitality sectors, I bring a wealth of experience to HF Holidays. I’m excited to work with the People Team to further enhance the workplace benefits we offer. As for walking, my favourite spot is Hastings. I love the combination of hills and sea views and believe it’s the best of both worlds, especially when paired with a whipped cream hot chocolate at a seaside café.
<h3>Gillian Mininch</h3>

Gillian Mininch

Head of Tour Operations
I’ve been working with HF Holidays for 31 years, but I first started when I was a student and spent two summers as a volunteer walk leader. Since then, I’ve gained a Mountain Leader qualification and was a member of the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team for 25 years. When it comes to the outdoors, nothing rivals Scottish mountain summits for me, especially when rewarded with endless views of mountains and lochs. My favourite time to visit is May – long days, the midges aren’t too bad, and the weather can be stunning.

Honorary Officers

Elected by Members of the Society at the annual general meeting, our Honorary Officers are comprised of a President and a maximum of eight Vice Presidents. They shall all be Members of the Society and selected upon the recommendation of the Board.

<h3>Helen Boaden</h3>

Helen Boaden

President
After my first HF Holiday, I felt like I had discovered a glorious secret and boasted of it to my elderly auntie, Stella. She burst out laughing and told me that she had been a member of HF Holidays for over 50 years! After working at the BBC for 34 years, and becoming the first female Director of BBC News, I’m now in retirement. When I’m not out walking, you’ll find me chairing the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and the Windsor Leadership Trust – a charity devoted to good leadership. I love the landscapes the UK has to offer and as President of HF Holidays, I celebrate the variety of stunning coast and countryside experiences we offer every day.
<h3>Keith White</h3>

Keith White

Vice President 
I enjoyed my first HF Holiday in 1978 at Milford-on-Sea and was instantly impressed by the sense of fellowship – something we are still known for today. Ten years later, I was first elected as President and was re-elected every year until standing down in our centenary year in 2013. I have had the privilege of being the longest-serving President in the history of HF Holidays. My executive career was in the international trade and development sectors, and I now advise and mentor directors and entrepreneurs. I love taking walks along the Thames Path because you can watch the wildlife on the water and admire the grandeur of Hampton Court Palace.
<h3>David Gray</h3>

David Gray

Vice President
My family all became members of HF Holidays in October 1948, and I will celebrate 75 years of membership in 2024. I also led many walks as an HF Holidays Leader, and while there are so many excellent walking locations to choose from, I’ve always been very fond of the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog). On a clear day, Pen y Fan enjoys brilliant views and the range from Crickhowell to Hay on Wye has some outstanding trails. I love the sense of community HF Holidays offers and as current chair of the HF Holidays Retired Leaders Association, I help organise its annual reunion.
<h3>Bob Gomersall</h3>

Bob Gomersall

Vice President
My first HF Holiday was at Tywyn (mid-Wales) in 1961, aged 11. I started leading for HF Holidays in 1969 and I'm still going strong today. The rugged hills and vast lochs of the Scottish Highlands make it a wonderful place to walk, and you’ll find me at Glen Coe every summer and again at Christmas and New Year. A standout spot for me is the Holly Tree on the edge of Loch Linnhe, which, on a sunny day, takes some beating. I’ve served on the board for 32 years and I’ve still got the same passion for HF Holidays that I first found as a boy all those years ago.
<h3>Angela Brassey</h3>

Angela Brassey

Vice President 
After many happy years as an HF Holidays guest and member, I served on the board from 1994 to 1997 and was delighted to be made an Honorary Officer as Vice President in 2018. My favourite walking destination is probably the High Pyrenees, where my husband and I (Peter Brassey, former CEO of HF Holidays) have spent the last 35 years walking and skiing. Now, in my later years, I’ve found that rail holidays in the mountains are becoming more attractive. In summer, there’s nothing quite like a trip to Switzerland’s Bernese Alps where a handy network of cable cars allows us to trek through the mountains with ease.
<h3>Joyce Hilton</h3>

Joyce Hilton

Vice President
Ever since working my first summer season as a leader in Scotland, HF Holidays has been a huge part of my life. Fast forward to today and I've served 28 years on the board and have been enjoying HF Holidays for over 60! While I’ve walked in incredible places all over the globe (including a trip to the Himalayas), there’s something special about the Scottish Highlands. My husband and I love Glen Coe and our country house, Alltshellach. When leading walks in the area, it was always a pleasure to see the delight and sense of achievement guests felt when completing a summit of Ben Nevis.

Our Values

Our Board live and breathe our Values as part of the way they work.

We aim to achieve our vision by applying HF Holiday values