Dream career for Ribby Hall Village’s new Director of Operations
Some might say hospitality jobs are a short-term option, but if you ask Mark Leech, who has spent nineteen years developing his role at Ribby Hall Village, he will certainly disagree.
Mark, 38, has just been named Director of Operations at the five-star Holiday Village in Wrea Green, nineteen years after joining the business as a student. From those humble beginnings as a part-time bar worker, Mark now finds himself in overall charge of significant swathes of this award-winning, family business.
Commenting on his promotion, Mark says: “I’m genuinely honoured to have been given this opportunity. This is a fantastic business, whose success is made possible by the talented, hard-working people who make up our various teams, and by dynamic, committed leadership.”
“I cannot wait to work with all of them to help the business grow and develop it even further.”
As Director of Operations, Mark will look after many of Ribby Hall Village’s diverse offerings which are available to a variety of shared audiences. He believes the experience he has gained over the years stands him in good stead for the challenges that await.
“I started in what is now Harrison’s Bar and worked my way up to pool manager, general manager of the Health Club, and then on to the senior management team,” says Mark. “Along the way, I’ve looked after activity clubs, the golf course, worked in the gym and even been a lifeguard in the pool!”
A graduate of Leisure and Sports Management at UCLAN, Mark’s nineteen years at Ribby Hall Village have taught him that a business cannot stand still if it wants to survive and prosper. He was instrumental in bringing both Starbucks and Papa Johns to the business in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and in adding the SPAR store in 2016.
In his new role, Mark will be responsible for managing 346 staff members, a significant number of Ribby’s almost 600 strong workforce. “I want to continue to develop career progression for the many brilliant people who already work here,” says Mark. “We have exciting plans for The Village in the coming years and I’m determined that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to achieving those goals.
“It’s a competitive business and, with the right people and a focused leadership, we can continue to deliver quality products, services and experiences for both our guests and the local area. I look forward to being a part of that.”
Paul Harrison, Chief Executive & Managing Director comments “Mark Leech has worked at Ribby for almost 19 years, during that time Mark has progressed and developed from a Lifeguard to Sports Manager to Senior Manager to now Director of Operations and all before the age of 40.
“Every time Mark has been given additional responsibility, not only has he risen to the challenge but he has excelled, improving Business performance through dedication; teamwork; attention to detail and a keen focus on delivering outstanding results. Mark’s well-earned promotion provides him with an ideal opportunity to further improve areas and introduce new ideas. Our five year forward business plan includes a number of new and exciting initiatives yet to be implemented and in order to deliver on these; I’m looking forward to working closely with Mark and the management team.
“Mark’s hard work has been recognised with his promotion and has been warmly received by all at Ribby – so congratulations are well deserved.”
A keen golfer, Mark lives in Kirkham with partner Claire, son Joseph and step-daughters, Alex and Anna. He is a member at St Anne’s Old Links Golf Club and enjoys watching Manchester United FC.