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New appointments

Focus Travel Partnership announces new Board appointments

  • Bob Schumacher
    Bob Schumacher
  • James Parkhouse

Bob Schumacher has almost 30 years’ experience in senior sales and management positions in the aviation sector, latterly as Regional Director Sales, for United Airlines.

Focus Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest consortium of independent SME travel management companies, has announced that former United Airlines stalwart, Bob Schumacher will become Non Executive Chair of the Focus Board of Directors on 1st January 2024. He assumes the role from Adrian Parkes who is retiring at the end of December 2023 after three years as Chair. James Parkhouse, former CEO of Agiito has also been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Board.

In this role, which he assumed in January 2011, Bob Schumacher was also responsible for United’s B2B marketing activities in Europe, as well as trade contact centres.Previously, Schumacher was Senior Director UK & Ireland for Continental Airlines, a position which he held from 2004.  Schumacher joined Continental in 1994 as Airport Business Manager at Gatwick and became Cargo Director Sales & Service for EMEA in 1997 before being appointed Director Passenger Sales UK & Ireland in 2000. Prior to joining Continental, Schumacher worked for UK charter airline Air 2000, (now renamed and part of the TUI Group), and before that for British Midland at the then newly-opened London City Airport. Schumacher was also Chair of the Board of Airline Representatives, BAR-UK for nine years from 2014.

James Parkhouse has over 25 years’ experience in business leadership and programme management in diverse industries, in both private and public sector organisations. During his 15-year tenure as CEO of Agiito, he designed and executed the strategy, led multiple mergers and acquisitions, alongside making significant investment in market-leading  technology, products and services to create one of the industry’s leading business travel, meetings and events companies. Parkhouse also spent four years on the board of the BTA, as well as international network, GlobalStar. He stepped back from Agiito earlier this year to move into business travel advisory services.

Bob Schumacher commented: “I have always held Focus in the highest regard and am delighted to be joining as Chair at this exciting time for the partnership. The growing number of Focus TMC Partners, along with the consortium’s strong and deep supplier relationships, only serves to endorse how Focus manages the interests of its membership for the common good. I am looking forward to the next chapter working with the Board to further success in 2024.”

James Parkhouse said: “The Focus Travel Partnership is a fabulous example of a not-for-profit membership organisation where its purpose it to help its 50+ members to gain access to industry knowledge, expertise and commercial opportunities that may not exist for any member individually. I am very excited to have been asked to join Focus and I am looking forward to working with the Board and the TMC Partners to help achieve their goals and objectives.”

Abby Penston, CEO, Focus Travel Partnership added: “Focus is delighted to welcome Bob and James to the Board in the roles of Chair and Non Executive Director respectively. They both bring extensive and enviable experience to Focus, gained during impressive careers in the industry, which will be invaluable as the Partnership moves into the next phase of its evolution in 2024. Our sincere gratitude goes to Adrian for his unwavering commitment, vision and guidance over the last three years. Through his insight and leadership we have learned the true meaning of collaboration and resilience. All of us at Focus wish him the very best for his retirement.”

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