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“A breath of fresh air… he made it a spectacular business. He’s one of the true talents of the industry and has added real value to travel retail.”
The words of former BAA Group Retail Director (and now McArthurGlen Luxury Retail Chairman) Brian Collie (below) summed up the feelings of all present last night as Mark Riches bade a fond, final farewell to his former role as head of WDF to close friends in the business.
Collie was in peerless form in a brilliantly dry, witty speech that, while often drawing its laughs at Mark’s expense, constantly emphasized his respect and fondness for a man he hired many years ago.
“He added a sparkle to WDF and BAA that brought profit and people together,” said Brian. “He’s one of the most loyal, knowledgeable, intelligent people you’ll ever work with.”
Mark (above with wife Britt), who is now enjoying consultancy work within other areas of WDF parent company Autogrill, paid tribute to his team at WDF, notably his PA Mo Joseph (pictured middle below) and Finance Director Rebecca Slater (left) who have also departed the company.
“This was my spiritual home,” he said affectionately of WDF. “I have loved every single minute of it.”