Board of Directors

THE-ICE Board of Directors

Professor (FH) Mag Eva Werner, Hon. Prof. – Chair & Director

eva-werner-350x400Appointed in December 2010 as Director and Deputy Chair, Prof (FH) Mag Eva Werner has been the current Chair of THE-ICE Board since November 2013, and remains an Auditor on the independent THE-ICE Assessment Panel. Her professional experience comprises, among others, several years of full-time assistantship and teaching at the University of Business Administration Vienna and the Danube University Krems.

From 2005 to 2009, Eva was one of the five “Austrian Bologna Experts”, and as such actively contributed to the implementation of the Bologna process, in Austria and abroad. Her international commitment is highly recognised and was honoured in 2007 with the award of the Honorary Professorship from the Moscow International Business School (MIRBIS). In 2015, Eva was honoured by the President of the Republic of Austria with a national order in recognition of her dedicated work to develop the Austrian University of Applied Sciences Sector and her engagement in internationalisation of the sector.

Eva was a member of the steering committees for the development of the IMC FH Krems programmes, and was in charge of the international relations network of the University from 1998 to 2010. As a result of her dedication and effort to establish an international network for the IMC Krems and anchor internationalisation as one of the institution’s key features, the IMC Krems was awarded the Diploma Supplement Label three times (in 2006, 2010 and 2013), a quality label for excellent performance according to the Bologna structures.

Since January 2010, Professor Werner has been Rector of the IMC Krems, responsible, among others, for quality assurance and quality enhancement of the degree programmes on offer at the IMC Krems. In January 2017, Eva Werner started her third term as rector, after having been re-elected twice.

Since 2008, Eva has been in charge of the International Committee of the Association of the Universities of Applied Sciences, Austria, and as such represents and coordinates the activities of the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences, both on national and international level. Since 2012, Eva has also been a member of the Steering Board of the Association of the Universities of Applied Sciences Austria, a Member of working groups of the Austrian University Conference, a Member of the General Assembly of AQ Austria (the Austrian Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation), a Member of the ECA Expert Panel of the CeQuInt Project (Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation), as well as peer in international quality assurance procedures.

Dr Craig Thompson was born in England and studied humanities at undergraduate level in Bristol.  He worked in the tourism industry in a number of countries in Europe before studying for a Masters degree in Tourism Management at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow.  Following a period in the public sector, as the Tourism Development Officer for Wiltshire, Craig took his first lecturing role in the University of Derby.  Whilst at Derby he commenced a PhD, also through the University of Strathclyde, focused on entrepreneurship in the hospitality sector, in The Gambia, West Africa, which he completed in 2000.

He moved to New Zealand in the mid 1990s to develop and manage the country’s first specialist degree in Tourism Management. Another opportunity then took him to Switzerland, where he became the Academic Director of the Swiss Education Group, the country’s largest provider of hospitality education. It was then back to Scotland to head an industry led project to create a private hotel school. His final move (to date) has seen Craig move to The Netherlands, to take on the role of Head of Stenden Hotel Management School, the largest hotel school in Europe, at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences. So, after several mountainous countries, Craig is enjoying life (and cycling) with his wife and two children in a much flatter environment!

Craig is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and also of the Higher Education Academy, and is a member of editorial board for the journal of Research in Hospitality Management and Journal of Tourism Futures. Craig was elected as Director on THE-ICE Board in November 2015, appropriately while NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences hosted THE-ICE IPoE (International Panel of Experts) Forum, the first time the event had been held in Europe.

Professor JS Perry Hobson – Director


Professor Perry Hobson is the former Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at Taylor’s University in Malaysia. He has an extensive international academic background in hospitality and tourism, and holds a BSc (Hons) in Hotel & Catering Management from Oxford Brookes University (UK), a MS in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA), and a PhD in tourism from Southern Cross University (Australia). He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the SSCI-indexed  Journal of Vacation Marketing (JVM) since 1999. He was the Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University (SCU) in Australia for many years, and during that time the university won both the State and National Tourism Awards for excellence in ‘Education and Training’.

Professor Hobson is the former Director/CEO of the THE-ICE, and he was responsible for transforming the organisation from being an initiative of the Australian Federal Government into an independent global accreditation body. In recognition of his contribution to education and research, he has been made a Fellow of the Council of Australasian Universities for Tourism & Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), an Honorary Fellow of the UK’s Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME), a recipient of the ‘Sue Beeton Award’ from the TTRA-Apac Chapter and was also the first person to be installed into “Hall of Fame” by THE-ICE for his support and contribution to the organisation.

Perry has been the PVC for Global Engagement at Taylor’s University since 2012. He initiated and led the development of the university’s first Global Strategic Plan & Framework, and Taylor’s University has since received QS 4-Stars, with QS 5-Stars for “Internationalisation”. The university has also subsequently been ranked in the QS Asian University Rankings, as well as the QS World Subject Rankings for Hospitality & Leisure. He is also a member of the international Advisory Board of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education and a frequent speaker at international conferences.

Mr Ron Hilvert – Director


Ron Hilvert, a graduate of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, was the Founder and Managing Director of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and has been a Director on THE-ICE Board since February 2012.

From July 2018, Ron was appointed as Executive Director of Human Resources: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia / Public Investment Fund (projects). Prior to that, Ron was Managing Director of the Dusit Hospitality Management College and dusitD2, the Fort, Manila, the Philippines, which offered programs with the academic certification of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.

Ron has over 40 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry and is recognised as the most experienced Human Resources Executive in the industry worldwide. He has held the worldwide Corporate Human Resources position for Hyatt International, Hilton International and Jumeirah Group, and was an opening General Manager with Hyatt International Hotels.

Ron has had professional and educational contact with all the major hotel schools and universities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia for over 30 years. He has lectured at several major schools and universities, and has regularly been invited to speak at international conferences. A fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Ron is fluent in four European languages.

Download the Director Profile of Mr Ron Hilvert in PDF format

Dr Paul Whitelaw – Treasurer & Director

Paul Whitelaw has been a Director on THE-ICE Board since November 2012 and joined the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne as Associate Director Higher Education and Quality in 2014.

Prior to this appointment Paul was a Senior Lecturer at the College of Business at Victoria University and the Centre for Tourism and Services Research, where he lectured in quantitative and computer based hospitality management systems in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Before joining academia in 1991, Paul enjoyed nearly 15 years experience in various line and executive positions in the hospitality industry, also spending his childhood actively exposed to family hotel, restaurant and motel business interests.

Paul’s key interests are in the ongoing professionalisation of the hospitality industry, especially in the areas of career progression and development, harnessing modern technologies to improve the guest experience and the application of advanced analytical techniques to improve operating efficiency.

Paul has also conducted extensive research on protecting areas in the National Estate including leading a review of all recent Commonwealth funded research conducted on the visitor experience and economic impact of National Parks and World Heritage Sites in Australia.  Further, he led a team that developed a model to provide benchmark measurements of the impact of tourism investment and development in regional Australia.

In 2001 Paul received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence at Victoria University.  In 2005 he received a $25,000 grant from the Victorian State Government to develop a suite of on-line learning resources for recently arrived Asian graduate business students.

Since 2008 he has been involved in four Commonwealth funded projects (worth more than $600,000) investigating a range of teaching and learning issues.  These include the hospitality, tourism and events curriculum, supporting Chinese students adopt to learning in Australia, and various issues related to Academic Integrity, especially the prevention of plagiarism.

He is currently leading a project team that is working on the setting of national curriculum standards for tourism, hospitality and events undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programmes.

Ms Maria Christina G Aquino – Company Secretary & Director

Maria Christina G Aquino is the Executive Director for Linkages and Standards of the Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila. She is also the Project Director for Tourism and Hospitality Education Programmes throughout the four campuses of LPU (Manila, Cavite, Batangas, and Laguna), Deputy Integrated Management Representative for various ISO programmes and oversee various QA programmes in the University.

She has teaching and administrative experiences in post-secondary school settings including a state university, a private technical vocational school offering Culinary Arts programmes and a private non sectarian university.  Aside from teaching and administration, she was a flight attendant and cabin services line instructor for two international airlines, a foodservice operator, and a liaison officer of a quasi-government agency. She is an author of several books and journal articles, and has presented papers and been an invited speaker in several workshops, fora, and conferences.

Ms Aquino is the Chair of the Tourism Industry Board Foundation Inc (TIBFI), accreditor for the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), an Associate Board Member for the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP), a member of CHED Technical Committee of Tourism and Hospitality and an NCR Regional Quality Assurance Team (RQAT), a resource person for TESDA specifically in the Tourism sector, an ASEAN Master Tourism Assessor for Housekeeping and a Philippine Quality Award Assessor. She is a Past President of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Educators of the Philippines (COHREP) National, Past President of the Asia Pacific Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (APacCHRIE).

Ms Aquino holds the qualifications BS HRA (cum laude), MA in Education, with a major in Educational Administration, and has completed all the academic requirements for a PhD in Education, specialising in Curriculum Studies. She has the following certifications: AHLEI’s Certified Hospitality Education (CHE) and Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP), STR Hotel Industry Foundations Introduction to Analytics (HIFIA). In November 2013 she was appointed as a Director on THE-ICE Board.

Professor Dr Oswin Maurer – Director

oswin-maurer-350x400Professor Dr Oswin Maurer is a well-published, highly-regarded and innovative academic with extensive international experience in key roles such as the development and implementation of internationally-accredited undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes.

Dr Maurer’s areas of interest and expertise include: strategic management and marketing; international business and business economics; food industry management and internationalisation; and tourism management and economics.

With an academic and research career spanning close to three decades, Dr Maurer has authored/ co-authored an impressive range of publications and has been involved at the core level of designing and implementing educational projects for senior management and government officials across the continents including Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Dr Maurer has also been key in the development of various national research programmes on internationalisation, competitiveness and corporate social responsibility, to name a few.

In addition to his academic achievements, Dr Maurer is a much sought-after advisor and research consultant and is a key contributor in the building and leadership of an international research base and network through the establishment of the Competence Centre in Tourism Management and Tourism Economics (TOMTE). TOMTE organises several seminars and workshops every year, including the Consumer Behaviour in Tourism Symposium (CBTS) which takes place every year since 2008 in the month of December in Brunico.

Dr Maurer was elected as Director on THE-ICE Board in November 2015.

Download the Director Profile of Professor Dr Oswin Maurer in PDF format

Mr John Daly – Director

Mr John Daly is the Director of Quality Assurance, Swiss Education Group, Switzerland. He was educated in Ireland, earning a Bachelor Degree in Hotel Management from GMIT in 1995 and then later a Masters Degree in International Tourism from the University of Limerick in 2003. John also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from the Open University in 2006 and his Masters in Education with the University of Derby in 2017.

John first joined the Swiss Education Group (SEG) in 2003 as a full time Lecturer and soon moved position to Northwood University Program Manager at Hotel Institute of Montreux.  John later took the post of Assistant Academic Dean and then Academic Dean of Hotel Institute Montreux in 2010.

John was appointed Head of Accreditations at SEG in 2013, and in 2015 became SEG’s Director of Quality Assurance. Speaking three languages (English, French and Gaelic) John handles process management, accreditations, and faculty training and professional development.

John’s interests include education, politics and alleviation of poverty.


Dr John Fong – Director


Dr John Fong is the CEO & Head of Campus at SP Jain School of Global Management (Singapore). His experience is diverse, having lived and worked in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and the USA, where he has specialised in a variety of fields such as education, business development, corporate communications, international relations and law enforcement.

John is most passionate about education having been the President/CEO of a University, a Professor at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, a published author, an academic reviewer for journals and textbooks and a sought-after speaker, regularly conducting seminars internationally.

Dr Fong is also the Past President of EuroCHRIE (European Council on Hotel Restaurant & Institutional Education), the peak academic body that represents Hospitality and Tourism Educators in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is an elected Board Director of THE-ICE (The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education), an international accreditation agency that is an authoritative source on Tourism, Hospitality, Events and Culinary Arts education.

Dr Fong serves on a number of Editorial Boards including the “Journal of Tourism and Services”, “International Journal of Research in Tourism and Hospitality” and the widely read “HOTEL Yearbook”. His academic credentials include a PhD from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Business from the University of Southern Queensland.

Dr Sarote Phornprapha – Director

dr_sarote_imageDr Sarote has 20 years of academic career, is well recognized as an expert in subjects of Management for productivity, Organizational behavior, Leadership and business ethics, Business Negotiations, and as an accomplished business consultant in the area of organization development substantiated through extensive teaching and research. Especially for his competency in Tourism and Hospitality, and Healthcare Administration. His latest research published (2015) is People Passion Programme: Implementing an innovative workplace learning culture through professional development – the case of KPMG-Thailand, International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (UNESCO). Volume 6 (61):795-814.

Sarote is also a specialist in the area of educational management for Thailand and ASEAN region. Experience includes Designing and Conducting Managerial Development programmes and Executive Educations for both public and private organizations with focus on: Strategic management, Organization Development, Cross Cultural Management, Leadership Branding, and Dispute Resolutions.

His awards and recognitions include ASIA’s Best Professor in Management from World Education Congress in 2012 and the ASAIHL-THAILAND’s Best Professor Award for “Teaching Excellence” in the field of humanities, Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning.

His academic credentials include PhD in Management Studies/Organisational Behaviour from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, UK., USA

Download the Director Profile of Dr Sarote Phornprapha in PDF format

Mr Anthony Mitri – Director 

Mr Anthony Mitri is the Director of Innovation, Industry and Employability at Torrens University, and was formerly the Head of Academic Studies at William Blue College of Hospitality Management.

Anthony’s qualifications include a Masters of Business Administration, Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management), and Diploma of Vocational Education and Training. While attending university, Anthony was awarded the prestigious Corporate Management Traineeship with IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), which he completed at the Holiday Inn Sydney Airport with a focus on Front Office Management. Upon graduation, Anthony ventured into the world of hospitality by working in hotel operations with Accor and IHG.

In 2006, Anthony moved into the education arena with a range of international colleges in Sydney and was quickly promoted to management posts within the academic field. As the Head of Academic Studies for Hospitality programmes at William Blue, Anthony was in a unique position of having current, high-quality industry experience, industry qualifications, and academic experience which he combined to develop and deliver vocational and higher education of the highest quality to students.

Now as the Director of Innovation, Industry, and Employability (IIE), he acts as the catalyst for innovation and leads the development of the Hospitality Faculty’s industry-relevant courses at Torrens University Australia. In addition, he is responsible for ensuring students achieve their employability goals by aligning industry engagement and overseeing the continual progression of curriculum as trends in the industry change.

Anthony was elected to THE-ICE Board of Directors in 2017.

Professor Guy Bentley – Immediate Past Chair

Professor Guy Bentley has worked in education industries for over thirty-five years in numerous leadership positions. He has received many significant awards to recognise his outstanding contributions to the Australian tourism and training industries, including a National Training Legend Award (2006) and the National Tourism Platinum Award (2004 and 2009). In 2015 he was awarded the Ashley Spencer Award for ‘Service to the Industry’ at the HM awards and in 2011 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Accommodation Association of Australia for his contribution to Industry Education.

Guy is currently the CEO of the Australian Institute of Music, with a reputation as a leading music independent education provider, AIM’s music & performing arts courses in Sydney and Melbourne offer accredited tertiary music degrees through unique industry relevant programmes. Prior to this Guy was Chief Executive Officer of Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) Worldwide, which operates three (3) campuses in two (2) countries as well as programmes in a further 6 countries. During his time at Glion Institute of Higher Education it won the world’s Best Hotel School in 2015 and the most innovative education programme in 2016 the World Hospitality Awards.

Guy is committed to the growth of a trusted higher quality education business that is customer-focused. He uses a mentoring leadership style to assist his executive team to operate effectively within a complex regulatory and corporate global environment. He has extensive experience as a director of business in the general education, workplace training, outdoor recreation, hospitality, and tourism sectors. Guy publishes academic and industry papers and regularly presents at conferences.

In 2017, Guy received the title Professor in recognition of his leadership of change in Higher Education Institutions.