Board of Directors

THE-ICE Board of Directors

Professor (FH) Mag Eva Werner – 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.

Professor (FH) Mag. Eva Werner holds a degree from the University of Vienna in languages (1975), and also studied in France (Sorbonne in Paris, 1974) and Canada (University of Concordia, 1982).

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. Eva joined the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems in 1994, and contributed both as lecturer and “steering mind” of the development of the institution.

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).

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 Quality Label for Mobility (2002) as well as 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 the development and quality assurance of the degree programmes on offer at the IMC Krems. In January 2013, Eva Werner started her second term as rector, after having been re-elected in fall of 2012.

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 – Deputy Chair & Director


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 Stenden University of Applied Sciences. So, after several mountainous countries, Craig is enjoying life (and cycling) with his wife and two children in much flatter environment!

Craig is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and 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 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

perry-hobson-2-350x400Prof JS Perry Hobson is the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at Taylor’s University, Malaysia.  He was the Director of THE-ICE from 2006-2011, and led the transformation of the organisation from being an initiative of the Australian Federal Government into being a not-for-profit international accreditation body.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2008. Prior to his involvement with THE-ICE he was an Associate Professor and the former Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University (SCU) in Australia.

Since 1999 Dr Hobson has been the Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Vacation Marketing and was also the co-Editor of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.  In 2005, Perry was recognised in the Journal Tourism Management as being amongst the top 50 researchers in tourism and hospitality management over the previous two decades.  He has been the recipient of awards of excellence for his research from the MCB University Press/Emerald in the UK, and from I-CHRIE (the International Association of Hospitality & Tourism Educators) in the USA.

While he was the Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at SCU the School received the New South Wales (NSW) State Award for Excellence twice, and went onto win the National Australian Tourism Award for Education and Training.  Perry has also been a personal recipient of the Platinum Award for Tourism from the peak industry organisation Tourism Training Australia (TTA) for his contribution to education.

Professor Hobson has twice been elected Chair of the Council of Australian Universities for Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), the national association of educators in Australia, and in 2014 was elected to be one of twelve Fellows of CAUTHE in recognition of his sustained contribution to hospitality and tourism education. Perry remains active in many international associations, currently serving on the Boards of APacCHRIE and APTA, the two leading Asia-Pacific regional educators associations.

Mr Ron Hilvert – Director

ron-hilvert-350x400Ron 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.

Effective as from 1st January 2016, Ron takes up the new appointment as the Managing Director of the Dusit Hospitality Management College and dusitD2, the Fort, Manila. The College will be offering programs with the academic certification of Ecole hoteliere 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. Ron 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.

He 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.

Dr Paul Whitelaw – Treasurer & Director

paul-whitelaw-350x400Paul 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 programs.

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 programs.

Ms Christina (Tina) Aquino – Director

aquino-ma-christina-2016MA Christina G Aquino is the Executive Director for Planning and Development of the Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila.  In addition she is the LPU Dusit International Project Director, focusing on Tourism and Hospitality Education Programs throughout the four campuses of LPU (Manila, Cavite, Batangas and Laguna), Deputy Quality Management Representative for various Quality Assurance programs (including the ISO 9001:2008 and program and institutional accreditations), and the OIC of the College of International Tourism and Hospitality Management where she was formerly the Dean from 2006 to 2009.

She has teaching and administrative experience in various post-secondary school settings that include a state university, a private technical vocational school offering Culinary Arts programs and, currently, 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.

Ms Aquino has been the President of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Educators of the Philippines (COHREP) National since 2011, an Associate Board Member for the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP) since 2013, Secretary of the Asia Pacific Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (APacCHRIE) since 2013, and Secretary of the Tourism Industry Board Foundation Inc, (TIBFI).  She is also an accreditor for the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), a member of the NCR Regional Quality Assurance Team (RQAT), and a resource person for TESDA specifically in the Tourism sector, as well as being a member of several technical working groups in the review of CMO of CHED.  Recently Christina completed the ASEAN Master Tourism Assessor Training in Bali Indonesia, where she was one of four delegates from the Philippines.  Currently, she is part of a team from DOT, TESDA and TIBFI doing the ASEAN 2015 MRA Awareness Seminars in various regions of the Philippines.

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, all through the University of the Philippines Diliman Quezon City.  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.

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 completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from the Open University in 2006 and is currently completing his Masters in Education with the University of Derby.

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.


Professor John Fong – Director


Dr John Fong is the President & CEO of JF & Associates Global Consultancy which helps education institutions with accreditation, branding, marketing, student recruitment and expansion strategies.  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’s 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 the elected 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 also 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 programs 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

Mr Guy Bentley – Immediate Past Chair

 Mr Guy Bentley was recently appointed CEO of Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) Worldwide, with two campuses in Switzerland and one in London, England. At the end of 2015, he wound up his 11-year term as CEO of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS), Australia, a sister school of GIHE.

Guy is a member of the BMIHMS Higher Education Board, a Director of Torrens University Australia (TUA) Governing Board, and a Member of the Senior Executive Group for Laureate Hospitality and Culinary, which are part of the Laureate International University (LIU) Network. Following his election to THE-ICE Board of Directors in 2008, Guy served as Chair from 2011 – 2013 and is currently serving a subsequent term in office as Director.

Guy is committed to the growing of a trusted quality higher 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 & industry papers and regularly presents at conferences.

He has been highly recognised for many years for his outstanding contributions to the tourism/ training industry in Australia and has received the National Training Legend Award in 2006, the National Tourism Platinum Award in 2004 and 2009, the Accommodation Association of Australia’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and – most recently – the Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award at the 2015 HM Awards for Hotel & Accommodation Excellence.