Since Mark Anderson was appointed as managing director for Virgin Holidays in 2014, he has overseen a complete revitalisation of the business, whilst simultaneously creating an open and welcoming culture for everyone – with a central LGBT component. Mark is a vocal spokesperson within the travel industry and is a founding member of the Trade Travel Gazette LGBT Network. Earlier this year he was a finalist in the Inspirational Role Model category at the British LGBT Awards, and as a result has been invited to judge the 2017 awards – helping identify and reward other LGBT leaders and heroes. Furthermore, he has extended the title sponsorship of the Attitude Awards through to 2017, giving the ceremony the financial base it needs to continue to grow year on year. Since his appointment as managing director, Mark has introduced a five-year plan that first delivered business optimisation, before implementing a focused growth strategy – resulting in double budgeted profit growth. He successfully led the company’s transition to a customer direct business, focusing wholly on its own channels to improve the customer experience. Under his leadership, Virgin Holidays launched its v room concept stores and has seen retail locations grow from 20 to almost 100 in three years. This business acumen was recognized by digital charity box concept Pennies, who have asked Mark to join them as a trustee in 2016. Finally, and perhaps most ambitiously, Mark is committed to delivering real, tangible change. He has publically called for a cross-industry working group to tackle some of the issues LGBT travellers face in regions like the Caribbean and is focused on delivering a working group to address the issue by 2017.