The SHLA team are proud to announce some of the judges who will be sitting on our panel. We have specialists from all aspects of the industry who will use their expertise to judge all applications fairly.

Applications are now closed for 2016 but take a look at the categories here!

Brian Welsh – Threesixty Developments Ltd & The Student Housing Company  LinkedIn-button

Brian Welsh








Position: Group Operations Director

Brian Welsh is the Group Operations Director at Threesixty Developments Ltd and The Student Housing Company. Heading up the operations team, Brian is responsible for exceeding quality targets and financial metrics each year. Having also worked for Liberty Living, Brian has built up extensive experience in the student accommodation sector giving him a unique insight into the needs of students and university customers.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

The Student Housing Company introduced a new kind of student housing, with service, safety, and security at its heart. We’re looking forward to The Student Housing Leadership Awards, another opportunity to drive the sector forward through industry recognition and sharing experience. We were named ‘Best Student Accommodation Provider 2014 & 15’ in the National Student Housing Survey, and being part of the judging panel for the SHLA allows us to recognise some great work in the industry, encourage best practise, and to share some of the insights we’ve gained through working with students both as residents and as employees through our internship programme.


Dominic Macer – Victoria Hall Management Ltd  LinkedIn-button

Dominic Macer








Position: Investment Director

Dominic has specialised in the residential accommodation sector for the whole of his 20yr career. Starting his career in Prime Central London investment and development roles, he joined ING Real Estate Investment Management in the early 2000’s to help run their UK Residential fund. It was here he had his first introduction to student housing, helping acquire and manage 3 PBSA halls for the fund. Having gone on to spend time working for himself and two other institutional PRS funds since then, Dominic joined VHML in 2015 as Investment Director to help shape this new phase in their evolution.


Jane Crouch – Fresh Student Living  LinkedIn-button

Jane Crouch








Position: Director Of Operations

With a BSc (Hons) in Housing Management and Development, Jane has significant experience in property management. Her career began in the social housing sector, before making the move into the world of student accommodation in 2007. Previously Operations Manager for iQ, Jane has worked as Director of Operations at Fresh Student Living since the company was formed in 2010.  She is now responsible for overseeing the successful management and marketing of over 12,000 beds and a team of over 200 staff. Throughout her career Jane has led teams to achieving outstanding KPIs and delivering exceptional customer service. As a member of the Committee of Management of the ANUK code, she is focused on driving these values across the student housing sector.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

The student housing sector is all about the fabulous people that work within it. I am very much looking forward to seeing the hard work and dedication of my peers recognised and celebrated throughout the industry.


Nathan Goddard – Student.com  LinkedIn-button

Nathan Goddard








Position: Vice President Real Estate

Nathan Goddard is Vice President, Real Estate at Student.com, the world’s leading marketplace for international student accommodation.  Nathan has worked with Founder and CEO Luke Nolan as a senior advisor since the company’s inception in 2010, and joined Student.com full time in 2015 to lead global supply.  During his time with Student.com, Nathan has been responsible for building strategic partnerships with property companies worldwide. This academic year, Student.com will list properties in 426 cities, in close proximity to over 1,000 universities globally.

Nathan has spent two decade in the hospitality and real estate sectors. Prior to Student.com, Nathan held the position of Managing Director at Greystar Europe Holdings Limited, the largest global operator of multi-family and student housing. During his tenure at Greystar, Nathan grew the business from the acquisition of the first UK properties to a full scale operation offering over 20,000 beds in the UK and mainland Europe.

Nathan has also held senior operations roles with Whitbread PLC and the Unite Group PLC. During his time with Unite, Nathan spearheaded operations and marketing before leading group business development with a particular focus on overseas growth and expansion.

Nathan graduated from Pembroke College, Oxford University.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

The Student Accommodation sector is filled with innovative brands and talented people.  The introduction of a national set of awards will provide a platform to recognise excellence.


Joe Persechino – Global Student Accommodation Group  LinkedIn-button

Joe Persechino








Position: European Operations Director

Joe has extensive experience in the Student Accommodation sector and is responsible for operations the Europe and Middle East region of GSA. Previously, he was Director of Residences for Collegiate AC where he oversaw the rapid growth of a national UK portfolio from 9 to 25 properties; 900 beds to in excess of 4000. Joe has also previously worked at UNITE where he was responsible for more than 8,000 beds across London and the South Coast.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

I am excited and feel very privileged to be a judge at this years’ awards where talented individuals, teams and companies will be recognised for their innovation and service to students and the student sector as a whole. It is extremely important that we recognise those that are striving to continuously improve the standards that students experience in their accommodation as it plays a major part in students’ transition from home life to independent living whilst at University.


Maureen McDermott – Maureen McDermott Consulting  LinkedIn-button

Maureen McDermott








Position: Student Accommodation Consultant

With more than 15 years’ experience in the student accommodation, study abroad, and hospitality industry, Maureen provides services to investors and architects looking to establish a foothold in the market, and guides existing operators to improve operations and expand their market reach.

She was former Director of Nido Student Living, responsible for creating the brand, marketing and management strategies for the 2,500-bed portfolio, and previously MD of a boutique 300-bed residence hall in Chelsea, London.

She is considered a pioneer in the direct-let market, forging solid relationships with the study abroad and language school markets to fill voids, in a time when direct-let was considered too risky.

Stateside, she was Marketing Communications and Gold Passport Manager for Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Why am I excited?

Since there have been so many new players the past several years, it’s difficult to differentiate who is who and it’s great to bring recognition, where recognition is deserved.  Because res halls are all about encouraging students to engage with one another and their community, I am particularly interested to see what’s new in social media and sales approaches, student events and charity participation. Bring it on!


Richard Stott – Kexgill Group  LinkedIn-button

Richard Stott









Position: Managing Director

Responsible for the property holding group Kexgill in the UK and Germany. In the UK Kexgill are an award winning student landlord operating in 9 cities. Currently Estates Gazette Specialist Company of the Year along with numerous other Student Union led awards.

Joined Kexgill in 2006 to expand the portfolio in the UK and Germany becoming Board member and Managing Director of the Group in 2014. Chartered Surveyor and prior founder of specialist consultancy Thomson Stott in 1992, subsequently Director of national company (interests sold in 2007). Former advisor and original shareholder / investment strategy idea of the highly successful Landericus German Residential Fund.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

Student accommodation is a grown up asset class but an immensely “human” business, recognising how operators engage with their customers will be exciting. I am proud to be a judge in this vibrant sector.


Tim Stephen – Empiric Student Property  LinkedIn-button

Tim Stephen









Position: Asset Management Director

Students aren’t what they use to be – They want more – they have more – they spend more – they work harder – they socialise less……… yes, it’s fair to say students aren’t what they use to be!

The student housing industry isn’t what it used to be – it’s safer, connected, forward thinking and reinventing itself. The question is “is it enough?’ As Asset Management Director of Empiric Student Property PLC it is my job to give students what they want, what they expect and what they deserve. Empiric are creators of long term high quality student property, which is the simple part. Getting a robust customer service driven operational team in place is the industries challenge. A challenge that we intend to tackle very hard. Leadership in Student housing…….  Yes please


Kate Banson – The Student Housing Company  LinkedIn-button

Kate Banson








Position: HR Director

I feel like I have one of the best jobs!  I joined Threesixty Developments in the summer of 2011 having worked for a number of different property Companies.  I’m responsible for all the people related activity at Threesixty and The Student Housing Company, which is fantastic, as I get to choose the best people to work in our business.  I believe employing the right people is vital to the our  success as it helps to raise the bar for our residents.  I have over …. well it sometimes feels like too many years’ experience of working with people, but hopefully that means I can spot talent.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

I am super excited about being involved in the Student Housing Leadership Awards as it’s great opportunity to see new and emerging talent.  The student sector is hugely overlooked as a career choice, but I feel that has a real breadth of exposure which supports a diverse range of skills.


Martin Blakey – Unipol Student Homes  LinkedIn-button

Martin Blakey








Position: Chief Executive

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

It’s rare to say this is a first but these really are the first set of awards to recognise excellent from those at the sharp end of delivering a first rate living and learning experience for one of the most demanding and innovative clientele in any facilities management operation. We all talk about recognising and promoting good practice, but these awards are actually doing something about that and should be enthusiastically supported by all those who work in this fast evolving industry.


Alan Blackmore – Collegiate AC LinkedIn-button

Alan Blackmore

Position: Director of Residencies

Heading up the operations team Alan is responsible for exceeding all Service, Safety and Financial KPI’s and overseeing the rapid portfolio growth that Collegiate AC has seen over the last few years. Alan has over 20 years experience of leading teams to deliver operational excellence with nearly a decade of that spent within PBSA.  Previously he was employed as Head of Service with Unite Students, researching the needs of their 46,000 students and seeking out innovative ways in which to exceed these.

What excites you about the SHLAs?

Those of us immersed in the sector understand what it takes for individuals and teams to continually exceed student expectations, continually driving for a better student experience. The Student Housing Leadership Awards provide the opportunity to recognise the contribution that individuals, teams and companies have made to the ever evolving PBSA sector.


Sarah Quinn – Fortis Developments Ltd LinkedIn-button

Sarah Quinn








Position: Operations Director

Sarah Quinn is the Operations Director at Fortis Student Living, a new to sector student accommodation operator. Sarah has 15 years’ senior level experience covering Head of Marketing and Communications, Head of Sales and Marketing and Non-Executive Director roles. She has worked with some high profile names within the property sector including Unite Students, IQ and The Co-Operative Group. Sarah is known within the industry for high impact, strategic and driven skill set and for effectively delivering business goals.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

As a new to sector operator Fortis Student Living value the opportunity to learn and grow by best practice. Therefore It’s good to see the student accommodation sector get the recognition it thoroughly deserves through these awards. There are some outstanding people working within the sector who give their all to deliver a great service. Fortis Student Living see these awards as a great opportunity to learn and grow from the best in sector.


Alison Fletcher – CRM Students LinkedIn-button

Alison Fletcher









Position: Regional Manager

I have worked in student accommodation since the late 1990s I have gained experience working in the HE sector with De Montfort University and later The University of Leicester as Assistant Director of Facilities and Services.

I moved to the private student accommodation sector in 2011 and now I am delighted to be a part of the team working for CRM Students as their Regional Operations Manager, London.

I have seen the student accommodation sector from both the university and private provider side and have observed the changes in demand being met in a positive, enthusiastic and creative manner.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

These awards excite me as they are a very public way to recognise the efforts made by people to respond to the challenges in this very competitive arena, and I look forward to seeing the entries, their efforts and innovation in meeting the exacting expectations of our customers.


Kate Forester – Homes for Students  LinkedIn-button

Kate Forester








Position: Sales and Marketing Director

Homes for Students has grown from strength to strength this year and as the sector continues to intrigue us all with its resilience and ever changing dynamics, it’s an industry that many of us will never leave behind! I’m really honoured to be involved in the SHLA’s, the sector has grown so much over the last decade its only fitting we have our own set of national awards. Good luck to everyone who is nominated.

Kate has over 10 years’ multi-site sales management experience across both the student sector and retail. Having also worked for Unite and Greystar Kate has a wealth of sector experience that has enabled her to fine-tune Homes for students’ contact strategy and sales processes, future proofing the business for their planned growth.


Sarah Mighall – Vero Group  LinkedIn-button 

Sarah Mighall







Position: Head of HR

Sarah is Head of HR for the newly formed Vero Group which owns and operates two of the UK’s most successful student accommodation brands: Prodigy Living and iQ Student Accommodation. Vero Group is currently the second largest student accommodation provider in the UK, with over 500 members of staff.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

Having worked across many different industries and now working for a new and exciting venture that is continually looking to improve and expand, I can honestly say from a first-hand experience that the passion and enthusiasm within the Student Accommodation Industry is second to none. I am really looking forward to being part of a platform that will provide recognition and reward the incredible people who work in the industry and the fantastic achievements they have made.


Jane Donachy – University of the Arts LinkedIn-button

Jane Donachy









Position: Head of Accommodation Services

After a 20 year Career in Hospitality Jane joined the University of the Arts as Interim Head of Accommodation Services at a time of great change in 2012.

As someone new to the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Sector, it is to Jane’s credit that she quickly identified the key commercial drivers on which she should focus. She was heavily involved in change management at the University, which was undergoing a period of significant adjustment following the departure of a number of senior staff.

Over the past four years, Jane has successfully stabilized the team, brought in a number of new recruits and brought them to the point of delivering a very good service to a large number of students.

A particular strength has been her marketing-led approach to the sector; bringing experience from in particular leisure and hospitality has been timely in refocusing towards the Student Experience.


Jessica Gallop – Vero Group LinkedIn-button

Jessica Gallop






Position: UK Operations Director

Jess is the UK Director of Operations for the Vero Group, leading the operation of 23,000 beds across the Prodigy Living and iQ student brands. Jess joined the Vero Group from Greystar; the global residential real-estate business responsible for the launch of the Prodigy Living brand in the UK.

With experience in Serviced Apartments and PRS and a decade working for the Unite Group Plc, Jess has spent the majority of her career deeply involved in the student accommodation sector.

Why are you excited about the SHLAs?

It’s a real privilege to be invited to judge the SHLAs and I’m really excited about the opportunity to gain a greater visibility of the extraordinary talent across this sector. I started my career in student accommodation straight out of University, in a front of house Customer Service role. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to work my way through the various roles and specialisms the sector has to offer, at each stage of that I’ve met talented, special people; those I’ve worked for and with and those who’ve worked for me; the one constant has been the passion people have to deliver an experience that supports an individual’s time at University. I am responsible for over 400 people in our organisation today and it’s my priority to ensure that whatever your role, you understand the true value you can add to a student’s life. And most importantly, that we take the time to recognise that when you do.

William Wilson – University College London LinkedIn-button 

William Wilson









Position: Head of Residential Accommodation

William Wilson is now a student Housing management consultant, having spent 30 years in student housing leadership roles at Wolverhampton University and then UCL. A moderniser, with a proven track record of budget realignments and product enhancement.

What excites you about the SHLAs?

I have been involved in major innovations in student housing, such as the creation of the UUK Code of Practice , introduction of Hospitality Assured and creating cross council environmental standards. The Student Housing Leadership Awards have the same ground breaking feel – at last awards recognising individuals across our profession.