Our Team

We have brought together talent from across the travel, food and other complimentary industries to deliver world-leading operational and business excellence.

From our operations managers on the ground to our board directors, our management includes some of the most experienced specialists in the business; a team of true food travel experts.

Mark Rainbow Chief Operations Officer - SSP UK

Mark joined SSP in 2004, working in Group Finance, and was heavily involved in the sale of SSP from Compass to EQT. In October 2008, he was appointed as Chief Financial Officer for the UK business, including Rail Gourmet. In more recent years, Mark took control of IT, where he spearheaded the move to Micros tills which has been successfully rolled out across the business, allowing us to better report and understand our trading patterns.

In September 2012, Mark was appointed the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of all our operational divisions. As a member of the UK Board, Mark has been heavily involved in the UK strategy, securing new business across all locations through a detailed knowledge of each site and unit we run.

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Mark Angela CEO - SSP UK & Ireland

Mark joined SSP Group on February 20th 2012 as CEO of its UK and Ireland division to oversee a business that generated sales in excess of £650m in 2011.

He began his career in marketing roles within the FMCG pharmaceutical sectors, including 11 years at Colgate-Palmolive and 5 years at ICI (now Astra-Zeneca). He was Managing Director of Greene King Pub Company and a main board member of Greene King plc for 3 years. Most recently he spent 4 years as CEO of PizzaExpress Restaurants .

Mark holds a degree in modern languages from Cambridge University.

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Joel Brook Property Director - SSP UK

Joel is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, having worked in the property industry for over 30 years in a wide range of roles in both the public and private sectors. Prior to SSP, Joel was the Director of Station Trading for the British Rail Property Board, with a responsibility for the management of all stations throughout the UK.

Joel has been with SSP for 13 years, and is responsible for SSP UK’s wide range of property issues throughout the UK and Ireland, with key responsibility for developing the business further. During the period Joel has overseen many exciting additions to the business, including the purchase of Whistlestop, Millie’s Cookies and the franchise arrangements with Marks and Spencer.

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Lucy Knowles Chief Marketing Officer

Lucy joined SSP UK on May 2013 as Chief Marketing Officer to oversee the development of SSP’s brands, playing a significant role in implementing the company’s long-term strategic plan, including developing new products, acquisitions and joint ventures and other growth initiatives.

She joined from Corney & Barrow Bars where she was Managing Director, and where she started her career as a general manager of one of their flagship bars, quickly working her way up through the business in operational roles before becoming MD there in 2003.

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Luke Tait Chief Financial Officer - SSP UK

Luke has been with SSP since 2004. He joined the Compass Group Strategy and Development Team in 2001 and then became SSP Group Development Director in 2004. After 2 years in this role, Luke moved to the USA to be CFO of SSP America and support its integration into SSP. Luke returned to the UK in 2009 when he rejoined the Group Finance team.

Luke was responsible for managing the Investment Committee where larger projects are reviewed and authorised, and post-investment reviews conducted to assess the performance of investments. He has been instrumental in various mergers and acquisitions, such as the sale of Harry Ramsden’s and O’Learys.

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Robert Johnson National Retail Operations Director- SSP UK

Bob started his retail career as a management trainee with Debenhams working his way up to the Assistant General Manager of one of the department stores. A spell then followed as an Area Manager within the Licensed on Trade before joining Asda as a Fresh Food Manager.

Bob then joined T&S Stores as they embarked on their ambitious convenience store opening programme and prior to joining SSP was a Retail Operations Manager responsible for 130 convenience stores by now, due to takeover as part of the Tesco empire.

Today Bob is responsible for the M&S and Whistlestop Brands within SSP UK Rail, with some 57 units currently trading as a strong development chain.

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Greg Woodland Purchasing Director - SSP UK

Greg left Chichester College and joined J.Sainsbury’s as a Retail Management Trainee, working his way across various store operational divisions up to Deputy Store Manager in the flagship Cromwell Road store in the mid 90s.

Taking time out to study for an MA in Management Studies, Greg graduated from the University of Leicester in 1996 and joined Safeway Stores Supply Chain division, driving store compliance, forecasting and demand generation. In 1998, he moved into Purchasing and established his career in the Meat / Chilled Foods arena. In 2001, Greg took on the challenge of foodservice and moved to Compass Group to procure the Meat, Fish and Frozen Food categories.

Two years later, Greg joined Aramark as Buying Director before joining SSP UK in October 2006 to create a Purchasing function across all the UK & Ireland divisions. This included Air, Rail, Millie’s Cookies and Rail Gourmet with an annual spend of over £100m.

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Julie Holdaway HR Director and Director of Operational Support Services – SSP UK

After catering college Julie started her career in hotels working in food and beverage service. In 1993 she joined Compass Group working for SSP in the UK. Since then Julie has held numerous roles within the UK and Group. In 1999 she became HR Director for the UK business. Around the time of the sale of SSP in 2005 Julie joined the Group HR team and was responsible for setting up new reward and benefit programmes for managers and the talent management of the senior executives across the Group.

In 2008 Julie returned to the UK as HR Director. In 2010 she established the UK Internal Communications department and set up the Operational Support Services function comprising of the Operational Excellence Team, Fire, Health and Safety and more recently the Commercial Process.

During her time with SSP, Julie has been a key player in all major organisation structure changes and led the HR team in the design and implementation of many key people initiatives including: HR Advisory Line, ON-line learning solutions, Apprenticeship programme, On-line Resourcing, Celebrate! SSP UK’s employee recognition platform.

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Skilled in understanding global food and travel trends and adapting them to distinctive UK and Ireland local market needs .


Developing talented people is an essential part of being the Food Travel Experts .

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