UK STAA announces new board appointments

UK: The UK Short Term Accommodation Association [STAA], the trade body representing the short-term rental sector, has appointed its new board following election from its largest-ever membership base.

More than 90 companies are now members representing the vast majority of the industry across the UK.

The board members for the next financial year are:

  • Chair: Merilee Karr, CEO, UnderTheDoormat [re-elected]
  • Vice-chair: Jean Philippe Monod, SVP Global Government & Corporate Affairs, Expedia [re-elected]
  • Policy lead: Marie Lorimer, UK Public Policy Manager, Airbnb [newly elected]
  • Research lead: Louise Birritteri, Founder and CEO, Pikl [re-elected]
  • Property manager lead: Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages [newly elected]
  • New memberships and events lead: Leo Walton, Co-founder, SUPERHOG [re-elected]
  • Director General: Shomik Panda, CEO, Inline Policy [re-appointed]
  • Legal adviser: Edouard Peers [re-appointed]

Merilee Karr said: “The STAA has been incredibly valuable in supporting all of the hosts and businesses in the industry through a challenging year and we look forward to helping the sector recover even stronger.  I am delighted to continue to be Chair of this fast growing association for a third year and am looking forward to furthering our aims of growing the industry responsibly and to help consumers from across the UK and beyond return to travel safely and enjoy all the UK has to offer.”

Marie Lorimer said: “I am delighted to have been elected to the board of the STAA. There is still a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to ensure that our sector gets treated on an equal footing as other accommodation types.

“But I am confident that by working collaboratively with local authorities, councils and governments, we will be able to prepare the ground for short-term letting to prosper in harmony with the local communities in which they are located,” she added.

Graham Donoghue said: “I have seen first-hand the importance of the work that the STAA board has done on behalf of its members so I am really pleased to have been elected so that I can contribute to its development. We have exciting and potentially unpredictable times ahead but having grown the membership we will be able to have an influence on the outcomes that will affect the industry’s future.

“I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and helping to develop services and events that will deliver value to property managers,” he added.

Louise Birritteri said: “Having operated in the sharing economy for some years, we are still learning what opportunities lie ahead. With so many members now on board we can reap the rewards of pooling our resources, knowledge and experience to develop greater insights into future consumer behaviour that will then help us to tailor out sector’s offering for them.”

Leo Walton said: “It’s great to be re-elected to the board where I will continue the drive for new members. Events – virtual and real – will be a core element of our recruiting programme and with so many members on board we can now make the most of their referrals.

“Having an association representing a strong membership base will bring further benefits and ensure that we have a seat at the table whenever decisions are being made that could affect our industry,” he added.

Shomik Panda said: “It’s really fantastic to see what a strong board we have. I am very excited to work with all of the board members to ensure that the Secretariat carries out its vision.

“We have proved that by working in collaboration we have been able to achieve great things and I am really looking forward to the next 12 months being a real positive one both for the STAA and our members’ businesses,” he added.