STAA announces 2022/23 board members

UK: The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has appointed a new board of members for 2022/23.

Board members were elected from the group’s membership base. For the next financial year, members include:

  • Chair: Merilee Karr, CEO, UnderTheDoormat (re-elected)
  • Vice-chair: Charlie Reith, UK and Ireland government affairs, Expedia Group (newly elected)
  • Policy lead: Theo Lomas, head of policy, partnerships and government relations, Airbnb (newly elected)
  • Research and data lead: Louise Birritteri, founder and CEO, Pikl (re-elected)
  • Property manager lead: Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages (re-elected)
  • Events lead: Leo Walton, co-founder, SUPERHOG (re-elected)
  • New membership lead: Dale Smith, founder and CEO, The SDDE Smith Group (newly elected)
  • Director general: Shomik Panda, CEO, Inline Policy (re-appointed)
  • Legal adviser: Eduoard Peers (re-appointed)

Merilee Karr said, “The STAA has proven itself to be a powerful voice in representing the short-term rental industry and supporting its responsible growth. By providing valuable support to its members during what has been an incredibly challenging past two years, we are in a strong position as a sector and are looking forward to the next 12 months. Consumers desire for a ‘home-from-home’ experience when they travel is more established than ever and with STR data showing an increase in preferences for short term rentals post-pandemic, we expect that trend to continue.

“On a personal note, I am delighted and honoured to be re-elected as chair of this fast-growing association for a fourth year,” Karr added, “and am eager to continue working with stakeholders across the industry and government to support growing the industry responsibly, helping consumers from across the UK and beyond to enjoy business and holiday stays across the UK.”

Vice chair, Charlie Reith, said: “With the short-term rental sector showing a strong post-pandemic recovery, this is a very exciting time to be joining the board of the STAA. Never has there been such interest from stakeholders in our sector and the STAA has already shown that it can provide a constructive and positive voice for businesses and property owners around the country. I am looking forward to working with Merilee and the board to promote the benefits that our sector brings to communities and businesses around the UK.”

Policy lead, Theo Lomas, said: “I am delighted to be elected to the STAA board with the responsibility for public policy. This is a key moment for the industry as governments across the UK consider new regulations. I am looking forward to working with the secretariat team as we engage with policymakers, government and other key decision makers to make sure our interests are conveyed powerfully and effectively.”

Director general, Shomik Panda, said: “It should be very reassuring for our members to see what a strong board we have assembled. Over the last year we have continued to make great progress in helping our fantastic sector to develop and grow, in the work we have carried out with policymakers and local authorities. It promises to be another busy year, but one where travel returns to much more of a normality than we have been used to in the last 24 months. 

“The short-term accommodation sector has so much to offer business travellers, visitors from abroad and UK staycationers and we strive to enable them to get the best experiences possible and create an environment for hosts and property managers to be successful.”