Meet The Team
Members of the TAS Alliance are able to draw on the experience and expertise of some well-known serviced apartment industry professionals.
Charlie McCrow, CEO
Charlie has been the driving force behind The Apartment Service’s 25 year success. With a background in property development and construction, Charlie is a long standing member of several industry bodies and a founder member of the UK’s Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP).
Under his leadership the company has been at the forefront of innovation in the sector, the latest example of which is the TAS Alliance. The Alliance is the fourth and newest business in McCrow’s portfolio, joining independent global booking agency The Apartment Service; extended stay brand Roomspace, and the Global Serviced Apartment Network.
Charlie’s investment in technology and people has helped power the growth of the serviced apartment industry, resulting in the launch of the sector’s first alliance of independent operators to provide an end-to-end solution for buyers and travellers globally.
Jo Layton, MD - Group Commercial Sales
Jo is one of the best-known and respected figures in the serviced apartments industry and is heading up The TAS Alliance. With a 25-year leadership and business development career in the hospitality industry, Jo’s combines her passion for excellence with a drive for growth, recognition and development of the serviced apartment industry.
Following 14 years with Marriott International and the Intercontinental London on Park Lane, most recently she has spent a decade opening and developing key strategic markets for a global serviced apartment brand, growing corporate, leisure and relocation business across EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific.
Jo’s experience in opening multi-key single site buildings, yield management and driving sales across multiple platforms will be invaluable to the development of the TAS Alliance and its members.
The TAS Alliance will realise Jo’s long-standing ambition of uniting serviced apartment suppliers under a single representation, distribution and sales and marketing strategy to provide the best solutions for buyers and guests on all platforms.
Shabina Awan, Sales & Marketing Operations Manager
Shabina has spent the last five years with a global serviced apartment company in a marketing, messaging and communications role for the EMEA region.
Prior to entering the hospitality sector, she spent 18 years in the automotive sector in marketing and communication roles with Hertz Leasing UK, DaimlerChrysler and Inchcape.
Shabina’s driving force is ensuring that marketing and communications match sales strategy for client acquisition and retention, making her a key player in the expansion enjoyed by every organisation she has worked for.
She brings to the TAS Alliance the skills and experience of working within multi-discipline sales teams and in forming a strategic part of the sales process. Her un-rivalled ability to communicate product features and benefits internally and externally will be a key factor in the growth of the TAS Alliance.
Kevin King, Alliance Director
Kevin is one of the most experienced professionals in corporate travel with over 25 years’ experience with independent and global Travel Management Companies.
He has led the sales and account management teams of some of the largest names in the market and more recently has been leading his own events and travel consultancy business.
Kevin’s wealth of knowledge embraces business travel consultancy for all sizes of business, national and multinational.
His unparalleled strengths in supplier relationships, supplier negotiations, client liaison and service levels and independent advice will provide vital support to serviced apartment operators throughout their membership of the TAS Alliance.
His role is to grow membership, to implement the on-boarding programme and to ensure that every member achieving their goals and aspirations.
Mark Harris, Marketing & PR Consultant
Mark is one of few Marketing Consultants to specialise in the serviced apartments sector.
Having joined the business travel industry in 1990, he has been a Director of specialist marketing consultancy Travel Intelligence Network since 2005. A former Marketing Director of Expotel and First Option, and Head of Marketing at ITM, he was voted the business travel industry’s Personality of the Year in 2006.
Mark has written four editions of the Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report and over 20 white papers. He is a regular contributor to trade media, moderator and speaker at industry events including the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers’ annual conference.
Members of the TAS Alliance will be able to draw upon Mark’s market understanding and expertise in developing brands and sales through effective communications.
Melanie Degand, Director of Sales – Roomspace
Melanie’s in-depth knowledge of the serviced apartment sector as agent and provider has been developed over 11 years with The Apartment Service.
She has spent her working career in client-facing roles, focussing primarily on service delivery, solutions and developing strong relationships.
Before entering the serviced apartment sector she spent 5 years growing the international conference department within a leading hotel booking agency.
Together with her team, she provides accommodation solutions tailor-made to her clients’ requirements under the Roomspace brand.
Melanie has been a key factor in the growth of Roomspace, using her understanding of the short and long term assignment markets to design and deliver a market-leading, end-to-end accommodation sourcing process for corporates.
Karen Marlborough, Director of Sales – The Apartment Service
Karen has over 14 years’ sales experience in the serviced apartments industry, with seven spent working as Director of Sales for a global operator and agent.
In this role she was responsible for driving revenue for the brand’s EMEA properties and its global solutions centre.
Karen also spent a number of years as General Manager of a major London serviced operator where she was responsible in establishing the business, creating systems and processes, recruiting a team, building the brand and driving sales.
Her track record of new business development and account management of key national and global accounts within a wide range of business sectors, coupled with a desire to work for a reputable brand selling to a global market will prove invaluable to the TAS Alliance.
Lynn Putnam, Revenue Manager
Lynn spent over 30 years in customer services teams in the OEM automotive industry before entering the world of serviced apartments.
Previously, she honed her skills with leading contract hire and financial services organisations.
Lynn has a wealth of knowledge and experience in evaluating, improving and streamlining processes to help drive growth and create operational efficiencies. She is well-versed in managing service level agreements, setting and measuring key performance indicators to deliver excellence in customer service, to maximise customer satisfaction and retention.
Lynn’s role in the TAS Alliance is to provide leadership, direction and motivation to the sales operations teams ensuring optimum performance and improved yield.