A husband and wife from North Tyneside have launched their own hospitality training business.

Identifying the need for cost-effective, personable and creative solutions for the hospitality industry in the North East propelled Michael and Ashleigh Donald to offer their knowledge and training skills to hotels, tour agencies and restaurants.

As the North East is hailed one of the most successful regions outside London in creating jobs from foreign investment* together with its ongoing commitment to regeneration initiatives and attracting international tourism, Halo Business Consulting’s launch is timely to help companies to capitalise on this growing opportunity.

With more than 30 years’ collective experience in global hospitality operations and marketing communications founders Michael and Ashleigh Donald offer flexible support to businesses in the key areas of Customer Experience, Operations, Marketing and Communications. Acting as an outsourced and hands-on resource, companies can benefit from access to senior leadership without the need to commit to a full-time or in-house resource.

“We are thrilled to return to the North East to set up Halo Business Consulting, at a time when investment and interest in this region are at an all-time high” says Ashleigh, originally from Gosforth.

Michael adds “Having spent our careers working with some of the world’s most discerning clientele, we are committed to guide companies in the region on how to provide excellence in their service delivery and their external communications, thus resulting in a richer guest experience and elevated brand positioning.”

Halo Business Consulting’s support to companies can range from fully integrated consultancy, offering advice in one key area or becoming a ‘virtual’ team member to work on a specific project, coach in-house teams or to support in periods of restructuring.

Having lived and worked in London for many years, Michael and Ashleigh decided to transform their work-life balance to fit around their family. Their love of coastal life brought them to Whitley Bay where Halo Business Consulting are based, whilst representing clients on both a local and global scale. As industry insiders, they have experience working with some of the leading brands in the world in the USA, Thailand, Scotland and London.

Ashleigh has extensive experience as an in-house Marketing & Communications Director, with eight years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In 2014, she implemented the pre-opening communications to launch Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard in London. She has also worked at some of the top London-based PR agencies including PRCO and The Massey Partnership. In 2019, Ashleigh was appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence and member of the Alumni Leadership Circle at Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University.

Michael is a senior hospitality professional with 15 years’ experience leading the front of house teams in luxury international hotels and resorts. During his tenure with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Michael led customer experience departments, conducted Six Sigma operation innovation initiatives and was part of the pre-opening task force for two London hotel openings. Most recently, Michael was the Reception Manager at The Goring in London, the only hotel with a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty, The Queen. In 2015, Michael helped the hotel win the coveted five-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide and win the AA London Hotel of the Year in 2017.