The first mentors for 2017′s Fast Forward 15 programme has been revealed by founder of the initiative, Fay Sharpe.

Designed to empower, develop and celebrate female talent, Fast Forward 15 was the first mentoring programme to help shape future leaders of the hospitality and event sector. Based on feedback from previous participants; mentors have been selected for their experience and standing in specific business sectors of the hospitality and events industry.

New Mentors for 2017 include:

-          Hannah Walley, sales director and show manager at Square Meal

-          Joy Thomas, Senior Events Manager, Group Events at Lloyds;

-          Lipika Mandal, Global Event Manager at Linklaters;

-          Martin Jensen, head of int. congresses & events at Lundbeck

Returning mentors include; Steve Brown, London 2012 Paralympic wheelchair rugby captain, public speaker and athlete mentor and Andrew Mosley, general manager of The Grand Brighton.

2017 will also see the introduction of a reverse mentor who will be tasked with upskilling a mentee seeking to get in line with today’s emerging business practices. The reverse mentor will focus on new technologies, marketing techniques, the sharing economy, new social media channels and online platforms.

Fay Sharpe, Fast Forward 15 founder said: “As we embark on our third year of the programme we are armed with significant understanding of what skills and coaching the mentees require and, equally important, what the mentors want to achieve.

“We’ve seen significant achievements by past mentees and all the mentors have said how they’ve benefited too. Everyone gives their time on a voluntary basis and I’m indebted to the mentors in helping me champion the future female leaders of this vibrant and evolving sector.”

Applications for Fast Forward 15 are open ( and close on Tuesday 28th February.