Board of Directors
Charles Good, Chairman
Charles, who co-founded Upham Brewery in 2009, has 40 years’ experience of investing in and mentoring companies from early entrepreneurial growth to institutional funding and exit. In the mid-1990s he played a key role in building Shoprite Group Ltd as Managing Director of its Scottish operations, to become Scotland’s third largest food retailer, which was sold to Kwik Save in 1995 for £55 million.
In 2001 he became Chairman of Blooms of Bressingham plc, an AIM quoted garden centre group, which was trading poorly and financially stretched. He led the policy to re-focus the business on larger newer centres. Five years later, with Blooms producing growing profits, he orchestrated its sale to Wyevale Garden Centres for £30 million. He was Chairman of Hurricane Energy from 2006 until 2012, which at its peak was valued at £630 million.
Chris Phillips, Chief Executive Officer
Chris, who joined Upham as CEO in November 2011, has over 30 years’ experience in the hotel and pub trade. His career started with three years’ training in the profession with Trust House Forte working in all aspects of hotel management in various hotels mainly in the five and four star categories around London, Paris and the Home Counties.
In the 1980s he opened and set up the first three pubs in the highly visible and successful Slug and Lettuce chain. From 1985 to 2007, he was Managing Director and founder of Front Page Pubs where bought and redeveloped thirteen pubs, ten in central London and three in the Home Counties, including The Front Page and The Sporting Page, both in Chelsea. Most were branded under the Front Page banner, one notable exception being The Lords Tavern which The MCC invited him to take over and redevelop. He successfully sold the company in June 2007 to Food and Fuel Limited.
David Butcher, Estates Director
David, who joined Upham in his current role in November 2011, is a chartered surveyor (MRICS) with 24 years’ experience in the pub trade. He started his career working for MARR Taverns, a 200 pub company set up following the MMC reports. The company specialised in taking poorly run and under developed units and turning them around. He then progressed as Property Manager for Inn Business Group, which owned and operated a mixture of managed and leased pubs, which was subsequently sold to Punch Taverns Plc.
Following this, David was Head of Tenanted Trade and Property for eight years at George Gale & Co where he was responsible for the sourcing of pub acquisitions and tenants, and for running 80 leased pubs. He acquired £25 million worth of assets over a five year period, which he subsequently developed and integrated into the estate. In the latter half of his time at Gales the group was awarded Pub Company of the Year in 2004 and 2005 by the trade journal, The Publican, before being sold to Fullers for £92 million in 2006. More recently, David co-founded the Powder Train Pub Company and was responsible for sourcing and acquiring sites, ongoing development and day to day operation of its portfolio.
Robb Harris, Finance Director
Robb, Upham’s Finance Director since October 2014, is a chartered management accountant with extensive operational and management experience in the hospitality sector. He qualified in the industry with Kraft Foods and subsequently worked in financial management roles with Tigi International, Channel 4 Television and Unilever.
In 2008 he joined Absolute Taste, a high end contract, retail and event caterer that is an autonomous part of the McLaren Group. As Finance Director, he overhauled all the financial elements and contributed to a period of significant sales expansion including winning the London 2012 Westfield Stratford tender and the creation of a wholly owned Swiss subsidiary. After three years in that role, he was appointed to head up Absolute Taste’s event business where he grew turnover from £2.6 million to £4.3 million in a two year period, more than doubling profits.
John McMillan, Deputy Chairman and Non-Executive Director
John has over 30 years’ experience in the City predominately in Institutional Sales. In 1985, he joined Vivian Gray before transferring to the Institutional Sales desk. John moved to Hoare Govett in 1988 and subsequently worked for Kleinwort Benson, Credit Agricole and Matrix. Fascinated by the UK growth in real ale sales, he founded Upham Brewery in 2009 and ran it until 2012.