The listing by The Caterer magazine is part of the Top 100 which features the most influential individuals who are having the greatest impact on the UK hospitality industry.
Other female talent on the listing includes Kit Kemp co-founder of Firmdale Hotels (No 1), Angela Hartnett, chef-patron of Michelin-starred Murano in Mayfair, London (No 8) and Clare Smyth, chef-patron of Core by Clare Smyth (No 9).
Carolyne leads the operations side of the business at Wilson Vale which she co-founded with her husband, Andrew Wilson, in 2001. The independent catering company is projecting an annual turnover of £33million this year. Her unfailing attention to detail continues to keep food standards high and clients loyal. Wilson Vale now a portfolio of 95 clients, mainly within business & industry, independent education and the conferencing sectors.
“ It is an amazing honour to have been included on this listing, ” said Carolyne Vale. “The UK hospitality sector is a vibrant and challenging sector that holds many opportunities for people from all walks of life to excel. I particularly love to see female talent recognised in this way and feel that it is vital to provide the right training and support to people – regardless of gender - to help them to reach their full potential within this sector. ”
Carolyne started her career as a trainee manager with Aramark after completing a HND in catering and hospitality at Birmingham College of Food in 1979. One year later, she joined Sutcliffe Catering as a relief chef and quickly moved up the ranks. At 24 years of age, she was made one of the youngest ever area managers within the Midlands. At 28, she was one of the youngest general managers in the company and one of only two women at that level.
“The industry has changed considerably since when I started out. There are now far more opportunities for women. At Wilson Vale, for example, 71% of our HQ managers are female and half of our board is female,” said Carolyne, “Our goal is to achieve a better gender balance throughout the company by making it easier for women to return to the workplace and by developing them from within to give them the skills they need to move up the ranks.”