Matthew White Announced as New Chair of TUCO

29th June 2016

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has recently announced the appointment of a new Chair to take the fast-moving organisation through the next progressive phase of its journey. Matthew White, who is currently Director of Catering, Hotel & Conference Services at The University of Reading, will be taking up the position from September 2016.  

White moves into his new position after being a Director of TUCO for three years and holding the role of Vice-Chair for the past two years. Together with the TUCO’ Board, he will be driving the organisation forward to capitalise on its current momentum, as well as building new benefits for stakeholders, and furthering the development of TUCO’s unique; Share, Lean, Buy, Grow ethos. 

Current Chair, Julie Barker, will be stepping down after five years of overseeing the Board management and being the public face for the Organisation during a time of immense change and growth in TUCO’s voice and platform across the university catering sector, and wider Industry. She remains in her role as Director of Accommodation & Hospitality for The University of Brighton and will continue to sit on the TUCO’ Board.

Speaking about his role, Matthew White, commented:
“TUCO is at an incredibly important point in its progression and I am enormously excited by the next phase of its development, and the work that the Board will be undertaking in the next few years to build on the momentum secured to date.  

“Julie has been a powerful force alongside the TUCO Board in evoking change and I would like to personally thank her for everything that she has done over the past five years. She has been instrumental in the growth of TUCO and the developments to transform and modernise the Organisation to offer genuine value to our members, as well as taking our unique procurement frameworks - which represent incredible value - and offer these to the broader public sector.

“TUCO members are some of the most talented caterers in the country providing for diverse and multi-faceted needs across international audiences.  They are right at the forefront of trends and insights into the future of foodservice, working with the consumers of tomorrow.

“Together with the Board, I will be working tirelessly to advance the learning and development of catering and hospitality teams in line with emerging trends and changes.”

Commenting on her time as Chair, Julie Barker, said:
“The last five years as Chair have been an inspiration.  It has been an honour to oversee the TUCO Board, where each of the members are dynamic and driven with unique backgrounds and expertise, that see them work seamlessly together to find creative solutions to the challenges faced by our sector. The growth and development of the Organisation over the past few years, both within the education sector and more widely within the hospitality industry, is something which I am tremendously proud of.

“I am delighted that Matthew will be taking over the position, he has a wealth of experience and a passion for the industry which will see him bring the Organisation into a new, creative and cutting-edge era.”

TUCO is the leading membership organisation for in-house caterers operating in the higher and further education sectors, working with over 500 universities and colleges across the UK, its members represent the very best in catering practice and innovation within the sector.

For more information on TUCO go to You can also follow TUCO on Twitter @TUCOLtd.
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