Position Group manager Europe, BaxterStorey
Nominator Lynne Graham
Proudest moment Being offered my current role on the Cisco account, which is the first business BaxterStorey has won outside the UK.
Influence William Baxter. I did a placement with the then BaxterSmith in my second year of university and I liked his business style, charisma and energy. I'm also inspired by my dad, John Houston, who started from nothing and built up Houston & Church before selling it on to Wilson Storey in 2001.
Ambition Eventually, I'd like to own my own business, but in the short term I'd like to become a senior director at BaxterStorey, involved in the strategic running of the business.
With a degree from Oxford Brookes in hotel and restaurant management under his belt, Simon Houston joined BaxterStorey in 2006 as deputy manager at The Telegraph and was soon made general manager at BBC Scotland, the caterer's first major contract in Scotland. Simon promptly became BaxterStorey's youngest operations manager with responsibility for 100 staff, £5m turnover and nine locations. In 2009, he returned to London as general manager at the prestigious State Street Bank contract in Canary Wharf.
Following a successful 16 months, Simon was offered the role of European group manager to head up European expansion of the business with long-standing client Cisco. He now runs all Cisco business across the UK and Ireland and manages all mainland European business. He is responsible for £5.5m annual turnover across six countries and manages 160 staff serving some 2,500 meals a day. Simon was the winner of the 2012 Acorn Scholarship.