Faculty, SHMS Staff

Faculty man greeting student at SHMS

Teachers & Staff

Meet the faculty

Get to know your teachers and their areas of expertise. We support and invest in the education of our lecturers, transforming industry specialists into high-level educators by encouraging further education.

Academic administration

Patrick Taffin, shms staff

Patrick Taffin d'Heursel


With a Master in Education and a Bachelor in Hotel Management, Mr. Patrick Taffin has been encouraging the growth of SHMS students since 2012, assisting them in reaching their full potential. He has 20 years of international leadership experience in the hospitality and spa industry, working for brands including Ritz-Carlton and Six Senses. He is fluent in five languages. Mr. Patrick Taffin was appointed Acting Dean in 2024.

Andrea Leunberger, shms staff

Andrea Leuenberger

Program Manager

Andrea Leuenberger holds an Executive MBA, a Master of Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Design Thinking. She has held executive positions and training and development mandates at hospitality establishments in major cities across three continents and speaks five languages. 

Malin Persson, hospitality design, shms staff

Malin Persson

Program Manager

Ms. Persson begun her hospitality career in F&B and has worked around the globe from the Caribbean isles to New York City. She has been teaching at SHMS since 2015, sharing her expertise in interior design, computer design, events management and communication. Ms. Persson holds a BA in Hospitality and Design Management and an MA in Higher Education. 

Simon Thompson, shms staff, faculty

Simon Thompson

Program manager

Simon Thompson is a lecturer and program manager at Swiss Hotel Management School in Caux. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry working at five-star hotels and as a business owner and entrepreneur. He is passionate about helping students reach their full potential. 

Olesya Tomyuk, phd, shms staff

Olesya Tomyuk, PhD

Program Manager

Dr. Olesya Tomyuk has an MSc in Marketing and a PhD in Economic Sciences from the Lviv National Polytechnic University (Ukraine). Before focusing on education, she worked as a marketing manager in the automobile industry, about which she has conducted extensive research. Her current focus is on investigating the changes to consumer behavior in the luxury sector. She is also working on a project to empower women in the workplace. 

Mikhail Romanenko, shms staff

Mikhail Prudent

Program Manager

In 2015, Mr. Mikhail Prudent brought his extensive hospitality industry experience in Food & Beverage, Rooms Division, and Sales to SHMS. He holds a Bachelor in Human Resources Management and Hospitality Management, a master’s degree in International Hospitality Management, and a PGCert in Higher Education. He is an Apple-certified teacher and is fluent in three languages.

Laureline Wilain, shms staff, specialist

Laureline de Leymarie

Program Manager

Ms. Laureline de Leymarie holds an MBA in Hospitality and Restaurant Management, a PGCert in Higher Education, a DEUG in Languages applied in International Trade, and a certification in HR. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities with the University of Oxford Brookes. Ms. de Leymarie’s property portfolio includes 5-star hotels and the luxury sector, with experience in UK, Canada, and France.

bachelors hospitality, shms staff

Vanessa  Mendes

Program Manager

Ms. Vanessa Mendes is a hospitality professional with over 20 years in the industry. Starting in Portugal in events, she earned a PGD in Hotel Operations Management from SHMS and has held hospitality management positions from Dubai to Greece. Ms. Mendes also has a Business Master's degree in Strategy and Leadership, a Master's in Hospitality Management, a BA in Business Management, and a certification in F&B Management from Cornell.

Radu Botnari, shms staff, special program

Radu Botnari

Program Leader

With a BA in engineering followed by a solid career spanning over ten years in Food & Beverage and Events Management, Mr. Botnari holds a master’s degree in international business and a WSET Level 3 certification.  Mr. Botnari teaches concept development, business planning, operational efficiency, and resort management.

English Foundation, Fiona Eade, shms staff

Fiona Eade

Program Coordinator

From Asia to Europe, Ms. Fiona Eade's language teaching experience spans over 30 years in both public and private schools. She helped set up and manage the English Foundation Program for all Swiss Education Group schools. Ms. Eade has a Master of Arts Joint Honours Degree in French and Spanish from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.


David Milson, phd, doctorate, shms staff

David Milson, PhD


Dr. David Milson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and Classics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a Master of Science in Town Planning and Urban Design from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and a Master of Studies in Byzantine Studies and D.Phil. in Archaeology from Oxford University. Dr. Milson also founded 3DWM Design, a company providing photo-realistic imagery for the architecture, development, and marketing sectors.


Christine Barnes

Christine Barnes


Christine Barnes graduated from the City University in London with B.Sc. honors in Business Management. After obtaining her PGCert in Education, she went on to teach. While holding the position of senior lecturer at the University of Derby, she achieved her MA in Tourism Management. Christine began lecturing at SHMS in 2008 while also working as an associate lecturer with The Open University. 

Erich Steinbock, phd, shms staff

Erich Steinbock, PhD

Distinguished Professor

Dr. Erich Steinbock has over fifty years of experience in the hospitality industry. Among the many positions he held throughout his successful career, he was General Manager at several of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company's properties and served as the Vice President of Food & Beverage. He obtained his MBA at the City University of Seattle and his PhD at Iowa State University.

Nektarios Lykopanti

Nektarios Lykopantis

Program Manager

Mr. Nektarios Lykopantis graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a BA in Hospitality Management. He holds a Master in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from Cesar Ritz Colleges and a Master in Education from the University of Derby. He has worked as General Manager in luxury boutique hotels, and as Director of Food & Beverage for a Hotel Management Consulting company.

Dàcil Rodriguez, shms staff, design

Dácil Rodriguez


Ms. Dácil Rodriguez holds a Master in Architecture from the ETSAM (Polytechnic University of Madrid). After obtaining her PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby, she has been teaching and exchanging knowledge for the past 8 years. She has been involved in large-scale projects for research, planning, and design practices in developing regions.

Gilles Charlet

Gilles Charlet


Mr. Gilles Charlet holds an M.Sc. in International Hospitality Management and PGCert in Higher Education, both from the University of Derby. With his extensive experience in operations and project management and facilitating learning, he has successfully developed hotels, resorts, clubs, restaurants, and bars. He held executive positions with companies including Hyatt, Shangri-La, and Mandarin Oriental.

Ludovic Cosandey, Events Lecturer, Hospitality and Tourism, Hospitality Education, Faculty

Ludovic Cosandey


Mr. Ludovic Cosandey is an alumni of the Ecole Hôteliere de Lausanne, with a postgraduate degree in the Art of Education from University of Derby and more than 15 years’ experience in international hospitality management. A specialist in food and beverage management and in property openings, as well as a collaborator on large projects for renowned names such as Disney, Vienna Int and Club Med. 

Kathryn Medico

Kathryn Medico


Ms. Kathryn Medico is a journalist, author and lecturer from the United States. A former manager at Ritz-Carlton, she shares her experience in the hospitality industry with students. As well as having written a book on the issues of juvenile justice, 'A Perversion of Justice', she is an international conference speaker on the rights of children and a University of Derby and University of Florida graduate.

SHMS Lecturer Nicolas Reine

Nicolas Reine


Nicolas Reine graduated from the Institute for Political Studies of Aix-en-Provence, majoring in International Relations, and holds an MBA from ESSEC Hospitality Management School. He has over 20 years of professional experience in market research and in the hospitality industry, having worked in various operational, management, and consulting positions. 

Robin Reid

Robin Reid


Mr. Robin Reid graduated from the University of Loughborough with a bachelor's degree and diploma in Industrial Studies in Business Administration. He has extensive working experience in both Sales and Finance, establishing distribution channels across the globe as an Export Sales Manager for a leading Publicly Limited Company before returning to the UK and becoming a CFO for 15 years.

Veronique Charlet Gaspard SHMS

Véronique Gaspard


Ms. Véronique Gaspard graduated from the Université de Toulouse-Le-Mirai, obtained an MBA from the University of Essex and a PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby. She has launched luxury brands, recruited and trained sales teams, and opened and operated points of sales. She held executive positions with luxury cosmetic companies including Estée Lauder Group and Beiersdorf La Prairie.

Philippe Gueltzer, Ecole Hotelier, Masterclass, shms staff

Philippe Gueltzer


Mr. Philippe Gueltzer holds a Master’s in Higher Education with a focus on Curriculum Design, a BS in Hospitality Management from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, and is a certified WSET Educator. He has over 25 years of international experience in hospitality including executive management positions and F&B operations with luxury hotels and businesses such as Sofitel, Raffles, BW, SLH, and Group Flo Asia.

xavier wilain shms

Xavier de Leymarie


Mr. Xavier de Leymarie brings his vast hospitality leadership experience in Rooms Division, Revenue, and General Management to SHMS. He has worked in various hotels including Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, for brands such as Best Western, and for his family Hotel Business in France. He is on the consultative board of Best Western France and holds an MBA and PGD in Higher Education.

French teacher

Claudia Gin


With a degree in Literature and French teaching from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Spanish teaching from the University of Salamanca, and a Postgraduate Certificate (PGC) in Higher Education from the University of Derby, Ms. Claudia Gin has 18+ years of teaching experience in language education. She was a full-time pedagogical coordinator at Ecole Païdos in Lausanne. Ms. Gin specializes in scientific and applied pedagogical methods that foster creativity and meet the needs of different educational realities.

Clive Taylor, Swiss academic professional

Clive Taylor


With a Master of Science degree in Education Management from the Manchester Metropolitan University, Mr. Clive Taylor has had over 30 years of successful business and educational leadership experience. Now an international business consultant, Mr. Taylor shares his knowledge as an educator in areas such as finance, strategic leadership, and performance management.

Nina Fleurie

Nina Fleurie


Ms. Nina Fleurie has over 20 years of experience in hospitality education and training. From Hilton hotels to cruise ships, Ms. Fleurie worked in hospitality as a hotel training officer before becoming a full-time hospitality educator. She has an MBA in International Hospitality Management from Essec Business School and Cornell University, as well as several education certifications from Kristianstad University, Oxford Brooks University, and SMC University.

Patrice Novel SHMS Caux

Patrice Novel

Academic Chef

With 25 years of experience in the kitchen, Chef Patrice Novel has worked in Michelin-star restaurants from Portugal to Switzerland, including Chat Botté and Beau Rivage Genève. Now, he provides expertise and familiarity as the former Head Chef of SHMS at Caux Palace.

Stephanie Hawawini, SHMS graduate, shms staff

Stephanie Hawawini


After graduating from Paris with a specialized master's degree in marketing, Ms. Stephanie Hawawini joined Swiss Hotel Management School to study Food & Beverage management. She has worked internationally for the past 10 years in various positions for luxury hotels in London, Paris, New York, and Geneva, with a strong focus on events and marketing.

hospitality course lecturer Laszlo Kele

Laszlo Kele


Combining his hospitality background with finance and business expertise, Laszlo Kele has held several directorship and chief executive positions for Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, Golf Hotel Rene Capt, 9Stars Riviera, and more. As an alumnus of a hospitality school himself, he shares valuable knowledge and experience with students. Mr. Kele is currently Senior Advisor to Accenture in Zurich.

Florent Sabatini

Florent Sabatini


Mr. Sabatini started his career in Paris as a Chef de rang in 2011, before stepping into the world of luxury bars at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Switzerland in 2013. Creativity and imagination are two of his key ingredients and he is passionate about mixology. His passion has taken him to exotic locations such as Bora Bora and now to SHMS where he is the Service & Bar Instructor. 

Michael Meshulam, ihtti graduate, shms staff

Michael Meshulam


An accomplished hospitality professional from Switzerland with extensive experience from Guest Relations to Property Management, Mr. Michael Meshulam has managed hospitality properties in Asia and Europe. He specializes in implementing modern processes and streamlining communications across departments. Mr. Meshulam teaches strategic management, data-driven decision making, and digital sales & marketing at SHMS.

Sandra Rebelo academic

Sandra Rebelo


Bringing forth more than 15 years of instructional expertise in the field of higher education, Ms. Rebelo holds a MSc in International Accounting and Finance from the University of Liverpool, a PGCHE from the University of Derby, and a BSc in Mathematics conferred by the Catholic University in Portugal. Commencing her pedagogical journey in Portugal in 2005, Ms. Rebelo subsequently pursued her vocation internationally in the United States, Switzerland, and most recently in Dubai, UAE.

Doctorate Julie Touber, phd, shms staff

Julie Touber, PhD


Dr. Julie Touber has a Ph.D. in Political Economy from Columbia University in the City of New York, as well as a M.S. from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. She has taught at Columbia University and Sciences Po Paris before moving to Switzerland. Dr. Touber has also been involved for the past 20 years in her family Boutique Hotels Collection in France and Italy.

Eva Ziegler, shms staff, executive

Eva Ziegler


Ms Eva Ziegler is a C-Suite Brand & Marketing Executive with 20+ years of international experience from Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide, as well as non-hospitality brands like Toyota, Coca-Cola, Wedgwood, and Pronovias. She specializes in Transformational Marketing Leadership, transforming traditional companies towards brand and consumer orientation in the digital age. She is a graduate from Vienna University of Economics and holds a Bachelor´s Degree in Business Administration.

Yuriy Barabantsev-CRCS

Yuriy Barabantsev


Mr. Yuriy Barabantsev obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Economics, holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, and a PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby. His career in education began in 2001, focusing on delivering courses related to Finance and Statistics in the U.S, France, and now in Switzerland.

Lindsey Thomas, edd, English lecturer, hospitality academic institution, shms staff

Lindsey Thomas, EdD


With over 30 years teaching in both the private and public sector, Dr. Lindsey Thomas has been the Director of Language Studies at Swiss Education Group and was Head of Student Services for 19 years. Dr. Thomas holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Derby as well as a humanities degree from the University of Hertfordshire.

Edouard Loupre

Edouard Louapre


Having graduated from EHL, the University of Derby, and Cornell University, Mr. Edouard Louapre has spent the past 7 years teaching management. He has managed a hotel in the past and worked in various positions in luxury hotels all over Europe. He is committed to inspiring others to undertake lifelong learning and continuous self-improvement.

Hotel Institute Montreux Career Coach

Ayshe Erinc


Ms. Ayshe Erinc began her journey in Sales and Reservations at the Crans-Montana Ski Resort and has vast experience in various hotel and HR functions. She lectured and worked in Sales and Recruitment at Vatel before joining HIM in 2021. She was awarded a BBA from Temple University specializing in Marketing and International Business and a MBA in Hotel Management.

Parveen Kader

Parveen Kader


Ms. Parveen Kader graduated from the University of Mahatma Gandhi with a bachelor's degree in Science. She holds a PGD in Higher Education from the University of Derby, and a Master in Computer Applications from the University of Bharathiar. She has a deep understanding of Content Management Systems and extensive hands-on experience in providing IT Infrastructure and Application Support.

Bruno Dard

Bruno Dard


After graduating from business school, Mr. Bruno Dard began his career in the watch industry and spent 20 years developing luxury watch brands. After eight years of strategic brand building for companies such as Frédérique Constant and Alpina Geneva, he became an executive board member at Hermès, elevating the watch division by establishing clearer product offer and a more selective distribution network.

Internship coaches

Ulrika Björklund

Ulrika Björklund

Executive Director of Industry Affairs & Career Services

Ms Bjorklund holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Derby. She served as Academic Director of Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) from 2013 to 2023, having successfully authored key developments for the overall development and positioning of this brand globally.  Ms Bjorklund has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, managing hotels and resorts in Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean.


Marie Tirvengadum

Head of Career Services

Ms. Marie Tirvengadum holds a Bachelor in Language Studies from the University of Essex and a Postgraduate Certificate in International Business from the University of North London. Throughout her studies she worked in the restaurant sector and eventually managed a restaurant chain. She also worked in banking in the UK and after moving to Switzerland she joined Kestrel SA - a wealth management company. She joined the Career Services Department at IHTTI, School of Hotel Management and has ten years of experience in career coaching.

Carlos Walter, shms staff, career coach

Carlos Walter

Internship & career coach

Mr. Carlos Walter has over 20 years of experience in hotel management and personal development. Melia Hotels International, NH hotels, and Club Med are just some examples of the companies he has worked for, in countries such as Brazil, France, and Turkey. He holds an M.Sc. in International Hospitality Management from the University of Derby. He has been an Internship & Career Coach at SHMS since 2015.

Danchi Gao Bigot SHMS Caux, shms staff, career coach

Danchi Gao Bigot

Internship & Career Coach

Ms. Danchi Gao Bigot earned a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management in 1999 at the Institute for Hotel Business and Administration in Lausanne. She is fluent in Chinese, English, and French, and she has accumulated over 19 years of experience in Hospitality Education with four esteemed academic institutions in Switzerland.

Cosmin Popescu, shms staff, shms career coach

Cosmin Popescu

Internships & Career Coach

Mr. Cosmin Popescu has over 15 years of hospitality industry experience, including as Front Office Manager and Reservations Officer. Having studied law as well as Hospitality Administration and Management, he now advises students on finding success in their perfect career. He speaks six languages fluently, including French, Romanian, and Greek.

Kika da Costa

Kiki da Costa

Internship & Career Coach

Prior to joining SHMS, Ms. Kiki Costa worked in Marketing and Advertising for over 10 years for clients such as Nestle Waters, Bacardi-Martini, and Vocento Group. Skilled in Marketing Management, Design and Branding, Product and Business Development, her career taking her from London to China. She holds a PGD in Hotel Operations Management and Higher Education Studies.

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