Meet the Team @Ashford

Darren Smith

Senior Business / General Manager

Darren has been with AIT for 17 years and has successfully lead the team and managed Ashford International Truckstop for 12 years.

Darren has over eighteen years’ experience as a Chef, Head Chef and Catering Manager, so has a passion for food which is why he has hired the best chefs to provide our customers with top-quality meals.

He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and has qualifications in Chef & Catering Management, Degree Level Management, Human Resources, Accounts, and many others.

Darren’s proudest achievements are winning three awards for ‘Truckstop of the Year’ and ‘Best Facilities’ since 2016 and helping to design and build the all-new truckstop and the much-loved MyTruckParking app.

Katy Sproston

Deputy Ops Manager / Retail

Katy begun her time with AIT 17 years ago as a receptionist. During this time, she has continued to give her all and has successfully progressed through to Deputy Retail Manager, Retail Manager and now, Deputy Ops Manager/ Retail.

Katy is very proud of her achievements and qualifications and holds Retail Supervision Level 2, Retail Management Level 3 and Human Resources Level 3.

She is very passionate about our customers and the Truckstop as a whole and enjoys ensuring that our retail outlet is stocked with everything our customers need, on and off the road.

Simon Duffield

Catering Manager / Head Chef

Simon has been cooking up all our favourite foods for 16 years. Beginning as a Sous Chef, he progressed to our Catering Manager/ Head Chef 12 years ago.

Simon runs our restaurant, awarded 5-stars for hygiene, and holds the following qualifications: Qualified Chef Level 2, Management Level 2, Health & Hygiene.

Our customers love the food we serve and this is all thanks to the skill of Simon and his team who work incredibly hard to provide a variety of good quality, great-tasting meal options.

Penny Gilbert

Account Manager

Penny began working for AIT in Reception and in our Restaurant in 2006. Her experience in multiple roles across the business has given her a full understanding of our operations and what is needed to meet our customers’ needs.

Penny is very proud to hold a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration and a Level 3 AAT Advanced Accounting qualification which have greatly benefitted her role.

Nang Sourignavong

Cleaning Manager / Health & Safety

Nang began her journey with AIT in 2001 where she started as a Forecourt Supervisor before moving up to Forecourt Manager in 2004.

In 2009, Nang took on the additional responsibility of Health & Safety, following her passion for ensuring our staff and customers are kept safe at all times.

In 2016, Nang became our Cleaning Manager/ Health & Safety and holds certificates in Management at levels 3, 4 and 5 and also NEBOSH Health & Safety.

Encho Dobrev

Security & Check-in Manager

Encho has worked at AIT for 15 years starting as a General Assistant in 2006. Encho then moved to Duty Supervisor in 2011 before progressing to Forecourt Manager in 2015. In 2017 Encho became our Security & Check-in Manager and has not looked back since!

He has successfully completed an NVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Business and is also a First Aid appointed person, Fire Warden and SIA Security.

Lauren Mackay

Head of Marketing & Business Development

Lauren joined us here at Ashford International Truckstop 2 years ago and has over 10 years’ Marketing experience.

Having worked within a variety of sectors, including not-for-profit, before joining us here at AIT, Lauren has applied her knowledge to the role to successfully rebrand and position us as a market leader within our field.

She has also successfully completed the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing and enjoys working closely with our charity partners, Combat Stress and Holding On Letting Go.

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