IWSC Officers





Viscount Thurso (Chairman)

Viscount Thurso was previously MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross and was the first former Hereditary Peer to be elected to the House of Commons. He served as a member of the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet for the second time as Shadow Secretary for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform until the General Election in May 2010.

Prior to entering full time politics, he had a successful career in the hotel business being General Manager of the Savoy’s Hotel Lancaster in Paris, Founder General Manager and Director of Cliveden, and latterly Chief Executive of Fitness and Leisure Holdings Limited, who owned Champneys. He is a Fellow and Past Patron of the Institute of Hospitality, President of the Tourism Society of the United Kingdom, Patron of the Academy of Food & Wine Service, Patron of the Institute of Management Services and Grand Master of the Keepers of The Quaich.


Allen Gibbons (Group Chief Executive)

Allen has over 25 years experience in commercial, marketing and general management roles including over 15 years in the drinks industry where he has worked across Europe, Asia and the Americas. In his role as the Group CEO of the parent company of the International Wine and Spirit Competition Allen has responsibility for businesses in the UK, USA and Hong Kong, including founding the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition and the acquisition and development of the Whiskies of the World and Spirits of Mexico festivals. Allen is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.




Frances Horder (Director)

Having joined the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 1987 when the entries were less than 1000, Frances spent far longer than she intended helping to build the company. Back in the dark ages of the 80's there was no internet; there wasn't even a fax or an up to date copier. The only means of communication was a fairly whizzy telex and the mail. With only part time support from a freelance accountant and a cleaner she had her work cut out.

With so much to tackle it became a life's work, 26 years later we have a great operations team working alongside a strong marketing team - its a different world. Frances decided to step down as Competitions Director in Dec 2013 to become a non executive board director and continue to help out on a consultancy basis as required.

"its been a fantastic experience and most fulfilling I feel I have left the IWSC in a strong position and will watch with interest from the sidelines"



David Wrigley BA MW (Technical Director)

David has been involved with wine for the whole of his career. David joined the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) as Head of Education. He passed the Master of Wine Examination in 1994, winning the Listel Award for the best paper on vinification. He is currently International Development Director, overseeing the offer of WSET qualifications in 35 countries and 8 languages.


Part of the  IWSC Group