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Meet the team

A professional photograph of Kevin McGowen smiling in a suit and tie.

Kevin McGowen

Chief executive officer

With over 25 years of experience in casinos, Kevin leads the Ambassadeurs Group. He is an innovator within the gaming industry. Under his leadership AG has diversified its offering to put raising standards and the promotion of good causes at the heart of the business. It is an approach that builds on the strong WorkFamily ethos, which centres on the idea that we are stronger together, and that together we can inspire others to embrace sustainable change.

A professional photograph of Tracy Damestani smiling.

Tracy Damestani

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer

A long-time promotor of raising standards in gaming, Tracy joined AG from the National Casino Forum, where she was Chief Executive Officer. She continues to advocate positive change across the industry. At AG her primary role is to liaise with stakeholders such as members of Parliament, the regulator and media, as well developing AG’s corporate policies and communication strategy. AG’s socially responsible ethos chimes with Tracy’s own, particularly in embracing and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

Rob Cairns

Rob Cairns

Chief Financial Officer

Rob leads the AG finance function and brings to the role extensive experience from working in complex global media companies before he joined Les Ambassadeurs Club in 2010. Commercially focussed – and focused on the Group’s corporate social responsibility – Rob is now helping navigate AG through its next phase of sustainable growth, recognising that the WorkFamily contribution is fundamental to AG’s long-term success.

Professional photograph of Krishna Hathi smiling.

Krishna Hathi

Head of Charity Initiatives

Krishna drives the AG charity work and partnerships. Her brief involves promoting good causes and volunteering with the AG WorkFamily, as well as seeking out good causes and partners that match the AG aspirations. She has concentrated philanthropy across four areas: Mental health & Wellbeing; Education; Safer Gambling; Our Community. This enables AG to deliver key campaigns throughout the year whilst also supporting charities and causes on an ad-hoc basis.

Professional Photograph of Ryan Best in a suit and tie.

Ryan Best

Compliance, Risk and Governance Officer

With over 20 years’ experience within the UK Mayfair casino industry, spanning all areas in the sector, and with a current primary focus on new technology, risk, compliance and corporate governance, Ryan is a proven creative innovator in his field. He works across Ambassadeurs Group and is involved in the research, design, implementation, and completion of several crypto projects. He is currently leading on a new, best-in-class digital asset marketplace aimed at raising standards, with safeguards in place to protect against evolving and eventual regulations.

A professional photograph of Christophe Thuilot.

Christophe Thuilot

Hospitality Director and Designated Premises Supervisor

Christophe shares his knowledge and experience, gained at Michelin-starred restaurants that include The Restaurant Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay’s Aubergine, The Capital in Knightsbridge, and Seven Park Place in St James’s, London, as well as Soho House, the private members club. He learnt his craft under the guidance of sommelier Oliver Poussier and chef Eric Chavot. Diners appreciate Christophe’s dedication and creativity in designing and providing bespoke dining experiences.

A photograph of Paul Pacifico.

Paul Pacifico


Paul brings to AG a unique mix of skills, interests and knowledge from the worlds of music, education and technology. He is the former CEO of AIM, the Association of Independent Music, which represents the UK’s community of music entrepreneurs including independent labels, and artists. He is a champion of emerging – and existing – talent across different genres, as well as diverse backgrounds. Paul is CEO of The Saudi Music Commission.

A profile photograph of Elaine Smethurst.

Elaine Smethurst


Elaine is a voluntary sector consultant and has held senior positions in charities primarily concerned with social welfare and mental health including NSPCC, Mental Health Foundation and NCVO. Until 2017 she was Managing Director of Gordon Moody Association, the UK’s leading charity providing residential treatment and support to tackle gambling addiction. She has been a non-executive director of IBAS, the key alternative dispute resolution service to gambling since 2018. She has also been a trustee and volunteer and brings a wealth of charity management experience.

A professional photograph of Oliver Stokes in a suit and tie smiling.

Oliver Stokes

Head of Operations, Essential Travel Brands

Oliver graduated in law in 2008 and then decided to travel the world, believing that everything is an education and an experience. He thrived out in the wild making lifelong friends and building extensive contacts. When he returned to the UK, he wanted other people to experience travel as he had. He is able to do that at Ambassadeurs Group Essential Travel Brands, where he advises on the wonderful world – and rewards that come from – travel. His business and legal background combined with his in-depth experience at leading UK travel agencies, ensure he has a unique take on the diverse requirements of luxury, corporate and online travel.

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Alesha Walton

Operations Manager, Essential Travel Brands

Alesha brings a wealth of travel industry knowledge to Ambassadeurs Group Essential Travel Brands. She specialises in private and luxury travel for UNHW clients, in a career that began in Australia before she moved to the UK. Alesha has helped to hone a customer-led approach to each of the Essential Travel Brands. In addition, her work with companies that focus on sustainability and positive impact brings a depth of experience to advance the Essential Travel Brands as a champion of good causes. She helps ensure all travellers leave their destinations having given back to the local community.

Contact the team

Want to join the AG WorkFamily?

Are you passionate about what you do? Do you love being part of a team that enjoys working together? Are you looking to work in a vibrant, customer-centric company based in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair? If this sounds like you, we are keen to hear from you. We are looking for the next generation of croupiers, chefs, hospitality professionals, human resource executives, hospitality and compliance experts.

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