Position: Senior Vice President of Business Development

Richard Ayson serves as senior vice president of business development at Delaware North, a global leader in hospitality with more than $3 billion in annual revenue and 55,000 associates.
In his role, Ayson is based at Delaware North’s global headqaurters in Buffalo, N.Y., and oversees the business development teams of four company subsidiaries (Sportservice, Travel, Parks and Resorts, and Patina Restaurant Group). With the respective business development leads of each subsidiary reporting to Ayson, he leads the team, in concert with subsidiary management, in developing organic growth strategies, identifying opportunities for new business as well as extending and enhancing current business, and overseeing the entire process to capture the business, from due diligence to bid response to negotiation.
Ayson brings outstanding credentials and experience in having led business development for Delaware North’s Australia business, the company’s parks and resorts business, and most recently the travel business. As part of the Parks and Resorts team, he secured a 15-year contract with the National Park Service to operate lodging and other visitor services at the Grand Canyon and acquired hotel assets in Montana. Prior to being promoted to his current role in 2018, Ayson led the travel team in securing new contracts for the Detroit, Denver, Ontario (California) and New Orleans airports.
Ayson joined Delaware North in 2006 as executive director of business development and marketing in Melbourne, Australia. While in Australia, he was part of the Delaware North leadership team that attracted eight new retail franchise partnerships in four years – growing the annual revenue from $12 million to more than $55 million. In 2012, he was part of a team that renewed Delaware North’s Australian Open Tennis contract at Melbourne Park and secured a long-term contract for catering at the Singapore Sports Hub, providing a platform for Delaware North to re-enter the Asian market.
Prior to joining Delaware North, Ayson spent 10 years in an executive sales and marketing role for the Pernod Ricard Group – one of the largest wine and spirit companies in the world – selling to Asia Pacific and Americas markets. He attended Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, and was named the Australian Sommelier of the Year in 1990.

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