Dr Heather Skinner

Heather SkinnerThe Academy of Marketing is sad to report that Dr Heather Skinner passed away in May 2022. Her friend and colleague Professor Helen Woodruffe-Burton provided the following.

Pictured: Heather performing as part of the Special Session ‘Celebrating the life of George Gershwin’ at the 2012 Academy of Marketing Conference.

Dr Heather Skinner sadly died in May 2022 after a long illness and will be very fondly remembered and missed by her many friends and colleagues. Heather had a very successful academic career right up until her retirement in December 2020. After joining the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales) in 1998 as a part-time lecturer, Heather was appointed to the full-time teaching staff of the Glamorgan Business School in 2001 as a Senior Lecturer in Marketing. She was subsequently promoted to a Readership and led the Business School’s postgraduate programmes. Heather moved to Corfu in 2013 and pursued her career in research, teaching and doctoral supervision at several overseas institutions and held a research post at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. Heather was awarded a Senior Fellowship by the Institute of Place Management in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of knowledge in the subject of Place Marketing.

Heather’s achievements were also marked by a series of prestigious awards; she won Best Paper in Track awards at the Academy of Marketing conference on four separate occasions (in four different tracks!) as well as Best Paper in Conference in 2008. In 2011, Heather was one of the first 6 recipients in Wales to be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme – NTFS – celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education in the UK). In 2011, Heather was the overall University of Glamorgan Prize winner in the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards (ELTA) for Excellence in Academic Leadership followed in 2012 by a further University of Glamorgan (ELTA) award, this time for Excellence in Research-Informed Teaching, again as overall university winner.

Engagement and energy summed up Heather’s approach to her work; she chaired the Responsible Tourism Special Interest Group and the Visiting Places Special Interest Group for the Institute of Place Management and was co-chair of the Academy of Marketing Place Marketing & Branding Special Interest Group. In 2013, Heather was the Doctoral Colloquium Chair at the Academy of Marketing conference. In 2014, she launched the Corfu Symposium on Tourism and Place Management which brought together academics, practitioners from the tourist industry and policy makers from the Greek and Corfiot national and regional government for an annual event which brought about real research application and impact until 2019 after which, sadly, Heather’s illness meant the conference could not continue.

Before becoming an academic, Heather was a classically trained singer who sang with the Welsh National Opera and had a successful professional singing career until she moved into the world of PR and magazine publishing. She was involved with the Everyman Theatre in Cardiff for over 20 years singing, acting and directing and those of us who were fortunate enough to hear her sing at AM conferences were blown away by her talent and her powerful voice…which was one of the memorable things about Heather. You often heard her before you saw her, rich Welsh tones booming out, invariably accompanied by bursts of equally loud laughter. Her outer persona somewhat belied her sensitivity and humility. Her zest for life, enthusiasm and energy were legendary and her friendship was a treasured gift, marked by the number of friends, old and new, who made the journey to Corfu to lay her to rest in the sunshine and peaceful surroundings of the British Cemetery in Corfu town. Rest in peace, cariad.

Professor Helen Woodruffe-Burton, June 2022