Industry Experience / current role
Having left university to work in the music business and then on Richard Branson’s “Student” magazine; Don founded his first business, the UK’s first Student Marketing Company, Campus Marketing, at the age of 21 in 1970. Working for many clients in the emerging UK music businesses, he discovered the joys of London’s top restaurants and their wine lists. Developing an interest in and love of fine wines he began to run theme parties focusing on serving drinkable wines and freshly prepared foods.
In 1978 he founded creative Catering and Events Company Broad Oak Vintners (latterly The Food & Drink Company) and, from 1976 to 1992, was a leader in establishing the first creative theme catering and event management Company in the UK music and film business. He was responsible for events such as James Bond Royal Film Premiere Parties, receptions for The Prince & Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace as well as high security events for Governments and major aerospace companies. Don also ran many major music business events facilities such as the backstage artistes bar at Live Aid, running private and VIP events for bands such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, The Who, U2 and many more. During this time Don also ran the catering and VIP / hospitality / backstage operations at many major UK outdoor rock shows such as Knebworth, Milton Keynes Bowl and Castle Donnington ‘Monsters of Rock.’
In 1992 Don developed the mobile Champagne bar concept working with Champagne Perrier-Jouet The mobile Champagne Bar and hospitality units were used for Royal backstage VIP areas as well as at Lords Cricket Ground, The Royal Hospital Chelsea and many more.
In 1993 Don became involved in the exciting new world of Digital as a shareholder and Marketing Director of International Telecom Industries – a mobile satellite digital communications company developing Inmarsat C projects and was to be found lecturing on the future of global satellite digital communications at conferences for BT Global as far afield as Bangalore and Costa Rica.
Don Morris’ involvement in the world of Mind Sports dates to 1997 when he was one of four co-founders of the Mind Sports Olympiad. He then signed Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik for the 2000 World Chess Championship in London and founded Hong Kong Company World Mind Masters & The World Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) Masters in 2004. The status of the competition was affirmed by Chinese Vice Minister of Sport Madam Xiaomin presenting the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at the official banquets and medals ceremony held in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People.
In 1998 Don, with his long-time partner (now wife) and fellow Academician (Chairman in 2010) Kate Preston, founded The Contented Vine Brasserie & Private Dining Rooms in London’s Pimlico. They produced the “Wines & Times at The Contented Vine Food & Wine Book” in 2011.
Don attended the Champagne Academy course in 1985 and was Chairman of the Champagne Academy in 1994. Don remains involved with the Champagne Academy as organiser of the “past Chairman’s Dinner”
Don also remains closely involved with Champagne as for many years he worked closely with the late Justin Llewelyn running the UK “Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne”. He was recently appointed a Dignitaire of the Ordre and remains Consul-General for the UK. Don is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, Freeman of the City of London and a member of the MCC.