Faces to Watch 2019: Here come the passionate, the curious and the restless

Say hello to adland's new blood: creative, big-thinking go-getters, who are likely to be the industry's next generation of leaders. If you already know or work with them, you're in luck. If not, then make sure they're at the top of your wish list.

Top row left to right: Jack Colchester, Rhonwen Lally, Cheryl Babajee, Claire Guiller, Tom Gong, Natalie Lau, Jayshree Viswanathan, James Masters, Amy Pountain, Ashlie Samra, Abigail Ridgwell, Chris Davis, Eileen Hanna, Chelsey Redshaw, Margaux Revol

Front row left to right: Joe Beveridge, Jess Taylor, Ella Monti, Sabina Usher, Sophy Vanner Critoph, Robin Gordon, Gabriella Field, Karen Craig, Lucy Almond, Seyi Alawode, Carlie Wittred,  Laura Gray, Imrati Anand, Riya Thakerar, Nimo Awil

Meet 2019's Faces to Watch

Seyi Alawode

Founder, CHL

Nominated by Campaign:
"Recent graduate Seyi, who came to Campaign’s attention after penning a well-received article on diversity for its website, embodies the new breed of entrepreneurial Gen Z-ers: restless, action-oriented and very much in charge of their own destiny. In her second year at university, Seyi noticed that students with corporate career aspirations benefited from a wealth of career support and guidance, while opportunities for their creative counterparts were scant. She began hosting events to help aspiring creatives navigate the creative, media and tech sectors under the CHL banner. Within a year, she was collaborating with MullenLowe London, YouTube, Y&R, now VMLY&R, and DesignBridge. CHL has evolved further into a youth-led creative agency focused on communicating to minority audiences. Among other projects, Seyi is working on a brief for Soho House to make the brand more accessible to younger minority creatives – all this by the age of 21."

Lucy Almond

Account director, The & Partnership

Nominated by Sarah Golding, chief executive, The & Partnership:
"Lucy joined The & Partnership in 2016 to work on the newly won Godiva chocolate business as well as The Prince’s Trust account. Her impact was immediate and she oversaw a hugely successful chocolate launch for Godiva, which won Marketing Society gold, and scooped bronze at Cannes for The Prince’s Trust ‘Youth can do it’. She has subsequently worked on Wella, developing our first work for the brand, and for the charity Sentebale, and is currently leading the development of the 2019 Argos Christmas campaign. Lucy has had a stellar year, is loved by clients and creatives, passionate about getting the best work and considered in her approach. She has already helped us win effectiveness and creative awards and if she continues what she is doing now she will go on to win many more."

Nimo Awil

Senior creative, Publicis.Poke

Nominated by Angus MacKinnon, group creative director, Publicis.Poke:
"Nimo believes in the power of storytelling, using creativity to solve problems and the way advertising can promote positive change. She is a delegate of the coveted See It Be It Cannes Lions programme and served on both the D&AD Writing for Advertising and New Blood juries. Nimo has landed national awards for Dove, American Express and Interval House, and a Webby Awards Honouree nod for her work on EE’s ‘The Wembley Cup’. Not only is Nimo a smart, talented creative not afraid to use her voice, but she works incredibly hard and mutually respects, supports and inspires her colleagues. She is integral to our team and we wouldn’t want to imagine it without her."

Imrati Anand

Account manager, Snap

Nominated by Ed Couchman, UK general manager, Snap:
"Imrati supports and consults some of the UK’s largest media agencies across Omnicom, Dentsu and WPP to ensure that they deliver best-in-class campaigns and performance on Snapchat for their clients. Imrati’s passion for Snapchat and the agencies that she works with is infectious, and this energy is felt both by her colleagues and clients. Imrati’s most famous success story was delivered in partnership with Lego earlier this year. The brand built an interactive AR store to launch its Lego Wear clothing range –  a first that paves the way for the future of AR powering retail experiences. Imrati is a huge contributor to the culture at Snapchat through the work that she does for our Lady Chillahs development committee to help continue to empower female employees. Imrati also dedicates time to our partner charity, Making the Leap."

Cheryl Babajee

Senior project manager, XYZ

Nominated by Will Mould, managing director, XYZ:
"Cheryl joined XYZ five years ago as a bright-eyed project co-ordinator. Her background in the cultural and charity sectors with Art Against Knives and the Elephant Family gave her a unique angle on brand experiences – as well as a wealth of great connections. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm meant she quickly stepped up to running her own projects, and her strategic and creative vision is highly valued across the agency. She’s at the heart of everything the agency does – her understanding of clients’ long-term brand and campaign strategy means she’s always able to elevate the projects she touches. Cheryl was heavily involved in our award-winning Converse ‘One star hotel’ campaign. And she’s already delivered some epic work this year, including MLB’s S60 campaign."

Emily Barker

Assistant marketing manager, Nationwide

Nominated by Paul Hibbs, director of advertising and media, Nationwide:
"Emily is one of the bursts of energy you come across very rarely during a career. She is a marketer who sees the way to zag when the obvious way is to zig. She was instrumental in delivering the ‘Together against hate’ campaign that won this year’s Marketing Society Bravery Grand Prix. She worked in a small team constantly pushing the boundaries while ensuring the tone of the campaign landed with consumers. In June this year she identified an opportunity to work with the Normandy Memorial Trust to create an integrated campaign commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings – not a dry eye in the house. But when Emily isn’t doing an amazing day job she is raising awareness and money for mental health. Often throwing herself out of aeroplanes for the benefit of others. A real inspiration."

Joe Beveridge

Senior planner, Leo Burnett London

Nominated by Josh Bullmore, chief strategy officer, Leo Burnett London:
"Joe brings incredible insights into our work for clients every day, insight that goes beyond his years. I couldn’t be prouder of him helping us win the Iceland pitch and he continues to be central to us developing great work for our new and existing clients, such as McDonald’s. He embodies everything we’re looking for in our new generation of planners. He has the ideal blend of strategic and creative thinking and a cool head even in the face of chaos. Like any decent planner; he often wanders around aimlessly, can’t find meeting rooms and needs help navigating the Tube to client presentations. But good planners are like gold dust and we’ve struck a mine with Joe."

Gilliam Caldwell-Dunn

Planner, Grey London

Nominated by Adrian Rossi, creative chairman, Grey London:
"It’s hard to imagine Grey London without Gil. In the time he’s been here, he has made the biggest of impacts – impressing at all levels and becoming a face clients are always delighted to see. Now, his insights are helping to shape the work we do for our clients. Over the past 12 months he has worked on some of our biggest brands, covering everything from integrated campaign strategies to crafting CRM journeys and pitches. He helps to run our intern assessment days and, after getting a distinction in the IPA Foundation Certificate, he also runs a training programme to help others taking the exam. Basically, Gil is just the best. Watching his career flourish over the next few years is going to be a privilege."

Jack Colchester

Director of data strategy, Wonderhood Studios

Nominated by Alex Best, chief operating officer, Wonderhood Studios:
"We knew Jack had great pedigree because, at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, he was responsible for uncovering the insights that led to the award-winning KFC ‘Clean eating burger’ and ‘Three billboards for Grenfell’ campaigns. However, we were blown away by his ability to bring data to life in a way that inspires our creative teams. He is defining the future of the data function at creative agencies. His ability to interpret and then present data to creative teams has led to better creative ideas and smarter solutions for our clients. He is also brilliant at surprising clients with different ways of looking at their own data and has brought fresh insight to the way Wonderhood approaches and makes TV shows."

Thiago Correa

Head of performance media, Zenith UK

Nominated by Natalie Cummins, chief executive, Zenith UK:
"Thiago effortlessly manages a team of more than 60 people and 30-plus accounts, and is responsible for more than £150m of media billings. His personality and amiability have created a truly open work environment. His digital knowledge and understanding of the performance landscape are unparalleled. His work with innovative attribution projects and cross-channel strategy is recognised industry-wide. Over the past year, he has led the way in cross-channel attribution via ID-based measurement solutions, resulting in a UK first for a key Zenith client. His passion for digital media has led to various successful pitches, including the global H&M and Net-a-Porter accounts. We know we are only starting to scratch the surface of his potential and are excited to see how he can further transform performance, and digital media in general."

Karen Craig

Campaign insight and creative lead, FCA 

Nominated by Samantha Cowley, account director, M&C Saatchi:
"Karen’s passion for championing the creative route for the FCA’s final PPI burst has gone beyond that of the day job. When we got the final PPI brief, we knew we had to take Arnie and PPI out with a bang but we knew it would be a big sell to get the FCA on board to actually finish off Arnie. Karen was never in doubt, leading the way on this, selling the creative work into all stakeholders and departments, persuading the FCA’s chief executive that pressing Arnie’s head into an energy-drink can was the best, and only way, to increase its KPIs." 

Chris Davis

Head of brand partnerships, Gleam Futures

Nominated by Phil Hughes, chief operating officer, Gleam Futures:
"With the rise of influencers, the marketing landscape has evolved at pace. Through the thousands of brand partnerships we deliver for our on-roster talent each year, Chris recognised that the industry was ripe for change, and as the gatekeepers of best practice, felt Gleam was well placed to be a trusted guide to the space. As such, he led the launch of Gleam Solutions: a consultancy that provides brands with a single route to creating and delivering effective talent-led marketing campaigns, which have creativity and authenticity at the heart and deliver results that matter." 

Gabriella Field

Junior strategic planner, Ogilvy UK

Nominated by Michael Frohlich, chief executive, Ogilvy UK:
"Gabi has flourished since joining Ogilvy earlier this year as an apprentice, having never worked in the industry before. As well as making a positive impact across the strategy craft, PR and influence and advertising capabilities, she has brought a fresh perspective, diligence and warmth to everyone she works with at the agency. Being neurodiverse herself, she was passionate about bringing more education and awareness to neurodiversity, as well as creating a forum that could foster an inclusive culture within the agency and beyond. She has been the prime driving force behind the launch of Ogilvy’s latest internal network, [neurodiversity-focused] Ogilvy ReWired and a great collaborator on Ogilvy UK’s first-ever Inclusion Board." 

Tom Gong and Claire Guiller

Creative team, Pablo

Nominated by Dan Watts and Tim Snape, executive creative directors, Pablo:
"Tom and Claire have odd-shaped brains. They’re a team that makes you go: ‘Ooooo… I hadn’t thought of it like that.’ They’re strategic. They’re curious. They’re open. They’re collaborative. Before joining us in April, they demonstrated this modern type of thinking for brands like Lidl, with the launch of ‘Lidl surprises’, and Harvey Nichols, which smashed its flagship store’s windows on the centenary of women being given the right to vote, through to the Red Cross, creating a VR experience that decided the fate of Syrian families at war. Not bad for just a few years in. They’re interesting humans, too. Claire was a professional ice skater. Tom does stand-up comedy. Claire speaks French. Tom speaks Chinese. Luckily, they both speak English, too, as they’re also married to one another."

Robin Gordon and Ella Monti

Creatives, McCann London 

Nominated by Laurence Thomson, chief creative officer, McCann UK, and co-president McCann London:
"The quietest team behind some of McCann London’s loudest and proudest award-winning work. Polar opposites, it’s their disparity that makes Robin and Ella a unique match. Their one commonality is their love for all things Japanese. This can be seen in their latest work with Vice and College Music ‘Lo-fi suicide beats’ – a campaign shedding light on mental health among students. The campaign picked up two bronze Lions this year at Cannes in direct and media. Contributing to a new way of hiring, Robin and Ella also created KKaptionn: Book against Bias, a comic book without words used to hire people based on talent alone. It gained the duo a wood Pencil from D&AD and an appearance at London Comic Con. Robin and Ella don’t make work to win awards; their sensibilities and unparalleled imaginations mean they naturally create award-winning work."

Laura Gray

Brand manager, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Mondelez 

Nominated by Matt Smith, business director, VCCP:
"Laura joined Mondelez via the graduate scheme and has worked her way up to brand manager of the nation’s favourite chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk, all before the age of 30. She led the multi-award-winning Cadbury ‘Inventor’ campaign, for which Cadbury opened its doors to the nation for the very first time, inviting the public to invent the next Dairy Milk bar. Laura worked closely with Mondelez’s research and development team on this first of its kind project, as well as managing various agencies to deliver an integrated campaign which encouraged the nation to ‘go madbury for Cadbury’. Laura is a dream client – collaborative, passionate and brave." 

Eileen Hanna

Europe marketing manager, Baileys

Nominated by Anne Nosko, Europe marketing director, Baileys:
"Eileen leads all the delicious communications, brand strategy and tools for Europe in her role, including an innovative, new on-trade campaign and social approach. Under her leadership, Baileys has delivered growth in Europe, turning around key countries such as Germany and Spain and driving the biggest Easter for Baileys the business has ever seen. Whether she’s in Spain working on whisky, or New York developing global tools for Smirnoff, or making the next Baileys video, Eileen brings strong strategic thinking, drive/ambition and sound creative judgment to everything she does. She has also recently become Diageo’s ambassador for progressive gender portrayal in advertising in Europe."

Holly Kicul

Marketing manager, brand, John Lewis & Partners

Nominated by Liz Le Breton, head of brand and content marketing, John Lewis & Partners:
"A lifetime lover of Christmas, Holly is living her dream of leading our huge cross-functional customer team as we prepare for our biggest and most commercially valuable moment of the year. This will be Holly’s second Christmas in the role. She was instrumental in our step change last year, working with Adam & Eve/DDB and Manning Gottlieb OMD on the Cannes Lion-winning ‘The boy and the piano’, featuring Sir Elton John, and effortlessly delivering a series of firsts, including sharing our most valuable asset (our Christmas ad) with our most valuable asset (our Partners), as we let thousands of our Partners debut the ad on their own social channels. The latter recently won a Marketing Society Brave Award for Brave Use of Media. Holly is charming, unflappable and sets about crafting every step of our Christmas campaign with an inspiring determination to ensure we make every year more magical than the last."

Rhonwen Lally

Senior planner, Karmarama

Nominated by Will Hodge, executive strategy director, Karmarama:
"Rhonwen has an enviable combination of wide-eyed curiosity, steely determination and irrefutably persuasive storytelling, which makes her a brilliant planner, already proved by her winning an APG Young Planner award. Since joining Karmarama in 2016, she has been part of the winning pitch team for Halfords and Kenco, helped build Nando’s relevance to a new generation and, most notably, been a strategic planner on the high-profile recruitment work for the Army. She works without ego, and is totally dedicated and driven to understand all she can about a brief, brand and audience."

Rebecca Langdell

Marketing manager, Transport for London

Nominated by Chris Macleod, customer director, Transport for London:
"Rebecca has made a considerable contribution at TfL, despite joining from Starbucks only 18 months ago. She is an exceptional marketer and communicator working on projects that also deliver social good: reducing deaths on London’s roads and encouraging kids in the capital to travel safely and sustainably. Working with TfL’s main agencies – VCCP and Wavemaker – Rebecca has developed a TV campaign to encourage all London drivers to slow down on our roads. She also works with teams at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, and 23red in partnership with TfL to engage with local communities on behaviour change campaigns."

Natalie Lau

Planner, Lucky Generals

Nominated by Sarah Jenkins, incoming managing director, Saatchi & Saatchi London, and seconded by Lucky Generals:
"Natalie operates on another level from most people – her speed of thought, ability to crunch through to the actual business challenge and translate it into a workable creative strategy is at times truly mind-blowing. She’s powerfully curious about everything – from building innovative education curriculums in New York and Hangzhou, to jump-starting her career in advertising in Hong Kong and Melbourne, then honing her planning skills at Grey London and now at Lucky Generals, where, among other accounts, she helps shape the thinking for its Co-Op business. A great brain and an awesome energy."

Rachel Lorenzon

Head of partnerships, the7stars

Nominated by Jenny Biggam, founder, the7stars:
"Rachel has grown the7stars partnerships offering from a one-woman show to a team of eight in just over two years. It now encompasses everything from content planning, the creation of AFPs, talent and IP licensing and influencer outreach. Rachel has displayed a determination to move media forward, to create new formats and build the sort of ideas clients have never seen before and can’t get anywhere else. She has this amazing ability to rally people together, not just those in her team, but often those who work across the industry." 

James Masters

Senior strategist, Engine

Nominated by Lisa Parfitt, managing director, Engine Sport & Brand Experience:
"James is an ex-Engine grad and has been in the business for five years. He’s incredibly bright and has worked on a variety of brands and pitches bringing superior quality sport and sponsorship strategic thinking to brands. These have included BMW, BP and, more recently, Vitality and Principality. On all of them, he has endeared himself to the client with his intellect and authentic humility. In three months on Vitality, the clients described him as an ‘exceptional young talent and asset to the industry’."

Gemma Poesaste

Content team lead, Oliver

Nominated by Rodrigo Sobral, global chief creative officer, Oliver:
"Gemma is one of the most incredible account directors in our network. She embodies everything we’re looking for in our new generation of account leaders at Oliver. Her mix of skills, values and charisma are at the core of what our business is about. She really understands how brands are built, having worked both client- and agency-side, which allows her to consistently deliver world-class work – from communications to innovation. She is a fantastic brand partner and sees our clients’ businesses through their eyes, always going above and beyond. Gemma has a very bright future ahead of her."

Amy Pountain

Broadcast director, Goodstuff Communications

Nominated by Bobby Din, investment partner, Goodstuff:
"Amy is a true Goodstuffer. Having started here as a temp with our front-of-house team, Amy showed a passion and aptitude for media early on. She transitioned into our broadcast team and has risen through the ranks at top speed. This year Amy has further diversified her skills by taking the lead for G-Force, Goodstuff’s media-buying service for agencies and clients handling media planning themselves. Alongside delivering unquestionably high-quality investment solutions, Amy takes the time to return to her old college to deliver talks explaining that a degree isn’t the only path to a hugely successful career."

Chelsey Redshaw and Jayshree Viswanathan

Creatives, FCB Inferno

Nominated by Becky McOwen-Banks, creative director, FCB Inferno:
"From the day Chelsey and Jayshree joined us three years ago, they have strived for work not just to have an impact, but to deliver meaning. And, boy, have they delivered. Tackling briefs across the board from a hard-hitting anti-FGM campaign for the Home Office to the issues faced by children for Barnardo’s and setting the next brand communication style for NS&I. There is a maturity and curiosity that makes their work resonate. Attention to craft and authenticity of voice shines through. They believe in their work and it shows. It is this balance of head and heart that connects so strongly."

Margaux Revol

Strategy director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 

Nominated by Craig Mawdsley, joint chief strategy officer, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO:
"When you’re looking for an agency ‘face to watch’, you want someone who has made a difference to their agency, their clients and the industry. Margaux has done all this, on a global scale. Dedicated, tireless, funny, and fiercely passionate about doing the right thing, with creative flair, she is a passionate specialist, diving into her strategy work with depth and substance that sets it apart. This approach has made a decisive contribution to the creation of two of the world’s most-admired and awarded campaigns: Bodyform/Libresse – ‘Blood normal’ and ‘Viva la vulva’. Margaux didn’t write them. She didn’t sell them. She didn’t buy them. But would they have happened the way they did without her on the team? We don’t think so."

Abigail Ridgwell

Creative and media executive, O2

Nominated by Rose Bartel, joint head of O2, VCCP:
"Abi has had a brilliant year at O2. Her highlights include hitting the ground running and taking ownership of the creative within performance display. She is a fantastic client and agency partner, who has quickly proved herself to be a trusted and safe pair of hands. Abi, the UK Young Cannes Lions winner for Media in 2018, brings enthusiasm and a quiet confidence to her work. She is diligent, hard-working, resourceful and incredibly organised. She also has the natural capability of being able to stay across the details while also stepping back to see the wider picture and offering eloquent and considered feedback on both strategy and creative."

Ashlie Samra

Project co-ordinator, MLB

Nominated by Will Mould, managing director, XYZ:
"Ashlie joined Major League Baseball in October to help bring the MLB to London for the first time. She led the grass-roots and S60 softball campaigns that helped the two-game series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees be a sold-out smash. She was also heavily involved in producing the influencer strategy that saw a hugely successful trip out to spring training with the Detroit Tigers. She’s a calm, inclusive and energetic team player who is invested in the future of baseball as a global sport." 

Oliver Smith

Senior engagement manager, Finecast

Nominated by Kristian Claxton, head of engagement, Finecast:
"Ollie has been with Finecast for two years and in that time has shown himself to be a true go-getter and indispensable member of the team. He has grown demand on his business by 200% in the past year, bringing in more than 20 new clients to spend on Finecast. Ollie is approachable, likeable and empathetic, which is key for his role working right across Group M and with advertisers directly. It is remarkable that, with only five years industry experience, he is making these strides independently and achieving these great results in such a short space of time."

Louisa Sorensen

Head of content strategy, Beano for Brands

Nominated by Amy Garrett, managing director, Beano for Brands:
"Louisa is someone who understands product, content and commercial – and is inherently creative to boot. Equally comfortable crafting an engrossing story to enchant a client as getting into the nuts and bolts of KPIs to show ROI, she is a multi-talented asset to Beano Studios. She embodies everything we should be looking for in a young planner – she backs up data with excellent intuition. Every brief is driven by insight with an infectious enthusiasm and excitement to make great work."

Jess Taylor

Head of content, Adam & Eve/DDB

Nominated by Tammy Einav, joint chief executive, Adam & Eve/DDB:
"Jess is a rare talent whose skill-set spans almost everything you would want from a full agency, let alone one person. She is strategist, creative and producer all rolled into one, and a true champion of cross-platform creativity. Her ability to take the germ of an idea and collaborate to bring it brilliantly to life across digital channels has made her pivotal in some of our most innovative and award-winning work, from helping to ensure that our Christmas campaigns for John Lewis & Partners are truly 360, to helping to shape social-media campaigns, such as #TrollingIsUgly for The Cybersmile Foundation. Jess’ recent promotion to head of department for social and content means she can continue to lead the charge in championing work of all different shapes."

Riya Thakerar

Communications planning manager, OMD UK

Nominated by Naren Patel, consultant, outdoor, Global:
"When Riya started as a junior account executive at Primesight, we saw her potential and moved her on to the Posterscope patch, which was one of the UK’s biggest and most challenging out-of-home specialists. Riya loved her time at Primesight, but after three years, switched to agency side. In her first year at OMD UK, she was selected to be part of the pitch team for the Media Week Agency of the Year award – a huge achievement. It was made slightly harder for Riya because I was the head judge, but she kept her cool and presented incredibly well. Outside her role, Riya mentors a female BAME graduate as she believes it is important that entrants to the media industry have role models for support and friendship."

Sabina Usher

Communications strategist, Mullenlowe Mediahub

Nominated by Jeremy Hine, chief executive, MullenLowe Group UK:
"In hiring, I live by one rule: ‘Hire someone who makes you fear for your job.’ It’s an uncomfortable brief that’s served me well over the years with no better example than Sabina. Now, I’m not recommending Sabina for her excellent strategic thinking, her commercial nous or her ability to apply brilliantly unexpected creative solutions to media. I’m putting her forward because she is a force for change within the agency, the wider industry and beyond; co-founding MullenLowe Pride, creating and running numerous mental health and school initiatives and always claiming a deservedly irrefutable leadership role in anything she turns her hand to. Surviving a world of unprecedented shifts needs more people that don’t look like what’s come before. Simply, it needs more Sabinas. I dread to think of the person who makes Sabina fear for her job."

Sophy Vanner Critoph

Strategy director, Amplify

Nominated by Dan Minty, strategy partner, Amplify:
"Sophy is passion personified – caring deeply about marketing that truly reflects the world around us. She has championed all-female creative and project teams and delivers work that sees brand marketing through the female gaze. Recent projects at Amplify, including FitFlop’s global repositioning, as well as previous work on Sainsbury’s Tu, as senior strategist at Portas, have cemented her ambition to break down female stereotypes in fashion. She has recently started WOAH (Women of Amplify), an initiative to empower and inspire our teams at all levels and encourage collective support and knowledge sharing. Her ability to simplify the most complicated challenges and turn her hand to anything from media planning to art directing, make her a sought-after asset by clients."

Max Whiting

Client partner, PPC, iProspect

Nominated by Eloi Casali, managing partner, iProspect:
"Max has been instrumental in launching a new savings product – Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Along with his team, he’s led a truly integrated campaign through search, display, Facebook, outdoor and TV. Max is always professional and extremely diligent. He brings passion and an unmatched enthusiasm to everything he works on. This has not only allowed him to achieve results within his team, but also year-on-year growth for our clients. His work ethic, coupled with his determination to do things better, makes him a shining star at iProspect."

Venya Wijegoonewardene

Strategy partner, Carat

Nominated by Jo Sutherland, chief executive, Carat UK:
"As a proud Sri Lankan, diversity and inclusion is a foundation of Venya’s work. She firmly believes that more diverse voices are the key to better creative thinking and collaboration, which, ultimately, leads to stronger work. Venya is currently forming a BAME employee network for Carat and the wider Dentsu Aegis Network that will potentially unlock greater opportunities for hundreds of talented people. Venya wants to be the change that she wants to see in this industry and is prepared to do everything she can to help others do the same. It’s the passion and enthusiasm that she brings to this and her work that make all those that she works with love her. From creating award-winning work for Diageo on Baileys and Gordon’s to pitching new business and building our creative culture at Carat UK, Venya is a real force for good." 

Carlie Wittred

Head of brand marketing and PR, Gousto

Nominated by Anna Greene, brand director, Gousto:
"The past 12 months have been a huge inflection point for Gousto. Brand awareness has grown by more than 50%  – with one in four households now aware of Gousto. None of this would have been possible without Carlie’s creativity, tenacity and ‘smarts’. She seamlessly delivered Gousto’s first brand campaign ‘Unbox possibility’, operated a highly effective PR function, negotiated long-term partnerships with some of the UK’s biggest influencers (Father of Daughters and Mother Pukka), even bringing in Joe Wicks as an investor. More recently, she has negotiated a partnership with Wagamama, meaning customers can now enjoy cooking their favourite restaurant meals at home – we expect this to be a huge game-changer for our brand. Carlie is an absolute firestarter. Her energy, drive and ambition are infectious, her ability to multi-task and consistently deliver is astonishing and, frankly, Gousto wouldn’t be where it is today without her contribution." 

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