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Meet the speakers at this year's PPA Independent Publisher Conference
Press Officer, NFU
Simon has worked for 8 years in marketing and communications alongside 7 years of experience managing a charity working with young people. He joined NFU in 2015 and has been instrumental in transforming the way the organisation approaches and delivers on social media. Working cross sector across the vast agricultural industry, Simon creatively tailors our messages in a way that relate specifically to our diverse target audiences across our myriad of social media channels. Although he is fearful that social media might create a generation who don’t know how to talk in person, he is grateful that it pays the bills!
Chief Executive, Faversham House
Managing Director, Investor Publishing
Vernon Baxter is managing director of Investor Publishing, which covers the UK health and education sectors from a business perspective. HealthInvestor is the industry’s leading source of news, analysis and comment and, under Vernon’s editorship, was short-listed for the PPA Monthly Business Magazine of the Year Award. Since its launch in early 2009, EducationInvestor has quickly established itself as the definitive business magazine for the education sector. Prior to joining Investor Publishing in September 2008, Vernon was based in Dubai as the assistant editor of Medical Times Middle East, a business magazine for the Gulf region’s emerging healthcare sector. Vernon recently launched www.healthinvestorasia.com, which provides financial intelligence for Asia’s healthcare markets.
Editorial Director, Alphr.com
Ian Betteridge has been a technology journalist for over 20 years, working on every kind of media from print to web to YouTube to apps. He's currently editorial director of Alphr.com, Dennis Publishing's most recent launch in the technology market, which has picked up multiple awards in its first year.
Managing Director, Wessenden Marketing
Jim has worked in a variety of roles in the publishing, research and distribution industries, covering sales, marketing, business planning, retail distribution and logistics, direct marketing, consumer research and general management. He was the managing director of both a newstrade distribution company and a subscription bureau. Jim is the Managing Director of Wessenden Marketing (a media consultancy.
Editorial Director, Open Door Media Publishing
Jonathan Boyd is the Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing, the owner and publisher ofInvestmentEurope and International Investment. InvestmentEurope serves Europe’s fund selector community. Founded by Incisive Media in early 2011, it was bought out by staff and external investors in August 2013. Since then the business has grown a portfolio of events to encompass Europe, the Middle East and North America, and gone on to win awards from peers via the Professional Publishers Association and the British Media Awards for both content and events. International Investment serves the offshore IFA and wealth management community globally. This brand was acquired and relaunched in early 2016 with its own editorial desk. With two decades of publishing experience across Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK, Jonathan joinedInvestmentEurope from his previous role as Editor-in-Chief at Financial Express (FE), the funds data and information provider. Fluent in both English and Swedish (he attended school in Sweden in the 1980s) he has particular responsibility for Nordic markets reporting. Jonathan has Masters degrees in Journalism and International Relations from the Universities of Queensland and East Anglia respectively, as well as a BA (Hons) from the University of Manchester in Modern History with Economics
CEO, Creative Workflows
Sean Briggs has worked in publishing for over thirty years accumulating a wealth of knowledge and experience. He worked for Hearst UK for twenty of those years as the Group publishing systems manager guiding their strategy and developing their publishing solutions and editorial systems, bringing pre-press in-house and establishing asset management, production and advertising workflows. Sean now runs his own successful company, Creative Workflows Ltd, which specialises in helping creative people and businesses improve their creative processes. He continues to work with all size of publishers, arts groups and media companies both here in the UK and internationally, helping them resolve the many new challenges this ever-changing media landscape presents.
Managing Director, MPG Marketing
Helen started her marketing career in 1998 and since then has immersed herself in the art and science of event marketing, successfully delivering hundreds of multi-channel marketing strategies and campaigns to grow event brands around the world for organisations such as UBM, Informa, Sigaria (Procurement Leaders), the Association of Consultancy and Engineering and the Environmental Industries Commission. Helen has held various marketing leadership roles where she has been responsible for marketing strategy, planning and team management. By delivering focused training and coaching programmes, Helen has successfully improved the performance and productivity of of marketing teams and individual marketers. Helen holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Marketing Strategy & Marketing Management, most recently completing the Post-Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing Communications Strategy at the Manchester Metropolitan University. She has spoken at various events hosted by the PPA, Information Industries Network and Global Conference Network, amongst others. In January 2014, Helen co-founded MPG (Marketing Pro Group) and has since built a team of marketing experts to deliver marketing consultancy services, outsourced event marketing planning and delivery, and marketing training to various organisations around the world.
Creative Director, Coverthink Media
Andy has direct and extensive experience of a multitude of markets, from his time as Creative Director of Rolling Stone and Mademoiselle through to Editorial Development Director at Time Inc. He has worked on brands as diverse as TV Times, Marie Claire, Instyle, Q, Mojo, NME, The Actuary, Ideal Home, Homebuilding and Renovating, Garden News, MotorCycle News, Angling Times, Today’s Golfer, Practical Photography, Chat, Woman's Own, Now, Look, Nuts, Shoot and Country Life.
Publisher, Motor Sport
Sophia Dempsey is Publisher at Motor Sport. This includes the monthly magazine, website, 6 specials, an award winning digital magazine, events, awards and a contract publishing portfolio. Sophia has previously published brands at Time Inc including Decanter and the Field. Before moving into her publishing roles, Sophia worked in brand and subscription marketing at IPC Media, Reed Business Information, and several arts titles including The Art Newspaper and Art Review
Co-Founder, Wanderlust Travel Media
In 1992 Lyn and her late husband, Paul Morrison, were bored on a flight to Ecuador and so schemed out their ideal travel magazine on the back of a sickbag. The idea stuck and, returning to the UK a few months later, they launched Wanderlust magazine from their spare bedroom.Wanderlust went on to be one of the UK’s leading travel magazines, with numerous awards under its belt. In time it led to the family of other travel products and services that make up Wanderlust Travel Media today. Following Paul's death, Lyn took on the roles of managing director and editor-in-chief. In 2008 The Times lauded Lyn as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Travel.” In 2012, Lyn was awarded an Outstanding Contribution Award at the Travel Press Awards. In 2014, Lyn was awarded one of the 'Top 60 Most Influential Women in Travel in the Last 60 Years' by the Association of Women Travel Executives. As well as still being hands-on as editor-in-chief over Wanderlust magazine and website, Lyn launched the World Guide Awards and the Adventure Travel Conference, as well as running the Thailand Green Awards UK, on behalf of the Thailand Tourist Board, and running reader events.
Prior to setting up Kaldor, Jonny was MD, Technology and Product Development at News Corporation's Digital Media Group, focusing on building new digital brands. This followed three years as CTO at News International, where he was responsible for technology delivery across the business. Before joining News, Jonny spent his days, weeks and months trying to build a global digital supply chain for EMI Music. It wasn't easy.
Editor-in-Chief, DJ Murphy
While avoiding revision for her university finals, Louise stumbled across her first journalism job in specialist consumer media on D J Murphy title, PONY magazine. Since then she’s turned her attention to dinosaurs, first on Consumer children’s titles and then working on membership magazines at the Natural History Museum, before moving to the Institute of Materials to edit five design and engineering titles. In 2014, she returned to DJM as Editor of Horse&Rider (PONY magazine’s big sister), more recently adding Editor-in-Chief of PONY to her remit. IP Editor of the Year in 2015, she’s overseen successful complete redesigns and content restructures on both titles, integrating video and digital content to the editorial workflow, and securing their places as market leaders in their sectors. If she’s not at her desk, she’s probably on a photoshoot with an Olympic medallist or riding her horse.
Editorial Content Director, The River Group
Editorial Content Director Claire Irvin joined The River Group from her previous role as Editor in Chief at Bauer Media in January 2015. Having pioneered the digital reinvention of Bauer Media's market leading parenting portfolio, she has also been Editor of SHE, Sugar and ELLEGirl, Editor-at-Large of Grazia, Acting Editor of Company, and editorial consultant for women’s glossies such as Red and InStyle. At The River Group Claire is responsible for editorial rigour, quality, innovation and creativity across all content channels including mobile and video.
Digital Marketing Executive, Veterinary Business Development
Hamzah began his journey into digital marketing at the age of 17, creating websites for small businesses, before offering content marketing to larger enterprises. During university, where he was studying English, he started a CV Writing business, learning how to promote a business online both technically and professionally. From there, Hamzah embarked on the John Lewis graduate scheme, where he gained an invaluable insight into how they operate online via JohnLewis.com. Hamzah is currently working for VBD, where he is responsible for all their digital activities which range from content marketing, SEO and app marketing to social media marketing, conversion optimisation and gamification. Hamzah is also currently studying for an MBA from Imperial College London on a part-time basis.
Editor, Pulse, Cogora
Nigel was appointed editor of Pulse in 2014, after being deputy editor for two years. He started out freelancing for the Guardian newspaper and as a reporter at Research Fortnight magazine before joining Pulse in 2007. As a reporter, he specialised in clinical news and broke a number of exclusive stories that made national newspaper headlines. He was named 'Editor of the Year' in the Business category at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards in 2015 and ‘Publication Editor of the Year’ by the Medical Journalists’ Association Awards in 2014. Under his editorship, Pulse was named ‘Business Magazine of the Year’ by the Professional Publishers Association in 2016 and twice at the PPA Independent Publisher Awards, picking up the prize in 2014 and 2015. He has an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London and a BSc in Physiology from University College London.
Content Editor,The World's 50 Best, William Reed Business Media
Laura is responsible for all content across The World’s 50 Best Restaurants global portfolio, including the website and digital channels, video production, social media and multi-channel events such as the #50BestTalks thought-leadership series. After many years as a financial journalist for Bloomberg News in Brazil, Argentina and the UK, Laura decided to pursue her passion for food, travel and writing, joining 50 Best in 2014. She has a soft spot for Latin America and speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese.
Head of Insight, Magnetic
An insight practioner with sixteen years’ experience spanning start-ups to big agencies, Anna started out as a research exec with Rise Communications before moving on to Carat and then Mediacom. She now fronts the insight narrative for Magnetic and prides herself on telling compelling stories with all sorts of research, data and evidence. Anna believes insight starts with curiosity but really delivers when it is successfully applied and observation matches up with opportunity.
Managing Director, Gruppo Media Limited publishers of Rouleur
Bruce has 28 years commercial media experience. Bruce started in advertisement sales at IPC Media (now Time Inc) where he moved onto various Publisher Roles across Music and Men’s Lifestyle. He became Director at start up business IFG, which was acquired by Dennis Publishing, moving on to Managing Director of Dennis Lifestyle and Head of New Product development. Bruce is now shareholder and Managing Director for Gruppo Media, publishers of Rouleur Magazine.
Direct Marketing Director, The Week, Dennis Publishing
Abi Spooner has been at Dennis Publishing since 2008 and heads up the marketing team for The Week and The Week Junior magazines across print and digital platforms. Abi has helped to deliver consistent growth for The Week in print, whilst formulating its trail-blazing digital paid-for subscription offerings. She was instrumental in the 2015 launch of The Week Junior, aimed at smart and curious 8-14 year olds and awarded the Launch of the Year at the British Media Awards 2016, particularly the development of its unique subscription model, which has driven the magazine to become the fastest growing children's magazine in the UK.
Managing Director, MA Exhibitions
Ed held a series of senior management roles across Miller Freeman, Centaur and Informa before joining Findlay in 2008. As a founding director of Findlay Media, Ed worked across the portfolio of print and online products, creating its exhibition business in 2012. 6 new show launches, 2 contract exhibition wins and 7 awards later the large scale events business is now generating over £6 million in revenue. Since the acquisition of Findlay by Mark Allen Group in 2013, Ed has been a member of the Mark Allen Group main board, executive director of MA Business (formerly Findlay Media) and now Managing Director of the newly created MA Exhibitions. Tall, bald, bad at the guitar and an avid Spurs fan, Ed spends much of his time miserable.
Editor-in-chief, Slimming World
Elise has been obsessed with magazines ever since she had pocket money! Starting her career in trade magazines, she’s worked on business, consumer and customer titles for Lloyd’s of London, IPC (now Time Inc), and Redwood. In 2007 she left London for Derbyshire to take up the editorship of Slimming World, the magazine of the UK’s leading slimming organisation Slimming World. Over the last nine years the independently published title has enjoyed nine consecutive year-on-year ABC rises, increasing its circulation by 124%. Now the fourth best-selling actively purchased magazine in the UK, Slimming World has also picked up four prestigious PPA Awards in the last two years. Elise, who has recently taken on a new role as Editor-in-chief, attributes the title’s success to the company-wide goal of providing outstanding service to Slimming World members; the warm and supportive culture that runs through the organisation; and – of course – the creativity, talent and unstinting dedication of the Slimming World editorial team.
Editor, #studentfarmer. Agricultural Publications, Deputy Editor
Midlands born and bred, most people confuse Victoria with being a Brummie – wrong. After reading a wealth of previous conference brochures, Victoria realised that she didn’t have 10-20 years’ experience in the publishing sector. What she does have is a passion for journalism, a love for magazines and a slightly strange obsession with dogs – the best conversation starter in a pub. A print journalist at heart, Victoria graduated as a first class NCTJ-accredited journalist in 2012. Straight after graduating, she was appointed Assistant Editor of a weekly newspaper Dog World and her work within journalism for young people and their dogs was recognised by the Young Kennel Club, being named their 17-24 Outstanding Young Person of the Year in 2014. Preferring the vibrant yet demanding world of magazines to newspapers, she landed a job as a writer for the NFU and over the past two years has worked her way up the ladder, now editing the organisation’s magazine for students and young farmers, #studentfarmer. Described as a walking, talking Buzzfeed by her colleagues, over the past 10 months Victoria has pushed the magazine from being a print product to a brand with a community. She’s also the Deputy Editor of the NFU’s flagship magazine for its 50,000-strong membership, British Farmer & Grower.
Head of Editorial, Royal Horticultural Society
Chris Young is Head of Editorial for the Royal Horticultural Society, and editor of its members’ magazine The Garden. His role oversees all the editorial produced by the RHS on a range of platforms, from magazines to book, websites to podcasts, show guides to videos. As editor of The Garden, the monthly magazine that goes to all 460,000 members of the RHS, his work is to inform, inspire and help members become better gardeners while celebrating the very best of the RHS and its work.
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