Team

We’re a handsome bunch.

David Heron

Head of Sales

After an early career in Film and Publishing, David finally found his way to the world of incentives and events, joining Black Tomato Agency in 2011. Privileged to have lived in six countries (Brazil, Hong Kong, Norway, Netherlands, Malaysia and UK), and visited countless others in his 40 years (really), David has found his perfect profession in the world of travel.

David’s boundless energy – even after 2 hours sleep thanks to an ever-growing family – keeps us all entertained. And he looks a little bit like James Blunt.

Jessica Charles

Head of Operations

Jess joined us in 2014, bringing the Agency another 14 years’ events experience and the best hair in the industry. She has run events of all sizes across the automotive, retail, finance, insurance and pharmaceutical sectors to name just a few. Her vast and varied experience has seen her driving vintage cars around the Amalfi Coast, supercars around Lapland, playing Elephant Polo in India, and putting her best negotiation skills to use in Downtown NoLa.

Jess is obsessively organized and the queen of lists. She even keeps a second outfit in the office so she’s always ready for wherever the day / night takes her. Putting these skills to use, in 2016 Jess became Head of Operations for Black Tomato Agency and helps to keep all of us in check.

Pia McKenary

Head of Operations

Pia joined us as Head of Operations in spring 2017 bringing with her a wealth of experience in travel and events. As the daughter of two travel professionals, Pia was quite literally born into the travel industry. She never stood a chance. Legend has it that she’s been carrying out site inspections since she was in nappies.

Having been everywhere and done everything, she’s earmarked an idyllic vineyard in South Africa as the spot where she’d like to unpack her bags on a permanent basis (once her children have flown the nest in about two decades’ time).

Andrew Rae

Head of Promotions

Andrew has spent the best part of 10 years providing prize experiences for a host of award winning sales promotion campaigns. He is responsible for curating hugely engaging prizes and rewards for a vast array of brands, agencies and employees and there are few things he hasn’t arranged or done himself when it comes to unique activities. Private training sessions with Premiership footballers, done. Dinner for two in a dormant volcano, done. Winning Gold, Silver and Bronze in the same category at an industry awards, done. Twice.

He’s even beaten Denise Lewis in a 5 yard dash on the Olympic 100m track before the London 2012 Games. A defeat she said “she will never recover from”.

Micky Robinson

Head of Communications & Marketing

Disillusioned by her early career in corporate law and litigation, Micky’s first foray into the group travel world was in 2010, running a graduate ski operation and responsible for all graduate sales, marketing and operations throughout the French Alps. She joined Black Tomato back in 2012 and now leads the Communications & Marketing team for Black Tomato Agency, in charge of brand and product development, commercial partnerships, client and peer engagement, creative communications before, on and after group events, as well as the delivery of Black Tomato Agency’s marketing strategy.

She’s happiest on top of a mountain, underwater or behind a camera. And she never ever stops talking about snow sports. You have been warned.

Hollie Ludlam

Project Director

Hollie joined us back in 2008, initially working on the Agency’s prize campaigns but has since made the leap (across the office) to the events team and never looked back. She now delivers complex world-wide incentives and conferences for some of the UK’s biggest corporate clients. Travel obsessed and with the gift of the gab, Hollie is happiest meeting people on-site and getting under the skin of a destination.

She’s the office provider/stasher of treats – and a stickler for manners. Important to say thank you when you steal her favourite chocolates.

Sally Yates

Project Director

Having graduated with a degree in Events Management in 2009, Sally joined us early in 2014 with over 5 years’ experience in incentive travel, particularly in the automotive, insurance and retail sectors. She’s run events from Dubai to Zimbabwe, raced kayaks, Americas Cup yachts and supercars, taken on Central America by helicopter, raft and tube, been chased onsite by baboons, elephants and an angry hippo and coordinated 600 guests in an immersive whiskey tasting experience – all without touching a drop.

She has an excellent collection of coats.

Heléna Vella

Project Manager

Heléna joined us in 2009 as a bright-eyed intern, delving straight into the process of creating and organising competition campaigns. Having conquered the weird and wonderful world of prize management she now masterminds some of our most complex corporate events across the globe, from the glitz and glamour of Monaco to the bustling and vibrant metropolis of Japan. Moving quickly up the ranks in Agency, Heléna currently project manages across a wide range of sectors including automotive, property investment and DSA.

Lauren Anthony-Foster

Project Manager

After finishing her studies in Events Management in 2012, Lauren took on the Automotive industry as a PA before discovering the world of group incentives. Over the last five years she’s worked predominantly across the automotive, telecoms and IT sectors, operating in some luxurious venues and inspiring locations, and is always keen to expand her destination knowledge.

Joining the team as Senior Project Manager in February 2017, Lauren is now a true London commuter, learning where the trains stop along the platform and avoiding eye-contact with fellow passengers on the tube. She doesn’t like holidaying in the same place twice as there’s always somewhere new to explore.

Archie Muir-Mackenzie

Project Manager

Archie graced Black Tomato Agency in November 2013, having previously worked in the Sports Gaming industry, setting up and maintaining websites. A Fine Art graduate, he has also worked for Australian tour company Contiki Holidays in Sydney back in 2008. Certainly the most charming of the gang and the only one of us to have a watercolour portrait of himself hanging in the office. It’s something the rest of us are aspiring to.

Lizzie Herring

Project Manager

Lizzie had worked in the travel industry for the last seven years with stints at the Las Vegas tourist board and British Airways before joining Black Tomato Agency in early 2015 and quickly becoming one of our star players, even though she doesn’t like hugs. In her 2 years at the company she has run events from Europe to the US and beyond, with highlights including leading a fleet of muscle cars across the Mojave desert, a convoy of Cinquecento’s up the Amalfi Coast and a caravan of camels in the Atlas mountains.

Heather Silcock

Project Executive

Having split her time at Nottingham University between throwing fundraising events and studying for a psychology degree, Heather graduated skilled in the arts of multi-tasking, event planning and tea making. Forever armed with a detailed to-do list and a hot cuppa, she joined Black Tomato Agency in 2017 and quickly became a central member of the Operations team. A travel fanatic and adrenaline junkie, she has ventured far and wide throwing herself out of planes in Fiji, riding motorbikes beneath Thai waterfalls and climbing mountains before dawn in the Middle East. Just beware if you travel with her – she likes to order food she has never heard of, so meal-share with caution.

Alana Buchanan

Business Development Manager

Alana’s love affair with Black Tomato Agency began as a client working within the Financial Services market. running company-wide events in-house for a Global Asset Management Consultancy firm. After one inspirational event with Black Tomato, Alana knew the Agency life was for her and we’ve been going steady since early 2017.

Another snowsports fanatic in the team, Alana’s previous life included a long stint within the British University Snow Sports Industry, working as European Sales Co-ordinator and Operations Manager. True to form, she is still often found frequenting après ski at altitude, desperately trying to look gnarly.

 

Oliver Launn

Proposal Writer

Ollie joined us in April 2017 with one mission: to put together inspiring incentive programmes all over the world. Previously an Account Manager at Clive, Ollie comes equipped with extensive experience in all manner of events and can now be found plotting wow-factor itineraries in every corner of the globe. With the help of Alex, the other half of our proposal writing dream duo, Ollie is our go-to guy for unique itineraries with an injection of creativity. Just think of them as the Ant & Dec of the incentive world. Minus the National Television Awards…

A dedicated member of the Beyhive, we’re expecting a lot more Beyoncé on the office Sonos now that Ollie’s on board. So a win all round.

Alex Agertoft

Sales & Marketing Executive

After travelling extensively around South and Central America, Alex went on to study Spanish & International Relations at university; his studies broken up by a year abroad in the Basque Country and followed by further travels. One particularly memorable experience saw him buy a motorbike for $100 off a friendly local and ride all the way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh.

Alex comes to us from a leisure travel background, having spent a few years crafting bespoke trips around Latin America. He joined the Black Tomato Agency in 2016 and spends his days writing up once-in-a-lifetime proposals, contributing to the blog, dreaming up innovative marketing campaigns and ensuring nothing leaves the office without being checked by his eagle-eyes. You can blame any spelling mistakes on him.

Hannah Ridyard

Communications Manager

With a background in film and arts events, Hannah made the move into the travel industry in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. Having been chased up a mountain by monkeys in China, jumped out of a plane at 12,000 ft above Australia and survived being stranded in an open top car in Death Valley, Hannah was well-prepared for life at Black Tomato. Day-to-day, Hannah manages communications campaigns for a growing roster of global clients, handling digital and print collateral pre-event and on-site.

Dulcie Barnes

Communications Executive

Not one to let university get in the way of wanderlust, Dulcie managed to incorporate a year living in paradise into her English and French degree.  Graduating from the University of Nottingham with a year on Réunion Island under her belt, Dulcie put her French language to use with Easyvoyage in Paris before joining Black Tomato Agency in 2018. Content with switching volcano hiking for creative communications, Dulcie brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the comms team and supports Hannah and Micky on creative campaigns for a huge host of global clients.

Tom Franz

Video Producer

Working as our Video Producer, Tom’s remit is to create, collaborate and consult on all things moving for the Black Tomato Agency and our clients. He joins us from an advertising background and has produced and directed films for a plethora of prestigious clients, working with renowned National and pan-European brands (BBC, Subaru and Asda to name just a few).

Tom has an insatiable appetite for producing engaging, emotive and relevant film for a wide range of audiences and his work has generated millions of views across multiple platforms. When he’s not busy creating content for the Agency, you’ll find him wandering the forgotten alleyways of East London with his trusty 35mm film camera in hand.

Louisa Lau

Art Director

After 5 years of climbing the graphic design ladder, Louisa joined The Black Tomato Group in 2012 as Art Director, producing and overseeing all visual communication for the company and its clients. From packaging and print to digital and video creation, she ensures every project meets the client’s brief, engages the relevant audience and is delivered on time and within budget. Louisa is a self-proclaimed luxury brand enthusiast and has worked with the likes of Coca-Cola, Harvey Nichols, It’s Nice That, Dazed & Confused, and Nokia.

Leather goods and Asian street food are her weaknesses. And pugs. She loves pugs.

Reis Reffold

Graphic Designer

Reis joined the Black Tomato Agency from a varied background in graphic design that has seen him conquer the art, fashion, marketing and music worlds. However, working alongside the likes of Kasabian and Damon Albarn wasn’t enough to prevent Reis being drawn to the vast possibilities and excitement of the travel industry.

With travel advice that invariably consists of learning how to politely order the correct number of beers in any country he visits and challenge a local to a game of chess in their native tongue, Reis is ultimately fuelled by his passion for design, a love of exploring new places and meeting different people.

Harriet Kendall

Senior Account Manager

Having experienced life as a prize-winner first hand, Harriet joined Black Tomato Agency’s growing prize team in 2014, with a background in social media consulting. And Disney. Having spent the previous year working for Walt Disney World in Florida (although not as a princess, unfortunately) and another living in Amsterdam, Harriet is first to admit she’s a victim of the travel bug, but has happily settled herself back in London after missing cups of tea and Sunday roasts a little too much.

Luisa Oliveira

Prize Fulfilment

Luisa fell in love with London after visiting a friend in 2013 and never left, even completing her university degree in travel and tourism from this side of the Atlantic. She joined the office as an intern in February 2016 and was quickly made a permanent member of the promotions team, where she spends her days making sure that our prize winners’ every wish is granted.

A native of Toronto, or ‘The 6ix’ as it is also known, she is a huge fan of Drake and regularly breaks office Sonos rules to get his songs to the top of the queue.

Chelsea Gurr

Business Development Manager

Chelsea joined Black Tomato Agency as Business Development Manager in April 2017, in pursuit of a career in the world of travel. She comes from a varied but client-focused background having previously been responsible for all new business at a referral marketing software provider, and a market intelligence company before that.

Don’t let that professional jargon fool you though. In another life Chelsea was actually a trained flying trapeze artist with a penchant for travels across the US. She may have swapped the circus lifestyle for the ever-busy Promotions team, but she’s still flying high.

Ellie Clarke

Prize Fulfilment

They say that the three best things to come of out of Harrogate are tea bags, spring water and Ellie Clarke… in that order. Ellie joins us after recently returning to the UK from sunny Australia, where her love of all things travel was born. When she’s not too busy getting accustomed to her new London life (i.e. avoiding eye contact, not speaking to strangers and rejoicing whenever the tube doors open before her on the platform), she remains true to her no nonsense Yorkshire roots taking down anyone who attempts to mimic her accent.  Ellie believes that Sean Paul is appropriate music for any occasion, whether it’s first thing on Monday morning or the start of Friday drinks.