Team

Incentives & Events

David Heron bnw David Heron colour

David Heron

Co-Head of Agency
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 and visited countless others in his 40 plus years, David is a firm believer that there is no such thing as a boring destination – only untapped potential. He lives for the thrill of the next adventure and is always looking for ways to sweep our clients and team along with him.

David’s boundless energy – even after 2 hours sleep thanks to an ever-growing family – keeps us all entertained. That and his tendency to eat breakfast cereal with his hands.

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Jessica Charles

Co-Head of Agency
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

Client Services Director

After initially joining us 2017 as Head of Operations, Pia re-joined the team in February 2019 to head up Client Services. 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).

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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.

Georgie Bomben

Project Director

Georgie joined the pack in 2018 bringing 12 years’ industry experience and a cat called Carlos to the Black Tomato Agency team. Having worked across all sectors in countless destinations across the globe, Georgie’s favourite incentive playgrounds can be found across Asia; from 60-strong tuk-tuk rallies in Sri Lanka, market gameshows in Thailand to swimming with elephants in the River Kwai – if you can think it, she will find a way to make it happen.

True to BTA form, the way to Georgie’s heart is through her stomach; she’s always first to volunteer for a menu tasting, she’s a great person to split two mains with and she has an endless supply of milky bar buttons at her desk for emergencies. That’s just the sort of team player she is.

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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.

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Lauren Anthony

Senior 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 eight 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.

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Lizzie Herring

Senior Project Manager

Lizzie has always worked in the travel industry 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.

She has run events all over the world, with highlights including leading a fleet of muscle cars across the Mojave desert, a convoy of Cinquecento’s along the Amalfi Coast and a caravan of camels up the Atlas mountains. Lizzie moved stateside in 2016 and is now based out of Black Tomato’s New York office.

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Iona Roberts

Senior Project Manager

Iona joined the team in early 2018, bringing 8 years’ events experience and a mild obsession to foreign language small-talk to our group travel team. She has managed major global events all over the world, for organisations of all shapes and sizes – from gardening expos in Birmingham to the ever so slightly more glamorous Monaco Grand Prix, Iona has worked with clients across a huge range of sectors including Media & Publishing, Telecoms, Tech, Financial Services, FinTech, Formula 1 and Football.

She first heard of Black Tomato Agency while working for a rather chaotic Brazilian start-up travel agency based out of a run-down apartment in Rio de Janeiro. Six years later she is now very happy to be part of the Black Tomato team. Na Zdorovie!

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Heather Silcock

Senior 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.

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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.

 

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Oliver Launn

Proposal Manager

Ollie joined us in April 2017 with one mission: to put together inspiring incentive programmes all over the world. 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 Mel & Sue of the incentive world…

When he’s staring into space from time to time, just know he’s thinking about the days when Alesha Dixon was a proper MC.

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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.

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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.

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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 on creative campaigns for a huge host of global clients.

Promotions & Prizes

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Andrew Rae

Co-Head of Agency
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”.

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Harriet Kendall

Account Director

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.

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Ellie Clarke

Account Manager

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.

Molly Harrison

Account Executive

After cutting her teeth planning après ski events for the incurably thirsty population of Val Thorens, Molly turned her hand to project management, delivering lavish events for private and corporate clients alike. As a Project Manager, she transformed the O2 Arena into a 3,000-capacity fairground, converted an uninspiring office space into a hot-ticket nightclub and even graced the beautifully curated pages of Vogue Magazine with examples of her work.

Always keen to step out of her comfort zone, Molly has hiked three active volcanoes, tubed through a glow worm cave in New Zealand and even eaten a scorpion, which she describes as ‘as crunchy as you’d imagine’. In search of her latest challenge, in 2018 she swapped the leafy suburbs of Surrey for the bright lights of London, bringing a wealth of venue and destination knowledge to the Black Tomato Agency Promotions team.

Charlie Rooney

Business Development
Promotions

Our second recruit fresh out of Disney, Charlie joined the Prize Fulfilment team in 2015, making prize winner dreams come true all around the the world. From diving between tectonic plates in Iceland to walking the red carpet in Hollywood, Charlie has worked across multiple sectors and brands from Heineken Ireland and William Grant to NBC Universal and the BBC.

After a year away exploring the best of Australasia, Charlie came back to her senses and rejoined Black Tomato Agency in 2018, bringing her prize management experience to her new role as the team’s Head of Business Development. Based in Manchester and true to her Northern roots, she has a unique hybrid American x Mancunian accent and handles attempts at imitation surprisingly well.

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Meghan Williams

Prize Fulfilment Executive

Meghan joins the Promotions & Prizes team fresh from honing her Spanish skills in the steamy jungles of Central America. A self-professed culture vulture, she admits that there comes a time during every trip when temples come second to tanning and she’s only too happy to shun the sights for some quality pool time.

She brings some much-needed hip hop dance moves to the team and rumour has it that our strategic position close to Shoreditch Grind was behind her choice to work for us.

Creative

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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.

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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.