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Camilla Bark is Director of Marketing and Talent Attraction at Invest in Skåne, the official trade and investment promotion organisation for Skåne, the southernmost part of Sweden.
Invest in Skåne help international companies invest and expand in the region, and attract valuable talent to secure a skilled, diverse and competent workforce in Skåne and the Greater Copenhagen region.
In addition, Invest in Skåne has the task of promoting Skåne and the Greater Copenhagen Region internationally as an attractive, dynamic and world-class region for business, research and innovation, and which provides a gateway to, not just the Nordics, but Europe as a whole. Camilla leads a team responsible for marketing, communications, PR and talent attraction/retention. She holds a double Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Human Resources (with a focus on Competence Resourcing) and has several years of experience working with international marketing and branding within B2B as well as competence resourcing and Employer Branding.
Clare is the founder and director of City Nation Place, the global forum for place branding and place marketing. City Nation Place creates connections and shares best practice between country brands, regional brands, and city brands around the world through articles, interviews, surveys, white papers, a membership group, and conferences.
Clare’s interest in the complex area of place branding was sparked whilst working on a series of Nation Branding Masterclass events, led by Simon Anholt, one of the first thought-leaders to speak about and promote the concept of place branding. Having listened to Simon address audiences in Accra, Delhi, Dubai, London and Singapore on how policy, governance, and symbolic actions need to combine with branding and marketing to create a competitive identity and drive economic growth, she continued to follow the growth in this sector. Clare launched the first City Nation Place Global conference in London in 2015: CityNationPlace.com has been steadily building followers and in 2017, she launched the first City Nation Place Americas conference, in 2018 City Nation Place Asia Pacific took place in Singapore, and 2019 saw the first City Nation Place UK, specifically for towns, cities and regions across the UK, and the launch of the first City Nation Place LatAm & Caribbean event. Clare manages the small team at City Nation Place alongside providing event consultancy and management for a number of clients in the publishing and trade association sector, including running the World Media Awards for the World Media Group and event consultancy for the UK Association for Online Publishers.
Sholto Douglas-Home is a marketing and communications leader with extensive professional and operational experience across multiple sectors, including Tourism & Entertainment, Media & Telecoms, News & Financial Information and Recruitment & Staffing.
As Chief Sales, Marketing and Communications Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, Sholto was responsible for sharing Expo 2020 Dubai with the world. A global triumph that welcomed more than 24 million visitors, Expo 2020 was the first World Expo held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and the most significant global gathering to take place since the start of the pandemic. Sholto is now helping continue its legacy, working on the October 2022 launch of Expo City Dubai – a clean, green, tech-enabled district, packed with educational, cultural and entertainment offerings, and host of the United Nation’s COP 28 Summit in 2023.
Sholto joined Expo 2020 after 12 years as the Chief Marketing Officer of Hays, a UK-listed global recruitment services firm. Prior to Hays, Sholto was Global Head of Brand and Marketing Communications at Thomson Reuters, before which he held senior marketing roles at BT Group. After graduating in Management Sciences from Warwick Business School, Sholto started his career in advertising, working for three major communication groups – Publicis, IPG and Omnicom.
Amy Guttmann is a marketing and strategy lead, freelance creative director, brand storyteller and communications expert with 20 years of experience guiding integrated campaigns. Specializing in public and social issues for nearly two decades, she began her career at SE2 – a communications and marketing firm focused on building public will. Through their proprietary approach, Amy worked to influence awareness, perception and behavior – ultimately supporting positive change on issues with impact. (Think education, energy, public health, inclusion and identity, housing, workforce development, telecommunications and transportation.) Amy’s marketing expertise spans everything from brand strategy to large-scale advertising and culture change campaigns, to audience segmentation and targeted messaging efforts, to a global diversity and inclusion initiative for a Fortune 100 company.
Since 2019, she’s put her expertise to work for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation – the first regional economic development authority in the United States. Amy plays a pivotal role in the EDC’s strategic planning, regional brand engagement, and the domestic and international marketing of the Metro Denver region and its key industry verticals – including aerospace, financial services, healthcare, IT/software and outdoor recreation.
In 2021, Amy launched The Elevation Effect, the business and lifestyle brand for Metro Denver – a service area that accounts for 80% of the Colorado population and 85% of the state GDP. Core to the region’s attraction and retention efforts, the brand uses Colorado’s iconic mountains as a metaphor for what it’s like to live and work in the Centennial State – a place where companies and talent dream bigger, collaborate more, and refuse to choose between a rewarding career and an unmatched quality of life.
Claire is Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment at the University of Sheffield where she leads all recruitment related campaigns, events and schools activity. She began her career in the arts, marketing everything from the RSC, to Cannon and Ball in Newcastle. She later switched to Higher Education and has worked at University of Northumbria and Sheffield Hallam University, before moving to The University of Sheffield. In between producing three kids she has worked in roles across branding, reputation marketing, internal communications, PR and comms, business development, events and business partnering. She believes HE changes lives and was the first in her family to go to University, annoyingly for her team, she is currently living with the prospective undergraduate student market. She was born and raised in Sheffield and after living away returned to raise her family in the glorious green city of contrasts. She adores her city and is evangelical about its unique offer. Creating a joint campaign for Sheffield, has been a passion project of hers which she has lobbied for for many years. She is thrilled that it's finally happening!
Ann is a place manager with over 14 years of Business Improvement District management experience. In her current role Ann’s remit is to champion Exeter, celebrate and profile business, deliver change in the streetscape and improve the customer experience.
Ann is a Director of Exeter Chamber of Commerce and has a Masters in International Tourism Management from Exeter University. Ann has a history of successful working across various BID’s and is skilled in city marketing, place-management and place-marketing.
With almost a decade’s agency experience before moving into the public sector, where she worked across Scotland’s three national public bodies leading the ground-breaking collaboration Brand Scotland, Cat now heads up the global brand, creative, content and partnership marketing of VisitScotland. She also holds the position of non-executive director for Scotland’s digital academy CodeClan and has sat on advisory boards for Marketing Society of Scotland and City Nation Place. Cat is a highly motivated strategic leader with experience across traditional and digital channels, complex stakeholder management and a track record of delivering award-winning results.
Councillor Merry was elected to represent Broughton in 1990 and was elected to the position of Leader of Salford City Council in May 2003, and was awarded the CBE in 2009 for Services to Local Government. He was appointed to the position of Deputy City Mayor in May 2016. Within the LGA he is currently a member of the City Regions Board. In December 2019 he was elected as Chair of the Key Cities Group.
Mark has a BA in Philosophy and MA in Film, and has worked on everything from film scripts to vineyards, and he’s even been a Ranger for the Department of Conservation in New Zealand.
His career in brand and communications has included some of the world’s most renowned agencies on award winning work across all sectors – from re-branding Legal & General to overhauling Warburtons.
Having worked agency side on creating a new brand for his home city in 2018, he jumped ship from agency to client side to drive Sheffield forwards and re-position the city in a way that will change perceptions.
In 2019 Sheffield was shortlisted as CNPs Place Brand of the Year, and was finalist for the Academy of Urbanism’s European City of the Year. In 2020 there was another shortlisting for CNP’s Campaign of the Year, and in 2021 Sheffield was declared the UK’s greenest city by a NatWest report.
Rūta Nemunytė is the Director of Marketing and Communication at Invest Lithuania, the country’s investment promotion agency responsible for attracting companies from high-value-added sectors, supporting them in the long run, and improving the country’s business environment.
Together with her team, Rūta is in charge of developing two country brands – Lithuania for business (Invest Lithuania) and Lithuania as a career launchpad (Work in Lithuania). Seeing how much of a game-changer talent attraction can be for international companies, six years ago Invest Lithuania launched Work in Lithuania – an initiative dedicated to encouraging highly-skilled professionals living abroad to build their careers in Lithuania. Work in Lithuania is equipped with a standalone team, dedicated to analysing labour markets, providing guidance and support to companies, running talent attraction campaigns and marketing Lithuania as a prime career destination.
Rūta also was part of a temporary think-tank assembled to develop Lithuania’s brand strategy “Lithuania co-create”. The strategy was rolled out in 2021, with Business + Innovations as one of its core pillars.
Before joining Invest Lithuania, Rūta spent 10+ years in advertising, first at McCann Erickson Vilnius (currently, TRUTH.), and then at DDB Vilnius. She holds a BA degree in Communications from Concordia International University.
Andy returned as Director of the GREAT campaign in November 2021, having previously worked in Director of Communications roles in the Northern Ireland Office, and No 10 and Cabinet Office National Security Communications.
A career diplomat by background, Andy’s overseas assignments have included Brasil, Poland, Ireland and Yemen.
Andy was deeply immersed in the final stages of the Peace Process and was awarded an OBE in 2009 by HM The Queen for Services to Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009. He was also the Chief Executive and the Head of Paid Service of the West Midlands Combined Authority from March 2016 to September 2017. He had previously been with Bedfordshire County Council for three and a half years as Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Executive.
Martin spent much of his early career as a lecturer and researcher, and has a PhD in applied economics.
He is a Professor (University Advisory Panel) at Coventry University; is the first Honorary President of LARIA (Local Authorities Research and Intelligence Association) and on the board of the Centre for Cities.
Gianluca Rizzo is a Place Management Specialist with over 10 years’ experience in the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) industry. Gianluca holds a BA in Sociology and a MSc in Geography. He is a Fellow at the Institute of Place Management (IPM) as well as at the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). He is involved in a variety of organisations including The BID Foundation (TBF) as Founding Member, Cross River Partnership (CRP) as Board Member and the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) as a Member. Gianluca leads the Brixton BID as well as Stratford Original BID in East London. Gianluca is passionate about places and firmly believes that ‘people make places’.
Louisa Shaw is the Place Brand Manager at We Are Staffordshire, a new approach to promoting and marketing the county, funded by Staffordshire County Council.
Louisa is working with Staffordshire’s Place Board of business leaders and partners to develop and promote a vibrant new place brand and narrative for Staffordshire, maximising opportunities to promote inward investment, support visitor economy, and generate economic growth across the county.
With over a decade's experience in destination marketing, Louisa has led complex marketing and community engagement programmes for major infrastructure and regeneration developments in the Midlands and wider UK.
As founding Director of thinkingplace, John has directed the development of over 80 place brands over the last 16 years across the UK. He is active in promoting and implementing this best practice approach of creating a shared place story, widening place leadership and creating active collaboration as a key part of growing a place’s economy and promoting local pride. He has led projects for places as diverse as Hampshire, Nottingham, Torbay, Harrogate, North Cambridgeshire, Newhaven, Medway, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Harrogate, Perth and all three UK Cities of Culture.
John has also been working with places to help them develop their response to the Towns Deal, Future High Streets Fund, Levelling Up Funding and Shared Prosperity Fund and is a Mentor to the High Streets Task Force helping to support local authorities and communities to transform their places.
Claire is the Tourism Manager at Exeter City Council. With 20 years of experience promoting Exeter as a visitor destination, she has seen many changes within the city, and is passionate about telling its story.
With 25 years of practical experience in the tourism industry (from attractions, and academic research to private sector tourism consultancy and senior roles for destination organisations) Lucy joined Visit Wales as Head of Marketing in November 2018 after running her own company.
Having delivered projects embracing all aspects of integrated marketing, Lucy’s remit at Visit Wales includes B2B as well as B2C activity, delivered alongside product development and comprehensive industry engagement foundation work.
Visit Wales activity is undertaken under the umbrella of the Cymru Wales country brand and Visit Wales 5-year plan, at the heart of which is “Growing tourism for the good of Wales”. Stakeholder engagement activity aims to ensure that from the smallest business to the largest organisation, there is an opportunity to be part of the Cymru Wales approach.
Deirdre Wells OBE was appointed as CEO of Go To Places in September 2018. She leads an award-winning team that is responsible for running two destination management organisations (Kent and Hertfordshire) and delivering a number of major EU, national and regional visitor economy projects. The team also provide consultancy to clients that to date have included local authorities, destination management organisations and tourism businesses in over 20 destinations across the UK.
Prior to her appointment to Go To Places, Deirdre was Chief Executive of UKinbound, representing nearly 400 UK inbound tourism businesses. During her tenure at UKinbound, Deirdre was a passionate advocate on behalf of the industry on a broad range of issues including Visas, Air Passenger Duty, skills and the impact of Brexit.
Prior to UKinbound Deirdre spent 20 years at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport working on a variety of high-profile projects and was instrumental in the delivery of the GREAT campaign – an ambitious and far-reaching marketing campaign promoting Britain as a great place to visit, study, work, invest, and do business.
Deirdre is Chair of English Tourism Week and sits on the Board of the Tourism Alliance. She is also a Trustee of The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
Mandy White is Altrincham’s BID Manager, taking over the role in June 2021 after a successful 2nd term ballot.
Mandy has been responsible for developing new funding streams including sponsorship, grants and extending the membership. During her tenure VisitAltrincham.com has been launched, further positioning the town as a visitor destination, and attracting an audience for further afield. In June 2022 the team delivered the hugely successful ‘Trooping the Corgis’, which has been heralded as ‘a community art project showcasing the very best in partnership working’. Mandy leads on Altrincham’s Town Management Group which works to support physical improvements in the town and to ensure service standards are maintained.
Mandy has extensive experience in place marketing, venue, and event management.
Patricia Yates has been the CEO of Visit Britain since April 2022. Patricia has been with the national tourism agency since 2005 and was previously its Director of Strategy & Communications. She is responsible for research, tourism affairs and communications. Patricia started her career as a journalist including a long period editing Holiday Which? She also launched and edited the Which? Guide to Hotels for many years. Patricia is the Chair of TIER – the Tourism Industry Emergency Response group - which coordinates the tourism industry messaging at times of crisis.