Meet the Champions Team

Meet Champions (UK) plc

With decades of collective knowhow and the vigour of youth, our team have a great balance of perspectives that never fail to deliver insight and inspiration. 

Combining the expertise from ten in-house departments, we form a unique family that specialise in a wide range of fields. From digital marketing, to event management, we create a talented team that cover all your branding needs. 

John Hayes

John Hayes

CEO

Role: I’m a huge memorabilia enthusiast, with pieces spanning everything from sport, entertainment and music.

Fun work fact: I once sponsored Johnny Herbert’s F1 car at the British Grand Prix.

Matthew Hayes

Matthew Hayes

Managing Director

Fun work fact: I am the current reigning champion of krumping at Champions Speakers

Fun non work fact: My chosen karaoke song is Angels, by Robbie Williams

David Simms

David Simms

Group Sales Director

Role: To lead the generation of profitable revenue

Dislikes: Procrastinators

Fun work fact: The weirdest ideas can sometimes be the best

Fun non work fact: I don’t really drink wine!!

Sophia Hayes

Sophia Hayes

Sales Director

Role: I manage the sales side of the business from magazine adverts, table sales and awards Sponsorship.

Fun work fact: The best day of my working life was when I found out the Co-op sold Sushi!

Fun non work fact: I ♥ Ronan Keating

Roxanna Hayes

Roxanna Hayes

Operations Director

Role: I work directly under the CEO and Managing Director, working on a variety of projects. I also manage Champions' recruitment and HR whilst running the internal operations of Champions (UK) plc.

Fun work fact: Just call me 118!!

Fun non work fact: I laugh like a hyena! Can't bake cakes to save my life….

Jack Hayes

Jack Hayes

Celebrity Manager

Role: Overseeing the after dinner department and recruiting new celebrity personalities to our portfolio.

Fun work fact: Playing imaginary golf at the BP3

Fun non work fact: I can breakdance.

Louisa Hayes

Louisa Hayes

Director - CSR

Role: I’m in charge of all purchasing and selling of sporting, music and film memorabilia and experiences to companies and raising money for charities through the main and silent auctions run at events. From designing the brochure of what is to be on offer at each event, to processing payments and stock auditing. Aside from this I set up and oversee the running of events as a whole.

As well as the events and charity side I am in charge of making sure the CEO is where he should be at the time he should be…. The hardest job in the business!!!

Fun work fact: Meeting celebrities for memorabilia signings.

Fun non work fact: I play indoor cricket for England Women!

Lucy Berry

Lucy Berry

After dinner sales executive

Role: Matching clients with great speakers

Dislikes: Courgette

Fun work fact: Have served cocktails to Paul Rudd, Samantha Mumba and Gordon Darcy while working in Dublin

Fun non work fact: Played netball for Ireland

Kate Nicklinson

Kate Nicklinson

Business Development

Dislikes: Spicy Food

Fun work fact: I worked and lived in Jersey for a year.

Fun non work fact: I’ve been on an episode of First dates as a background couple with my boyfriend!

Chris Tompkins

Chris Tompkins

After Dinner Speakers Executive

Dislikes: Drama, Mess

Fun work fact: I have previously been called a ‘robot’ due to my constant work ethic

Fun non work fact: I ‘try’ to coach my son’s under 8’s football team 😊

Fran Prince

Fran Prince

PR account executive

Role: Gaining press coverage for clients.

Dislikes: When you feel like you’re pulling teeth trying to talk to someone.

Fun work fact: I once had a life-sized face lollipop of Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby featured on ITV This Morning.

Fun non work fact: Greg James once re-tweeted me.

Satwant Dhillon

Satwant Dhillon

Financial Controller

Role: Compiling the management accounts for the business, managing the balance sheet, providing information to the management team on profitability.

Dislikes: Reality Shows, Creepy Crawlies

Fun work fact: Never far from the biscuit tin…..

Fun non work fact: Once stalked David Beckham round Singapore, also love superhero movies

Tim Munton

Tim Munton

Director of Sport

Role: Develop clarity and focus around the sporting events and relationships within The Champions business. Create a dedicated channel – Champions Sport.

Dislikes: Playing golf in the rain.

Fun work fact: The week I spent driving a Nissan Micra courtesy car…

Fun non work fact: When I met my wife she had a dog called DENNIS and a horse called LILLEY and she didn’t like cricket!

Jack Hickey

Jack Hickey

Business Development Executive

Role: Work alongside a range of businesses to help them achieve their full potential. A critical and loyal friend along for the journey.

Dislikes: Dementors

Fun work fact: A coat must always be kept within reach to combat the arctic blast from the evil air conditioning unit. You have been warned

Fun non work fact: I am on the Prime Ministers Christmas card list

Megan Mosley

Megan Mosley

Digital Copywriter

Role: Working with the digital team to create content and copy for the Influencer website, internal projects and clients.

Dislikes: Coffee.

Fun work fact: I graduated from the University of Derby with a first-class honours’ degree in Journalism.

Fun non work fact: I have my own beauty and lifestyle blog and I can recite every episode of Friends.

Megan Lupton

Megan Lupton

Digital Copywriter

Role: Write and edit and write and edit... and write and edit.

Dislikes: My alarm clock. We aren't friends.

Fun work fact: Prior to working at Champions, I did a Masters in Creative Writing.

Fun non work fact: I collect house plants at an embarrassing rate.

Roxana Duffy

Roxana Duffy

Digital Marketing and Content Executive

Role: Content audits, content writing, content strategy, email marketing, asset creation

Dislikes: Bugs especially spiders, people chewing with their mouth open

Fun work fact: Not sure if it counts as “work” but I took part in a charity sleepover with my colleagues at the Justice Museum in Nottingham which is supposed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the UK

Fun non work fact: More interesting than fun - I was questioned by the Israeli border police at the airport in Tel Aviv. For some reason I looked suspicious 😊 And then my friends got questioned because of me.

Mark Matthews

Mark Matthews

Georgia Haslam

Georgia Haslam

Social Media Apprentice

Dislikes: Getting up early on the weekends is something I certainly avoid

Fun work fact: The first time I made a cup of coffee was for a colleague, as I had never made it before I used 4 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee thinking it looked the right amount. It definitely wasn’t...

Fun non work fact: I have a very big family which includes 11 aunties

Nick Darby

Nick Darby

Music And Entertainment Sales Executive

Role: Booking all types of different acts for all kinds of occasions.

Dislikes: I am petrified of all birds and I hate mustard.

Fun work fact: Prior to working at champions I travelled the world working on cruise ships.

Fun non work fact: I once beat Olympic swimmer Mark Foster at a game of basketball.

Sinead Stroud

Sinead Stroud

Brand Strategy Manager

Role: Creating bespoke brand strategies for our clients to help them achieve their business goals.

Dislikes: Wasps, fishy fish and having to sit through Match of the Day

Fun work fact: I studied Journalism at University so my ability to write shorthand sometimes comes in handy!

Fun non work fact: I have been known to Irish Dance to C’est la Vie by B*Witched at various social occasions

Ivo Almeida

Ivo Almeida

UX/UI Designer

Dislikes: Rude Unicorns

Fun work fact: I have brought an Espresso Machine to work because I drink 100 coffees a day

Fun non work fact: When I say my name properly, people thinks that I’m saying Evil

Jo Baxter

Jo Baxter

Events Sales Executive

Role: Selling B2B sponsorship packages to sports, celebrity and business based companies across the UK

Dislikes: Rice pudding!

Fun work fact: Love the thrill of making the sale you thought you’d never get!

Fun non work fact: It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open

Jim Little

Jim Little

Media

Role: Editor

Dislikes: Sports (not actively dislike, more that I don’t care for)

Fun work fact: My bus is always late on my way home

Fun non work fact: I take part in 12th Century Norman Historical Re-enactment for English Heritage.

Lisa Brakewell

Lisa Brakewell

Account Manager

Role: Strategy Consultation, Client Support and Process Management

Dislikes: Bad parking, rudeness generally but especially in restaurants

Fun non work fact: I ran my first Robin Hood half marathon this year

Shermeen Ahmed

Shermeen Ahmed

Graphic Designer

Role: Creating magazine layouts, proposals and promotional material for multiple clients and Champions

Dislikes: Patronising people and frogs

Tayte McCarthy

Tayte McCarthy

Trainee Finance Assistant

Dislikes: Messy Rooms, Anything that stings and Bad driving

Fun work fact: I use my own computer peripherals.

Fun non work fact: I have built multiple computers

Lauren Perkins

Lauren Perkins

SEO Apprentice

Role: Helping the SEO team to improve traffic and rankings of Champions Websites

Dislikes: Vinegar, loud eaters and rain

Fun work fact: I am very organised, my desk is always neat and tidy

Fun non work fact: I have an extensive shoe and handbag collection that is ever expanding!

Kinjal Tandel

Kinjal Tandel

Accounts Intern

Role: To work with the MD (Matthew Hayes) and Satwant Dhillon on various projects

Dislikes: White Chocolate

Fun work fact: The only way to do great work is to love what you do

Fun non work fact: Smiling ?

Harriet Taylor

Harriet Taylor

Brand Strategy Executive

Role: As a strategist, I across all departments here at Champions, to find innovative ways to enhance and improve a business’s 360 brand.

Dislikes: Bad Coffee

Fun work fact: I have a degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion and was shortlisted for the Graduate Fashion Week Marketing Award 2019

Fun non work fact: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson is the best book I have ever read!

Chris Darlington

Chris Darlington

Commercial Director

Role: All sorts …… but mainly generating new business opportunities

Dislikes: People without a sense of humour

Fun work fact: Was once ( briefly ! ) a male model

Fun non work fact: Was once mistaken for Justin Timberlake ( honest ! )

Georgie Edwards

Georgie Edwards

Celebrity and Entertainment Administrator

Role: I work in the Celebrity team organising contracts, logistics and practicalities of events.

Dislikes: Any and all creepy crawlies!

Fun non work fact: I’ve watched every episode of FRIENDS at least 5 times.

Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Office Manager

Role: Manage the office and PA to the CEO.

Dislikes: Meat as I’m a veggie!

Fun work fact: I danced professionally at The Tower Ballroom in Blackpool twice. Or I was Jim Davidson’s choreographer.

Fun non work fact: Last year I overcame my phobia of snakes and held one numerous times. Now I can comfortably watch I’m a Celebrity without having to turn away from the screen.

Jo Foster

Jo Foster

Celebrity Administrator

Role: I work in the Celebrity team organising contracts, logistics and practicalities of events, for example travel and accommodation.

Dislikes: Slow Walkers, Tonic and Coffee.

Fun work fact: I once individually raised £12,000 for Charity.

Fun non work fact: In the Gym/Running or in the Swimming Pool.

Kali Dennett

Kali Dennett

SEO Apprentice

Role: Using SEO techniques to increase online traffic for all Champions brands and assisting the SEO team with anything they need

Dislikes: Traffic, rain and being hungry!

Fun work fact: I used to work in a ski resort, despite not being able to ski (I learnt eventually)

Fun non work fact: I have summited the Atlas Mountains

Scott Giles

Scott Giles

Business PR Account Executive

Role: Liaising with clients, copywriting, pitching in news stories to journalists, all round media relations!

Dislikes: Slow moving people

Fun work fact: Once dressed as a stormtrooper at a client event

Fun non work fact: Trekked the Grand Canyon

Lauren

Lauren Gwynne

Events Executive

Role: Working within the events team to help co-ordinate and deliver all the events on the yearly calendar ranging from regional award ceremonies and charity dinners to national golf tournaments.

Dislikes: Laziness, being late and spiders!

Fun work fact: I am a returnee to the Champions team as I did my university work placement with the company 3 years ago.

Fun non work fact: I have just moved back from living in sunny Cyprus for the past 2 years as my other half is in the military – I loved every second of it!

Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas

Digital Marketing and Content Executive

Role: Creating onsite and offsite content for clients, as well as performing general digital marketing tasks



Dislikes: Courgettes, slow walkers and complicated roundabouts

Fun work fact: I have visited Facebook's London office

Fun non work fact: I have danced in the O2 arena in London, as well as The Royal Albert Hall and Her Majesty's Theatre!

Emma Rumsey

Emma Rumsey

Videographer

Role: I film whatever champions needs me to film J

Dislikes: Frogs

Fun work fact: I Have been a part of the Champions team for three weeks now, however I’ve only spent 3 days in the office so far

Fun non work fact: I’ve broken my ankle 8 times

Ewen Lewis

Ewen Lewis

Senior Designer

Role: I'm part of the Creative Team at Champions (UK) plc, working closely with Sarah Pearson, the Marketing Manager. I am responsible for developing creative ideas, seeing them from conception to completion.

Fun work fact: I joined Champions on Valentine’s Day!

Fun non work fact: I started playing drums at the age of 7½! With over 30 years’ experience, I have played for many local Leicester bands and Orchestras.

Amelia Neate

Amelia Neate

Senior Talent Executive

Role: I work in the Celebrity Management department helping to manage a number of celebrities we look after, such as Neil Back MBE, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Gail Emms. This involves booking and overseeing various media, event and brand ambassadorial engagements.

Fun work fact: Work is serious, not fun, unless you sit next to Lloyd Bailey!!

Fun non work fact: My two loves in life are playing lacrosse and visiting America.

Frankie Sparano

Frankie Sparano

Marketing Manager

Role: Assisting the team on all account management tasks, anything from gaining print quotes from suppliers, liaising with clients, reviewing suppliers and maintaining quality control to keeping on top of the invoicing.

Fun non work fact: I’ve got two budgies called Eric and Ernie who I’m trying to teach how to speak!

Scott Skerritt

Scott Skerritt

SEO Executive

Role: Working with the SEO team to improve traffic and rankings across all of the Champions websites.

Dislikes: Cold weather and traffic.

Fun work fact: I once did a typing speed test and managed to get 118 words per minute.

Fun non work fact: My birthday is on Star Wars day (May the 4th be with you).

Annie Taylor

Annie Taylor

Graphic Designer

Dislikes: Spiders

Geoff Sanders

Geoff Sanders

Alan Warner

Alan Warner

Music & Entertainment Manager

Fun work fact: Joined a company where we are all under 35 ………………… ish

Fun non work fact: The Champion of Table Tennis in my house, beating all Grand-Kids under 10 and Oldies over 60

Charlotte Davie

Charlotte Davie

After Dinner Administrator

Role: My main duties are to assist Jack, the Celebrity Manager for Champions. Administering and supporting the department along with maintaining records, sending out contracts and invoicing.

Fun work fact: I only started Jan 2015, a little too early to have one. I will come back to you!

Fun non work fact: I got proposed to with a padlock instead of ring!

Sharon Sparano

Sharon Sparano

Accounts Manager

Role: I oversee the Accounts department at Champions Speakers. This is split between Champions Accounts and Celebrity Client Accounts.

Fun work fact: I enjoy working in a lively always changing Company, and the variety this gives my role.

Fun non work fact: I enjoy going on Holiday to Zante where I would love to buy a house in the future.