Our people

Meet the talented and all-round lovely people that make your marketing goals become a reality.

Kathie Wilcox

Director

Ian Thomas

Associate Director

Ali Brown

Marketing Executive

Carol Bell

Director, Major Events & Festivals

Chris Watson

Web Design Executive

David Bowe

Research Executive

Finlay Magowan

Media & PR Manager

Hannah Lambert

Digital Content Manager

Jenny File

Marketing Manager

Kelly Gleadow

Senior Communications Manager

Lisa Kelly

Digital Marketing Manager

Lucy Nichol

Head of Marketing & Communications

Nathan Shrubb

Project Manager

Vicki Grainger

Research Manager

Ali

Ali joined NGI Solutions in 2018 as our Marketing Executive with 6 years of experience within the fields of marketing, internal communications and PR.

Ali loves anything creative so started her career in the cultural sector with an exciting opportunity to work on the Turner Prize 2011 at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Since then she has worked with a number of cultural venues before joining NGI where she had the chance to get involved with the promotion of the Great Exhibition of the North 2018. Now Ali is one of our in-house marketers putting her experience to good use for our own comms channels as well as her client projects.

In her spare time Ali is a baker, bookworm and blackbelt!

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Carol

Carol Bell is a cultural leader with a strong track record of creating transformational programmes, commissioning large scale cultural programmes for venues, outdoors festivals and events.

As NGI’s Director of Major Festivals & Events, Carol led on NewcastleGateshead’s successful bid to host Great Exhibition of the North. She has developed and delivered many complex capital and revenue cultural projects.

In 2019 she is overseeing the development and delivery of a number of key events in NewcastleGateshead, and working with regional partners on the development of a Major Events and Festivals strategy and legacy plans from Great Exhibition of the North.

Carol was identified by the Arts Council as one of the top 100 “Women to Watch” in 2010 and was awarded an OBE for her work on leading Great Exhibition of the North and for wider services to the Arts throughout her career to date.

She consults for NGI Solutions clients requiring assistance for major events and festivals in the UK and beyond.

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Chris

Chris is our in-house web developer for NGI Solutions and the wider NGI organisation.

After graduating from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Multimedia Computing, Chris spent eight years working for the NHS producing custom digital solutions to improve efficiency and save costs.

Since starting at NGI last year, he has developed a number of bespoke websites including one for Invest Newcastle@MIPIM, and this one for NGI Solutions (isn’t he good?).

In his spare time Chris enjoys training in the gym and working on his Golf GTI project.

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David

David joined NGI Solutions in 2019 as our Research Executive. A graduate of Newcastle University, David worked in Strategy and Product Innovation for a North East based housing association before joining NGI Solutions.

A dedicated research professional with experience in data analysis, horizon scanning, and product development, David is passionate about helping individuals and businesses make informed, data-driven decisions.

A proud local of Newcastle, David can often be found in town or on the Quayside, sampling local beers and talking about football, boxing, and mixed martial arts. Aside from that, David is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.

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Finlay

Finlay joined NGI Solutions in 2017 as Media and PR Manager. After graduating with a degree in Modern History and Politics from the University of Liverpool, Finlay has gone on to gain a wide range of experience working in PR agencies across the North East. He has worked across a variety of sectors including education, healthcare, professional services and fintech. Finlay has experience of working on both B2B and B2C campaigns with key skills including media relations, copywriting and social media strategy.

During his time at NGI Solutions, among other projects, Finlay has worked on a PR campaign for marine insurance giant North P&I and the launch of the Newcastle Ambassador Programme – a project with Newcastle City Council that directly supports work to encourage inward investment, stimulate local pride and attract and retain talent in the region.

Outside of work Finlay enjoys playing rugby and watching as much sport as he can.

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Hannah

Hannah joined NGI Solutions in 2016 as our Digital Marketing Executive and has gone on to become the team’s Digital Content Manager. Hannah is responsible for all things content including social media, website content and email marketing.

Hannah has practical expertise in integrated digital campaigns with specialist knowledge of social media and content marketing, delivering digital campaigns for NewcastleGateshead Initiative as well as supporting a range of NGI Solutions clients. Hannah took a lead on content planning, creation and delivery across multiple channels for a range of projects including high-profile campaigns Great Exhibition of the North and Hadrian’s Cavalry. Hannah delivers training in social media and content marketing for organisations including Sleeperz Hotel who have limited resource or require additional expertise.

Hannah is an avid bookworm but is far from a silent reader! She likes nothing better than chatting about her latest reads and comparing notes but finds it hard to pick just one favourite. The Sister by Rosamund Lupton or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini are two such favourites which have always stuck with her and are top of the list when people ask for recommendations.

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Ian

Ian has been with NGI Solutions since the business started 5 years ago. Starting as Research Manager, Ian is now Associate Director and retains a keen eye on our strategy of being an insight led Research, Marketing and PR Agency.

Ian has more than 18 years of research experience and has worked with many NGIS clients to turn research and data into actionable insight for their business. Ian is a Member of the Market Research Society and also a Prince 2 Project Management Practitioner.

Ian has led on a wide range of research projects including face to face and online surveys with users of Tyne Tunnel to inform development of the customer experience, moderation of focus groups and strategic insight into e-communications for SSE and Event Impact modelling for events such as Great Exhibition of the North, Leeds International Festival and the Tall Ships in Sunderland. Ian has also helped a number of Business Improvement Districts across the UK to make better strategic decisions using data.

Outside of work you will usually find Ian on the terraces at the Stadium of Light still believing at the age of 41 that he has a chance of being a player on the pitch or in a dance hall somewhere round the North East proudly watching his daughter dance in competitions.

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Jenny

Jenny joined the NGI Solutions team in 2019 as Marketing Manager with a broad range of strategic marketing experience across both the commercial and charitable sectors.

Most recently at online and catalogue based ethical retailer Traidcraft, Jenny brings key expertise in product management and branding leading on the development and marketing of its wide range of food and handicraft items. Prior to this, she held different marketing roles as a VSO volunteer in Indonesia and for various publications including The Independent.

A strong project manager, Jenny loves analysing data and sales results but is equally at home working with designers to create effective visual communications.

In her spare time, Jenny lives outdoors either exploring the local countryside with her dogs or in the garden growing all kinds of vegetables.

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Kathie

Kathie leads our team at NGI Solutions, with over 18 years’ experience in agency and in-house roles. Inspired by the work of NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), Kathie was thrilled to join the team as media and PR manager. She has since enjoyed a variety of roles, delivering major national and international marketing campaigns, managing media, PR and corporate affairs and latterly leading the organisation’s 10-strong marketing, PR and digital team across all areas of the business. In her most recent NGI role as Marketing and Communications Director, Kathie played a key part in developing its commercial arm, NGI Solutions, helping to grow its marketing and PR client base regionally and nationally, and in January 2019 was appointed agency Director.

A mum of two girls, Kathie is passionate about gender equality and helping young people to achieve their potential. She is a mentor with The Girls Network and is also a board member and trustee for Headway Arts.

A spin convert and novice runner committed to getting fit this year, Kathie is currently training for her first Great North Run. When she’s not pounding the streets, at work, or chauffeuring her kids, Kathie loves nothing more than to curl up with her two cats and a glass of wine to browse interior design inspiration on Pinterest!

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Kelly

Kelly joined the NGI solutions team in 2018. After graduating in 2003, she started her career in advertising, working for a leading city centre agency. She then went on to work for one of the largest housing associations in the North East for almost 8 years.

Kelly leads on marketing and communications for Invest Newcastle and is responsible for developing and delivering their marketing strategy and wider communications activity to secure new jobs and investment for the city. She puts her experience to use delivering PR for clients such as Newcastle Helix and The Biosphere.

A born and bred Geordie with an infectious passion for the region. A big ambassador for mental health awareness in the workplace with a love for art, festivals, music and running.

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Lisa

With ten years’ marketing experience, Lisa is our Digital Marketing Manager, and has a unique blend of agency and in-house digital knowledge.

Her previous expertise includes working for B2C brands such as Pink Boutique, Flybe and Warner Bros, public sector bodies including Sunderland Council and charitable organisations such as Traidcraft. Passionate about driving measurable ROI, Lisa has a key interest in SEO and content marketing, paid social and affiliate marketing.

Lisa is a true social media enthusiast and loves catching up on the latest content. And it’s certainly paid off for her; a Facebook page she managed was named the ‘most loved UK brand on Facebook in 2018’ by SocialBakers.

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Lucy

Bringing over 15 years’ experience in media, PR and marketing, Lucy joined the NGI team in January 2019 as Head of Marketing and Communications.  In addition to providing leadership for the marcomms team, Lucy manages a number of client accounts for NGI Solutions, with a key focus on health and wellbeing.

She can often be found interviewing client case study volunteers and experts, transforming their stories into creative content and making sure the world hears about them through influencer and media engagement.

Lucy is a passionate mental health campaigner whose work has taken her from book festivals in rural Scotland to glitzy events at Buckingham Palace. Her writing on the topic has appeared in The Independent, The I Paper, NME, Metro, Huff Post and many more. She’s also a former columnist with Sarah Millican’s Standard Issue Magazine, a blogger, podcaster, published author and freelance script advisor with national charity Mind, working with TV soaps and dramas to ensure responsible mental health portrayals.

Additionally, Lucy supplies the office with free-range eggs direct from her adorable back-yard hens; Madonna, Courtney and Hayley.

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Nathan

Nathan joined NGI Solutions in November 2015 as our Research Executive and since then has progressed to the role of Project Manager. He supports the research team on various elements of projects such as client and account management, business development, and also manages our online research panel. He has led the project management for a number of clients throughout his time at NGI including market testing for Gateshead Council, customer engagement research for Sodexo & NUFC, and TT2 Ltd, event impact surveys for Sunderland City Council, and visitor surveys for Leeds City Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Nathan is our resident ‘jack of all trades’ (which includes Partnership, GDPR and Health & Wellbeing) with a slightly random collection of qualifications such as leadership skills development, UKA Endurance Coach, Better Health at Work Health Advocate, as well as being a qualified secondary school History teacher, to name but a few.

Outside of work Nathan assists with coaching a local group of elite endurance runners, looks after his pet whippet Ennis, and loves going out for meals with his wife at new places across the NE.

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Vicki

As Research Manager, Vicki delivers bespoke research solutions for a wide variety of clients, including TT2 Limited, Newark and Sherwood District Council, Northumberland National Park and SSE. Vicki is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS) and acts as project manager for all research projects. From the inception meeting right through to analysis and reporting, Vicki will be your key contact every step of the way.

Vicki joined NGI Solutions from Dipsticks Research having also previously worked for Yahoo. With a background in campaign effectiveness research working with the likes of Exterion Media, Channel 4 and the BBC, Vicki is well-versed in a variety of methods for advertising evaluation.

In her spare time, Vicki can be found meditating, reading personal development books or enjoying a glass of rosé wine.

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