2014 Speakers:

Christine Crofts

Group Director of Internal Communications,  Aviva plc

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Paul Osgood

Head of Internal Communications, Philips

Charlotte Carroll

Communications Director UK and Ireland,  Unilever

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Ashley Sweetland

Associate Director, Internal Communications and Corporate Responsibility – EMEA, CBRE 

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Emily Gibbs

Head of Internal Communications, Financial Times

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Marc Silverside

Director of Communications, Macmillan Cancer Support

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Benedikt Benenati

Group Internal Communications Director,   Kingfisher Plc

Jodie Wissmiller

Head of Internal Communications, Grant Thornton UK LLP

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Jenny Varley

Managing Editor - News, Communications, HSBC Holdings Plc

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Sarah Mullins

Head of Internal Communication, Telefónica UK

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Geraldine Mapp

Head of Corporate Employee Communication, National Grid

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Pema Radha

Head of Employee Communications, Barclays

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Belinda Gannaway

Consultant, NixonMcInnes

Jonny Kirk

Internal Comms Manager,   TheAppBuilder.com

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Heather Wagoner

Head of Internal Communication and Engagement, London Underground

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Andrew Crowe

Group Employee Engagement Manager, Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Bridget Jackson

Director of Corporate Sustainability, PwC

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Richard Howat

Head of Internal Communications, Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK

Nicola Gallagher

Director Resourcing, HarknessKennett

James Harkness

Partner, HarknessKennett

Saskia Hoppe

Senior Manager, Communication Analytics, Coca-Cola Enterprises

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Angharad Miller

Head of Internal Communications, TSB

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Laura Temple

Head of Leadership Engagement, Internal and Investor Engagement, SABMiller

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Patrik Edvardsson

Head of Internal Communications, EMEA, Experian

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Louise Breed

Head of Engagement, The Co-operative Group

Speaker biographies

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Richard Howat

Head of Internal Communications, Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK

Richard Howat is Head of Internal Communications at Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, where he established the company’s first internally-focussed team of communicators. He’s also worked in communications roles at Network Rail and the L ondon Fire Brigade; in every role he’s worked closely with change teams and other central functions. Before specialising in internal communications, he was an editor and journalist in digital and print media.

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Bridget Jackson

Director of Corporate, Sustainability, PwC


Bridget is Director of Corporate Sustainability at PwC with responsibility for the firm’s internal corporate sustainability strategy, reporting directly to the Board.
A strategist by background, with a degree in languages from Oxford, an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial, she held multiple leadership positions in industry and in a global management consultancy before joining PwC, where she focuses on innovation and behaviour change for better sustainability performance.

In 2011, she launched PwC’s ‘Building our Blueprint for Better Business’ programme, engaging over 9,000 employees to work more sustainably: in 2012 PwC achieved zero waste to landfill and a reduction of 1/3rd of its energy.

In 2012, she launched PwC’s new online meetings tool, achieving a 400% rise in usage since, and giving thousands of people confidence in remote working as an alternative to travel.

In 2013, she published the world’s first ‘total impact report’, monetising PwC’s economic, tax, social and environmental impacts and pioneering new tools for more sustainable business decision-making.

Late last year, she launched a new e-learning course, called ‘Think Sustainability. It’s time for a new lens on business’ to create a sustainability mind-set across the organisation. Over 94% of PwC’s c.16,000 people took the course in under 3 months, with fantastic results. More than half have since acted on the lessons, to embed sustainability in their day to day work.

Bridget is a fellow of the Marketing Society and was recognised as a “Responsible Business Game Changer” by Business in The Community in 2012.

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Geraldine Mapp

Head of Corporate Employee Communication, National Grid

Geraldine is the Head of Corporate Employee Communication for National Grid, the company that connects people safely and reliably to the energy they use every day.

She is charged with making engaging connections for 24,000 employees across the UK and US on behalf of the global corporate functions. This means delivering messages around HR, IT, financial results and company strategy, (amongst others) easy to understand, locally relevant and memorable.

Prior to this, Geraldine was Head of Internal and External Communications at Homeserve, and established a new PR and internal comms capability for the newly listed home emergency insurance and utility business.

Like many, her career started in Public Relations. She was acting Head of PR in 2000 for npower and remained with the brand for five years as Consumer PR Manager.

For eight years she worked for the Midland's agency Barkers PR, working for banking, h ome interest, fashion, pharmaceutical, independent pharmacy, food and manufacturing sectors. She cut her teeth as press officer for Pilkington Glass in St Helens and Scania trucks in Milton Keynes.

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Sarah Mullins

Head of Internal Communication, Telefónica UK

I lead a fantastic team of 11 people, dedicated to Internal Communication, all working as part of a wider communications and reputation team of nearly 50. We support the business in coaching our leaders in effective communication, being engaging storytellers and most importantly getting out there and listening to our people. We also take care of the essential elements of an organisation's communication needs from everyday practical messages to campaigns and events.

I started out managing a ferry terminal ticket office. That's where my passion for great service and my belief that no business,  however large or small, can afford to lose sight of where they are headed, and share that with their employees grew from.

When working as a call centre Manager at British Gas (not really for me) I spotted the 'employee comms' team and thought 'I'd be good at that!'. So a confession, I'm an accidental tourist in the communication business. Luckily others agreed and now I have ten years-experience of working in IC roles. From the first job creating a newsletter in word and photocopying it a zillion times, to the present day. Leading a terrific team and working with senior leaders and CEOs, helping shape their communication strategy, engage their people and deliver growth and transformation in their business. I really enjoy what I do.

I live in Hampshire with my husband, two children and yes we have a dog.

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Jenny Varley

Managing Editor - News, Communications, HSBC Holdings Plc

Jenny joined HSBC in 2009 as Global Campaigns Manager and broadcast production specialist.  She created the multi award winning weekly TV series HSBC NOW and also manages the internal global newswire and multimedia team.  Prior to joining HSBC Jenny worked in a variety of disciplines including Consumer PR where she consulted for IMAX, Pepsi and Sony and Sponsorship Marketing working for Formula 1 team BAR Honda.  Jenny was also a Location Manager on feature films such as Harry Potter, Bridget Jones and the BBC series Spooks. 

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Benedikt Benenati

Group Internal Communications Director, Kingfisher Plc

Benedikt has been focusing for over 20 years in 'connecting people' inside small and large organisations like the United Nations, Marconi plc, a technology start-up, Groupe Danone and currently Kingfisher plc. He has been working in various countries and within different cultures and - despite a few cynics and some sceptical bureaucrats - he is convinced that it is possible to create fearless environments where employees are treated like adults. A place where people are genuinely pleased to work together, share ideas, learn from each other and bring inspiring business strategies to l ife. Benedikt is always happy to provide - like a "pirate within the Navy" - his unconventional and sometimes provocative ways to create such innovative cultures. He is also aware this special role requires a lot of patience, some humility, plenty of lateral thinking and quite a bit of courage. 

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Marc Silverside

Director of Communications, Macmillan Cancer Support

Marc Silverside is Director of Communications at Macmillan Cancer Support, the UK’s leading cancer care charity and number one charity brand.

Having started at Macmillan as Head of Internal Communications, his current role encompasses marketing, communications and brand. He also leads Macmillan’s multi-award winning team responsible for the charity’s corporate communications, employee engagement, media, PR, campaigns and celebrity. 

Passionate about employee engagement, embedding values and creating advocates for the organisation, he is celebrating 10 years at Macmillan with a year of fundraising.

Marc has over 20 years communica tions experience and before joining Macmillan, he held a variety of senior communication roles at Transport for London and Westminster City Council.

@marcsilverside

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Emily Gibbs

Head of Internal Communications, Financial Times

Emily has over eight years’ experience in communications and media, focusing on internal and digital communications and corporate reputation management. She has worked in New Zealand, London, Hong Kong and New York and is a regular speaker at national and international communications forums.

As Head of Internal Communications at the Financial Times, Emily oversees internal programmes and communications globally, with a strong focus on digital and social media. She is also responsible for helping deliver a robust corporate communications strategy, helping protect and build the FT’s brand and reputation around the world.

In July 2014 Emily was named as one of The Drum 50 under 30, which celebrates women aged under 30 who have proven their talent in digital strategy roles. In 2013 Emily was awarded the European Young Communicator Award, which recognises outstanding projects that contribute to shaping the future of the communications industry, and recognised as the Institute of Internal Communications Internal Communicator of the Year.

Prior to joining the FT, Emily was a journalist and presenter for Radio New Zealand before working in the Manpower Group Communications team. She holds a journalism degree from the New Z ealand Broadcasting School, where she was awarded the Radio Network Scholarship for Excellence in Radio Journalism, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilyjg

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Ashley Sweetland

Associate Director, Internal Communications and Corporate Responsibility – EMEA, CBRE

Ashley Sweetland is Associate Director, Internal Communications and Corporate Responsibility (EMEA) at CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, having joined the business in January 2012.

Previously, Ashley has worked on a variety of strategy, communications, change and corporate responsibility programmes at Lloyds Banking Group, BT, T Mobile, London 2012, Department for Education, Ministry of Defence, and the National Health Service.

Ashley has also worked with a variety of leading NGOs, including St John Ambulance, UNICEF, Plan International and the UK Youth Parliament, and is currently Vice Chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services. He was awarded the MBE for services to young people in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2012.

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Charlotte Carroll

Director Communications UK and Employee Engagement Europe, Unilever

Charlotte Carroll joined the board in 2013 but is a familiar face to Unilever, having been communications manager for five years at the turn of the millennium as well as returning to hold the role of the UK’s change communications director between 2010 and 2012.

In her role, Charlotte leads the nine-strong UK and Ireland team responsible for corporate communications to a range of internal and external audiences including employees, media, Government and NGOs.

Charlotte’s particular communications expertise lies in strategic business change, employee communications and corporate affairs– expertise that has been built in a number of blue chip and public sector roles in the course of her 18-year career since graduating with a degree in English and Politics.

In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys spending time with her two boisterous, sporty sons, singing and her guilty pleasure is musical theatre. 

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Laura Temple

Head of Leadership Engagement, Internal and Investor Engagement, SABMiller


Laura Temple, heads up leadership engagement at the world’s second largest brewer SABMiller, famous for beers such as Peroni, Grolsh and Pilsner Urquell. Laura is a strategic communication and engagement specialist and has worked globally and acros s sectors in banking, professional services and retail. Laura loves: social business, leadership and organisational development, scuba, yoga, neuroscience and nutrition.

@tweeter_LLT256
uk.linkedin.com/in/lauratemple

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James Harkness

Partner, HarknessKennett

James is founding partner at HarknessKennett with over 20 years' experience in internal communication gained working for some of the UK's leading communication consultancies and as Head of Global Internal Communication for The Body Shop International plc. James has hands-on experience of developing internal and engagement programmes to support change, build leadership communication capability, measurement and campaigns. 

Prior to setting up HarknessKennett, James was European Managing Director of the Change Communication practice at Burson-Marsteller. Previously, James was Managing Director and a founding member of Banner McBride, WPP’s first start up business. James’s consultancy experience followed five years at The Body Shop International plc where he was Head of Global Internal Communication.

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Nicola Gallagher

Director of Resourcing, HarknessKennett

Nicola has more than 15 years’ experience in internal communication, gained inhouse and in consultancy. As Director of Resourcing, she is responsible for matching consultants to client requirements and for providing ongoing support throughout each assignment.

Prior to taking on responsibility of the Resourcing, Nicola worked with Harkne ssKennett as a Consultant with clients including Arup, Atkins, British Gas, Crown Prosecution Service, RSA and Vodafone. Previously Nicola was the Events Producer at Melcrum Publishing, and has worked in-house at Prudential as an Internal Communications Account Manager. Before joining Prudential, Nicola was a manager at Marks & Spencer.

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Jonny Kirk 

Client Delivery Manager, TheAppBuilder

As Client Delivery Manager, Jonny Kirk leads TheAppBuilder’s collaboration with Internal Communications teams in the UK and around the world to mobilize, enhance and transform their communications channels. Jonny is both a technologist and communicator, and is passionate about making technology useable and useful in challenging organizational environments.

While leading app delivery projects for clients he functions in 3 key roles: as a guide, a technology translator and as an accelerator.  As with any technical discipline, mobile Apps come with their own language.  A natural coach, Jonny guides internal communications professionals through the often confusing world of mobile technology, helping to alleviate risk, align with IT security and remove fear while focusing on clear strategic outcomes. His job is to help ensure those great ideas coming forth in the client organization quickly become a reality.

His background in str ategic and operational management, coupled with 7 years experience in cutting edge technology, has ensured Jonny is adept at translating technical understanding into real business advantage. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out at linkedin.com/in/jonnykirk

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S askia Hoppe

Senior Manager Communications Analytics, Employee & Change Communications

Saskia Hoppe studied International Hospitality Management at the University of Surrey. She has nearly 5 years of experience working in communications in a matrixed, multi-national environment with CCE’s Employee and Change Communications Team. As part of that team, she has played a key role in CCE’s digital agenda by leading the development of the information architecture, design, and user experience for the HR portal of CCE’s award-winning iConnect. In her current role, she is leading CCE’s journey on communication analytics, and is responsible for evaluating communication effectiveness and exploring how communications impacts business performance and engagement.

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Christine Crofts

Group Director of Internal Communications, Aviva plc

Chris has over 14 years’ experience in corporate communications, starting out in PR and specialising in internal communications 10 years ago. She has held a number of senior in-house positions at Halliburton-KBR, HSBC and within the public sector. Chris has worked in the financial services industry since 2007 and has led communications through unprecedented industry changes. Since joining Aviva in 2012 she has held a number of roles including heading up internal communications for its asset management subsidiary, heading up Group internal communications, and currently leading Internal Communications globally.

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Jodie Wissmiller

Head of Internal Communications, Grant Thornton UK LLP

Jodie Wissmiller is Head of Internal Communications at Grant Thornton UK. She is responsible for setting the direction of the internal communications agenda for the firm. An element of this includes managing the firm's internal approach to video where the focus has been engaging employees through interesting (and sometimes funny), cost-effective, concise videos. Prior to this, she managed internal communications at Delphi Corp's world headquarters in the USA. Jodie's background is in multimedia; she was awarded a master of arts in communication and multimedia from Saginaw Valley State University in 2006.

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