Say hello to the Gatehouse team

Getting employee communication right isn’t easy. It needs strategy and tactics to work together in harmony – and an injection of creativity to make channels work and messages stick. It needs the right talent to lead, coordinate and drive it. At Gatehouse, we have just that talent.

Click on the images below to meet the team.

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Simon Wright
Director/Co-founder

Gatehouse co-founder Simon has specialised in marketing and communications for over 20 years, with the past 15 years focused on internal communication. He has led dozens of high profile campaigns and programmes all around the world and is a regular at speaking engagements and industry talks. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Communications and the Royal Society of Arts.

Did you know?

From an early age, Simon knew that writing would play an important part in his life when he was published in the international best seller ‘Dear Santa’ – and was rewarded with a letter from Santa (direct from the North Pole, no less) and a £3 postal order – which he used to buy some Lego.

Lee Smith
Director/Co-founder

Lee is an award winning communicator who has spent more than half of his 43 years in the communication profession. Starting off in public relations at the age of 19, Lee went on to hold senior in-house positions with some of the UK’s leading professional and financial services businesses, before co-founding Gatehouse in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and former chair of CIPR Inside.

Did you know?

Lee originally embarked on a career as a graphic designer, then realised he couldn't draw. He lives in Shropshire with his wife and two kids and is closely related to an infamous art thief (who allegedly stole his ability to draw).

Nick Wright
Creative Director

As the Creative Director, Nick leads our team of exceptional designers, developers, film makers and animators on an array of fantastic projects. No day is ever the same, and that’s how he likes it.

Nick’s career in design spans more than 15 years but prior to this, he had built an extensive career working in the financial sector for a number of major financial institutions – and some minor ones too.

Did you know?

Nick has many interests and hobbies from collecting street art to restoring antiques. Many years ago he competed in bodybuilding competitions (I know – it’s hard to believe, but check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OGGH17wcwQ ) He also likes strong tea, nothing less than pantone 7573!

Ian Harris
Associate Director

“I can help you explain anything to anyone” is Ian’s modest phrase…and it’s true! As well as co-delivering Accelerate, the flagship internal communication masterclass, he is the author of Hooked On You (available at all good bookstores) and works with many clients to help them motivate and inspire people. Ian’s greatest ambition however, is trying to become better at writing short third-person bios of 50-75 words (66 words, so getting there – Ed.)

Did you know?

Ian is known for his anecdotes. Give him a situation and he will tell you something fantastical that will leave you feeling just a little dumbstruck. He’s also good at DJ-ing (or so he says) and he was even voted Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006!

Agnes Costa
Senior Consultant

Agnès has 10 years’ experience as a communication project manager.

Before joining Gatehouse in 2012, she started her career in a Parisian communication agency specialising in HR communications. Highly experienced in project management, research, consulting and managing full channel campaigns, Agnès also holds a Masters degree in Marketing & Communications and speaks French, German and Italian (in addition to English of course!)

Did you know?

Agnès moved to the UK from France because she wanted to enjoy better quality food and wine when dining out.

Robin Waghorn
Digital Director

Robin started his career over 30 years ago in the IT industry before Microsoft and the Internet existed, yes there was an IT industry even back then! For the past decade, Robin has held senior positions in various large corporates focusing on IT Services and how they can be improved to facilitate the core objectives of the business. It has often been said that he is the glue between the business and the “techi talkers”.

Did you know?

Although working all hours as an IT guru, Robin felt that the few hours he had spare in life needed to be better used – so he bought a pub. And then cooked steaks and roast dinners for everyone to enjoy – oh and he makes a mean prawn toast too!

Alice Chan
Senior Designer

Originating from Hong Kong, Alice has over a decade of agency experience and has worked across a wide range of businesses in both private and public sectors. In 2011, she was awarded a Master’s degree in Design Innovation, majoring in Graphic and Multimedia Design. She enjoys the challenge of communicating a clear and concise idea behind an aesthetically pleasing design; interpreting complex brand guidelines whilst still making things look cool; and eating strange and slightly odd smelling foods.

Did you know?

Alice speaks many languages including Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She has a passion for bizzare ‘art-house’ films and strange tea that looks more at home in a plant pot!

Ciaran Crudden
Senior Designer

Super-duper Senior Designer Ciaran joined Gatehouse in early 2014, quickly establishing himself as a key cog in the Gatehouse engine room – more commonly known as the ‘Creative Team’. Ciaran is an inexhaustible fountain of creativity; who spends his days turning wacky ideas into beautiful, pixel-perfect campaigns that help our clients stand out from the crowd.

Irish native Ciaran has over 5 years’ experience, holding a BA(Hons) in Visual Communication and an additional degree in Creative Multimedia.

Did you know?

Ciaran fancies himself as a bit of a film buff and has ambitions to write and direct his own short film… Tarantino watch your back!

In his spare time, Ciaran plays a mean guitar, with a particular passion for the Blues.

Michael Burdett
Digital Consultant

Our newest recruit, Michael joined Gatehouse in 2015 as our resident IT Guru who oversees everything digital. From hardware to software; from apps to websites – he’s your man. Michael also has the fairly unique ability of being able to explain complex IT talk to us normal folk…

Did you know?

Michael used to be a librarian and loves poetry. In fact, if you ever meet him, you should ask about the poetry competitions he used to run. He loves telling you about the poetry competitions he used to run…

Alex Cullen
Media Consultant

Alex is the newest member of Gatehouse’s great team. Take that Michael! He joins us from Brussels where he spent 6 years living in the Euro-bubble.
With a background in Political science and journalism he’s a natural when it comes to squeezing the right information out of people! However, he’s also a passionate creative and has developed lots of skills in video editing and motion design, so if you don’t find him in the Gatehouse editing suite, he’s probably home in the editing suite doing strange things visually…what an image!

Did you know?

Alex’s one goal in the next 12 months is to have a Staff Pick on Vimeo (along with ensuring Gatehouse keeps producing top content!) Alex speaks French (to a reasonable level) and once worked presenting a live show on a small French radio station. He’s told us about some of the mispronunciations he made live on air…Let’s just say they can’t be repeated in either language.

Michael Donovan
Graphic Designer

This cheesy grinned guy is Michael. He joined us recently after spending an extended period of time abroad gallivanting around the world. He graduated with a BA in Graphic Design in 2013 from Nottingham Trent University and soon after went away to ‘find himself’ or something like that. He is a multidisciplinary designer with outstanding conceptual and visual skills as well as a keen illustrator.

Did you know?

Michael has a fear of spiders thanks to seeing ‘Arachnophobia’ as a child and believed for a long time that the plot of ‘Eight Legged Freaks’ would come true and giant mutant spiders would invade and end humanity.

Tamara Alhuneidi
Consultant

The newest addition to the Gatehouse team, Tamara’s background is in Employee Engagement and Change Management. With a Masters degree in Occupational Psychology, she likes to understand what makes organisations tick and what motivates employees to go above and beyond at work. Tamara enjoys travelling at every opportunity, meeting people from across the globe and learning about new cultures.

Did you know?

As well as being a serious foodie (Borough market is her second home) and a coffee connoisseur (or so she fancies herself!), Tamara has lived in Greece, Dubai and Australia throughout her life, yet has strangely ended up with an American accent!

Katarina Vrkic
Consultant

A Canadian-Croatian, Katarina has spent the last 9 years hopping across the globe before finally settling down in London. With a Master’s Degree in Cross-Cultural & Sustainable Business Management, she is continuously thinking about how globalisation has affected businesses and their extraordinarily diverse employees. Katarina has a background in marketing and communications within large, global corporations ranging from financial services to the luxury industry.

Did you know?

Although she has lived in 5 countries (so far!), Katarina has always had a weak spot for Paris and is a frequent Eurostar traveller. You will typically find her with a latte as big as her head, planning her next travel destination. She is also a bit of a groupie, traveling alongside the Croatian football team during their runs in the 2012 and 2016 Euro Cup tournaments.

Reece Turner-Jones
Recruitment & Marketing Consultant

Reece is one of the newest (and youngest!) Gatekeepers to join us in our London office. Reece had joined Gatehouse after previously recruiting for a role at Gatehouse for Simon (he has since been informed that the odds were against him - which is why he was impressed!) Reece put down the chemistry books and went straight in to the working world, putting all the sweet selling techniques to practice.

Did you know?

Reece was once a keen 30+ goal a season striker (28 being penalties) who has not just played at, but scored a free kick at Wembley stadium to finish the game 1-1. Not quite a game winner but not a bad achievement!

Amanda Sheps
Consultant

Born in the USA but growing up in Canada, Amanda recently made the jump across the pond to London from her hometown of Calgary. Her education in cultural anthropology and political science has provided her with highly developed communications research skills, while her diverse background working both agency and client-side has resulted in strong project management skills. She enjoys connecting with all levels of an organisation – the doers, the strategists and the innovators – and guiding them through complex change programmes.

Did you know?

When she is not on the hunt for the next great cup of coffee or wandering a market on the weekend, you can likely find Amanda experimenting in the kitchen or figuring out a way to be the first Canadian on the Great British Bake Off. She also loves to travel and has been busy exploring many UK locations and European countries since her time in London.

Emer Beirne
Consultant

A native Brit who grew up in the South-West of France, Emer’s realms of expertise are small business internal communication and audit methodology. She has a Masters’ degree in Organisational Communication Audits and Consulting, for which she produced a thesis on the impact of internal communication practices within start-ups on employee engagement. While at university, she headed the quality function of a student agency and takes pride to this day in delivering bespoke IC audits and strategies with a strong attention to detail.

Did you know?

Emer would much rather spend the day exploring museums than watching television – but she does have a guilty pleasure: property refurbishment shows. Having spent much of her youth poring over renovation case studies – and then practicing designing on The Sims – she dreams of one day converting a dilapidated church into her home.

Need some help?

If you have a specific brief in mind, or would like to chat through a particular challenge that you or your team is facing, why not drop us a line…

+44 (0)20 7754 3630