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!

Agnes Costa
Associate Director

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.

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!

Tamara Alhuneidi
Senior Consultant

Tamara’s background is in Employee Engagement and Change Management and 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!

Amanda Sheps
Senior 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 internal communication and audit methodologies. 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.

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!

Scott Passfield
Senior Designer

Senior graphic designer Scott boasts a wealth of experience pushing creative boundaries in both design agencies and in-house corporate environments, helping organizations develop visually exciting communications whilst capturing the essence of their brand values.

With a BA(Hons) in Graphic Information Design, London born Scott has more than 10 years’ experience helping clients bring their ideas to life in a wide variety of market sectors.

Did you know?

Whilst travelling some years ago, Scott completed one of the World’s highest bungee jumps and skydived from 15,000ft. Now, “slightly” older, he’s more likely to be found tending to his garden or working out in the gym (although we are yet to see any real results from either endeavor!).

Michael Donovan
Graphic Designer

This cheesy grinned guy is Michael. He joined us in 2015 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.

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…

Simon Yelland
Motion Graphics Designer

With over 8 years’ experience in broadcast and online content, as well as video marketing, Simon has worked with a wide variety of clients, broadcast networks and design studios. Simon leads on most of our in-house video production putting his experience into producing top quality content that always hits the brief and makes an impact in your business.

Did you know?

Simon is a collector of rare and exquisite lamps - he recently acquired a 'Pink Lotus' Tiffany Lamp for the reasonable price of $2,800,000 - but was dismayed to discover that when he got home it didn't include a bulb!

Huw Swettenham
Consultant

Huw graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Politics. While there he embraced the Scottish culture by taking up American Football… One of his previous roles prior to Gatehouse was as a mountain bike instructor, at a summer camp in California. Huw enjoys travelling with recent trips to America and Cuba.

Did you know?

Currently his passion is training in jiu-jitsu and wrestling (not the WWE kind). When wrestling competitively he uses the moniker 'Hubert the Hardfisted' - a testament to his unorthodox wrestling style.

Susanna Holten
Consultant

Susanna moved from freezing Stockholm to not-so-freezing London in early 2016. Before joining the Gatehouse consultant team, she worked for a number of global companies – she has experience in corporate communications from Sweden as well as the UK Employee Benefits market. With a BSc in Advertising and Public Relations, she has the tools to create tailored and effective messaging for a variety of audiences and stakeholders.

Did you know?

Susanna tried fun once, it was awful

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