to our people
William Murray doesn’t just depend on the brilliance of one person. What makes us unique is our talented team. So, we’d like to introduce you.
They say a picture paints a thousand words. We agree. We’re young, fun, social and a down to earth bunch that enjoy food, drink and hospitality.
We’re former journalists, marketers, event organisers and award winning PRs. But more importantly, we’re real people. Our team includes musicians, mums, dads, horse riders, sailors and foodies who enjoy living life to the full outside work. So go on, take a look and have a read. You can then make up your own mind about us.
Lesley Foottit – William Reed
to a new you
We want our people to thrive. So we’ve created a culture where our people can be themselves and feel inspired to deliver great results for our clients. A career with us offers a culture of opportunity, development and flexibility.
Our people come from all walks of life, but we all get a buzz from the same thing – working as a team that pulls together to deliver great results for our clients.
You’ll get generous holiday (5 weeks increasing to 6), subsidised gym membership, regular agency funded nights out, and a fridge full of beer and wine make our Fridays fun. Our last two Christmas parties in Majorca have been particular favourites. To coin a phrase, you could say we work hard and play hard.
This is in addition to private medical cover, childcare vouchers, professional mentoring programme, chill time, season ticket loans, and regular team meetings where we share and listen to your ideas.
In a nutshell
You’ll be joining the UK’s leading food, drink and PR agency where you’re valued for your ideas and who you are. Not only will we look after your career, we’ll look after you too.
If this sounds right up your street, contact Bel (email@example.com) – she’s in charge of recruiting the talented individuals who join our team.
to our team
Karen’s knowledge of the industry comes from her long career in foodservice. Before joining William Murray in 1998 as managing director, Karen worked for Unilever, Allied Lyons, Douwe Egberts and Brasilia UK ltd as their marketing director.
After two years at William Murray Karen led a management buy-out. Under her leadership the agency has confirmed its position as the UK’s number one agency in food, drink and hospitality.
Everyone knows Karen, which is testament to her dedication to the industry – not only through working with some of the best known brands, but also for the time she gives to support industry associations and charities.
Since 2008, Karen’s been listed in the ‘Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Leaders’ and in 2011 was voted as one of the top 100 most influential women in the industry.
Greatest passion outside work?
“Cats, dogs, horses – virtually anything with four legs.”
With 25 years experience under her belt, Anita gets her biggest kick from clients’ reactions when they see great results. She is passionate about the power of good communication and the impact it has on a business. It was this drive that led her to being awarded PR Week’s ‘Young Achiever Award’ aged 26. Since then she has continued to stand out in the industry as someone with a proven track record for delivering award-winning integrated campaigns for clients ranging from IBM, Castrol and Hilton.
Anita is listed in the Women 1st Top 100 women in the hospitality industry. She is a regular speaker and contributor to the media and a supporter of industry associations and mentor to budding entrepreneurs.
New challenge on the horizon?
“Open water swimming….and coming back to tell the tale”
Stephen has a wealth of experience under his belt. One of his greatest achievements was introducing PizzaExpress pizzas to supermarket customers and creating a £30m brand in its first year of sale.
Stephen developed a number of innovations in the UK retail chilled market that included soups, pizzas, salads and sauces, making Geest Prepared Foods Plc the market leader in each category and generating over £250m a year from Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose.
His ability to spot a new product opportunity led to a number of awards including the highly coveted Gold Q Award and a Grocer Award.
If there’s one thing we could find fault with Stephen it’s that he’s a lifelong Luton Town fan!
Claim to fame?
“Introducing the PizzaExpress brand into supermarkets, with fantastic results for the manufacturer, the restaurant group and the retailer.”
Dave brings with him bags of hospitality and media experience. He started his career at the Financial Times before taking a gamble to head up PR for Ladbrokes.
During his time at Ladbrokes, Dave was responsible for working with the NSPCC and generating just over £1m in charity fundraising during the year long corporate partnership. He was also part of the management team that lobbied government on the abolition of betting duty and acted as company spokesperson for TV and radio.
Dave is a qualified marketer who understands brands. His love of the hospitality industry comes from his time with IHG, the world’s largest hotel company, most famous for its Holiday Inn brand. Dave left IHG to become a consultant and after four years returned to IHG as global internal communications director responsible for engaging the company’s 350,000 employees.
Most surreal moment?
“Sitting down for a coffee and biscuit with then British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 10 Downing Street to talk about a charity initiative. The biscuits were terrible!”
Making the complicated simple.
Daren specialises in digital communications, with a proven track record over the past 12 years with successful campaigns in food, drink, hospitality, legal, technology and financial sectors.
He is a regular author on Social Media Today, as well as many other industry related publications and an active advocate of the positive role social media can play in business.
Daren successfully delivered digital solutions for Unilever, Cadbury, Electrolux and the Environmental Agency amongst many others.
“Social Media has evolved and the age of Social Business is here.”
Alan spent 30 years with United Biscuits running everything from factories to private label (for UB, McVities and KP). In 1995, he became group corporate affairs director of the company, which, in itself, would have qualified him for our special adviser role, but it’s what he has done since then that has really wowed us.
After leaving UB in 2001, he joined Business in the Community and made a new career out of corporate social responsibility as vice chair of Refugees into Jobs, director of One Stop Shop School Governors, chair of London Business Link, director of Industry in Education, chair of Park Royal Partnership, director of West London Business, chair of Ealing Education Business Partnership and chair of FareShare 1st.
Alan has also served on the board of One London, the LDA Production Industries Commission and West London Economic Development Strategy Committee.
Bigger buzz than business?
“A really tense game of cricket”
Rupert is a big-picture thinker and a true lover of words. In fact… If he isn’t talking, he’s probably writing. Rupert earned his spurs working at some of the UK’s best digital marketing agencies – and brings with him a knack for producing short, punchy copy that delivers results.
Fizzing with pep and driven by his love of food, Rupert describes himself as an ‘ambitious’ cook. Never afraid to reach beyond his abilities in the kitchen – he enjoys a varying degree of success. In addition to a deep love of food and drink, Rupert is also a passable rugby player and haphazard snowboarder.
Favourite quote? “I cook with wine, even add it to the food” – W.C. Fields.
Chris brings a wealth of culinary experience to the William Murray team.
As former chef to Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Charles, Chris spent 11 years primarily at Highgrove and St James but also spent time cooking at Balmoral, Sandringham and on The Royal Yacht Britannia.
He has also worked in esteemed restaurants in France and Italy, including the two Michelin starred Jean-Paul Jeunet in Arbois, the two-star Ennotecca Pinchiorri in Florence and The Cipriani in Venice.
Zar has spent over 25 years in various customer service roles gaining substantial experience in the financial sector, which he is now bringing to the world of communications. He has worked at a number of blue chip companies helping his customers to get the best out of the services available to them.
Zar joined our Client Services team at the beginning of 2013 and keeps his finger on the pulse on what’s happening in hospitality, food and drink, so our clients never miss out.
My ideal job?
“Being another ‘Mad Hatter’ I would be Luton Town’s manager next season, remain unbeaten throughout and set a new goals scored record for the division! I can always dream!”
Sophia is our numbers girl with more hidden talents than your average accounts whizz. She has an Executive MBA with distinction from Aston University and is a CIMA qualified accountant and Chartered Management consultant.
She has more than 12 years’ experience working in the UK, Europe and the Middle East in private equity, professional services and technology. And when she’s not keeping us in check or crunching numbers, you’ll find her in the kitchen cooking for family, friends and the William Murray team.
Sophia’s outlook on life – “Push the boundaries of what you believe is possible”.
As an ex-journalist Fiona has a keen eye for a story – and the inside track on what journalists do (and don’t!) want.
After completing a BA Honours in journalism, she joined the Courier Group in Oxford as a reporter securing interviews with the likes of Keith Floyd, Boris Johnson and Gucci’s Tom Ford, before taking a year out to travel Australia and Fiji.
Returning to the UK, Fiona’s cocktail bar experiences landed her a job with William Reed’s glossy drinks magazine CLASS and from there she joined William Murray Communications. Fiona has been with the team since November 2006 and has experience on brands including Unilever Food Solutions, Elior, FCSI, 3663, Greene King, Lyons Seafoods and Britvic.
Best headline ever?
“Without any doubt…The SunSport’s headline in 2000 when Celtic got thrashed 3-1 by Inverness CT in the Scottish Cup – Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious – Love it!”
After graduating with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in logistics and supply chain recruitment for a global consultancy, before embarking on two and a half years travelling abroad; including stints in New Zealand, Thailand and working in hospitality roles in Australia and on the Greek island of Skiathos.
Returning to the UK, Claire joined William Murray as an Account Executive and immersed herself in the world of food and drink, working primarily on the Quorn, Specialty & Fine Food Fair and Unilever Food Solutions accounts, including event management of the biennial National Chef of the Year competition.
After three and a half years, she left the agency to broaden her experience, working at two leading consumer PR consultancies in London across diverse brands such as John Lewis At Home, bonprix, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, The Real Greek, Primula Cheese, Action Against Hunger and Jordan Wine Estate.
Autumn 2013 saw Claire return to William Murray and her love of the hospitality and foodservice industry, bringing her nine years of PR and event management experience to a number of key accounts she now manages for the agency.
Best foodie moment?
“There’s been so many over the years, but a highlight has to be winning an all expenses paid meal for two at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant. A truly unforgettable evening!”
After graduation, Charlotte joined one of the big London agencies and was rapidly promoted from PR Assistant to Senior Account Executive, all the while working for high profile food and drink clients.
Charlotte gained a huge amount of experience, but after three years was ready for a move. She joined another agency that specialised in interiors, but it just wasn’t her. So she stayed for a year, and then came to William Murray. “I was so pleased to be back in food and drink. No two days are ever the same.”
“A road trip around the Golden Triangle in California.”
Berenice started her PR career working on high-profile retail and health and beauty consumer accounts at a leading London PR agency. In 2004, a move to William Murray introduced her to the hospitality and foodservice industry and it is here that her passion and career has remained ever since.
In 2010, Berenice left William Murray to focus on her young family but her love of the vibrant industry and its people has seen her continue to actively work with hospitality and foodservice operators and associations, including the industry networking association, Arena.
Berenice is thrilled to be working once more with the team at William Murray and its wonderful clients.
Her amazing family and friends – and things that sparkle, especially wine!
Having graduated with a degree in history from the University of Manchester, Louise threw herself into the world of PR.
Combining her love of food and drink with her career, she jumped at the chance to join the William Murray team and has never looked back.
Working on a number of accounts for the agency, Louise has gained a valuable set of skills and range of experience. She loves the diversity of projects she works on everyday, the challenge of implementing successful campaigns and seeing the results roll in!
Attitude to life…
“You can do anything if you put your mind to it!”
With eight years’ experience in PR both agency side and in-house, Claire brings with her a wealth of big brand experience ranging from Disney and Nestle to Tesco and Accolade Wines. After a stint in financial PR and taking time off to raise her two children, Claire jumped at the chance to dive back into the world of food and drink PR with the William Murray team.
Outside of work, Claire is massively passionate about food and drink – always on the hunt for new and exciting foodie haunts. Spicy food is a particular favourite – and she’s been known to eat jalapenos straight from the jar! She also has a bit of a penchant for throwing a good dinner party – with varying degrees of success.
Most memorable dinner party moment – “Having spent all week preparing for a dinner party, I managed to slice off part of my thumb with a mandolin right before all the guests were due to arrive and had to be carted off to hospital!”
Rachelle is an all rounder in food, drink and hospitality with PR, event and marketing roles under her belt. She has more than ten years’ experience that started at Caterer & Hotelkeeper organising high profile events.
In 2004, Rachelle joined William Murray and quickly thrived on the ‘other side’, taking on new challenges with a variety of clients including P&G Professional, HP Foodservice, Lyons’ coffee and ISS Eton among others.
Unfortunately, in 2007 Rachelle moved to a marketing agency working on strategic planning projects, but couldn’t resist coming back to William Murray three years later.
“Lots of things, but knowing every day is a fresh start and seeing my daughter smile at me every morning.”
Claire arrived at William Murray after 11 years in legal and professional publishing, and intelligence services, working across editorial, commissioning and commercial areas. Her experience is in creating innovative content for prestigious publications to boost their brand profiles, and shaping snappy copy for large industry events.
A life working with lawyers has taught her how to hit the mark with a well-crafted, sharp sentence. This love of words and an indecent food fixation took her to William Murray, where she’s delighted to spend her days with people who feel the same way about both.
When not eating, living and breathing food, Claire can be found at home on the Sussex coast, walking the South Downs and (when very brave) taking a dip in the English Channel.
As perfectly put by Roald Dahl, her mantra is: “don’t gobblefunk around with words”.
After obtaining an HND in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management, Carrie worked for several years in the sector before making a move to sales and then marketing for Lyons Tetley Catering Business, eventually taking responsibility for all catering branded teas.
Carrie was headhunted in 1987 to work as account manager/director on the then Van den Bergh Foodservice account for Clark and Taylor Advertising, as well as Douwe Egberts and Quorn Foodservice where she could exploit her strategic, creative and social skills.
After a few years of running her own business and raising her two sons, Carrie has returned to the sector she is passionate about.
Carrie loves to sing and cook, although not necessarily at the same time!
Lois graduated with a degree in Leisure Marketing where she first discovered her love for PR. Following university she worked in a London marketing agency working with big name drinks brands including Beefeater Gin and Chivas Regal.
She joins William Murray following a two year stint within a Healthcare PR agency where she wrote about everything from medical devices to cosmetic surgery. After gaining invaluable experience she is now thrilled to be back in the food and drink industry.
When not working her way round the restaurants in Surrey or experimenting in the kitchen, Lois can be found attempting to play tennis or engrossed in a good book.
Lois’s life motto? When life gives you lemons, slice them up and find some tequila!
Having worked for a leading London PR agency for 10 years, progressing up the corporate ladder from receptionist to project coordinator and personal assistant to the director, Bel took time out to bring up her sons and run a child minding business.
Bel joined William Murray in 2010 and is responsible for managing the office, juggling diaries and recruiting our future stars.
Greatest passion outside work?
“My family and cooking.”
Sue started her career at a world leading nutrition, health and wellness company as a junior secretary, working her way up to senior secretary before moving into the world of marketing where she became PA to one of the associate directors.
After taking time out to raise her two children and undertaking voluntary work at their local school, Sue returned to work as PA to a chartered valuation surveyor and is now part of the client services team assisting in the smooth running of the William Murray office.
In her spare time Sue loves cooking for family and friends, meeting new people and can often be found pottering in her garden or immersed in a good book!
Anna studied business, media and communication at university in Australia. Following graduation she went on to a variety of PR and marketing positions in government, technology and the arts. Eventually she tired of Australia’s year round sunshine, white sandy beaches and great coffee and moved her life to London. During her first 13 months Anna managed a new west London café, and it was here she fell in love with the food industry.
Anna is the newest addition to the William Murray team. She’s still pinching herself that she’s found a job that involves thinking, speaking and writing about food and hospitality all day. She is a self-confessed peanut butter addict, she won’t step foot in a brunch spot if it doesn’t have smashed avocado toast on the menu and has an initially endearing, but ultimately wearing, habit of starting every sentence with ‘mate…’
Her life motto?
‘You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do’.
Dan graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in law and a way with words. Following a brief foray as a recruiter, an internship at a London PR agency landed him a job at William Murray where he can combine his passion for food and words.
A stint as a chef helps Dan understand what makes professional kitchens tick. And his love of food means he’s not afraid of donning an apron at home either.
A family man, he enjoys spending time with his young son Russell planning their next adventure. Being an avid music fan and a brilliantly mediocre guitarist meant his childhood rockstar dreams didn’t quite happen – but that doesn’t stop him on his annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury (and a few gigs on the way too).
Best restaurant experience? A classic smokehouse, craft beer and buffalo wings.
Chelsey is a University of Sussex law graduate with a passion for everything digital. After completing her degree, Chelsey went on to open and run an independent coffee shop in Brighton, where she discovered not only her love for anything caffeine related, but for social media too.
Following a work experience placement with William Murray, Chelsey jumped at the opportunity to return to the team.
In her spare time, Chelsey runs a small craft business specialising in cross stitch, embroidery and typography – it’s not as boring as it sounds! She has an obsession with salted caramel, and will never say no to another slice of cake.
Chelsey’s life motto? ‘Live the dream’.
Abbie Godward, intern and future PR star