About: Adam’s journo career peaked early, interviewing Prince by candlelight. After that he scribbled on/off for the likes of Time Out and The Guardian before becoming editor of gay glossy Attitude, for which he won Men’s Magazine Editor 2005 at the BSME Awards. He joined Zone in March 2009 and, as senior editor on BT Vision, knows the difference between Piggley Winks and a Chop Socky Chook.
Strange but true: Adam once bounced up and down on a four-poster bed with Mariah Carey.
About: Having reignited a childhood passion for journalism while working as entertainment editor of his university magazine, Adam moved into sport after graduating and spent a decade as club editor at two Premier League football clubs. After winning awards for a wide variety of print and digital content, from hardback books to website rebuilds and social media integration, he transferred to Zone in April 2012.
Strange but true: Adam once appeared on Blue Peter as the sidekick to a cat named Wicked Willie. He wasn't given a Blue Peter badge – a fact that has driven his determination to succeed ever since.
About: Hailing from Russia, Aigul has been living in UK for the past 10 years. Currently working towards her full Association of Chartered Certified Accountants accreditation, our new accounts assistant recently took up surfing and snowboarding – and discovered she had a knack for both. Our Relentless Energy Drink team are on standby to help her find more adrenaline-filled sports to try.
Strange but true: Aigul used to be a qualified lifeguard.
About: Akin joined Zone in July 2012 as our first QA (quality assurance) analyst working across all projects. Prior to Zone he worked at IT consultancy First Clarity as a QA analyst for clients including the Telegraph Media Group, the News of the World, the Evening Standard, Moneysupermarket.com and Global Blue. Akin is a big music fan and likes nothing more than banging the drums.
Strange but true: In Nigerian, Akin’s name means: “Of a strong mind and big heart.”
About: Developer Alex is Lancashire-born and bred and hails from the glorious English countryside of yore. A computer science graduate, Alex cut his teeth at a Newcastle-based design agency during his university placement year, where he worked as a junior developer for brands such as the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Strange but true: Alex's dad used to cut his hair. After being secretly given a mullet as punishment for bad behaviour, Alex has taken direct personal responsibility for mane maintenance - hence... well, his hair.
Ali Sheikh Taheri
About: Before joining Zone, Ali spent seven years building database-driven web applications for various companies. He has a high honour MSc in advanced IT using Oracle. He is also qualified as an Umbraco-certified developer and highly experienced in .NET and SQL server database.
Strange but true: Ali looks after 13 lovely cats in the garden of his house.
About: After leaving the comforting bosom of local newspapers more than 10 years ago, Alistair held a series of staff and freelance sub-editing roles for some of Fleet Street's (not so) finest, including the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Evening Standard and Metro. He joined Zone in May 2012.
Strange but true: Alistair once played a game of rugby wearing Lawrence Dallaglio's London Wasps No8 shirt. He initially thought it was a family-sized sleeping bag – you could certainly have fitted another of couple of people alongside him.
About: Amanda joined Zone as director of internal and external affairs in January 2012. Her new role coincided with the integration of Zone with Public Zone, a leading digital agency serving the pro-social sector, which Amanda co-owned and grew over seven years. Prior to Public Zone, Amanda was a public sector PR specialist with 10 years' experience managing consumer and stakeholder communications campaigns across education, health and the environment. She's passionate about what it means to be a 'good' business today.
Strange but true: Amanda once auditioned to play the leading lady – a kung-fu cop – in a Malaysian martial arts movie.
About: Before moving to Zone in July 2010 as editor of Channel 4 Food, Amanda ran the Good Food website, where she worked for more than four years. In her spare time she helps fund her eating-out habit by writing restaurant reviews for Time Out and its guides. Amanda now works as senior editor across a number of Zone's clients.
Strange but true: In a shopping frenzy, Amanda accidentally pushed over a shopper who was slowing her down. Helping them up, she was somewhat proud to discover she had brought down action hero Bruce Willis.
Head of .NET development
About: Andy leads Zone's technology team in the production of database-driven websites and intranet applications. Qualified as a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, he has strong skills in .NET, SQL Server, ASP, XML and systems design.
Strange but true: In his youth Andy achieved three gold runs on cult quiz show Blockbusters.
About: After gaining a psychology degree from Exeter University, Anna began a career in PR. Working mainly with tech and charity clients, she saw how the two can fit together and decided to switch to the digital world. She hasn’t looked back, and joined Public Zone in early 2012 as an account executive. Anna loves helping organisations understand the potential of digital and has a particular interest in mental-health charities. Outside of work, she regularly takes part in charity runs and fundraising.
Strange but true: Anna was quoted in the same Sky News article as Piers Morgan after blogging about BlackBerry’s poor PR during its blackouts.
About: Anna is the director of business and legal affairs, and a founder of Zone. A graduate of Yale University, she received her MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an MSc in International Political Economics from LSE.
Strange but true: Anna has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and danced with Eric Cantona. But not simultaneously.
About: Becky's career in digital marketing spans 10 years and includes clientside placements at the BBC, Google and Samsung, plus agency work at VML London for clients including British Airways, Audi and Premier Inn. Becky also spent two years in Costa Rica, helping to set up and manage Surf Simply – an innovative surf coaching resort. Joining Zone in the summer of 2012, Becky oversees the client services team looking after our Coca-Cola portfolio.
Strange but true: On a conservation project in Patagonia, one of Becky's tasks was to count the number of flaps Andean condors made as they landed.
About: Becky has been working in social media for several years, writing for numerous brands about everything from fast food to fashion, diamonds to diet soda. She joined Zone in May 2012 to write for several brands across our Coca-Cola portfolio.
Strange but true: 13 is a lucky number for Becky, who passed her driving test after 13 lessons, with 13 minors. For precisely these reasons, it’s not a lucky number for everyone else on the road.
About: Chloe began her design life working for a small agency in Nottingham. After a swift move to London she began freelancing at Zone in April 2010, and as of January 2011 became a fully fledged member of staff. She spends her time working on all things web and print for BT Vision.
Strange but true: Chloe had visited more than 20 countries before she was 11 years old – that's a lot of flying!
About: Chris landed his current position at Zone via a three-month work experience spell with football merchandisers icons.com back in the heady days of 2007. As deputy editor of BT Vision, he now throws word-shapes at all manner of subjects, including the work of Tinchy Stryder, Marouane Fellaini’s hairdo and Thomas The Tank Engine.
Strange but true: Former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart once swore at a 10-year-old version of Chris at a charity cricket match.
About: After six years in the public and charity sectors, Claire ventured agency-side in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. At Sticky Content, key digital clients included Sony Europe, Nokia and British Gas, and at TMW Claire focused on magazines and social media for the likes of Flora and Persil. A keen traveller, next on Claire's list is an American road trip, taking in Graceland, Dollywood and Nashville.
Strange but true: Claire is a big Britpop fan and recently achieved a Twitter hat-trick with tweets from Louise Wener (Sleeper), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans) and Tim Wheeler (Ash).
Senior account manager
About: After a stint spent travelling across Southeast Asia and a few years working in account management in events and interior design, Clare has now found her place supporting the Coca-Cola account management team at Zone.
Strange but true: Clare has very odd-looking thumbs, which are unfortunately too small for her hands – they are attractively named ‘hammerhead thumbs’. She does, however, share this quirk with Megan Fox… there’s hope for her yet.
About: Dan joined Zone in 2007 to work on BT Vision, and is now the editor of BT's football website lifesapitch.co.uk. Prior to this, Dan wrote for and edited numerous publications and websites about technology, travel and sport.
Strange but true: During his hard-up backpacking days, Dan was once pictured on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald in a sandwich board promoting a software program.
About: Born and bred in north London, of Greek-Cypriot heritage, Deme graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a degree in mass communications. Before joining Zone she worked for a fashion PR company in London, helping to promote brands including Ted Baker, Nike, Emilio Pucci and UGG.
Strange but true: Deme cut the tip of one of her fingers off at the age of three. It was sewn back on, but she lost the feeling in it.
Dominic da Costa
Creative technology lead
About: South African Dom has worked as a developer since 2000. Before joining Zone in August 2008 he spent four-and-a-half years working at World Golf Systems, where he was responsible for designing and implementing a variety of back-end systems.
Strange but true: Aged 12, Dom won a Coca-Cola-sponsored yo-yo contest, completing more than 180 loop-de-loops to claim first prize.
About: Dominic manages the networks and their users here at Zone. Before joining, he was a Royal Military Policeman (RMP) in the British Army. He studied embedded systems at UCSC in California, USA. He also has qualifications in criminal law and communications management.
Strange but true: Dominic went to more than 14 schools spanning four continents in six different countries...
About: Du keeps Zone ticking along by looking after PCs, Macs, printers and pretty much everything else with a plug on it. And he never suggests that you "turn it off and turn it on again".
Strange but true: Du was once hired as a wedding photographer, shooting more than 4,000 pictures in three action-packed hours.
About: Ed studied Philosophy and Theology at Oxford, spending time on questions such as, "Are you a brain in a vat?" and "What colour is thought?". Since then, he has concentrated on disproving that there's no such thing as a free lunch as a food writer, studied Slovenian cultural attitudes and researched endangered food products before landing in the strategy team, where he does lots of looking at numbers and going "hmm".
Strange but true: Edward claims that he once went to Denmark "by mistake".
Senior account manager
About: Emily joined us in 2011, having moved from a digital agency in Bristol. Her significant experience working with not-for-profit, local-authority and third-sector clients meant she was perfectly positioned to take up her role working across our Public Zone portfolio. Her passion for pro-social extends into her spare time, including completing fun runs and half-marathons for charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society.
Strange but true: Emily had a brush with fame at a young age by co-presenting the TV show Why Don’t You? when she was just 10 years old. Alas the pressure got too much and she decided to pursue a career out of the limelight.
About: Emma joined Zone at the start of 2012 with a background in information engineering. She brought with her a flair for digital media design and development, a knack for teaching English to Japanese people and lots of photos of her cat.
Strange but true: Emma started her media career aged seven, when she appeared in an episode of the TV show Brum, teaching the little yellow car how to ice skate.
Senior account director
About: A small-town girl living the big-city dream, Fiona is an experienced online account director who has worked on large-scale brands in the FMCG, beauty and lifestyle sectors. She came to London via stints in Sydney and New York. Heading up our Public Zone client services team, Fiona is committed to pushing the boundaries for charities and breaking new ground in the pro-social sector with innovative and pioneering ideas.
Strange but true: Fi grew up in the same small town as Peter Andre. They shared a seven-second pash as teenagers in a game of spin the bottle.
About: Graduating from the University of Nottingham with a history degree, Florence spent time travelling and teaching in Southeast Asia before embarking on a post-grad in journalism. Writing for sites including i-D Online, Vogue.com, BridesMagazine, Hostelbookers and RedOnline, she's a real digital lover. She joined Zone in 2011, and spends her time providing editorial support across the company as well as overseeing the Zone blog.
Strange but true: She shares her birthday with Uma Thurman, Michelle Pfeiffer and… Jo from S Club.
Senior account manager
About: After graduating from university, Gabrielle jumped straight into the glamorous world of advertising at JWT. Working on accounts such as Rolls-Royce, HSBC and Diageo, she stayed for the best part of four years before joining Zone.
Strange but true: Gabrielle has been a member of quite a few girl groups in her time. Not only did she once support Cleopatra in concert, she also made it to the last 18 contestants of The X Factor in 2006.
About: An all-round design junkie with a particular love of illustration, Gemma graduated from the University of Sussex in 2007 before moving to the bright lights of London and realising her passion lay in graphics and the web. She art-directed international campaigns for both print and web before joining Zone, where she is enjoying getting her teeth into projects that make a positive change to the world we live in. Gemma is an ardent socialist and has been known to trap people in endless debates on politics in the pub after work.
Strange but true: Gemma has a phobia of baked beans.
About: After a brief stint working in an ad agency in Dubai, where he was told he’d never make it as a copywriter, Giles joined Guardian News & Media in 1994 as a freelance copywriter. By 2005 he had become creative director, jointly running the 60-person, multi-disciplinary creative agency Guardian Creative. After leaving the Guardian he worked as a brand consultant and creative director on a range of projects before joining Zone at the end of 2011.
Strange but true: The drummer for Tears for Fears played drums on Giles’ first demo tape.
About: Gina kicked off her career as music editor on the Time Out-style listings magazine SA Citylife, before moving to the UK in 2001. She joined weightwatchers.co.uk in 2002 and worked her way up to editor. She joined Zone in May 2008 to lead the Channel 4 Food team, before launching coca-cola.co.uk then becoming group editor of Zone's Coca-Cola accounts.
Strange but true: South African Gina spent her very early years in the UK, but didn't make a good impression: she was expelled from her pre-school in Wakefield for hitting a small boy over the head.
Junior UX designer
About: Before joining Zone Gruffydd worked as a freelance graphic designer and animator for clients including the BBC and IC Publications. He is now our picture editor intern, working mostly on the BT Vision account creating packshots for use on the website.
Strange but true: Gruffydd once lived with a vegetarian cult in Ghana, has raved with a midget in the catacombs of Paris and has been in the studio audience for Loose Women… twice.
Editor and marketing manager
About: Hannah scaled the heady heights of creative services PR at boutique agency Pumpkin. She has represented the great and good (and bad and ugly) of ad land from the likes of Ogilvy, M&C Saatchi and DDB UK. Prior to that she wrote marketing copy for an asset management firm negotiating the strictures of the FSA: a task of Sisyphean proportions.
Strange but true: Hannah had cameo roles in a few Divine Comedy and Edwyn Collins music videos in the late 1990s. It was so long ago that you can see her sporting rather fetching train track braces.
Senior account manager
About: After working client-side across all media platforms for the Evening Standard, MTV, Walker Books and Bauer Media, Hannah decided to move agency-side and work for Zone in June 2010.
Strange but true: Hannah is proof that sucking your thumb as a child stops it from fully growing. Her left thumb is much smaller than the other one.
About: After seven years of flaunting his wares as a freelancer, Jack was finally wooed by Zone in 2011. He misses the smell of freshly printed ink, although his eyes have gradually adapted to the shape of pixels.
Strange but true: Jack was only three years old when his work was first published – as winner of the Southend Evening Echo Star Wars colouring-in competition.
About: When he’s not hunting down rare 2 Tone records, Jacob can be found crafting elegant interactive design experiences using his skills in HTML, CSS and jQuery. His passion for digital and interactivity won us over during his time as a design intern, and he joined our team permanently in 2011, working on our Public Zone projects. Outside of work, Jacob works on a project that helps immigrants to the UK connect with the services they need, and takes part in the Undoc camp for young immigrants.
Strange but true: Jacob once played Laser Quest against Chris Eubank.
Senior account director
About: Originally from New Zealand, Jacqui has more than 10 years' client-side marketing experience in telecommunications and retail at the likes of Telecom NZ, Yellow Pages and WHSmith. Having spent the first half of 2011 travelling around Central and South America, Jacqui joined Zone in June 2011 to take on our BT account.
Strange but true: Jacqui loves nothing more than a good cheese joke. In fact, she's quite renowned for indulging in the odd 'cheese off' with anyone willing to take on the challenge. On a quite unrelated note, she also has a phobia of large swans.
About: Jade joined Zone in November 2010 and looks after all of our image needs, having previously worked on the pictures desk of a fashion website. She has also written for several photography magazines and photographs weddings in the summer (jadelisaphotography.com – shameless plug, ahem).
Strange but true: Jade once had a photo she had taken published in the Scottish News of the World – next to a picture of a naked Peaches Geldof.
About: Between studying psychology and human computer interaction, James has worked at a radio station, co-founded a tech startup, spent five years in the City and travelled the world. Before joining Zone as a user experience designer he worked for agencies including Bandstand and Conran Singh.
Strange but true: James has a VHS collection to rival that of a late 20th-century Blockbuster video store
About: After studying social psychology, James discovered he had a passion for the intersection of psychology and design – particularly how this plays out with people and groups online. He worked at the British Library and for a technical web agency before joining Zone in 2011. James is part of the advocacy team for the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association and is interested in how charities will use technology over the next decade. Feel free to ask him about his obsession with online forms.
Strange but true: Despite not liking punk music, James runs one of the world's largest punk music websites.
Junior UX designer
About: After working as a designer for CACI, creating insurance emails for the likes of RBS, Churchill and Direct Line, James moved to Zone to seek his fortune as a digital artworker on our Coca-Cola team.
Strange but true: James once got a gold medal at county level for triple jump.
About: James launched Manchester United magazine in 1993 – it became the biggest-selling sports mag in the UK. As chief executive of Zone, he has overseen the brand development of some of the world's leading sports and entertainment brands.
Strange but true: James has had dinner with one of the 12 men who have walked on the moon.
Junior video producer
About: Before joining Zone in July 2011, James studied television production with graphic design at university. He then worked with the BBC for a year facilitating graphic design, animation and digital video workshops.
Strange but true: James is related to the king who killed William Wallace (aka Braveheart), and has been a royal courtier in two Hollywood films, fluffing his lines when he attempted to engage in conversation with Scarlett Johansson.
Senior video producer
About: Jen started working in television after training at CBBC. After working in several different genres she moved into producing live TV and factual entertainment programmes. She has credits on shows including Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing, Just The Two Of Us and The Hotel Inspector. She has been producing video content at Zone for more than two years, working for many of Zone's brands, including the award-winning New Look TV, Channel 4 Food and Coca-Cola.
Strange but true: Jen inadvertently became the eighth member of S Club 7 when she sat right between Bradley and Tina, plus the rest of the gang, on the front row of the Strictly Come Dancing audience during a live recording.
About: Having lived and worked in New York and Strasbourg, this yogi spent the past few years in Dublin before realising her little dream of living in London town. Jennifer has most recently rocked the digital agenda for Jameson Irish Whiskey with Pernod Ricard and, during nearly six years there, had the opportunity to build her strategic skills, as well as lead multi-market projects from mobile to social to sponsorship for the brand.
Strange but true: When not geeking it up on a course of study, Jennifer's love of adventure holidays has seen her explore Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba and Thailand in the past two years.
Head of Public Zone
About: Jo joined us from her role as acting executive director for Policy Connect, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to bridge the gap between industry and parliament. In 2008, she won funding from the Royal Commission 1851 to publish a report into how the UK design industry, government and parliament can work better together. Jo brings to Public Zone her passion for client service, design and an amazing understanding of how government works.
Strange but true: Jo once triggered the emergency sliding chute on a BA 747, and slid down it with 12 air hostesses.
About: Jon joined Zone in the summer of 2005. Prior to this, he edited the award-winning website for London's successful 2012 Olympic Games bid, and was editor of lastminute.com.
Strange but true: Jon once sat in the audience for a recording of the Jerry Springer Show in Chicago.
About: Jonathan is a publishing specialist who cut his teeth at the Guardian before moving to Roma football club and on to Zone, where he led projects for successful brands such as lastminute.com, Channel 4 and Vodafone. Jonathan founded Public Zone in June 2005, following his passion for education and communities. He has overseen its growth from two people in the corner to one of the leading agencies in the sector.
Strange but true: Jonathan is a qualified horse riding instructor.
About: Josh started out as a journalist in 1999, when he spent a few weeks making cups of tea at FHM. This seamlessly led to a couple of years at more! magazine, stints at the BBC, the Sun Online, back to FHM (twice!), a few months ghost-writing a book, enormously intellectual words in The Times, various bits for Cosmopolitan, Time Out, the Daily Telegraph, Glamour, the Mirror… lots of other people. There's been a misguided website launch too. It’s been fun. Josh is now “all about the digital”.
Strange but true: Josh once proved beyond all reasonable doubt that he’s the most hilarious man alive by wearing his glasses at a funny angle for a photograph.
About: Julia studied a bit of journalism before graduating in graphic and media design in a lo-fi, pre-web world. After working as a print/web hybrid for more than 10 years, she found herself freelancing at Zone, where she is now a senior digital designer and Coca-Cola brand guardian.
Strange but true: Julia will scale the nearest wall if surprised by a spider, but she's quite happy to strap on her K2 MissDemeanor skis and propel herself out of a helicopter.
UX design director
About: Julie joined Zone in 2008 after a successful tenure as creative director in the BBC’s Future Media team. She has spent the past decade solving user-experience and creative problems across web, mobile and TV services. She created the BBC website's first global experience language, and led the design of the original award-winning BBC iPlayer service. Julie heads up many of our pro-social projects, championing digital’s role in helping charities reach new audiences and achieve strategic goals. In her spare time she plants trees.
Strange but true: Julie's great-great-aunt Marie Manning features in the London Dungeon for the murder of her lover. Let's hope it doesn't run in the family.
Client services director
About: As client services director, Karen leads Zone's account management team. Karen has 13 years' media marketing experience, most recently as head of marketing at the Evening Standard. She previously worked at the Guardian and the Observer, where she was responsible for promotion of its Berliner relaunches, as well as managing a number of other major above-the-line campaigns.
Strange but true: Karen auditioned to be a young gorilla in the Hollywood blockbuster Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, but didn't get a recall...
Group account director
About: Kate is a seasoned online project manager with more than six years' experience managing web design and build projects for the likes of Sainsbury's, eBay, easyJet, the BBC, Matthew Williamson and Jigsaw. As group account director at Zone, she oversees all of our Coca-Cola accounts.
Strange but true: Kate represented Wales at lacrosse for almost 10 years.
Senior account manager
About: After graduating from Goldsmiths College, Kylie worked primarily in the entertainment industry for Universal Pictures and ITV as a DVD product manager. She has managed marketing communications for a diverse portfolio of products, from the likes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale soap spin-offs to various stand-up comedy titles, celebrity fitness DVDs and top-rated TV dramas.
Strange but true: Kylie was an extra in two Bollywood feature films while travelling though India.
About: Laura went into teaching after graduating from the University of York in 2003, but subsequently found herself flung headlong into the thrilling world of personal finance journalism where she spent four years writing sensible articles about mortgages, insurance and credit cards (but, sadly, rarely practising what she preached). She joined Zone in July 2011 and now edits the Coca-Cola corporate websites for Great Britain and Ireland.
Strange but true: During her MA year, Laura spent time tutoring the children of the rich and famous, and was once invited to spend the summer on a certain Russian oligarch's yacht as private teacher to his brood.
About: Lauren started writing a column for her local newspaper when she was 14 – something she continues to do to this day. Since graduating from UCL in summer 2009 she has worked at the Guardian, written fashion features and columns for Shiny Media, and joined Zone as a freelancer on New Look TV in January 2010. She now works on Channel 4 Food.
Strange but true: Lauren once cried on Prince Edward after winning an inter-school dance competition. Aged 16.
Social media writer
About: Letitia started writing at Brighton University, where she studied English literature. Since then she has worked as a copywriter for various brands, but her first social media job was for a company called Punktilio, where she worked on accounts such as Phones 4u and SyCo. She has managed to get two topics trending in the UK on Twitter and loves being a Facebook geek.
Strange but true: Becher’s Brook at the Grand National is named after her great-something grandfather who fell off his horse at the brook in the first official Grand National race in 1839.
Group account director
About: Having worked both agency- and client-side, Liza joined Zone in spring 2012 with a deep knowledge of how to help navigate digital space and build brands within it. She has 12 years' experience of content, branding and advertising behind her, and has worked for clients including Sony Ericsson, O2 and lastminute.com.
Strange but true: Liza was once part of a team of trackers in the depths of Kwazulu Natal Reserve to identify the sex of a newborn black rhino – a highly endangered species. It was a boy!
About: Lucy has worked both in-house and agency-side as a communications professional for more than seven years. Having previously worked for a social technology agency managing social data strategies for brands such as Burberry, Nokia, Phones4U and Crème De La Mer, Lucy joined Zone as an account director in May 2012 in a bid to return to the more creative side of digital.
Strange but true: While at university, Lucy appeared in eight episodes of a little-known Welsh-language soap opera called Slysh.
About: After finishing his masters degree in electronic engineering, Luigi worked in the medical informatics sector for many years, developing clinical database applications and collaborative web platforms. Once in London, he started a new career as a web developer for the arts sector, specialising in ticketing integration and e-commerce.
Strange but true: While in high school, an embarrassed Luigi crossed the line first in a 100m sprint – all the other competitors had realised there had been a false start and stayed put.
Senior account executive
About: After graduating from the University of Leeds with an English degree – via some travel adventures in south-east Asia and a brief spell in recruitment – Maddy embarked on a career in marketing at Publicis Chemistry. She joined Zone in April 2012 as a senior account executive on our pro-social team and also enjoys organising and participating in fundraising events, such as the Zone Macmillan Coffee Morning.
Strange but true: Maddy once sang along to the Spice Girls on Serbian TV.
About: Marc studied maths at Cambridge and did a postgraduate degree in computer science. After working as a management consultant, he set up Quantum, specialising in bridging the gap between senior management and IT for blue-chip clients. Now a board director, he heads up the development of IT systems and database solutions for our clients.
Strange but true: Marc once had a doctor's certificate allowing him to chew gum at school.
About: Mark began as a cub reporter on the Wimbledon News under an experienced local hack called Piers Pughe-Morgan (he later dropped the Pughe). After swanning around on a bunch of weekly and national papers, and magazines, Mark got digital at BEME.Com and Sainsbury’s Taste For Life. Mark has reported from Bosnia, Kosovo and Curaçao, and has worn a tight T-shirt on the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix (there are pictures!). He now writes for our BT Vision team.
Strange but true: In a playful mood after a few Champagne cocktails at St James’s Palace, Mark came within inches of twanging HM The Queen’s bra strap through her green silk dress, only to be stopped in his tracks by the glare of the assistant chief constable of Kent.
About: Matt began his journalistic career in Hong Kong, interviewing visiting bands and DJs then mostly losing his dictaphone. In-between spells at Pacific Publications in Australia, Emap (where he was deputy editor of popular teenage girls' magazine more!) and Northern & Shell, he has written one of the least-selling books of all time, Leyton Orient Greats. Matt has worked at Zone twice, and since rejoining in 2007 has helped us launch content propositions for BT, Coca-Cola, Channel 4 and many more.
Strange but true: Matt played in his school cricket team alongside Ashley Giles. Ashley went on to play for England. Matt didn’t.
About: With his first Game Boy, Matthias adopted digital technology at an early age. He now applies his knowledge to help Zone's clients find their place, and maximise their opportunities, in an ever-changing digital world.
Strange but true: Matthias thinks that quality of life is determined by two key elements: the amount of garlic in his food and the number of owl pictures in his Tumblr feed.
About: Maxime began his life in the digital world by creating a website for his online gaming team. Since then he has worked for brands including Michelin, McDonald’s and L’Oreal, to name a few.
Strange but true: A three-year-old Maxime won a dance contest in Spain, performing to Michael Jackson's Bad. Today he just knows the LMFAO shuffle.
Junior front-end developer
About: Michael graduated in multimedia technology and design at Kent University in 2010. Upon leaving he worked in a client advisory role for a corporate insurance company for 18 (completely different) months before deciding to return to his real passion and university specialism – the digital realm. Away from the keyboard, Michael enjoys photography, playing the drums and fast cars.
Strange but true: Michael once "invested" £109 in a friend who entered the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The friend ended up coming ninth, returning the £109, and over 6000 per cent more!
About: Nancy is a registered nutritionist, with an MSc from King’s College. After stints at various food magazines, she joined Zone in September 2010 to look after all things recipe-related for Channel 4 Food.
Strange but true: Nancy grew up in the same village as a certain Take That star. Aged nine, she would ride her bike up to sit outside his house. Strange, true – and eventually illegal.
About: Before joining Zone in 2007, Neil enjoyed a rather different career as a research chemist. He worked at Oxford University and Georgia Tech in Atlanta on organic LEDs and non-linear optics.
Strange but true: Neil is envious of the many Zone employees who've met famous people. The most famous person he's met is a cat. He lived with up to 20 Maine Coons in Atlanta and followed them to the occasional cat show.
About: Nic makes sure all of our staff and suppliers get paid on time, which means everyone is very nice to him. He was recently a Junior Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and directed several ensembles. He is currently studying for an ACCA, which is apparently some kind of accounting qualification.
Strange but true: Nic is one of only two Colombian harpsichordists currently living in the UK.
About: Joining the team in May 2012, Oli is our Relentless Energy Drink man in Germany. After completing a degree in International Sports Management, Oli started out as a consultant for a range of western companies across China and Indonesia. He has since spent several years working at one of Germany´s leading TV production companies, i&u TV. A passionate surfer and snowboarder, there couldn't be a better person to spread the gospel of The Order across the continent.
Strange but true: Pope Jean Paul II gave Oliver a hug at the age of seven during an audience in Rome.
About: Leeds-born Ollie, a .NET developer and University of Manchester computer science graduate, moved south to seek his fame and fortune after a year-long stint travelling Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Before this, he worked as a developer for a large legal firm in Manchester.
Strange but true: Ollie once DJ-ed on a tank on Saturday night at Glastonbury.
About: Before joining Zone, Oli spent 11 years building web applications at a governmental data-processing centre. First up for Oli at Zone will be our IMD Lausanne and Lucerne Festival projects ... so, essentially, he's our new Swiss cheese.
Strange but true: Oli's golf handicap is a highly impressive 12 – all without having taken a single lesson!
Head of Production
About: Paul is Zone's strategic project lead, helping to secure, plan and deliver a range of large-scale projects. He has more than six years' agency experience, working on projects for Coca-Cola, The Economist, Bupa and Tesco. Paul moved into the digital sector after completing a PhD in biostatistics at Cambridge University, and has a background in the development of multi-platform games and content across web, TV and mobile.
Strange but true: In a previous role, Paul once held the memorable job title 'head of puzzles'.
About: Ric joined Zone in June 2011 after a decade working as a strategist in advertising for brands such as Sky, Unilever, Channel 4, the COI and Marmite.
Strange but true: Ric’s first school report, when he was five years old, said that he was good at English and maths but “can work himself up into a state when presented with scissors or glue”.
Senior UX designer
About: Rich began in the world of user experience and usability eight years ago, while working for the University of Edinburgh. He worked across many sectors before joining Public Zone in 2011. He now works as part of Zone's UX design team, concentrating on pro-social projects. With a focus on user research, he believes that good design is almost impossible without first fully understanding potential users, and that this ethos is even more important when it comes to the pro-social world.
Strange but true: Rich has a bus driver license and once drove to the highest inhabited village in Europe (it's in Georgia).
About: Over the past 10 years, Richard has worked at marketing agencies, start-ups and b2b software companies. He headed a team of web developers at viplondon and Siren Design before going back to more hands-on jobs at Bandstand, UserPulse and now Zone. With a keen eye for design and a passion for highly functional, accessible websites, he sits happily between design and tech.
Strange but true: Richard once ate a squegg (square egg)… whole.
About: Richard has returned for his second stint at Zone having spent the previous three years developing a medical search engine. He works mainly with the technical team to specify, design and develop data-driven websites in ASP.NET.
Strange but true: Richard was once interviewed by an early version of Ali G on cable TV.
Head of design
About: Rich has been working as a designer for 11 years, moving to online from print eight and a half years ago. He’s worked in London and in his home county of Kent, on a wide range of clients, for brands such as Adidas, London 2012, Warner Bros, EA Games, BT and Coca-Cola.
Strange but true: Rich was eight years old on the eighth of the eighth, 1988… which, apparently, was very lucky in Japan.
About: Rob has worked for some of London’s most successful agencies – including CDP, LBi and Proximity – as both client services and creative. He’s also edited a Chelsea fanzine, blogged for Sony PlayStation and written threatening letters for TV Licensing. Rob joined Zone in 2011 and is Senior editor of Powerade.
Strange but true: Rob is persona non grata in Japan and Sri Lanka. Buy him a drink and he’ll tell you all about it.
About: Rob has more than 10 years’ experience delivering innovative web and mobile solutions for some of the world’s leading companies and brands. In that time he has played a key part in many award-winning digital assets, picking up metal at the Caples, Spikes, D&ADs, ADMAs and AIMIAs. Having recently returned from a four-year stint in Australia, Rob joined Zone in April 2012 as our technology director, guiding the good ship Zone through the digital seascape.
Strange but true: Rob once jammed in Matthew Corbett’s recording studio. There was no sign of Sooty, Sweep or Sue.
Junior .NET developer
About: Robert graduated with a MEng in engineering mathematics from the University of Bristol, having spent a year of his course at Airbus working in landing gear computer simulation and modelling. Steering away from traditional engineering to pursue a career in web development and digital media, he's also interested in working with organisations in the third sector – earlier this summer he spent four months volunteering as a fundraising assistant with Free Tibet.
Strange but true: Robert once competed in a Rubik’s cube-solving competition in Paris. He finished a barely respectable 48th in a field of 65.
About: Ros has been at Zone since it started. She looks after reception and ensures that the building (and everyone in it) is ticking over like a well-oiled machine.
Strange but true: Long before her illustrious career here at Zone, Ros demonstrated Space Hoppers for a living.
About: Ross has worked in journalism for eight years, starting as a sports reporter before working on everything from nursing magazines to inflight film guides. He joins from content agency Seven, where he was in charge of subbing the Guardian's commercially funded content. As a long-suffering Spurs fan, Ross was touched to receive a letter of congratulations from Harry Redknapp on his wedding day, but is considering taking it off the wall since Harry got the sack.
Strange but true: Despite his unusual surname, Ross shares his name with a London-based male model and has been contacted about his availability for a photoshoot (he declined).
About: Rui is an award-winning tech whizz who has worked on digital strategies for Sainsbury's and the Big Chill, to name two, as well as producing campaigns for the likes of ASOS and the Guardian. With both developer and web editor experience, his digital career spans more than a decade.
Strange but true: Rui's DJ-ing days – he has played Glastonbury, Bestival and the Big Chill – came to an end when his daughter was born in 2009. These days he's more likely to be humming the Peppa Pig theme tune.
About: Sarah joined Zone in the summer of 2010 having graduated from Leeds University with a BA in French and theology. She's worked on Channel 4 Food and is now an account executive on our Coca-Cola account.
Strange but true: Sarah went to school with actress Emma Watson. As head of house, Sarah got to boss the Harry Potter star around. Which house? Gryffindor, obviously.
About: After graduating in history from the University of Exeter and travelling around South America, Sarah worked in digital recruitment, specialising in social media and online content roles. Joining Zone in April 2012, Sarah is now helping to attract and hire the highest-quality staff to support the exciting growth of the agency over the next few years.
Strange but true: Sarah can do a very realistic dolphin impression.
Junior UX designer
About: Starting at Public Zone in 2011 as a UX design apprentice, Sarah has recently become a fully fledged junior UX designer at Zone. Before that, she managed a pub and studied law at university.
Strange but true: Sarah has onomatophobia – a fear of hearing certain words. Not that she can tell you what they are.
About: Shelly joined Zone in October 2010 after bagging herself a degree in advertising and public relations. This was followed by a spot of freelance project management for a lovely Soho digital agency and a stint in online trafficking. But, oh boy, is she happy to be here managing your accounts on a daily basis.
Strange but true: Shelly's dad was commissioned by NASA to recreate the smell of space for its astronaut training programme.
Senior account manager
About: Sophia spent the first four years of her career post-university working on print and digital FMCG accounts for clients such as Wrigley, PepsiCo and Kallo Foods. Impressed with Public Zone’s full offering of research, content and IA, Sophia joined Zone in January 2012 to focus on charity projects. She has since managed various clients, including the Carbon Trust, the Scout Association and City & Guilds.
Strange but true: Often asked about the pronunciation of her ‘exotic’ surname, Sophia is proud to admit to her Ukrainian roots. It translates as ‘horse tax collector’. Maybe a future career awaits?
Front-end team lead
About: Tim left an agency in Surrey to move to London and a location-based startup before starting at Zone in March 2011. A fan of tech and design, Tim bridges the gap between design and development.
Strange but true: Tim once had a Big Mac Meal before jumping out of a plane – this was ill-advised.
About: Tom has been a wordsmith for more than six years as a freelancer for clients such as Channel 4 and Amazon, and worked for more than two and a half years in the NSPCC's creative department.
Strange but true: Tom auditioned for the part of 'Angry Irish Man' in Martin Scorsese's epic Gangs Of New York while teaching in Rome. He didn't get the role or meet Marty.
About: After graduating from Durham University, Victoria spent a summer in Spain travel-writing for Rough Guides. She then joined the editorial team at Frommer’s Unlimited, where she spent three years creating digital travel content for Whatsonwhen.com and clients such as British Airways, KLM, Hotels.com and John Lewis. She has also written for Time Out Buenos Aires, InMadrid Magazine and the Daily Mirror. Victoria is a Editor on Coca-Cola.
Strange but true: A keen traveller from a young age, Victoria made her first solo expedition at the age of four when – much to her parents’ horror – she climbed up onto the roof of the house.
Senior UX designer
About: Having graduated from Falmouth University, Vix worked as a graphic designer before leaving the pasties behind and heading to London. Since joining Public Zone in 2008, she has worked across a wide range of projects. With plenty of pro-social experience under her belt, she cites the variety and unpredictability of the third-sector projects as one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. She's also responsible for bringing the art of paper folding into the office by founding Zone's Origami Lunch Club.
Strange but true: Vix has time travelled. By cycling over the prime meridian at midnight, obviously.
Managing director, Germany
About: After completing his university degree in economics, Willi started working for several German television companies and ran his own start-up during the new-economy boom before entering the digital world. For more than 10 years, he worked in one of Germany's leading digital agencies as managing director and became an expert in the areas of social media and customer relationship management. Now he is focussing on making Zone popular across Europe.
Strange but true: Willi once had some beers with Meat Loaf while watching German trash TV.
About: A history graduate from the University of Edinburgh, Will enjoyed stints at McCann, Grey, Albion and The Assembly before joining Zone in the spring of 2012. Part of the Coca-Cola team, he works across Fanta, Dr Pepper, Powerade and Relentless.
Strange but true: ‘Wapshott’ means weapon-shooter in Anglo-Saxon.
About: After graduating from Goldsmiths, University of London with a degree in English and American literature, Zoe worked for several print and online publications including Sunday Times Style, handbag.com and heart.co.uk. Most recently, she got to grips with the ever-evolving world of social media at MSN Her. Zoe joined Zone in September as deputy editor across the company's pro-social projects.
Strange but true: Zoe made an appearance in Hollyoaks after inadvertently walking through a scene being shot in London. She only realised when she spotted her vintage boots on screen.
Senior UX designer
About: Zoë has worked as a print designer for more than eight years, on a range of clients, from Vodafone to McDonalds. Initially in Milton Keynes and Reading, she headed south to London after a stint of travelling. She joined Zone as a freelance designer in September 2009, becoming permanent 15 months later to design and oversee all things BT.
Strange but true: Zoë has omphalophobia - a fear of belly buttons!
About: Zoe joined Zone in September 2011, with the remit of ensuring we attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Zoe has spent more than 12 years working in HR, with a career spanning blue-chips and creative companies. Most recently, Zoe has been the HR director for AKQA and EHS Brann.
Strange but true: Twenty years ago, Zoe won first prize in a competition to receive a pizza a week for a year. She hasn't eaten a pizza since.