PCR’s 30 Under 30 2016: Industry’s top young guns

Who are the brightest young sparks of the UK IT industry? Once again PCR throws a spotlight on 30 of the most promising rising stars in the channel aged under 30 years old, from retail buyers to marketers, sales executives and more… 

Kirsty Endfield, 29, Founder and director, Swipe Right PR

As a seven-year PR expert in video games, entertainment and tech, Kirsty has a wealth of experience in marketing and outreach strategies, with incredibly strong ties to industry press and media. She has been at the forefront of emerging industries such as eSports, and can create, execute and troubleshoot campaigns spanning from livestreaming to drones. Kirsty’s previous projects include product launches, large-scale community events, and executing strategies. She has worked with some of the biggest names in hardware such as Oculus.

Luke Baker, 26, PR/marketing manager, Kuoda Ltd

In less than a year, Luke has risen through the ranks to manage the PR team at Kuoda LTD, generating great coverage across a wide variety of platforms for prestigious clients such as Samsung SSD, ZOTAC and Creative Labs.

Luke previously co-owned and operated a Leicester gaming bar called The Speekeasy, which was his first experience with the gaming industry. This experience gave him insight into the many varied and unique ways for gaming-oriented tech brands to gain exposure, which has helped no end in the field of PR.

Natalie Boon, 24, Channel marketing specialist, ASUS

Having started working as a marketing and PR intern for technical recruitment company Vertex a few years back, Natalie secured local radio coverage and shortlisted for the eGaming Review – Recruiter Of The Year award in 2013. 

She joined ASUS UK in July 2013, taking responsibility for social media, the Student Ambassador program and a myriad of digital and experiential marketing projects. As of September last year, she transitioned to manage channel marketing for ASUS UK. 

Matt Clayden, 27, Tablet Buyer, Tesco

Matt has been instrumental in growing market share across the tablet category over peak and the start of the year. He has led the development and go to market strategy for the Connect brand, Tesco’s own brand Windows tablet proposition. This took a significant share of the Windows tablet market over peak, and continues to be developed.

Aaron Culhane, 29, Tablet buyer, Argos

Over the past two years, Aaron has demonstrated a consistent passion for the Argos customer – and deep knowledge for the UK tablet market. He is commercially challenging and collaborative in his approach, and has been instrumental in successfully leading a team to launch the Alba and Bush brands within the Argos tablet category. 

His approach, knowledge and passion has delivered a consistently strong commercial performance, which, together with a great focus on leading and developing his team, has made Aaron a key member of the commercial team.

Darryl Merkli, 21, Marketing executive, Ingram Micro

Darryl has been with Ingram Micro for two years and during that short time has managed to introduce some incredibly creative campaigns to help resellers and vendors grow their business.

He has a real ‘can do’ attitude and if it seems something isn’t possible, he’ll go away and find ways the business can do it. This is just one of the reasons he was promoted to his current role of marketing executive so quickly.

Joe Fenny, 24, eSports commentator, ESL

Well known for his work within the National University Esports League, Joe has been commentating (aka casting) for the UK’s key eSports events since early 2013. He became ESL’s first resident eSports commentator here in UK last year, after freelancing for the company. 

Joe has commentated for a wide variety of games since, from League of Legends to Hearthstone, Counter-Strike and more. Today he’s fast becoming one of the key faces within the UK PC gaming scene.

Joe Gregory, 29, Sales manager, Veho

Joe joined Veho in 2014 as an account manager for the US market and has quickly built solid customer relationships with distribution partners and major retail partners. In 2015 he added Central America to his region and has built a $1 million business in Mexico, working with all major Mexican retailers – he’s even appeared live on Mexican TV. 

Joe now manages the US account team for Veho and is a real asset to the business.

Thomas Jenner, 29, Technical PR and gaming marketing, ASUS

Thomas joined ASUS in 2011 to provide overclocking support for the UK’s largest system integrators. Since then, his unbridled enthusiasm has seen him promoted so that he now looks after technical PR and marketing for gaming system products including the Republic of Gamers brand. 

Thomas is incredibly passionate, enthusiastic and hard-working.

Vincent Jurgens, 28, EMEA marketing manager, HyperX

Vincent Jurgens’ role involves planning and coordination of sponsorships, booths and surrounding activities at all major gaming tournaments and events like DreamHack, ESL One and IEM. He plans and coordinates HyperX product launches with all marketing departments while aligning with the sales strategy. 

He works closely with hardware, software and other complementary partners across EMEA in various ways. Vincent joined Kingston Technology in 2012 as a channel marketing specialist for the Benelux and Baltic region. 

Charlotte Lammin, 25, Sales and marketing administrator, BenQ

In Charlotte’s role at BenQ, she supports the sales team and handles marketing across all of its products, from interactive flat panels to monitors and projectors. 

Charlotte has organised key releases for BenQ in the UK market such as the XR3501 curved monitor and BenQ’s recently acquired ZOWIE eSports brand. Charlotte also organises all the events and exhibitions BenQ attends, creates all of the marketing materials for the UK and develops reseller partnerships. 

She previously worked with schools and in the photography industry.

Chloe Lara, 26, EMEA digital marketing specialist, Kingston

Chloe’s role involves the development, planning and organisation of EMEA digital marketing campaigns across 14 EMEA regions, as well as managing Kingston’s digital agency and monitoring digital trends across the European market. Chloe leads on all paid social media activities across the widespread social platforms; another part of her role is to execute PCP campaigns with Amazon’s self service platform Amazon Marketing Services. She also helped to increase sales of the Kingston SSD range with an integral UK partner.

Teresa Leese, 24, Customer experience marketing, Ingram Micro

Teresa has transformed Ingram Micro’s customer on-boarding engine with a 24-hour smooth and slick process for its channel partners. Peers say that Teresa is a vital member of the UK marketing team. 

She’s done an outstanding job, and her hard work and effort has proven a 

real success in creating a highly professional front end solution. Teresa has delivered outstanding marketing campaigns for vendors including Microsoft with the “Crack the Surface” campaign, which has been shortlisted for several marketing awards.

Danny Mason, 29, Customer service manager, MoreComputers.com

Danny is the backbone of the More Computers customer service team. He started at More nine years ago and has worked his way up to his current position. In that time he’s been instrumental in More Computers winning several customer service satisfaction awards and its Google Certified Shop status. 

He also helps the team maintain 100 per cent customer satisfaction on Amazon and 99.9 per cent on eBay. He does all this with a smile (even when the football team he lives for get beaten at Wembley).

Danny Nourse, 24, Laptop buyer, Tesco

Danny is new to the laptop category, having previously delivered great commercial success on the TV boxes category, developing some market leading propositions with brands such as Amazon and Google. 

Since moving onto laptops, he has secured some market-leading deals which have been instrumental in growing the Tesco laptop business, and has been building strong relationships with suppliers.

Connor Perry, 23, Marketing executive, key vendors, Ingram Micro

Connor came to Ingram Micro in February 2015 to work in the Ingram Micro Mobility division, looking after key vendors such as Apple, Blackberry and Microsoft. When this was integrated into the technology solutions division, Connor assumed full responsibility of Ingram Micro UK’s complete suite of mobility vendors and has recently assumed responsibility for the full Microsoft and Apple portfolio.

Connor is a constant source of innovation and creativity in the marketing team, always searching for new and improved ways to provide a great service. 

Katie Pinnock, 24, UK marketing specialist, Cooler Master

Having joined Aria Technology in 2013 as a sales account manager, Katie was promoted to purchasing manager in less than a year. Shortly after this move into purchasing, she found her love for the industry and went on to become commercial manager, helping Aria Technology and its sister company Gladiator Computers grow to where they are today. In May this year, Katie moved over to Cooler Master to fill the role of UK marketing specialist. She is now working hard to help Cooler Master showcase its new direction and products.

Melissa Rambridge, 28, Business development and marketing manager, Sweethaven Computers

With a six-year background in media production, including stints at the BBC and the FT, Melissa has brought a fresh perspective and out of the box thinking to the IT retail industry over the last seven months. She has introduced a new in-store concept and smart home demo area, helping Sweethaven to win the PCR Independent Retailer of the Year Award. Melissa has also helped launch a new website, and boosted Sweethaven’s support of local talent via apprenticeship schemes and college partnerships.

Ben Bagg, 23, Senior account manager, Terra Computer Ltd

Ben joined Terra Computer Ltd a little over two years ago. In that time he has become the top salesman within a team that has doubled its revenue annually. Ben has been instrumental in building the Terra brand within the UK and his hard work and drive has contributed to the current success of the office. Alongside helping customers bring to market their Terra products, Ben has also created a successful eSports Team known as CAZ eSports, which he still runs today and works towards growing the UK gaming scene.

Angus Shaw, 22, Sales Manager, Brigantia Partners Limited

At the age of 19, Angus Shaw joined Brigantia Partners as a business development executive in the London office when Brigantia was a trading division of Techgate plc. He now leads a team of five at the now independent Brigantia Partners Limited. Based in Ripon, North Yorkshire and working under Brigantia’s sales director, Angus and his team are driving significant month-on-month recurring revenue sales growth and helping Brigantia partner resellers and MSPs to grow their businesses.

Vicky Siddall, 28, Business development manager, Network Group/TTG

Vicky joined Network Group’s member distributor Technology To Go (TTG) in April 2015 and immediately made a positive impact.

After coming on board, she gave herself the target of doubling TTG’s turnover and achieved this in a short amount of time. She also increased member satisfaction threefold. Vicky is friendly, approachable and totally reliable. She has set herself further targets to continue growing the business to become a distributor in its own right and for Vicky be the first point of contact. 

Alex Wall, 25, Marketing executive, BT Shop & BT Business Direct

Alex joined in mid-2015 as an acquisition marketing executive to manage the dabs, BT Shop and BT Business Direct affiliate campaigns. Since then, his role has evolved to include running all affiliate programmes, tackling SEO, introducing rich content, bespoke copy and blog pages. On top of that, Alex has been running social media outlets as well as working collaboratively with colleagues across BT Business and BT Consumer on new initiatives. He’s also worked with vendors directly on social giveaways as well as content creation.

Joe Webster, 28, Distribution account manager, TP-LINK

Joe’s career to date has taken him from one end of the supply chain to the other, from a customer-facing role at Comet to a product manager for Lenovo and Fujitsu at Ingram Micro. 

During his time at distribution, Joe was responsible for £8 million turnover a month and building meaningful relationships with manufacturers, VARs and retailers. He’s now at TP-LINK and has proven to be a valuable asset to the team, growing the unmanaged piece nine per cent year-on-year in a declining market.

Andy Welsh, 28, Events manager, Overclockers UK

Andy joined Overclockers UK in 2013 working as a graphic designer and video producer. Since then, Andy has gone through the ranks and now looks after the multiple events that Overclockers UK attends throughout the UK market. Andy has been responsible for the execution of multiple Insomnia LAN gaming events. 

“With a skilled background in graphic design, Andy has shown some of the most talented design work seen in the IT industry,” said one colleague.

Danny Young, 26, Content and social media manager, Ebuyer.com

After joining Ebuyer.com in 2013 as features editor, Danny moved to the content and social manager role after a year at the tech retailer. Working with manufacturers, agencies and press outlets, he manages Ebuyer.com’s media presence as well as on-site content, from blogs to video and social. One media publication said: “Danny is always happy to help and is super quick at responding to our requests. He’s a joy to work with.”

Chloé Harris-Williams, 28, Tablets and computing buyer, John Lewis

Chloé heads the key tablets and computing buying team at John Lewis, where she has been for three and a half years, following roles at Tesco and BestBuy. 

She has led her team to record market share results, driven by her relentless pursuit of delivering the leading targeted customer proposition in the UK.

Paul Yung, 29, UK operations and product management, Hannspree

Paul has been an invaluable team member at Hannspree UK for four years. Having proven himself as a technical genius, he has been rightly promoted on numerous occasions. Aside from his day-to-day duties in logistic and exhibition management, Paul is now involved with market research and the testing and evaluation of new products before they go to market. Paul is also the first point of call for urgent product and technical support enquiries. He excels at ensuring that Hannspree’s customers receive the highest standard of service at all times.

Joe Cowell, 24, Northern Europe PR & Community Manager, AMD

Joe manages the development and execution of various PR and community management strategies and tactics for AMD across Northern Europe, including the UK. 

Joe previously worked at Text 100, where he worked with AMD to increase its brand and performance within the UK. He has also had experience working at Zaboura Communications, Dennis Publishing, Hope&Glory PR, Frank PR and W Communications.

Dhara Kothari, 27, UK Marketing Manager, D-Link

Dhara joined D-Link in 2014, following a two-year stint as marketing manager for QBS Software, a role which saw her manage marketing campaigns and budgets for Tier 1 software vendors with measurable return on investment. 

Her current role at D-Link involves planning, implementing and managing internal and external marketing, with a two-tier channel model. She works with various partners, including retail, e-tail, IT resellers, system installers and distributors.

Edward Baily, 27, EMEA business manager, HyperX

Edward’s role involves launching all HyperX DRAM and peripheral products into the EMEA channel, as well as managing the EMEA HyperX etail promotions, alongside monitoring competition and reporting on trends in the European gaming market. 

Edward visits top EMEA etail and retail customers on a regular basis, updating them on current market trends and roadmap. Alongside this he visits gaming events across Europe such as the DreamHack series, Gamescom and the Intel Extreme Masters finals. 

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