Our board is made up of volunteers and represents you and your industry.

Cindy Simmons

Managing Director MPA

Starting her career on the client side in the brewing industry Cindy moved to the agency side becoming Managing Director of a division of Euro RSCG (now Havas).   During  that time working  between the Manchester and London offices and within their European network.

Eventually becoming a freelancer working with a variety of clients she took over the running of the MPA 12 years ago helping to drive its transition to what it has become today, an association representing the creative, digital and media industries in Greater Manchester.

Steve Kuncewicz

Partner and Head Of Creative, Digital & Marketing, Glaisyers ETL

Steve has specialised in advising the Creative, Digital & Marketing Sector on legal and commercial issues for the best part of 20 years, having been lucky enough to support some of Manchester’s best and brightest on how to thrive in a changing regulatory and business environment.
Steve is also a co-founder of the Bulletproof Agency Network, whose mission is to unite industry experts and thought leaders to deliver content and events to help their members scale thriving, profitable and robust agencies.

Andy Garner

Regional Director – Media Concierge

Andy Garner, a respected entrepreneur and sales leader, achieved a significant milestone by selling his media sales business to Mediaforce Group in 2021. In his current role, he focuses on collaboration, optimising online and offline channels for efficient solutions. Garner has led top-tier sales teams and represented prestigious media brands like Emap, Talksport, The Sun, and Samsung. With over a decade of experience in digital display, programmatic, publishing, and AV, Garner’s expertise is unparalleled. His leadership emphasises excellence and teamwork, leaving an enduring legacy of innovation and impact in the media industry.

Pavan Riyat-Ward

CEO, We are the Allies

Pavan started her career in advertising agencies and then moved client side, working in Head of Marketing roles at Morrisons, Poundland and Coop.

Pavan has now returned to her agency roots as CEO and founder of We are The Allies, a network of over 500 creative freelancers, covering every creative discipline. Allies helps agencies and clients in the creative sector find the best freelance talent for their brief.

Richard Aldiss

Managing Director, McCann Manchester

Appointed Managing Director at McCann Manchester in 2017, Richard has been with McCann for over 30 years. He joined the agency in 1997 having previously worked at the network’s Birmingham office. He has held a number of leadership roles at the agency spanning media, channel planning and most recently business leadership and new business. During his journey with McCann he has worked with clients in just about every conceivable sector. Richard also sits on the IPA Council as the IPA’s Chair for England and Wales.

Jonathan Ashworth

Creative Director, Mighty Giant

Jonny founded the Animation & Motion Design studio Mighty Giant in 2010. Prior to this he worked at the BBC and at various design and brand agencies in London. As well as his role on the MPA board he curates the Motion North event, a community gathering for members of the animation and motion industry.

Marcus Hadfield

Chief Strategy Director, Apadmi

Marcus has been with Apadmi, the digital products company headquartered at Media City, for seven years. In that time they’ve grown from a team of 50  to 275. They are most famous for their mobile apps – for Dominos, Co-op, NHS, Argos, BBC and many more.

Prior to Apadmi, he spent nearly 20 years in digital and creative agencies, in London with Alcone then Meteorite before returning to the North West as a Managing Partner at McCann Manchester. He’s worked with clients in almost all sectors and channels but the challenge has always been the same – finding creative ways to change customer behaviour.

Belinda Peach

Peachy Consultants

Belinda has over 20 years’ experience working in the Creative Media sector supporting the talent and skills agenda.

Based in the Northwest Belinda has developed positive partnerships with a whole host of organisations and charities which include the Ideas Foundation , ScreenSkills , the national film office network , Set Ready , Film Fixer Manchester Chamber of Commerce and MAMA Youth with the overall objective of improving work opportunity and access to the industry for people starting their career , particularly  those from less advantaged backgrounds.

Alex Townley

Alex has over 12 years experience in creative production management across CGI, photography, videography, animation, live action, and VR, for industries including fashion & home retail, finance, promotional marketing, advertising, and children’s television. They are passionate about a people-first, data-led approach to pipeline design, content creation, and stakeholder management.

As an autistic ADHDer and non-binary trans person, in recent roles Alex has developed a focus for work in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility, representing the disabled and LGBTQIA+ communities through internal advocacy and external volunteering.

Alex is currently also the Co-Chair for GMCA’s LGBTQIA+ Equality Panel, working with the Mayor & GMCA to improve the safety and happiness of the community across Greater Manchester.

Dr Jeff McCarthy

Senior Lecturer Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University

Jeff continues to nurture HE and industry collaboration to successfully tackle skills gaps. He is also Faculty Employability co Lead and Faculty Graduate Outcomes and Alumni Lead at Business and Law.

Over 20 years industry experience prior to career switch to HE in 2009. Includes nearly 7 years running his own digital agency, where he achieved 3 world-firsts. Jeff has worked with many major brands such as John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, and over 30 football clubs.

Jeff sits on multiple industry Councils/Board. In his spare time he’s also a 5x award-winning blogger.

Emma Slater

Regional Managing Director, Wavemaker

As Regional Managing Director and part of the UK Leadership Board , Emma is responsible for the running of Wavemaker North and the development of Wavemaker’s regional strategy, also working closely with Wavemaker Ireland.

She is involved with several major clients, ensuring they are getting the very best of Wavemaker.  Passionate about driving a culture of diversity and inclusivity in the industry, she leads several initiatives which allow Wavemaker North to engage with the community around them, demonstrating the opportunity the industry offers for all.

Emma alongside her responsibilities as a MPA board member, Emma is an ambassador for Prevent Breast Cancer and is a regular contributor to panels and events, speaking about may things from the importance of allies to how to use person challenge for professional progress.  Emma is known for always the authentic voice in the room, and is passionate about the industry in the North, she is also very proud of her 27 years in the Wavemaker family.

Lisa Morton

Founder Roland Dransfield PR/Co-founder Purposeful Podcasts

Lisa set up Roland Dransfield in 1996 and has spent almost 28 years working to help clients build purposeful relationships with their internal and external stakeholders.
Based in Manchester, with a US partner agency, she and her team have supported brands, businesses and individuals to communicate their stories, connect them with like-minded organisations, grow their footprints and build legacies that create change.

Roland Dransfield is known for its commitment to using its platform – and helping others to use theirs – to make contributions that can have long-lasting and invaluable impact to society.

Lisa is also involved as an ambassador of several charities including The GM Mayor’s Charity and Mustard Tree, and is a member of Manchester’s Business Sounding Board which is headed by Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, and is a Champion for Manchester Unicef UK Child Friendly Cities.

Sophie Hill

Comms Planning Manager, Republic of Media

Beginning her career in 2018, Sophie joined the MPA Board in 2021 and in the same year was named Campaign’s Media Week 30 under 30. Sophie is a proud advocate for the Manchester media industry and in her current role she is responsible for the media planning and buying across several large clients. Having previously worked at Hearst for 5 years, she has a background in publishing, digital and programmatic sales.

Having founded the MPA Next Gen initiative, Sophie’s passion points across the industry centre around creating a safe and inclusive digital, media and creative community here in Manchester and further champions equity through her involvement with Intermedia UK’s SteerCo, championing LGBTQIA+ voices.

Guy Keeble

Regional Sales Director – North
Reach PLC – Regionals

With 20 years experience within Manchester’s media industry, Guy was recently appointed Sales Director for Reach Solutions in the North of England, working across brands such as the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Newcastle Chronicle and YorkshireLive.

In the 10 years prior, Guy oversaw the commercial side of the Manchester Evening News entertainment department, managing partnerships with the leading events, concert, theatre and hospitality operators across the region.

Guy also sits on the board of ReachPotential, a strand of Reach’s Diversity and Inclusion program, aiming to make practical improvements to social mobility within the company and for those joining the wider media industry.

Fergus McCallum

Chief Executive, TBWAMCR

Fergus started his career in Marketing in the drinks industry at what is now Diageo. Chief Exec at TBWAMCR since 2009, he has now racked up over 25 years of leading award-winning creative agencies to success at Cannes, Hollis, the Marketing Society and of course the MPA. During his career he has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s most famous brands including Smirnoff, Guinness, Pedigree and Intel. Fergus is passionate about the power of creativity to grow brands and is rightly proud of Manchester’s position as the 2nd largest creative economy in Europe.

Nicola Marsh

Managing Director, EssenceMediacom North Group & Google Practice UK

Nicola joined MediaCom in August 2013 and has a wealth of experience collaborating with clients across a variety of sectors. Nicola’s role as Managing Director of
EssenceMediacom North Group involves managing the smooth running of the agency and ensuring clients receive impeccable service at all levels.

Nicola is a fully accredited personal performance and corporate coach and has a keen interest for training and development. Nicola’s passion in supporting her people to be the best that they can be is one of the most rewarding elements of her role and underpins the importance on providing a fantastic working environment for her people with a real emphasis on creating a diverse workplace which is supportive and full of opportunity for all.

Charles Reid

Client MD, Carat UK (Manchester)

With 30 years’ experience in the media industry, Charles leads the Carat team in Manchester, and is co-chair of dentsu LGBTQ+ ERG, PROUD. Dentsu is recognised as a Top 100 employer by Stonewall’s UK Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace.