Walpole Power List 2024

Introducing the Walpole Power List 2024

We reveal the inspirational individuals whose creativity, leadership and skill is set to define the direction of the British luxury sector over the coming year in the Walpole Power List 2024
24th Jan 2024
Walpole Power List 2024 Introducing the Walpole Power List 2024

Carolyn Addison

Head of Product, Black Tomato

Carolyn started working for Black Tomato in 2007. During that time, she has collaborated on the company’s many inspiring service launches including ‘Take Me on a Story’ and ‘See You in the Moment’, as well as the award-winning James Bond travel partnership with EON Productions. “Since joining Black Tomato, Carolyn has seen travel develop from the pre-social media era, through the financial crisis and pandemic to the state of travel today,” says Emma de Vadder, PR Director, Black Tomato. “She has steered our offering with unparalleled insight into the evolving travel styles of various elite traveller types, which highlights her remarkable prowess for curating industry-leading travel product.”

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Aneta Aslakhanova

Global Marketing Director, Newby Teas

Based in London since 2012, Aneta has led the transformation of Newby Teas from a niche luxury company into an award-winning international brand. Alongside driving strategy across diverse global markets, Aneta has nurtured relationships with cultural and philanthropic institutions. She serves as Honorary Director of The Chitra Collection, the company’s private museum of historic teaware; and as Secretary of the charity, N Sethia Foundation. “Aneta has been at Newby Teas for the last 11 years,” says Joana Perhat, Sales Manager, Newby Teas. “She’s always keen to push boundaries and brand standards, as evidenced by our new 2024 designs, which are stunning.”

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Francis Atterbury

Managing Director, Hurtwood

Francis is a publisher and book production expert. As Managing Director of Hurtwood, a publishing house that has created tomes on arts since 1978, he brings over 40 years of practical experience to the production of some of the most beautiful books being published today. He works closely with many of the best known and respected names in both art and commerce to create books that are simultaneously beautiful and seductive to handle and hold whilst never losing the voice of the author or the oeuvre of the artist. Francis is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has won numerous awards for his books.

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Rhian Barker

Group Design Director, Accouter Group of Companies

Since she joined Accouter studio in 2013, Rhian has delivered multi-million-pound schemes for high profile international developers and end-user clients in London and internationally. Her recent achievements are the interior design of a £100mn super-prime property in Mayfair, and show apartments for luxury developers including Grosvenor Estates and Northacre. “Consistently recognised as the most supportive team member within our company, Rhian is not only a mentor but also a genuine creative force,” says Stella Gittins, Co-Founder, AGC. Rhian’s inclusion in the Power List is well-deserved, as her humility and long- standing contributions have kept her under the radar for far too long.”

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Araminta Birse-Stewart

Founder, Araminta Campbell

Since starting her business in 2016, Araminta has seamlessly woven together tradition and innovation. She is passionate about preserving the Scottish weaving tradition, employing handweavers to create heirlooms of tomorrow within the enchanting walls of an 1800s castle-like atelier outside Edinburgh. “From the first day I met Araminta nearly four years ago, I was inspired by her unwavering vision and values,” says Miranda Clegg, Commercial Director, Araminta Campbell. “It is this that has led to the company we have today, with a close-knit team who share those views, focussed growth in the business year-on-year, and a flagship atelier which is an aspirational place to work.”

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Jonathan Boston

Managing Director, Christys' Hats

A creative at heart with an overriding passion for British manufacturing, luxury and craftsmanship, Jonathan has been at the helm of Christys’ since 2022. Over the past year he has implemented and delivered galvanising growth, and concentrated on re-building the values of the brand – protecting the past by investing in the future as the hatmaker enters its 251st year. 2023 saw impressive expansion of the company’s international sales network, as well as the re-establishment of a new cap-making production facility at its Oxfordshire factory, re-igniting the skills and bringing in new machinery to now fully enable British made and crafted caps there, alongside its classic felts and panamas.

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Simon Bradbury

Chief Commercial Officer, Gusbourne 

At Gusbourne, Simon leads a sales team that has expanded distribution to 35 countries, making Gusbourne the leading luxury English wine brand overseas, while also developing a network of prestigious domestic hospitality partners. This is complemented by The Nest – Gusbourne’s visitor centre – which won UK Cellar Door of the Year at the Decanter Wine Awards 2023. “It has been a great pleasure to work closely with Simon as he ably leads our talented sales team, inspiring and steering them in pursuit of our longer-term strategic objectives,” says Jonathan White, CEO, Gusbourne. “He effortlessly manages to weave together significant commercial growth plans whilst maintaining our super-premium luxury brand positioning.”

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Wayne Bruce

Chief Communications and D&I Officer, Bentley Motors

Upon joining Bentley Motors four years ago, Wayne set about positioning this longstanding British marque as a leader in sustainable luxury mobility while preserving its considerable heritage. A key part of his role is a drive to increase diversity in management to 30% in 2025, as well as the establishment of colleague diversity networks to help embed an understanding of diversity and inclusion within the workplace at Bentley Motors. “Wayne is a brand communications trailblazer,” says Cecile Simon, Head of Lifestyle Communications, Bentley Motors. “Under his direction, the brand now has five networks across different aspects of diversity with nearly 500 colleagues, with more than 10% of the workforce actively participating.”

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Sarah Burgess 

Whisky Maker, The Lakes Distillery 

As Whisky Maker, Sarah’s responsibility includes the flavour development and creation of The Lakes’ white spirits and whisky, alongside the operational elements of the distillery site. During 2023 she has worked tirelessly in her quest to learn more about the wine industry, and has recently been inducted into the Gin Guild. “Sarah has been a breath of fresh air since joining The Lakes in January last year,” says Steve Gibson, Brand Manager, The Lakes Distillery. “It is rare to find someone so creative, innovative, helpful, and down-to-earth as Sarah. She is elevating quality levels and craft, helping to create new opportunities that will expand The Lakes’ global footprint.”

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Kim Carroll

Global Communications Director, dunhill 

A dynamic leader, Kim joined dunhill as the Global Communications Director for the British men’s luxury house in 2023 – the culmination of 15 years’ experience working within the fashion, luxury and lifestyle sector. Born and raised in Rome and educated in the UK, Kim has extensive experience working both in-house and at agency level, developing global and localised communication strategies for brands. Having previously held senior positions at Karla Otto, Coach and the British Fashion Council alongside stints at American Vogue and Interview Magazine, she has worked in Europe, US and Asia. Kim is an optimist with a profound interest in people, the planet and culture.

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Davide Cerrato

CEO, Bremont

Davide joined Bremont early in 2023, bringing with him extensive experience in branding, product design and development, supply-chain management, and production. Over his career, he has worked with some of the most notable brands in the watch industry. At Tudor, Rolex’s sister brand, Davide was Head of Marketing, Design & Product Development where he oversaw the re-launch of the brand and the design of its popular Black Bay watch in 2012. “Davide is a world class creative CEO who is taking Britain’s leading watch company to the next level,” says Rupert Morley, Chairman, Bremont Watches. “He has already made huge changes to the brand including the design of an iconic new range.”

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Sean Clayton 

Managing Director, Peter Reed International

Sean is the third generation of a fabric-producing textile family, leaving the family business ten years later to pursue his own career in textiles. He has worked in various factories across Yorkshire and Lancashire, serving as Managing Director for Peter Reed International since 2012. “Sean is an exceptional Managing Director,” says Maryam Roohipour, Marketing Executive, Peter Reed International. “The traditional skills and craftsmanship in Peter Reed’s team are all down to his incredible encouragement, ensuring we stick to our Lancashire roots while creating one of life’s greatest luxuries. Sean’s knowledge of luxury linen is truly inspiring and everyday I learn something new from him about the business.”

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Rob Colmer 

Head of Government Affairs and Sustainability, Aston Martin Lagonda

Rob has worked at Aston Martin Lagonda since March 2022. In his role as Head of Government Affairs and Sustainability, his responsibilities include government relations, public affairs and ESG, as well as leading Aston Martin’s multi-award-winning sustainability strategy, Racing. Green., a new, driving ambition for the company to be a world-leading sustainable ultra-luxury automotive business. Prior to Aston Martin, Rob spent 20 years working in senior international roles at Shell covering strategic communications, government relations and sustainability. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and an External Associate at the University of Northampton’s Centre for Sustainable Business.

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François Dossa 

Executive Director of Strategy and Sustainability, Jaguar Land Rover

In his role, François has displayed an unwavering commitment to embedding sustainability at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover’s transformation into a modern luxury house of brands. These include ambitious goals to achieve carbon net zero by 2039, including the Jaguar brand becoming fully electric by 2025. He is also board co-sponsor of Jaguar Land Rover’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, and has been integral in transforming the company’s inclusivity as it challenges industry norms. “François’ leadership has spearheaded new strategic partnerships and collaborations with industry key players and start-ups alike,” says Eva Ng Kon Tia, Head of Transformation, Strategy, and Sustainability at Jaguar Land Rover, “accelerating sustainable innovation in manufacturing, engineering and operations.”

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Sarah Emburey

Marketing Director, Cowdray

Having started her career under Tom Ford at Gucci, Sarah held marketing roles at Bicester Village, Fenwick, Heidi Klein, and Anya Hindmarch before joining Cowdray in 2019 – bringing with her a wealth of experience as a communications specialist. In her role at Cowdray, she is responsible for the brand, marketing strategy and communications for the Estate businesses. “Sarah has been instrumental in defining and promoting the Cowdray brand to become a recognised luxury and experiential destination,” says Jonathan Russell, Chief Executive, Cowdray. “She is an inspiring, engaging and motivated colleague. Her creativity, eye for detail and passion can be seen across all Cowdray do and achieve.”

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Laura Facetti 

Head of Membership Development, The Ned

Laura has more than 15 years’ experience within hospitality working for five-star hotels worldwide from Shanghai to New York. In 2017, Laura joined The Ned in London to oversee membership acquisition and the club’s development. Through her passion for connecting people, she has helped to lead the brand and expand its offering into New York and Doha – and looks forward to continuing to build a global membership of like-minded and cultural professionals for Ned’s Club in 2024. “Laura personifies The Ned brand and, in many ways, is only just getting started in her role,” says Gareth Banner, Group Managing Director, The Ned. “We are excited to see what the future holds.”

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Juliet Fairbairn 

Head of Global Brand Partnerships, Jaguar Land Rover

Juliet has been with Jaguar Land Rover for 20 years and she is responsible for developing and implementing the partnership and influencer strategies for Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar. A graduate from Queen’s University in Belfast, Juliet has a wealth of experience in luxury brand partnerships, lifestyle communications, product placement, and talent relationship management. “Juliet has been instrumental in nurturing and growing the brands within the Jaguar Land Rover portfolio,” says Richard Agnew, Communications & Insights Director, Jaguar Land Rover. “Most recently this work has focussed on Range Rover and Defender, ensuring they’re embedded in culture on a global scale by creating activations that connect with our diverse and discerning global client base.”

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Paula Fitzherbert

Global Head of Communications, Maybourne Hotel Group

Paula is the long-standing Global Head of Communications for Maybourne Hotel Group, working across Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Berkeley in London. In 2023 she was instrumental in the launch of the Claridge’s Royal Academy Schools Art Prize, which will run for three years, offering a £30,000 prize and the opportunity to exhibit at Claridge’s ArtSpace gallery to the winner. “No-one deserves this nomination more than Paula,” says Stacey Langham, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Royal Academy of Arts. “She has that rare knack of being able to integrate an understanding of the big picture strategy and remarkable attention to detail in her work, bringing a personal touch to everything.”

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Paul Fleming 

Managing Director, Fleming & Howland

Paul is a seventh-generation furniture maker and owner of Fleming & Howland, creators of the iconic Chesterfield. As an heir to age-old practices, Paul strives to build furniture that not only embodies luxury, but also stands as testament to superb artisanship. At the heart of the company, Paul emphasises, is the meticulous work of the craftsman and the belief that the legacy will continue to be passed down. “Paul has a great passion for his brand and ensures he keeps British craftsmanship at the forefront of his company,” says Sean Clayton, Managing Director, Peter Reed International. “Both Fleming & Howland and Peter Reed have a really close connection in our philosophy as to how product is manufactured, and it’s great to have someone like Paul to bounce ideas off.”

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Georgina Griffith-Jones

Founder & Director, Moriarty Events

Georgina’s eye for style, unbridled imagination and strategic mind are the roots of Moriarty. Flawlessly professional and efficient, her creativity ensures a sense of drama flows through every event, injecting beauty into every detail. Weaving through this artistry, her innate understanding of brand and commercial objectives deliver moments that overflow with wonder and encompass every conceivable element of both successful brand experiences and private parties. “Georgina stands out as a true beacon of inspiration and a valuable source of advice within her industry,” says Cameron Duodu, Sales and Marketing Manager, Moriarty Events. “Her unwavering dedication to connecting with others has resulted in a web of relationships that is nothing short of remarkable.”

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Stephen Humphries

Creative Director, Westley Richards

Stephen joined Westley Richards as Creative Director in 2019 to raise awareness of the company internationally and establish strong growth within its retail division. Since he joined, the renowned maker of bespoke sporting arms, fine leather goods, and luxury safari-wear has seen double digit revenue growth each year. “Despite the challenges of the last few years Stephen has led an exponential growth in revenue, audience and customer base for the business,” says Lauren Hooton, Retail Development Manager, Westley Richards. “His introduction of a digital-first and content-led strategy, spearheaded by The Explora Club (an online membership of HNWIs and UHNWIs), has seen the brand’s retail sales increase by over 64%.”

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Jo Humphris 

Head of PR and Marketing, Charbonnel et Walker 

Jo is the Head of PR and Marketing for British chocolatier Charbonnel et Walker, and also creates new packaging design concepts for the brand’s highly illustrative seasonal collections. Being so close to the design process enables in-depth storytelling and links to the brand heritage across all marketing. Over the past ten years, Jo has established partnerships and worked on bespoke collections with luxury brands across the fashion, interiors, lifestyle, arts and culture sectors. Jo has previously worked In-house and for PR agencies including M&C Saatchi. Her personal passion for rare books can be seen in her design concepts and often form the reference points for Charbonnel collections.

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Ruaridh Jackson 

Private Client manager, The Glenturret

Ruaridh joined The Glenturret, Scotland’s oldest working distillery, in 2020 at a time when the business had just come under new ownership. Since then, The Glenturret has made significant progress repositioning into the luxury world with its award-winning scarce single malt whisky, its Michelin-starred restaurant, and soon-to-launch six bedroom luxury accommodation. “Joining Glenturret from a career as a professional rugby player, Ruaridh has quickly adapted himself to the world of luxury selling,” says John Laurie, Managing Director, The Glenturret. “A sociable person with a visible integrity, he has grown the private client sales at The Glenturret from close to zero to £1.5mn in 2023.”

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Siân Jenkins 

Corporate Relations Manager, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Siân is Corporate Relations Manager at the London Philharmonic Orchestra; an organisation celebrated as one of the world’s leading musical ensembles. She joined in 2022 to enhance and develop relationships with existing and prospective corporate partners, with the aim of expanding the organisation’s corporate portfolio and contributing towards its fundraising targets and charitable goals. Since then, she has worked with businesses across a range of sectors to curate events and experiences that harness the extraordinary power of music to create memorable experiences. Siân is passionate about identifying opportunities to bring the cultural and luxury sectors together to build partnerships that showcase creativity, innovation and excellence.

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Anabel Kindersley

Co-Owner/CEO, Neal's Yard Remedies

Anabel is a trailblazer of ethical and sustainable business practices, dedicating her working life to driving positive change within the world of British luxury and the UK’s beauty sector. She has spent many years campaigning to protect bees, launching the ‘Stand By Bees’ campaign and forming a coalition of over 105 businesses and organisations to lobby the government for a total ban on harmful pesticides, whilst promoting organic farming and ethical sourcing. “Anabel radiates positivity in every area she touches,” says Amy Jones, Brand Communications Manager, Neal’s Yard Remedies. “Her optimism is a driving force to make real change happen, not just within our company but also in her external campaigning efforts, too.”

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Antoinette Lettieri

Head of Events and Event Partnerships, The Lanesborough

Antoinette has been overseeing Events and Events Partnerships at The Lanesborough, part of Oetker Collection, for the last six years. Her passion for being ‘in the know’ has allowed her to build strong connections within the world of luxury, creatively curating some of London’s most glamorous events. With her unmatched eye for detail and passion for the exceptional, Antoinette transforms each project into a flawless masterpiece, setting a standard of excellence that resonates throughout her work. “Her extensive experience in the luxury events industry has led her to become a sought-after tastemaker in the world of luxury events,” says Alexandra Jenkinson, Executive Office, The Lanesborough.

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Torquil McIntosh

Co-Founder, Sybarite

Torquil’s ethos is to blur the boundaries between the arts and architecture – a philosophy that led to Sybarite being honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and International Trade in both 2016 and 2022. Since 2012, Torquil has overseen Sybarite’s relationship with SKP retail operators in China. In 2023, SKP Chengdu – a collaboration between Torquil and his team at Sybarite and Field Operations – was lauded as changing the blueprint in the world of sunken luxury hybrid retail and hospitality by industry experts and media alike. “Torquil is, quite simply, a visionary in retail master planning and next-generation luxury,” says Jodi Feder, Communications Director, Sybarite.

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Kelsey McKechnie

Malt Master, The Balvenie

Kelsey McKechnie is the third Malt Master in the history of The Balvenie, and one of the industry’s most exciting talents. Following a six-year apprenticeship with David Stewart MBE, Kelsey has taken over the reins and shapes the pathway to greatness for this illustrious brand, uniquely combining a keen scientific mind from her MSc in Distilling with her personal prowess as an artist. Since joining William Grant & Sons ten years ago, she has honed her craft and made an indelible mark with groundbreaking The Balvenie Sweet Toast of American Oak. Kelsey oversees the craftsmanship of every bottle of The Balvenie and is responsible for a raft of exciting upcoming innovations.

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Marta Milli 

Sales Manager, The Hari 

Marta joined five-star boutique hotel, The Hari, in London’s Belgravia in 2022. An international person to her core, Marta has always loved meeting people and truly getting to know different cultures. What better way, then, to combine both passions than by making her career in the hospitality industry? Born in Italy, Marta graduated with First-Class Honours in Hospitality Management from the University of West London and received The Savoy Educational Trust Scholarship in 2021, which allowed her to further develop her knowledge in hospitality. Having found her feet in the hospitality industry, she has worked in Italy, Spain, Finland, and now the UK. 

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Cristina Muñoz 

Senior Manager, Brand Partnerships, Cunard

With over 20 years of experience in the luxury cruise industry, Cristina has implemented Cunard’s global brand partnerships strategy, curating collaborations with luxury lifestyle and culture centric brands. Passionate about creating mutually beneficial and authentic partnerships, Cristina is committed to delivering unique experiences that expand horizons both on board the Cunard fleet and ashore.“I’m thrilled that Cristina has been included in this prestigious list,” says Katie McAlister, President, Cunard. “Her dedication, talent, and tireless enthusiasm has fostered some wonderful partnership activities and elevated our brand. We’re all incredibly proud to have Cristina in our team as she reflects the collective spirit of excellence that we all pride ourselves on.”

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Brendan Murdock

Founder, anatomē

Brendan Murdock is a creative, designer, and entrepreneur with a passion for ingredients and formulations. In 2018, he founded anatomē, a London-based apothecary brand that champions health and happiness, offering ingredients and proposing ways to practise self-care without the patronising weight of some philosophies in the market. “As an alumnus of Walpole’s Brands of Tomorrow programme, I have been witness to Brendan’s considerable skill sets, both in brand creation and scaling,” says Balthazar Fabricius, board member of Fitzdares and Co-Chair of Walpole’s Brands of Tomorrow programme. “Brendan is a founder to believe in and we are excited to see where he can take anatomē.”

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Samantha Pacan 

Director of Corporate Relations, Burberry

Since 2022, Samantha has served as the Director of Corporate Relations at Burberry – one of the most recognisable and coveted British luxury brands in the world. In her role, she is responsible for global external communications, media relations, government and public affairs, and financial reporting. She also oversees reputational risk management to protect the long-term value and reputation of the brand. Prior to joining Burberry, Samantha held a variety of communications and public relations positions at leading global organisations across EMEIA and Asia-Pacific, including American consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group. An advocate of British design and craft, Samantha is passionate about championing modern British luxury on the global stage.

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Molly Pigott

Commercial Director, True Travel

Molly joined True Travel in 2015 and, since then, she has been instrumental in the growth of the company. Over the past year she has single-handedly grown True Travel’s US agent network to become 40% of business revenue through building personal, trusted relationships with each agent. She is also the flag bearer of the brand’s values and messaging, ensuring the team never loses sight of its hand-held, personal touch within its service and strategy. “The support Molly gives to the team has fostered a culture of creativity and confidence, empowering each individual to learn and grow both professionally and personally,” says Ella Povey, Marketing Executive, True Travel.

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Priya Radhakrishnan

Corporate Development Officer, The Old Vic

Working with the Corporate Relations Manager and Events Manager, providing support to achieve The Old Vic’s long-term fundraising targets, as well as maintaining relationships with corporates and individual patrons. On a day-to-day basis, she manages corporate accounts, entertaining and engagement to financially support the work of The Old Vic theatre, both on- and off-stage. In addition, she runs the Orchestra’s private bar and helps deliver bespoke cultivation and engagement events. A trained opera and musical theatre singer, Priya is a graduate of King’s College London with a degree in Arts and Cultural Management, and was formerly Development Assistant at fellow Walpole cultural member, London Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Simon Rawlings

Chief Creative Director, David Collins Studio

Simon joined David Collins Studio in 1997 and was appointed Creative Director in 2007, overseeing the creative output of The Studio. In his twenty-fifth year at The Studio last year, Simon’s role was elevated to Chief Creative Officer. His visionary leadership was most recently showcased in the studio’s pivotal role in designing substantial portions of the upcoming Queen Anne cruise ship by Cunard. “Simon epitomises excellence in British luxury interior architecture and his recent elevation to CCO underscores his unwavering commitment to the built environment and craftsmanship,” says David Kendall, Marketing & Communications Director, David Collins Studio. “His creative footprint transcends borders, maintaining both design excellence and a British point of view.”

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Hugh Seaborn CVO

CEO, Cadogan

During his 15-year tenure as CEO, Hugh has demonstrated unwavering commitment as steward both of Cadogan’s 300-year family history, and of the neighbourhood Cadogan seeks to protect. In his drive to enhance the character of Chelsea, Hugh has overseen the creation of a new centre for independent artisans on Pavilion Road, while realising a transformation of Sloane Street which will situate Chelsea among the most desirable destinations for luxury shopping. His invigorating, creative attitude combines with his commitment sustainability initiatives: Cadogan’s ‘Chelsea 2030’ has already prompted a ten percent carbon saving within the business, alongside the launch of a £90mn decarbonisation programme.

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Hamun Shah

Group Chief Financial Officer, Church's Shoes

Hamun has worked for Church’s Shoes for over two decades, supervising the transition from operating as an independent footwear company to a key brand within the Prada Group. Given his ambitious nature, tireless energy and passion for finance, strategy and personnel development, he progressed quickly through the ranks at the shoemaker. Recently, Hamun has also taken a non-executive role at SATRA, the independent testing and research organisation. “CFOs are often luxury’s unsung heroes,” says Denni Manzatto, CEO of Church’s Shoes, Prada Group. “Hamun’s 20-plus years with Church’s have seen the business evolve enormously and this honour is testament to his dedicated service to the brand.”

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Georgia Simpson 

PR, Events and Communications Manager, James Purdey & Sons

Georgia’s focus at James Purdey & Sons is to create genuine connections and memorable experiences that resonate with the brand’s clients. While led by Georgia, every event and every campaign is a collaborative effort, showcasing the craftsmanship, heritage, innovation and elegance at the heart of the brand. “Georgia brings a fresh energy to life at Purdey,” says Dan Jago, Chairman, James Purdey & Sons. “She is always looking at how to improve the way our legacy brand presents itself to the outside world, be it for large client events or on one-to-ones with journalists.”

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Siraj Singh

Board Member & Director of Marketing and E-Commerce, Edwardian Hotels 

Since joining Edwardian Hotels, Siraj has been instrumental in defining and developing all brand aspects for The Londoner, the world’s first super boutique hotel, which launched in 2021. With over a decade of experience, she now leads all marketing, brand and communications efforts across the Edwardian group portfolio, and has led the team to success in numerous awards categories. “Siraj created a powerful network of movers and shakers to help with a very successful launch of our latest hotel, The Londoner,” says Linda Plant, Director of Strategic Relations, Edwardian Hotels. “She is a person that can get things done and has developed creative methods outside of traditional marketing approaches.”

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Mauricio Solodujin 

Global Commercial Director, Sanderson Design Group

Following a successful career with LVMH, Mauricio was appointed as the Global Commercial Director for the Sanderson Design Group in 2019. In this role, he is responsible for all commercial activities of the brands in the business as well as partnerships and the licensing business, which increased by 90% as reported on the last interim results. “Mauricio is constantly refreshing, endlessly energetic, challenges the status quo, and is always keen to explore new horizons for the business,” says Elaine Sullivan, Group Global Director of Communications, Sanderson Design Group. “He is such fun to work with as a key executive on our leadership team to deliver strategic vision for SDG.”

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Ben Spriggs

Editor-in-Chief, ELLE Decoration

With over 20 years’ experience in lifestyle, interiors and design journalism, Ben has spent much of the last twelve years driving the ELLE Decoration brand in the UK, taking over the editorship in July 2017. With an avid interest in contemporary design and décor and an unrivalled reputation, Ben often gives talks, chairs discussions, and acts as a spokesperson for the interiors industry. “Ben is an expert on interiors with an eye for discovering the design stars of the future and the latest looks for the home,” says Jacqueline Euwe, Chief Luxury Officer, Hearst UK. “He is also an inspiring editorial thought leader, highly collaborative and able to offer valuable insight into editorial processes.”

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Manuela Stadelmann

Head of Marketing, Penhaligon's 

Having gained an Executive MBA in Global Fashion Management from Institut Français de la Mode in Paris, Manuela started her career in marketing at Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. After launching the beauty offerings for both luxury brands, she moved on to lead the international marketing team at fellow Walpole member, Harrods, before joining Penhaligon’s as Head of Marketing in 2019. Manuela is a passionate brand builder who loves immersing herself into a marque’s heritage and codes to tell distinct brand stories that create an emotional connection. She believes in collaboration and the power of luxury to ignite positive change.

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Margaret Sweeney

Sales and Business Development Director, G . F Smith & Son

Margaret has devoted her entire career to G . F Smith & Son. Having started as an office junior, she was appointed to the company board in 2021 and is now the Sales and Business Development Director. In this role, she inspires her team to build exciting and collaborative relationships, to connect people who need to be connected, and to help creatives deliver their wonderfully unique visions. “Margaret is an incredible brand ambassador as well as being a champion of all British luxury brands,” says Kate Halfpenny, Founder, Halfpenny London. “She is truly deserving of this honour as her gracious nature, inspiring direction and general magic are all superwoman power assets.”

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Jenny Urquhart 

Vice-Chair, Johnstons of Elgin

Jenny is a fourth-generation family owner of Johnstons of Elgin. From establishing the company’s first online shop in 2005 to formalising the rare textile manufacturing skills into nationally-accredited apprenticeship qualifications, Jenny has created many opportunities for the company and its community. In 2019 she became the first woman in Johnstons of Elgin’s 226-year history to chair its board. “Jenny is so supportive of Johnstons of Elgin and its workforce, not to mention the industry and British luxury sector at large,” says Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige, Gordon & MacPhail. “She is also incredibly supportive of women in business and a real driver for sustainability.” 

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Ewan Venters OBE 

CEO, Artfarm

Ewan is CEO of the international art gallery, Hauser & Wirth – which represents over 90 leading artists and artists’ estates, with 16 gallery spaces in 7 countries – as well as CEO of independent hospitality company, Artfarm. He was awarded an OBE for his services to International Trade in the New Year Honours List 2024. “Following a successful period returning Fortnum & Masons to profitability, Ewan has embarked on an exciting journey to create the benchmark in luxury cultural brands in Artfarm,” says James Stuart, Managing Director, Cameron Stuart Associates. “Many of these in the UK, including the Fife Arms in Braemar, Scotland, and the Mount St. Restaurant and Farm Shop in London.”

Luca Virgilio 

General Manager, The Dorchester 

Luca first joined the Dorchester Collection in 2014 to oversee the renovation of Hotel Eden in Rome, then returned in 2022 to do the same at The Dorchester in London. Following the successful relaunch of the first renovated spaces last year, in 2023 The Dorchester was awarded number one hotel in London by readers of Condé Nast Traveller. “Luca arrived at The Dorchester just as the property was about to embark on its biggest renovation in 30 years,” says Alison Wheatley, Area Director of Marketing & Communications, Dorchester Collection. “He has masterfully overseen the transformation of the hotel, keeping it firmly rooted to its heritage, but making it relevant for today.”

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Sonja Vodusek 

Managing Director, The Peninsula London

A seasoned hotelier, Sonja is currently Managing Director of The Peninsula London, which opened in September 2023 in Belgravia. Her self-prescribed purpose of ‘making every person and every moment matter’ builds on her deep understanding that when people come first, profits will follow. With an innate understanding of the power of strong networks and building your personal brand, Sonja holds a Walpole professorship at Regent’s University London. “Sonja is a dynamic, strategic leader that has the unique ability to challenge her teams to excel, while leading with genuine care and concern for those around her,” says Joseph Lee, Hotel Manager, The Peninsula London.

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Charlotte Weatherall 

Director of Sales and Marketing, Corinthia London

Throughout her career and especially in her role at Corinthia London, Charlotte has been passionate about building confident teams through positive company culture, alongside achieving commercial success. She sits on the business committee for the charity Spread a Smile and is an advisory board member for Checking-IN, an LGBTQ+ hospitality network. “In the short time that Charlotte has been at Corinthia London, she has made a profound impact on the business, helping the hotel achieve its highest ever revenue to date,” says Caroline Koch, Director of Marketing, Corinthia London. “She is an inspirational woman in a largely male-dominated industry, proudly flying the flag for the LGBTQ+ community and working mothers.”

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Megan Williams

Sustainability Project Manager, Pelorus

Having spent time working with the United Nations, Megan joined the Pelorus Foundation in 2022. She has been instrumental in driving sustainable innovations and impactful partnerships, as well as positively challenging developments for the Pelorus group through the luxury travel experiences it creates. Milestone projects she has spearheaded include creating a Climate Investment Fund, launching sustainability consultancy services, and a pioneering Sustainable Aviation Fuel partnership. “Megan has been a cornerstone of the Pelorus Foundation since her arrival,” says Jimmy Carroll, Co-Founder, Pelorus. “We are proud of the sustainable direction Megan is steering us towards, marking Pelorus as a leader in luxury travel experiences that are as responsible as they are remarkable.”

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Simon Wolf

CEO, WOLF

Simon is the fifth generation CEO of the WOLF dynasty, which began 190 years ago. He joined the company in 1985 working alongside his father to understand factory production. After 30 years growing the business in the US, Simon returned to the UK in 2021 and, since then, has developed many sustainability initiatives for the company – most recently pursuing the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark. “When I first met Simon Wolf in 2021, it struck me immediately how passionate he was about WOLF and how deeply he felt the responsibility of looking after his family’s business,” says Kate Yerrell, Marketing Director UK, Europe, and Middle East, WOLF. “Every detail of the business is important to him.”

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