Sheona Southern, previously director at strategic marketing consultancy, Cairn, has commenced the role of managing director at Marketing Manchester, part of the Manchester Growth Company.
A respected figure in the North West, Sheona brings a wealth of experience to the organisation, with over 20 years in senior management roles across several sectors including media, retail and tourism. Previous to Cairn Marketing Consultancy, Sheona also held a number of high profile roles within Cumbria Tourism, Teamtalk Media Group and the BBC.
Sheona will lead strategic development and implementation of the marketing of Greater Manchester to a wide range of audiences including visitors, conferences, business and investors. She takes over from Andrew Stokes who stepped down in November 2015 after 17 years with the organisation.
The appointment coincides with a number of additional changes to Marketing Manchester’s senior management team:
- Sara Tomkins has been appointed to a new role as destination director. Previously assistant chief executive at Manchester City Council, Sara will be responsible for the creation of marketing, communications and digital strategies to help improve the international perception of the city region and boost the awareness of Greater Manchester’s strengths in the priority sectors of digital/creative and tech, science and manufacturing.
- Axel Kullick has been appointed to a new role as head of sector marketing. Previously director of strategic marketing at Germany Trade & Invest, Axel will lead sector focused marketing plans that promote Greater Manchester as a place that excels at doing business in priority sectors within key international markets.
- Stephanie Newton has been appointed to the role of head of business tourism. Previously business development manager at Marketing Manchester, Stephanie is tasked with managing the promotion and positioning of Manchester as the UK’s leading international conference destination.
Sheona Southern, said: “I’m delighted to be joining Marketing Manchester as managing director at what is undoubtedly a pivotal moment for the city and Greater Manchester. I take the mantle from the wonderful Andrew Stokes who led the organisation for the best part of two decades and I am looking forward to raising the profile of Greater Manchester to the next level with a new senior management team in place.”
Mark Hughes, group chief executive of the Manchester Growth Company, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome these new appointments to the company. The coming year is set to present a unique set of opportunities and challenges for Greater Manchester, and so it’s important that senior management be well structured. Marketing Manchester’s reorganised team places it in a strong position to achieve these.”
Cllr Richard Farnell, Greater Manchester Combined Authority lead for internationalisation and marketing, added: “Marketing Manchester’s senior management additions have been carefully selected to enable the organisation to build on the already remarkable work it does for the region. I have every confidence that the expansion of the team will allow the group considerable advantage in promoting Greater Manchester’s the rich and diverse offer.”
“It’s a pleasure to welcome these new appointments to the company. The coming year is set to present a unique set of opportunities and challenges for Greater Manchester, and so it’s important that senior management be well structured. Marketing Manchester’s reorganised team places it in a strong position to achieve these.”