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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

CHARLIE BIGHAM

An English Literature degree; a stint as a management consultant; a passion for cooking – all stirred up with travel in over 40 countries has proved to be a great recipe for starting a food business. Charlie Bigham’s, founded in 1996, operates out of two large kitchens (in London & Somerset) making a range of delicious oven ready food sold in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado and Booths. The company has a team of 700 and annual sales of over £120m and is on a mission to demonstrate that delicious food can be made in a way that puts people and sustainability at the heart of everything.

PHIL HARRISON

Phil Harrison has been at the forefront of the games industry as a creator, developer, investor and executive for more than 35 years. From the 8-bit home computer revolution in the 1980’s, launching PlayStation in the 1990’s and as President of Worldwide Studios at Sony, investing in leading mobile games company Supercell in the 2010’s, as an executive at Microsoft and – since 2018 – at Google, Phil has enjoyed a unique perspective on the explosive growth of the global games industry and the pivotal role that entrepreneurs and risk-takers play in building the future.

EXPERT INSIGHTS

Cherie-Anne Baxter-Blyth

Marketing Director,
Unividual

Cherie-Anne Baxter-Blyth is the Marketing Director of Bath and London based Chartered Financial Planners, Unividual. She grew up in Bath, but left for the city lights of Birmingham to get a degree in business and a Postgraduate in marketing. Cherie-Anne became one of the youngest Chartered Marketers’, at the time, whilst growing the recruitment firm she was part of for eight years. She moved this company from a 1 to 12 million pound business and it became one of the largest privately owned education recruitment agencies in the UK.

In 2015 Cherie-Anne returned to Bath to apply her entrepreneurial and strategic skill to the family business her father founded in 2000, Unividual. Alongside her brother Lewis Baxter, they took over the running of what was a £500,000 TO/5 person size business. In 7 years they have transformed it in to the multi-award-winning brand it is today with offices in London, Bath, Bristol and Edinburgh. In 2018 Cherie-Anne’s contribution to marketing was recognized when she was awarded Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing at just 34 years old. Cherie-Anne has not just bought her marketing prowess to the South West but a determination to change the face of financial services. Combining her passion for diversity with a unique skill in talent management Cherie-Anne’s business has become the shining example of how to build a diverse business in a non-inclusive industry, with the wellbeing of people and local communities at its core.

Emma Millington

CEO and Co-Owner,
Modular

Lauren Crawley-Moore heads regional coverage for London and the South within the Primary Markets team. Lauren is responsible for providing guidance to ambitious private companies and their investors in their initial and on-going assessment of a potential IPO strategy. Lauren is responsible for leading the portfolio in London and the South region across AIM and the Main Market. Lauren works with key stakeholders including companies and the corporate advisory, Private Equity and VC communities – including nominated advisers, sponsors, lawyers, and accountants.

Lauren has held a variety of roles at the LSEG, most recently as Head of Group Campaigns & Events, notably spearheading the inception and development of the Market Open experience for companies, and leading the Companies to Inspire projects, that focus on the promotion of private and public business in the growth sector across the UK and Africa.

Gillian Ridley Whittle

Founder & CEO,
Peachaus

Gillian Ridley Whittle is an experienced and seasoned professional with over 30 years’ experience in commercial fashion retailing. Working with highly respected UK and International retailers, Gillian successfully headed up M&S Lingerie & launched their Beauty concept. She went on to work for two turnaround Australian brands, Target and MYER, and on her return became Fashion Director of Topshop until it was acquired by ASOS.

Disillusioned with the damage the fashion industry was causing both people and planet she decided she needed to set a new precedent for the industry and so launched ethical underwear, sleep & loungewear brand Peachaus in 2022. An everyday beautiful curated collection of products from bed to beach to bar; made from recycled Italian lace, low-impact cotton, bamboo and recycled polyester. All fabrics have been carefully selected to ensure that the products are super comfortable, soft, lightweight and breathable to make women feel beautiful inside and out.

Gillian sees the turmoil around us and the impact this is having on people’s lives. The brands’ purpose is to ignite the power of you, supporting people towards their purpose and personal freedom. She believes the fashion industry can be a force of good and is on a mission to ensure this is the case.

LAURA AIKEN

Founder & Management Consultant,
Thrive Leadership

Laura Aiken blends a decade of engineering leadership with her passion for people, pioneering workplace resilience and inclusion.

After overcoming burnout, Laura dedicated her work to empowering STEM leaders to foster inclusive, thriving teams. Her approach, merging neuroscience and integrative practices like breathwork, has transformed corporate cultures worldwide.

Laura’s impact extends from large-scale resilience training to strategic DEI initiatives, making her a sought-after leadership coach, speaker and advocate for positive workplace cultures.

Lauren Crawley-Moore

Regional lead, London & The South, UK Primary Markets
London Stock Exchange

Lauren Crawley-Moore heads regional coverage for London and the South within the Primary Markets team. Lauren is responsible for providing guidance to ambitious private companies and their investors in their initial and on-going assessment of a potential IPO strategy. Lauren is responsible for leading the portfolio in London and the South region across AIM and the Main Market. Lauren works with key stakeholders including companies and the corporate advisory, Private Equity and VC communities – including nominated advisers, sponsors, lawyers, and accountants.

Lauren has held a variety of roles at the LSEG, most recently as Head of Group Campaigns & Events, notably spearheading the inception and development of the Market Open experience for companies, and leading the Companies to Inspire projects, that focus on the promotion of private and public business in the growth sector across the UK and Africa.

Maria Dickson

Marketing Director,
AMBITIOUS

Maria is a seasoned marketing professional delivering national and international campaigns across health, not-for-profit and youth organisations.

As the Marketing Director at AMBITIOUS she is responsible for driving impactful and integrated campaigns across channels for clients, as well as overseeing and delivering the marketing for the agency itself.

Prior to joining AMBITIOUS, Maria was Strategic Marketing Manager at Girlguiding and also spent many years agency side, with roles at Pegasus and Edelman, working with clients such as GSK, Bayer and EIT Health.

Richard Spilsbury

Founder,
Link Stone Advisory

Richard founded Link Stone Advisory to deliver integrated corporate development to support growth and value creation. The practice now has a multidisciplinary team of experts who collaborate to deliver more impactful solutions for clients. Richard previously worked for Future Plc, PlaySports Group and PwC. 

Rupert Loman

Founder & CEO
Just About

Rupert was the founder of Gamer Network. He sold the company after 18 years and after a few years angel investing, he decided to start all over again with Just About, a progressive new online community platform.

Stuart Smith

Owner and Managing Director,
Mostly Media

Stuart Smith is the MD of Mostly Media, where he has been for 20 years overseeing the growth of the business from a small operation in Yeovil to employing 18 staff and turning over £20m pa.

Having studied Business at Bath University, Stuart then cut his teeth in media on the sales floor at ITV, before being headhunted to become Head of Media at Bristol advertising agency BCLO, then joining Mostly as Director in 2004 before taking full management control of the business in 2015 going on to making an outright purchase in 2020.