New boss of Marketing Manchester named

Sheona Southern, previously director at Windermere-based marketing consultancy Cairn, has joined Marketing Manchester as managing director, replacing Andrew Stokes.

Southern has also worked for Cumbria Tourism, Teamtalk Media Group and the BBC. She 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 Stokes who stepped down in November 2015 after 17 years with the organisation. Stokes has since joined VisitBritain as interim director for England.

Southern’s 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, working alongside chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein, she 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, he 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, she is tasked with managing the promotion and positioning of Manchester as the UK’s leading international conference destination.

Marketing Manchester is part of the Manchester Growth Company group of organisations that shapes policy in Greater Manchester. Other members of the group are the think tank New Economy and inward investment agency Midas, among others.

Mark Hughes, group chief executive of Manchester Growth Company, said: “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.”

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