UK Mentees and Mentors 2023


About the Rise Mentoring Programme

Our award-winning Rise Mentoring Programme is a coveted six month programme to support women working in, or aspiring to work in the media technology sector.

The 2023 Mentoring Programme sees a variety of experienced broadcast media technology sector industry leaders, at a diversity of levels of seniority, ready to offer expertise, knowledge and guidance to our female Mentees.

A special thank you goes to our industry sponsors for 2023/24 as the programme is only made possible due their generous support.


Apply to join the global 2024 cohort of the Rise Mentoring Programme 


UK Mentees 2023 - Cohort 2



I have worked at Disguise for over a year now in the Stage Manager role. I started out my career working as a Freelance Stage Manager and theatre technician. I have recently moved into my current role and have been enjoying this change and am excited to see where it can lead me with the help of Rise.

MENTOR: Clare Butler, VP Marketing, Grabyo



I am a radio frequency engineering at Arqiva focusing on the safety of RF. I am responsible for making sure that our broadcast towers/masts are safe for workers to climb and work on antennas, while ensuring minimal impact on those watching TV at home or listening to the radio in the car. I have 2.5 years of experience working in the media and entertainment sector and I have loved every minute.

MENTOR: Ian Wagdin, Senior Technology Transfer Manager, BBC



I come from a theatrical background, so the highs and lows of this dynamic industry is really something that excites me. I love the power of storytelling, and really pride myself in my creativity. When I'm not at work, you'll catch me cooking, playing my saxophone, or at the theatre. I have a massive passion for people, and love connecting with others.

MENTOR: Lauren Carter-Jones, Head of Events Marketing, Media Business Insights (MBI)



As Scripted Executive for Sky Studios, Grace manages strategic commercial relationships across Sky Originals. With a background in international distribution, Grace previously worked for Warner Bros. Entertainment. Growing up with an Italian Nonna, introduced her to cultural traditions and gave her a passion for seeking stories that shape new perspectives.

MENTOR: Lesley Johnson, Global Director, Home Entertainment, BBC Studios



Taking the usual route of moving from production into technical operations, I've had some wide ranging and great experiences in the industry. Currently a Technical Producer covering a range of events.

MENTOR: Laurissa Yeung Shea, Application Owner (WBD Sports), Warner Bros. Discovery



Senior Production Coordinator looking to use the skills I have and learn the skills I still need to move into Operations and Production Management

MENTOR: Vanessa Walmsley, Head of Global Customer Success, Vizrt



I am a 24-year-old enthusiastic MA graduate and live director trained in both OTT and linear broadcasting. I aim to combine my passion for making informative broadcasting accessible with my creative flair and eye for detail that I developed in my study of production and bring it to live environment.

MENTOR: Dave Gill, Chief Technology Officer, AE Live



A driven Event Manager in Sport Broadcasting with nearly 10 years’ experience across major global sporting events, Beth Lowney joined Gravity Media in 2022 as Business Development Manager. In her role she runs proposals to RFPs, builds strategy to find new business and manages key accounts. With proven success in event servicing, Beth previously spent over eight years with the International Tennis Federation. In her role as Broadcast Manager there, she managed the team to deliver broadcast production at all major events for the Davis Cup & Billie Jean King Cup, alongside handling worldwide distribution and media rights.

MENTOR: Adam Hewes, Head Of Product DCE, Publicis Media



I am Nolene Torry, Operations Manager for BT Sport soon to be TNT Sports for over four years now. I manage a team of 22 Playout Directors to deliver playout services. I was the first female in this role for this client and lasted the longest than my male counterparts! I have learnt the importance of being your authentic self and so should you!

MENTOR: Abigail Hughes, Director of Sales Operations for Global Partnerships, ITV



After completing a degree apprenticeship in Digital & Technology Solutions for BT Media & Broadcast, Natasha has attained the tole of a technical specialist. In this capacity, she provides support to the sales team and is involved in designing solutions for the global distribution of video content. Tasha is characterised as a sociable person who enjoys meeting new people and values authenticity. She considers herself organised, motivated and dedicated. Thriving in customer engagement and problem-solving, she finds fulfilment in addressing challenging requests and situations. Tasha maintains a proactive approach to learning, eagerly immersing herself in tasks, and continually strives to enhance both her working methods and thought processes.

MENTOR: Barney MacDonald, GM Business Devs and Partnerships EMEA, Eluvio



My name is Amber I am 19 years old; I am at the start of my career in the broadcasting industry, I am passionate about growing my knowledge and gaining new experiences, in order to identify my strengths and weaknesses in an effort to find my best suited career path.

MENTOR: Rebecca Moore, Director Of Operations CNN, Warner Media



Jemima started 2 years ago as an admin assistant for EMG's commercial team and quickly realised she loved the fast-paced environment of the outside broadcasting industry. Jemima moved to their resources team as an administrative assistant, then soon made it known to her manager she was eager to join the team as a junior resource co-ordinator then work her way up to being a resource coordinator handling the movements and hires of outside broadcasting equipment used for each job... which was just what she did! Jemima loved the high pressure and satisfaction to see the result of all the hard work going on in the background of television. After a heavy year of the late queen's funeral and a large OB company going under she worked hard to make sure she offered the most to her work. After a year at EMG, Jemima got the opportunity to work for Timeline Television where she has been for a month working in equipment scheduling ensuring the OB has all the equipment it needs. In the meantime, I love to spend my time traveling, and going on long walks and recently I've gotten into Pilates!

MENTOR: Amisa Saari-Stout, PR and External Comms Lead, Vizrt Group



I’m Camille Quitevis, a Distribution Engineer at Warner Bros. Discovery. I graduated from Ravensbourne University in 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Engineering. My interests lie in new emerging technology in broadcasting, sports, and travel! I aspire to excel in my career and am keen to develop new interests.

MENTOR: Dara Urquhart, COO, Red Bee Media



MENTOR: Bea Alonso, Fractional Chief Marketing Officer



My name is Elizabeth Benson, my role is Data Product Delivery Manager at Arqiva. I’ve worked in the media technology sector for 18 months, prior to that in financial services. I have an MSc in Computer Science with Big Data Analytics and I have worked as a BI Developer and a Data Engineer previously.

MENTOR: Heidi Shakespeare, CEO, Memmon



Sarah Howgate specialises in overseeing global lead generation strategies for B2B companies, orchestrating initiatives that resonate across diverse markets to promote business revenue growth. Her role of Senior Marketing Campaign Manager at disguise for the last three years has given her extensive knowledge of audience segmentation, channel marketing and data analysis.

MENTOR: Catriona Tate, Sales Director, UK & MEA, Accedo TV



Londoner living in Manchester, with a varied experience of broadcast, looking forward to taking on new challenges and grow within the industry.

MENTOR: Mark Wynter, Client Services Manager, Picture shop



Londoner living in Manchester, with a varied experience of broadcast, looking forward to taking on new challenges and grow within the industry.

MENTOR: Amelia Rivas, Director of Sports Technology, Broadcast, and Media, ICP Search



Hi! I’m Abbie. I’m an aspiring broadcast engineer, a multi-skilled operator, and an avid crocheter. Originally from West Bromwich, I’m currently Manchester based and working in the production of racing TV channels. I’m excited to be a part of the Rise Mentoring Programme and realising my full potential.

MENTOR: Sue Farrell, Technologist, Channel 4


UK Mentors 2023 - Cohort 2



Clare Butler is an award-winning marketer with 30 years B2B experience, most of which has been in the tech/telco space within multinationals and startups. A commercially focused and customer-centric marketer, she is well versed in bringing the full end-to-end spectrum needed to drive growth and believes in data to accelerate change in organizations. In recent years, mainly because she has 2 young girls and years-worth of wishing there was more representation of women in the industries worked in, she has become interested in ways to actively address gender inequality in the hope for a brighter future for her kids, and others that are currently experiencing challenges. Clare is grateful that Grabyo is a supportive employer in helping her, and other colleagues, drive initiatives to upskill women in the sector and people from diverse backgrounds to help drive change. She is privileged and honoured to be a Rise mentor for 2023 and is looking forward to developing new friendships and really moving the needle in a subject that is important to all of us. From a personal perspective, Clare is a friendly, people person, and has had the privilege of representing her country at Softball for 7+ years and been National Champion for 10 years. She has jumped out of a perfectly sound aircraft in the name of charity, has been lucky enough to have travelled to many countries in all continents of the world, all of which has helped shape her into the person she is today - a kind, grateful mum who is committed to enjoying work and life in general.

MENTEE: Ally Southern, Stage Manager, Disguise



Ian is a Senior Technology Transfer manager at the BBC and is responsible for taking their technologies from the lab to the business. Having worked in production since 1997, Ian has been at the forefront of many changes including the move from SD to HD and from tape based to file-based workflows. He joined R&D in 2015 having previously worked in News, Television, Children’s, and Technology departments. Recently Ian has led teams that have won multiple innovation awards for use of 5G in production as well as exploring how software based production can be deployed on edge and cloud infrastructure and how our audiences can access more personalised, flexible services

MENTEE: Annicca Prince, Radio Frequency Engineer, Arqiva



After finishing her degree in ‘Spanish for International Business’ Lauren was offered a 1-year internship with a Cambridge Tech start up, she jumped at the chance to get involved in all aspects of the marketing mix. Three years later she had experienced so much and was loving the opportunity but needed to take the next step. Lauren then landed a 9-month contract with another Cambridge Tech start up with a tiny 2-person global marketing team and tons of possibility! Having travelled the world, seen so many amazing places, and had the opportunity to grow her marketing skills and develop a wonderful network of contacts, Lauren took maternity leave and had her son. After a year out being a ‘mama’, Lauren returned to her role post pandemic, and it just wasn’t the same. Prompting her to get on the job hunt… A contact posted they were looking for a marketer and as they say the rest is history – Lauren is now Head of Events Marketing at Media Business Insight. She loves her job and oversees the marketing for a varied portfolio of events including the well-known large-scale tradeshow, MPTS, as well as multiple regional brand events right through to their renowned industry awards. Lauren is trilingual, speaking Spanish and French, and she loves to travel, network and learn!

MENTEE: Eloise Russell, Sales enablement executive, Ovyo



Lesley is an experienced Global Director of Home Entertainment with a demonstrated history of working in the British Television and Broadcast Media industry. Skilled in Complex Contract and Commercial Negotiation, Customer Success and Vendor Management, Operations Management, Journalism, Media Production, Global Financial Management, Change Management and Business Process Improvement. Proactive board member with strong governance and process delivery. Vice-chair of British Association of Screen Entertainment. Board Member Digital Entertainment Group International. Diversity and Inclusion: Advisory Board Member of Rise and BBC Studios lead on gender and longevity in the workplace. Sustainability lead in packaged media industry. Outside work she is a keen sailor and spends as much time as she can at sea.

MENTEE: Grace Pilsbury, Scripted Executive, Sky Studios




Laurissa has over 20 years of broadcast and gaming experience ranging from roles from a Transmission Controller to the development of the Field Department, which provided bespoke video research training for augmented reality and computer vision. Her current role moves her into the world of live sports, specialising in system and integration connections which look after booking talent, equipment and locations across UK and Europe, while establishing a new team and business workflow. She has always has an appetite for understanding how technology and systems work together to help people and enjoys the challenges of problem solving. Her experience brings a combination of team leadership, business analyst skills, as well as project management. Previously a Mentee in 2020 with Rise, and having had opportunities to mentor also, understands how exciting and important it is to be part of a group of like-minded individuals where you can share knowledge, support and challenge each other in a safe space. Laurissa keeps busy as mother of 2 children, and also takes time for herself to keep learning and developing. She feels that no matter where you are in your personal or professional life, when you take a moment for yourself, things will (spookily!) align and it can take you on your next adventures, which can in turn help and benefit others.

MENTEE: Kerry Horton, Technical Producer, Aurora Media Worldwide



Vanessa Walmsley is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience, currently serving as the Global Head of Customer Success at Vizrt. Leading the global customer success team, she ensures customer satisfaction, retention, and growth. Vanessa excels in operational strategy, business planning, change management, mergers and acquisitions, and market analysis. Her proven track record includes building sustainable relationships, delivering high-quality services, and aligning with business strategy. Since 2019, Vanessa has been the driving force behind Vizrt's customer care, providing strategic leadership for the combined Vizrt customer and partner community. Her professional focus has consistently revolved around the intersection of media, technology, and customer service. As a skilled business leader, Vanessa excels in navigating the customer experience market, leveraging her expertise to collaborate effectively with organizations and seamlessly deploy technology to achieve their business objectives. Her commitment to delivering exceptional service and her strategic vision make her a key asset in driving success within the ever-evolving media tech market.

MENTEE: Lauren Kilby, Senior Production Coordinator, Timeline TV



A senior, results focused leader with: - Strategic view of technology trends, particularly around media and broadcast - Strong commercial awareness - Programme and large-scale project management experience, delivering under pressure and to tight deadlines - Certified Scrum Product Owner and PRINCE2 practitioner - P&L Responsibility - Extensive line management experience - Excellent customer-facing and general communication skills at all levels

MENTEE: Siobhan Greenfield, Playout Director, Redbee Media

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Adam Hewes, a seasoned professional in the realm of television production and transmission, boasts an unparalleled level of expertise and hands-on experience across diverse areas, including computer hardware, cloud infrastructure, and film production. His passion for delivering exceptional results and unwavering commitment to excellence has elevated him to the role of Chief Technology Officer, where he is empowered to drive strategic processes and spearhead new operational systems. Hewes' exceptional attention to detail and unparalleled time management abilities have played a pivotal role in the success of his various roles, from resolving complex technical issues to contributing to the design of cutting-edge technical systems. His extensive experience in enhancing media network and system performance, along with developing broadcast system infrastructure, has positioned him as an authority in the field. An ambitious and knowledgeable professional, Hewes excels at collaborating with multi-level, multi-disciplinary teams. His exceptional leadership abilities consistently inspire a collaborative and productive team environment. His analytical prowess and outstanding problem-solving skills enable him to make sound decisions regarding new systems, technologies, and projects, ensuring strict adherence to business requirements and objectives while driving the company's success. With a vast and continuously expanding core competency, Hewes stays abreast of the latest technology trends and cutting-edge best practices. This enables him to provide advice and insights that drive groundbreaking progress and organizational efficiency. With a unique, authoritative, and highly professional tone, Adam Hewes proves to be an invaluable asset to any team seeking success and exceptional results.

MENTEE: Bethany Lowney, General Manager, Gravity Media



Abigail Hughes is currently Director of Global Partnerships in ITV Studios. She is an accomplished and proven executive in Media with extensive expertise gained through her tenure in global organizations as a key member of high-performing senior teams at Sony Pictures and BBC Studios. With a background including independent consultantcy, Abigail has successfully contributed to a diverse array of commercial ventures and digital transformation projects with a focus on business process improvement and technology enablers. Demonstrating robust leadership skills, Abigail has played pivotal roles in business sponsorship and project leadership across numerous initiatives, earning a stellar reputation for adept stakeholder management and the successful delivery of global business transformation projects. She has spearheaded structural changes, focusing on change management, and possesses a wealth of experience in leading, expanding, merging, and streamlining teams. Abigail has also been instrumental in establishing and leading internal as well as third-party partnerships, collaborating with senior stakeholders at the board level. Her responsibilities have included devising commercial models, formulating go-to-market strategies, and ensuring the financial success of partnerships. Her expertise extends to content distribution, covering areas such as sales, rights management, technical and business operations, and commercial strategy.

MENTEE: Nolene Torry, Operations Manager, Red Bee Media



Media & Entertainment is underpinned by many weird and wonderful technologies. Barney has been at the heart of their evolution since 1994. And has the grey hairs to prove it. He's developed a unique perspective, always bridging the gaps between engineering, business & creative teams, focusing on relationships above all else. A boss once described him as "the engineer everyone wants to talk to". Connecting people together has become his hobby as well as his livelihood. He’s developed an uncanny knack for what works & what doesn’t. What causes friction or brings success. This has now extended into mentoring too. Sharing experience and insight to help folks find their way in this most unusual, but wonderful industry.

MENTEE: Natasha Jones, Technical Specialist, BT Media & Broadcast



Rebecca is director of technical operations at CNN International, based at the network’s London bureau. As part of her role, she is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of the London and Abu Dhabi control rooms, studios, lighting, and makeup teams. She has been with CNN for over 25 years, and is skilled in the fields of broadcasting, communication, change management, and television. She has a BA in communications and media studies from Birmingham City University.

MENTEE: Amber Rowe, Broadcast Contribution Engineer, Warner Bros. Discovery



Amisa Saari-Stout is the PR and External Communications Lead at Vizrt. With several years of experience running proactive press offices and award-winning campaigns, Amisa has a track record of raising companies' profiles through integrated public relations efforts. Motivated by humanising traditional tech brands, Amisa focuses on sharing customer-centric stories that make an impact.

MENTEE: Jemima Robinson, Equipment Scheduling Resources, Timeline Television



Dara Urquhart is Red Bee’s Chief Operations Officer and leads the company’s Markets & Operations unit. She joined the leadership team in October 2021 and has 14 years’ experience in service delivery in the media industry. With a decade and a half worth of experience, Dara has delivered thousands of hours of high-quality broadcast services and events on behalf of some of the world’s strongest media brands and broadcasters. She joined Red Bee in 2008 and has consistently developed her leadership and taken on wider responsibilities within the company. Dara has been instrumental in delivering new broadcaster launches, significant outsourcing transformation projects, service migrations and ongoing high-stakes and complex service delivery flows.

MENTEE: Camille Quitevis, Distribution Engineer, Warner Bros. Discovery



Experienced media industry professional with a proven track record in sales support and technology consulting. Skilled in product marketing and sales enablement, with a strong focus on go-to-market strategy and pipeline-growing projects. Respected thought leader regularly taking part in conferences, panels and trade press activities, with a passion for raising diversity in the technology industry.

MENTEE: Anna-Marie Jones, Account Manager, Sony



As Memnon's CEO, Heidi Shakespeare spearheads the company's overall operations and strategy. With 25+ years of executive expertise in driving sales growth across the broadcast and digital archiving industries, as well as a strong background in marketing, Heidi is pivotal to the company's ongoing growth and planned international expansion. Prior to joining Memnon, she held key leadership positions at Iron Mountain and Bonded Services Group, as well as sitting on the board of AFL's European Commission.

MENTEE: Elizabeth Benson, Data Product Delivery Manager, Arqiva



Catriona (Cat) is the Sales Director UK and MEA at Accedo. She has always loved TV and has been very lucky to work at the cutting edge of telly and how we consume it since the birth of “on demand.” A senior business developer with a strong sales and marketing track record in TV tech, OTT and streaming media, she’s proud to have worked with some of the best brands and companies in business. She’s been involved with Rise for nearly 4 years, as part of its advisory board to increase Rise's funding and growth, mentoring some amazing women as they work to realise their true potential.

MENTEE: Sarah Howgate, Senior Campaign Marketing Manager, disguise



Mark Wynter, a conduit to life, development, and opportunities for all, is described as a force of nature, creating an atmosphere of possibility and achievement. His mission is to unearth talent from all walks of life, providing them with a platform where their voices can be heard. Mark is dedicated to developing, nurturing, and guiding individuals into tomorrow's superstars. In his commitment to being part of the solution, Mark actively connects people, creates opportunities, and builds enduring relationships, focusing particularly on those who might otherwise be overlooked, ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table. With over 20 years of experience in TV Postproduction, he has a rich background in the industry. In 2007, he took on a different role as the founder of the family-run charity "Heathers Cycle of Life." This charitable initiative involved organizing a bike ride around Kent, raising over £100k for Cancer Research UK / Bobby Moore Fund. He has also for the past 6 years been on the board of trustees for the local Kent Dads Unlimited.

MENTEE: Karen Carnegie, Senior Project Manager, Red Bee Media



Amelia Rivas, the Director of Sports Technology, Broadcast, and Media at ICP Search. Commencing her journey in the Broadcast sector, she immersed herself in cutting-edge streaming technologies. Over time, she ventured into the dynamic realm of Sports Tech, where she continues to embrace learning each day, navigating the intricacies of the field with enthusiasm (while tactfully avoiding inquiries about the offside rule). Her daily experiences are marked by diversity, affording her the opportunity to collaborate with both innovative startups and esteemed organizations. In this capacity, she aids them in securing top-tier talent across streaming, data analytics, and fan engagement. Beyond her professional pursuits, Amelia aligns her passion for the sports tech and media sector with her commitment to supporting women in technology. Before her tenure at ICP Search, Amelia pursued Journalism at the University of the Arts in London, seamlessly blending her interest in media studies within a creative environment. Subsequently, she stumbled upon a recruitment role in the construction sector, where she sourced candidates for major projects in Central London. Upon relocating to Brighton, she discovered ICP Search and was immediately drawn to their bustling Broadcast division, a decision that would shape her professional trajectory. Joining the company as a delivery consultant in 2015, Amelia received unwavering support, enabling her to ascend to the role of Associate Director in 2021. She reflects on the dedication, resilience, and humility of her team, considering herself fortunate to be an integral part of it.

MENTEE: Molly Fletcher, Playout Director, Red Bee Media



Dr Sue Farrell is the Broadcast Engineering Manager at Channel Four, where she leads a technical team working with partner companies to specify and deliver on-air services. She was previously a media and technology consultant, providing strategic business and technology advisory services to media companies worldwide. Prior to that, Sue was Head of Architecture at Red Bee Media, reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, managing a team of business analysts and technical architects responsible for broadcast and information technology architecture. She began her career in broadcasting as Technical Manager in the BBC, where she was responsible for the technical delivery of interactive television services and online publishing systems. Her previous experience was as a postdoctoral research scientist in geophysics, working with the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado, following a PhD in Science at Monash University in Melbourne.

MENTEE: Abbie Millward, Multi-Skilled Operator, Sports Information Services (SIS) Ltd


Become a Rise Member

Membership to Rise is free and is open to everyone working across, or aspiring to work in, the broadcast and media technology sector.

As part of our community, you will be invited to all of our networking events / conferences / panels, as well as be asked to nominate your colleagues in our annual Rise Awards.

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