Previous Judges


The UK Digital Growth Awards have been judged by digital marketing industry leaders and experts.
Current Judges
Previous Judges include:

Head judges

Ric Rodriguez | SEO Consultant

Ric Rodriguez is an experienced search marketing consultant with a history of working with internationally renowned brands. He currently works at Yext, a NYSE listed technology company, joining last year from iProspect, where he led a team driving organic search forward for clients that partnered with their sister media agency Carat. Prior to this, Ric held roles at well-known independent digital agencies, most notably within Croud and at Hearst's iCrossing. Ric has a genuine and infectious passion for marketing and technology and is a frequent author and speaker across well-known industry events and publications

Chris Simmance | CHAIRMAN AND FOUNDER | OPTUS DIGITAL

Chris Simmance is a Partner and co-founder of Torque Partnership. He helps enterprise businesses understand their data, build their strategies and transform their presence. Based in London he spends a great deal of time getting cranky at the state of the web and plans to fix it, one business at a time. He solved the BrightonSEO ticketing platform issues, you know, the one that hasn’t gone down on every ticket release day since he changed it. Love the ballot or hate it, it doesn’t fall apart anymore. He’s a big fan of Bill Gates’ quote “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” as it’s a really good way of getting away with finding a shortcut. Chris is almost entirely much self taught and started working in SEO from a small local agency through to a multinational before deciding to “go it alone” and set up for himself. 5 years later and 2 regional offices and he’s winning work from some well known established high street brands.

Judges

AZEEM AHMAD | DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER | STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY

Azeem is currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Staffordshire University. He has spent several years working in the industry, beginning in a paid search focused role before moving into a multi channel specialism. He is experienced in various aspects of online marketing activity, including PPC, Social Media, Display, Programmatic, App Marketing and SEO. He has previously spoken at conferences in the UK including MeasureFest, and BrightonSEO, and also on podcasts and webinars too.

Dawn Anderson | Managing Director | Bertey Ltd

Past roles at Carat and Latitude, working on search marketing campaigns for major brands. International Search Marketing Conference speaker on SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy. International SEO Consultant to brands in-house teams covering ecommerce, sports, travel, food and nutrition, legal, finance and insurance. A decade in SEO. Researcher into search engine crawling and crawl efficiency.

Tracy Archer | SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR | PURE COTTAGES

Tracy is Sales and Marketing Director for the Pure Cottages Group- A holiday cottage agency with 6 leading brands across the UK, that has welcomed over 150k holiday makers over the last year. Her remit is to transform the group into a digital driven business, maximising revenue and delighting the customer at every opportunity in their journey. She has over 30 years of marketing experience working in both local and global agencies in London, Leeds and Manchester.

Carlotta Bonafini | SEO Lead | Vodafone

Carlotta is leading the SEO team at Vodafone UK, where she is overseeing the development of their new digital strategy. She started her professional career in the marketing field working for Expedia in the search department. She directed many regional projects before moving into a global position where her initiatives created outstanding results whilst pioneering new processes. She supervised both creative campaigns and technical projects, and launched many impactful ideas. Carlotta graduated from London Metropolitan University and Milan Catholic University and has been living in London for over 9 years. Passionate about high-tech, she is working on improving her coding skills and is always eager to expand her technical knowledge.

Jamie Boulger | Head of EMEA Digital Marketing | JLL

Jamie was appointed Head of EMEA Digital Marketing at the global property and professional services firm JLL in August 2019. He arrived at JLL from Bruntwood where, initially as Digital Marketing Manager and then as Group Head of Digital, he launched several lead generation and customer experience projects which were a first for the property sector. At JLL, Jamie’s role is to oversee digital marketing operations and activities across Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as having strategic input into global digital marketing operations, campaigns and projects. Jamie gained experience with in-house marketing roles at Genting and United Utilities. Jamie has also held the role of President at Manchester Metropolitan Students’ Union and Non-Executive Director at MMU between 2004 and 2006. He currently lives in Altrincham, is a keen runner and supporter of Everton Football Club.

Martin SFP Bryant | Media and Tech Consultant

Martin Bryant is a consultant working to help technology companies craft the narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of start-ups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

Kirstie Buchanan | Sales and Marketing Director | CTI Digital

As Sales and Marketing Director, Kirstie provides insight and leadership for the business development strategy and direction of CTI Digital and many of its major clients. Driving growth in client services, new business and marketing functions, she is known for being a big idea conceptual thinker who sees and harnesses market-shaping opportunities.

Thea Burrows | CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR | MAKER PROJECTS

Thea runs Maker, a creative production company that tells brands’ stories using the power of film. She has a natural flair for helping brands engage with audiences in a way that respects and moves them. Since 2003 we've partnered with brands and agencies to make beautifully crafted cinematic content that works wonders.

Simon Butterworth | VP Digital Marketing | Manchester Airports Group

Simon joined Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the UK’s largest airports group, as VP Digital Marketing in July 2017. The Group serves 59 million passengers across three airports (Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands), which contributes £7.1 billion to the UK economy. He sits on the leadership team at the Group’s digital division, MAG-O, which was created with one driving mission; to create the world's most customer-centric and stress-free digital travel experience. Simon has led MAG-O through a period of digital transformation. After a phase of intense growth, hiring 40 digital marketers in 12 months, all digital acquisition channels are now managed and optimised in-house. This includes Paid Search, Organic Search, CRM, Affiliates, Display, Paid Social and Content Marketing. After the acquisition of two digital businesses, MAG-O is now entering its next exciting phase of growth as industry-leading platforms are deployed in airports internationally.

Steve Clark | Head of Digital Growth | Tangent

Steve has several years' experience planning and executing cross-channel digital campaigns for a variety of international clients, including DHL, TikTok, Lenovo and Slack. Starting his career copywriting on a creative team, Steve's covered almost all aspects of digital marketing, from SEO and CRO to paid media and influencers, picking up skills in stats, analytics, data science and web development along the way.

Jon Cleaver | Chief Technology Officer | In The Style

Jon is the Chief Technology Officer for the high growth, social first, fast fashion brand www.inthestyle.com. Prior to that he spent 3 years leading the omni-channel transformation for Sofology as Chief Technology Officer. Jon believes in putting the customer first and building simple engaging digital journeys around their needs.

Richard Collingwood | Brand & Digital Manager | Riverside

Richard is responsible for developing the digital marketing strategy for one of the UK's largest housing providers, with major stakes in social housing, home ownership and homelessness services. Previous to this role, Richard spent eight years in the policing sector leading on several pioneering digital projects, most notably introducing social media as a key tool for frontline police officers, transforming the way modern policing operates. In sectors which have faced increasing uncertainty in recent years, Richard has enjoyed the challenge of delivering digital initiatives in tough financial and political environments, which have had a genuine positive impact on many people's lives.

Richard Dawson

Arianne Donoghue | Founder | Founder

A veteran of 14 years’ experience in the industry, Arianne has worked for some of the UK best-known agencies and most-loved brands. She's passionate about helping teams and businesses do the best work they can, through driving strategy, integration and inclusion. Arianne now runs her own small consultancy where she helps agencies and brands maximise their potential.

Lissa Duty | Rocks Digital

Jemma Edwards | Digital Marketing Manager | Don't Panic Projects |

Born and bred in the North with ten years experience in the industry, Jemma lives, eats and breathes conversion rate optimisation. Working for a variety of big brands such as ISP’s to bespoke gate services, she’s touched on everything from eCommerce, influencer marketing, SEO and social ads. Now with a passion for B2B marketing & PPC, she heads up the digital marketing for Don’t Panic and the International Search Awards series, which can be found as far as MENA and the USA.

Daniel Evans | Digital Consultant | MSL Group

Daniel leads MSL’s digital strategy offer for all of our clients. Daniel has 20 years’ experience initiating, scoping and delivering creative and effective digital solutions. His experience ranges from multi-channel communications programmes with audiences in the tens of millions to experimental digital artworks; from large-scale ecommerce sites and multi-player online games to organisation-wide programmes of strategic digital change. Daniels clients include EY, LBG, ABinBev, Heathrow, Landsec and MoreThan. Before joining MSL he spent seven years as head of the digital team at the Science Museum Group. There he fostered a culture of digital innovation at one of the world's most forward-looking cultural organisations and won some of the most prestigious accolades in the global digital industry. MSL is a creative communications agency specailising in digital and PR-led solutions. Our digital offer spans influencer marketing to corporate websites and everything in-between. Clients include Sainsburys, EY, Lloyds Banking Group, Renault, RSA and Canon. We are proud to have won multiple awards for our corporate websites, intranets, games, content development, social and influencer campaigns.

James Ferguson | Lead UX Designer | On The Beach

James has lead the User Experience team at On The Beach since February 2017. In that time, the team have championed and adopted the Design Thinking process across the business (not just in design) and revolutionised the way new projects are approached and delivered. His background includes working with global brand names like Gatorade, Michelin, and Esso and in helping start-ups get concepts off the whiteboard and into the App Store, whilst all the time instilling a culture of constant improvement and user focus. When James isn't knee deep looking for innovative ways to solve complex problems, you can find him eating, drinking, pushing his daughter on a swing or watching movies (hopefully with his dog).

Adam GUERGUIS | DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER | AIRBNB

Based in Montreal and currently leads organic growth marketing for airbnb LUX, Adam has more than 10 years in search marketing experience and has been working with very exciting brands in several industries, languages, and sizes like Yahoo!, MSN, Groupon, UNHCR, Skrill, and others. Adam is also a digital marketing trainer, guest speaker, digital marketing blogger since 2010, and a MSc. Marketing Candidate.

LinkedIn profile

Steph Hamill | Partner / Head of Creative, Brand and Digital Marketing | Capita Consulting

Steph champions the blend of art and science in a digital world, making brands and causes famous, while making a difference. A bespoke, but out-of-the-box creative, her experience blends human behavioural and neuro-sciences, tech, brand and narrative storytelling, digital transformation and traditional media and marketing. Her projects are seen, and loved, worldwide, and she proudly puts her name to several international awards. A digital transformation advocate, Steph’s positivity reflects her outlook in the role digital plays in improving our futures and how business and industry can be encouraged to think from a human-centric perspective. After working in European and US cities, Steph again resides in London. When not heading up her department, she’s found giving lectures at Central Saint Martins, speaking at global events such as Khoros at The Guardian, DMEXCO, SheSays, MadFEST and on Radio, is a judge for several industry awards and has advised various charities.

Neil Hardy | Digital Director | Shearings

Neil has been involved in commercial, digital and online since 1993. With vast experience in commercial partnerships, product sourcing, online strategy, large travel operations , project management and digital marketing.

Lada Kalashnickova | International SEO Consultant

Lada has worked in digital marketing since 2003. Previously worked as a Head of SEO at SEMrush. Worked as A Head of Global SEO at Acronis. She specializes in all aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), with a focus on technical SEO, multilingual search and mobile optimization. Lada enjoys lifetime studying; most recently on topics around data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. Her favorite tools are Excel, GWT, GA, Yandex Metrica and brains. Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, yoga, and Japanese Art. Definitely a cat person.

Grant Kemp | Data Implementation Consultant | Photobox

Grant Kemp is a data evangelist. He loves to create analytics and data solutions as well as build the capability to use them within customer teams. Grant has over 15 years experience in digital starting out as a developer and working across multiple verticals including ecommerce, publishing, startups and travel. Grant Kemp works at Inviqa as a data and analytics consultant where he helps customers with Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Data Studio and a bevy of other tools to generate more revenue through data.

Mark Kuhillow | Founder | R.O.EYE |

Starting his career on 1994, Marks media roots are firmly planted within the offline direct response world, moving online in 1999. Seeing the opportunity to apply a digital direct response agency model to affiliate and performance marketing campaigns, Mark founded R.O.EYE in 2004. Now seen as the largest specialist in its sector, R.O.EYE counts the likes of HMV, Best Western and Jessops amongst its clients.

Davina Lines | Managing Director | Mixing Digital

Davina Lines is Managing Director of Mixing Digital and the Ecommerce Club. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a big black book of digital contacts to ensure Mixing Digital’s event management services are of the highest standard. Davina co-founded Netimperative in 1999 and became Managing Director in 2002, stewarding the brand into new product launches and creating one of the most successful events programmes in the digital marketing industry. In the mid 90s Davina cut her digital teeth on New Media Age (now Econsultancy), forming part of the founding team and was responsible for the commercial development of the magazine and its early events from launch in May 1995 to 1999. In recent years Davina launched an ecommerce peer-to-peer community, the Ecommerce Club, which runs regular events in London and Manchester on topics relevant to the retail community.

Neil McKay | CEO | Endless Gain |

For more than 15 years, Neil has been helping businesses here in the UK, Europe and USA grow their online profits. He started his career at publisher Media Ventures Group (MVG), helping to build and sell Global Media GmbH to private equity firm The Carlyle Group before leading the UK acquisition of Bigmouthmedia (now part of DigitasLBi). He later led Lakestar Media to success before it was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012. Neil's latest venture is Endless Gain – a Conversion Optimisation Agency which launched in January 2016.

Paul Morris | HEAD OF MARKETING PLANNING & PERFORMANCE | Tesco Bank

Paul has over 19 years’ experience leading Marketing and Digital both agency and Brand side and currently heads up planning and performance at Tesco Bank. Paul was previously global Digital/ Ecommerce Director at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital marketing, content and social at the Co-op Group (Food, Pharmacy, Electrical, Bank, Insurance, Legal Services & Funeralcare) and has Digital/ through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach and Silverstone.

LUIS NAVARRETE GOMEZ | HEAD OF GLOBAL SEARCH MARKETING | THE LEGO GROUP

Luis Navarrete-Gomez is the Global Head of Search Marketing for The LEGO Group. Based in London he is responsible for all SEO and Paid Search activity for LEGO. Luis has over 15 years’ Digital Marketing experience in helping corporations use the web to drive online visibility and generate leads that have resulted in new business online.

Thierry Ngutegure | Data & Insights Manager | Rise at Seven

Thierry Ngutegure is the Data & Insights Manager at Rise at Seven, born and raised in Rwanda and an avid motivational speaker. This upbringing strengthens Thierry’s love of multiculturalism, both in his workplace and industry. At Rise Thierry’s work aligns with operational management, reporting strategies for SEO/PR, data-led content creation, data journalism and consumer research. An expert in data-led insight, Thierry’s roots in biological sciences and consumer economics makes sure the audience is always at the core of everything. Thierry’s client experience spans Berghaus, MyHermes, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, Gocompare, Uswitch, Ladbrokes and Badoo/Bumble.

Abi Owers

Polly Pospelova | Head of Search | Delete

Polly is the Delete agency’s digital marketing director. She works with SEO consultants, PPC managers, content & PR consultants, and technical developers. Polly works on digital strategies and solutions for major brands in sectors including higher education, sport, property, travel and more. She is also a search marketing conference speaker on SEO, page speed and performance and digital marketing.

Declan Reilly | Head of SEO | Evoluted |

Declan has worked in digital marketing for over eight years with a specific focus on SEO. He has successfully managed many high-end SEO projects and previously led a team of 20+ account managers. Declan was recently appointed Head of SEO at Evoluted, a digital agency based in Sheffield, England.

Claire Richardson-Critcher | Digital Business Development Director | McCann Connected

Over the last 15 years Claire has worked in media, creative and digital in multiple capacities, from client service to new business development. Claire’s passion for the industry drives her curiosity in all areas of brand and consumer interaction, and her focus on working in close collaboration with skilled practitioners means she is able to build a story around what they do, how they do it and how this drives a transformational outcome for clients.

Peter Richman | MANAGING DIRECTOR | PLUG & PLAY

As the founder and Managing Director of web design agency Plug & Play, Peter has worked within the industry for over 15 years. During this time Peter has partnered with a large number of internal marketing managers to overcome their business challenges and drive growth. By focusing on the delivery of high performance websites and the enablement of internal teams, Plug & Play clients thrive within competitive markets.

Cristina Sagarduy

Janusz Stabik | Digital Agency Coach and Mentor | GYDA Initiative

Janusz is a coach and mentor to ambitious digital agency owners across the globe. His clients earn more money, gain more time and freedom, and more have fun doing it. He's an ex-agency man and currently plans and directs digital agency growth programs for Google across EMEA.

Alison Traboulsi | Social Media Edito | DIRECT LINE GROUP

With over 12 years in social media marketing, Alison started at Direct Line Group (DLG) in August 2017 as Social Media Editor working across DLG’s brands including Green Flag, Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. Before DLG, Alison spent six years at lastminute.com running its European social media platforms delivering audience-first content to maintain brand awareness, increase hotel, theatre and holiday sales and drive traffic to their blogs. During her tenure she was directly responsible for numerous award wins, including The Drum Social Buzz awards for a partnership with The X Factor. A Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned social media expert and regular industry commentator, Alison has a BA (Hons) in Information and Media, a certificate in Digital Marketing run by the Institute of Direct Marketing and brand experience spanning Eurostar, Hed Kandi, Intercontinental Hotels, Barclays and Disney.

Richard Trigg | Experience Design Director | Tangent

If you like chatting about removing assumption from the design process – you’d probably enjoy a pint or two with Rich! As Tangent’s Experience Design Director, Rich’s leads the end-to-end design process from framing problems, prototyping and testing solutions to measure effectiveness.

Juliette van Rooyen | Founder & Head of SEO

Juliette is an SEO Specialist with more than 14 years experience in both client-side and agency environments in London & Cape Town. Starting as a developer, she was lured to the dark side of SEO with the promise of being more creative. After getting a taste for SEO, she moved to London and spent 6 years working for various agencies. Her clients included Nintendo, Samsung, COI & Shell. She returned to Cape Town where she worked on the gambling industry on the client-side, spearheading multi-region and multi-language strategies for global casino brands. After 6 years of working in that arena, Juliette returned to London in 2018 to lead UK SEO for a multinational ecommerce brand.

Juliette Van Rooyen | Head of SEO | VR Squared

Juliette has been an SEO Specialist for 15 years, working on both client-side and agency environments in London & Cape Town. Starting in 2005 as a developer, she was lured to the dark side of SEO with the promise of being more creative. After getting a taste for SEO, Juliette moved to London and spent 6 years working for various agencies with clients including Nintendo, Samsung, COI & Shell. In 2012 Juliette moved back to Cape Town where she worked in the gambling industry on the client-side, spearheading multi-region and multi-language strategies for global casino brands. After 6 years of working in that arena, Juliette returned to London in 2018 to lead UK SEO for a multinational ecommerce brand.

Gerry White | SEO Consultant | Just Eat

Gerry is a technical marketing consultant working with Just Eat supporting SEO on the 14 sites they operate around the world, including apps, mobile, technical and outreach. Ensuring that the sites are organic leaders in the markets they operate in. With an 17 year history in digital – Gerry has worked on sites from the BBC, McDonalds, Premier Inn and DirectGov in various roles from digital analyst, site search but usually in SEO, as well as spending a large part of his career agency side. Gerry also co-runs a digital roundtable conference called TakeItOffline which aims to replicate the best of the post pub conversations, typically in a pub.

Nick Wilsdon | SEO LEAD - GLOBAL CHANNEL OPTIMISATION | nick@wilsdon.co.uk

Nick has worked in digital marketing since 1998. Moving to Russia in 2003 he specialised in multilingual search and broadening his knowledge across digital channels, content and PR. During this time he contributed to the Russian digital startup community; working with Yandex, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the US State Department. Returning to the UK in 2011, Nick then built and led marketing teams at Arena Media, Havas Media Group and the Dentsu Aegis Network. As the technical SEO lead at Vodafone Group since 2014, he has improved online performance and customer experience across 22 international markets. As an advocate for raising standards in online marketing, Nick judges the UK Search Awards and EU Search Awards. He enjoys speaking at conferences on the topics of mobile/data-first marketing, cross-channel campaigns and technical SEO. Outside work, he enjoys cycling and taking part in Prince’s Trust cycling events.

Nick Wilsdon | Search Product Owner | Vodafone

Nick has worked in digital marketing since 1998. Moving to Russia in 2003 he specialised in multilingual search and broadening his knowledge across digital channels, content and PR. During this time he contributed to the Russian digital startup community; working with Yandex, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the US State Department. Returning to the UK in 2011, Nick then built and led marketing teams at Arena Media, Havas Media Group and the Dentsu Aegis Network. As the technical SEO lead at Vodafone Group since 2014, he has improved online performance and customer experience across 22 international markets. As an advocate for raising standards in online marketing, Nick judges the UK Search Awards and EU Search Awards. He enjoys speaking at conferences on the topics of mobile/data-first marketing, cross-channel campaigns and technical SEO. Outside work, he enjoys cycling and taking part in Prince’s Trust cycling events.

Anna WIlson | Head of Digital | Tangerine

Anna works day-to-day to build brands online, creating audience-first social media activity integrated with the wider digital footprint to deliver meaningful results for the brand. Over the last 12 years Anna has worked with the team to create multi-award winning campaigns with brands like Yorkshire Bank, Thomas Cook Sport, Virgin Media, Pizza Hut Restaurants and Specsavers.

Murat Yatağan | SEO Consultant

Murat Yatağan is an SEO Consultant with 10+ years of expertise on SEO and UX, of which 5 years derives from his Senior Product Analyst role at Google Search Quality Team (aka. Trust & Safety) in Ireland. During his consultancy career he built expertise on technical SEO, high quality content creation strategy, outreach and international SEO throughout managing 65+ clients globally from various business verticals. Currently, he works at Brainly as VP of Growth in Poland. Before joining to Brainly, he worked at Global Savings Group as a Senior SEO Manager with a specific focus on technical SEO and offsite quality between 2017 and 2018 in Germany. He is a member of Advisory Board at a San Francisco based startup Indisera focusing on growth strategies and technical consultancy. He has been a Judge for UK Search Awards, MENA Search Awards and European Search Awards since 2016, and he also became a Judge for US Search Awards in 2018. He's also an Ambassador of OnCrawl.