VMA Annual Awards Judging Panel

The VMA Awards Team would like to extend their thanks to all judges who give up their time to help make these Awards the prestigious acolade they have become within our industry.

The full panel of judges is selected to provide a cross section of skill sets, experience and demographics to bring a wide range of perspectives to the judging process. All our judges contribute to the online judging process, with a small cross section forming our face to face judging panel who attend the judging day, usually held about one month prior to the awards event in London.

*The VMA ensures that there are no conflicts of interest on any specific awards any individual is allocated to judge.

Online judging

Julian Astin

Bio to follow shortly…

Julian Astin
Nick Burgoyne

Nick Burgoyne is the Head of Commercial and Operations at HH Global Creative +Digital. With over 20 years’ experience in the healthcare environment, both in agency and as a Brand Manager. Nick’s has a deep understanding of Animal and Human health, prescription medicines, over-the-counter and consumer and pet owner markets at local, European and global levels. He firmly believes in delivering marketing strategies and communications that work, building clients campaigns around imagining big, bold ideas that can actually get made … and deliver results. The ultimate aim being that brands, and the people who champion them, can make the impact they deserve to make. Our dedication brings unwavering energy and unparalleled creativity to the science of animal health. Science with substance is at the heart of everything we do.

Nick Burgoyne
Angus Chalmers

Since 2005, Angus has led RDP to the success it is today with a combination of in-depth agricultural knowledge and innovative strategic thinking. Following a degree from Seale Hayne and with a career in marketing, finance, and business consultancy with Grant Thornton LLP and latterly ADAS, Angus has a deep understanding of business, agriculture and the wider food supply chain.Alongside the RDP team and a wide network of contacts he delivers respected, dynamic and perceptive advice to clients.

He has been company secretary to the Oxford Farming Conference, completed the IAgrM Leadership Development Programme and currently acts as the communication advisor to The Henry Plumb Foundation. Angus sets the course for the team, and is passionate about offering a comprehensive strategy for clients that is creative, results-based, and unique.“RDP has market insight across agribusiness and animal health and a commercial appreciation that marketing needs to deliver. As with any business, the team is what makes RDP special. Their ability to surprise, huge capability and willingness to help one another to deliver is second to none”.

Angus Chalmers
Jason Davies

Jason has been involved with the VMA since 2002, becoming Vice-Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2013. From the early days on the committee, he became involved in the VMA’s annual marketing awards, using his advertising sales skills developed in the early part of his career, maintaining relationships with sponsors and increasing the number of sponsors as the awards have developed.

After spending nine years as marketing manager for the Origin group, one of the country’s leading veterinary groups Jason now runs an independent sales and marketing consultancy JDM Ltd. Using insight gained from nearly thirty years in the industry JDM offer marketing support, event management, creative and sales support services. In addition, Jason also works with practices, keen to develop their business, maximise their potential, enhance their customers journey and revitalise their marketing output.

The Origin group is made up of leading veterinary and food production focused businesses. This includes Westpoint Farm Vets, Minster Poultry and Gamebird Vets, Biobest Laboratories, Kingshay Dairy Consultants, Farmacy, Farm Vets South West, Poultry Health Services and Garth Pig Practice. Jason worked at the group from 2009 to 2018 and played a pivotal role in the success, growth and development of this business.

Prior to his time at Origin he held the position of Account Director at RLH Ltd, one of the animal health industries leading advertising and marketing agencies. Before this he was Advertising Manager for United Business Media, publishers, at the time, of Dairy Farmer, Farmers Guardian and Farming News.

Jason Davies
Charlotte Elicott

Charlotte is a marketing and content specialist with 10+ years’ experience in veterinary events. After graduating from Durham University, Charlotte was quickly recruited by CloserStill Media’s marketing department and gained experience across a host of professional conferences and exhibitions in the technology and healthcare industries. However, she showed real passion when it came to the veterinary market and was quickly promoted through the ranks working on the London Vet Show. She was the marketing lead during CloserStill’s vet portfolio internationalisation as she launched France Vet, Deutsche Vet, New York Vet and Singapore Vet. She was also key in several event acquisitions for CloserStill Media included Chicago Vet and Wild West Vet. Along the way she has gained recognition from the industry by way of the Exhibition News Award’s Best Trade Show (2014, 2016), Best Marketing Team (2017) and Best Use of Social Media (2019), The AEO’s Best Trade Show (2019) and she was included in the Event Profession’s inaugural Thirty Under 30. Charlotte is currently Head of Marketing & Content of the Vet Shows and is passionate about delivering world-class veterinary CPD and accessible and meaningful experiences for the veterinary community.

Charlotte Elicott
Emily Folwell, MRCVS

Emily is one of the founding directors of Roar Content – a content creation and content strategy agency catering primarily to the animal health market. Her time in small animal veterinary practice and almost decade-long experience working in integrated healthcare comms agencies mean that Emily not only understands the challenges of communicating within the animal health sector, but also how to overcome them.

Effective communication is something that Emily has always been passionate about since her days in clinical practice. Combining technical knowledge, commercial strategy, creativity, a love of problem solving, and the psychology of behaviour change, Emily and the team at Roar are proud to deliver written content and content strategy that really says something to the key audiences of their clients. These range from global pharmaceutical giants to successful niche companies.

Emily is looking forward to once again marvelling at the creativity and genius of this fantastic sector that we all work within. The VMAs are a wonderful window into the talent that exists in animal health and she is very proud to be a part of recognising the people that deliver it.

Emily Folwell
Susan Goodfellow

Susan Goodfellow is Chief Marketing Officer for XLVets. XLVets is a collaborative community of Independent Veterinary Practices that spans the UK. From long established practices to start ups, XLVets members believe that by working together we can achieve so much more.

With a marketing career covering a variety of sectors including food production, business enterprise, agriculture and veterinary/animal health over a period of 17 years, she will happily reflect that she has never felt more inspired than by the teams working within veterinary.

She is responsible for overseeing the marketing strategy, internal communications within XLVets, support for member practices, development of resources, sharing the benefits of membership to more independent practices and anything else that is needed!

Susan Goodfellow
Iain Harrison

Iain Harrison is a content strategist at IVC Evidensia, Europe’s leading veterinary group. He began his journey in the veterinary sector with Vets Now in 2016 and moved to IVC Evidensia last year. With a strong background in journalism, including senior roles at various national newspapers, Iain combines his experience in the media with a passion for marketing to create informative and accessible content, aimed at helping pet owners and veterinary professionals. His work is also crucial in attracting and retaining members for the company’s subscription services. Additionally, Iain is enthusiastic about incorporating cutting-edge AI-driven solutions into marketing strategies.

Iain Harrison
Claire Hodgson

Claire Hodgson BVetMed CertAVP(EM) MRCVS Co-founder and Director BVCIS (British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support CIC). Claire been in clinical practice for 20+ years and has warn many hats. Starting in mixed practice, then equine only where she combined work with study, gaining her CertAVP (EM). In 2018 she pivoted to working as small animal locum to have better autonomy over time and hours worked allowing a better balance for health needs and time for other passions. In 2018 she cofounded the Facebook community Veterinary Spoonholders to provide a safe space and peer-peer support for all those in the veterinary profession with chronic illness and disability. In Summer 2021 the social enterprise British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support CIC. was launched with three core goals – Support, Advocacy and Education. The last year has seen her balancing her clinical work, with launching BVCIS and working collaboratively alongside other grass roots organisations BVEDS and BVLGBT+ to bring the voices of those with live experience in the veterinary sector to EDI training.

Claire Hodgson
Selwyn Learner

Selwyn started out with a qualification in pharmacy, but soon joined an ad agency as a copywriter. By 2001 Selwyn was Creative Director for health at the global agency Ogilvy, and in 2010, Selwyn set up Learner Adams Bones. Although Selwyn is a multi-award winning creative, he’ll always tell you that the important thing is to apply sound creative principles to everything: even the smallest pieces of work deserve 100% commitment. Selwyn’s philosophy for any promotional activity is that of ‘provocative resonance’: work should resonate with your world as you see it, and provoke you to do, think or feel differently.

Selwyn Learner
Justin Phillips

Founder, Practice Made Purrfect

With 20 years of experience and award-winning roles at White Cross Vets and VetPartners under his belt, Justin founded Practice Made Purrfect in 2020, a marketing consultancy dedicated to helping veterinary practices to deliver the best service possible to their clients and patients.

He’s passionate about the potential of marketing to inform and inspire, especially in the veterinary industry, which he comes to love more with every heart-warming good news story and example of practice growth.

A proud pet parent to Maine Coon, Poppy Gabriella, he understands the bonds between owners and pets, and the key role vets play in their lives – something he believes underscores the importance that communication in the industry continues to improve.

Justin Phillips
Rachael Porter

Bio to follow shortly…

Rachael Porter
Blaise Scott-Morris

Bio to follow shortly…

Blaise Scott-Morris
Libby Sheridan

Libby graduated as a vet from University College Dublin in Ireland and spent 10 years working in mixed and small animal practice, followed by 7 years in industry working for a major pet food supplier as Veterinary Affairs Manager. She then set up her company Mojo Consultancy, specialising in technical communications, marketing and PR, and project management within the veterinary industry.

Libby has built on her direct practice experience of client relationships with the development of vet professional and client support materials and programmes, website and e-communication content, as well as delivering training and writing course material on diverse topics. She also enjoys writing and has served as the nutrition expert for both Dog’s Monthly magazine and Your Cat magazine, along with contributing regularly to many veterinary magazines and journals on nutrition and client care topics.

Libby Sheridan

Face to face judging panel

Ben Briggs

Ben Briggs is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Agriconnect, the agricultural portfolio which includes Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming. Ben was hands-on editor of FG from 2016 to March 2023, having previously been news and business editor from the end of 2010 when he returned to the business. His media career started at FG in 2004 as a junior reporter, before he left in 2006 and spent five years working in the regional press on a large daily newspaper and then as editor of a bi-monthly business magazine. A former chairman of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists, he has been a regular commentator on farming matters in the national press over the past decade.

Ben Briggs
Olly Caporn

Olly spent over 25 years in consumer advertising, the majority at HAVAS, and moved into the healthcare world in 2011 with the then ICC Lowe. Here he cut his teeth on a range of Boehringer Ingelheim animal health brands and MSD animal health campaigns, clocking up multiple VMA awards including two best in ‘best in show’ – before moving to CDM London as ECD. Under his creative stewardship the agency gained an enviable creative reputation with wins and jury service at Cannes Lions Health, Clio health, The Creative Floor Awards and the PM Society. Olly is passionate about big ideas and has a popular blog where he muses about creativity and the pharma world.

Olly Caporn
Phil Eades

An agriculture graduate with a background in farm consultancy and the supply trade, Phil has 25 years’ experience in PR and marketing communications planning. For the last 22 years he has been proprietor of Mardle Consulting, developing communications activities for a range of clients across the livestock farming arena. He believes his key role in helping clients communicate effectively is to work as an interpreter, taking often complex technical and scientific concepts and turning them into clear and simple messages that the target audience can engage with and so deliver value to client and end user.

Phil Eades
Claire Edmunds

Claire is a driven, enthusiastic marketing professional with substantial experience in brand management, product promotion, and event organisation to veterinary, trade, retail, consumer, and specialist audiences.

Claire’s previous marketing roles have included Vet Channel Marketing Manager at Merial Animal Health (BI) and Head of Marketing at Veterinary Business Development (VBD), and Claire is currently Marketing Manager for Beaphar UK.

Whilst this is the first year judging, up until recently Claire had a long association with the VMA having been involved for over 17 years.  She previously held the role of the Chairman of the Veterinary Marketing Association Awards Sub-Committee for 15 years and was the Chair of the VMA (2015-2017).

Claire Edmunds
Phil Maiden

Bio to follow shortly…

Phil Maiden
Hamzah Malik

Hamzah is the MD of Regent Branding, a digital consultancy with the core aim of ensuring brands feel empowered and confident when it comes to their digital strategy.

During university, he launched a CV writing business, helping customers land jobs globally and acquiring the core skills needed to grow a business in the digital sphere.

From there, he embarked on the John Lewis graduate scheme, gaining invaluable insights into the inner workings of JohnLewis.com. Afterwards, he worked for several years at VBD, honing their digital strategy across the verticals of SEO, content marketing, PPC and social media advertising.

Hamzah Malik
Jane Manning

With a background in agriculture, livestock and animal health, Jane has worked in PR and marketing consultancy for over 20 years. As a director of InnoVet Consulting Ltd, Jane works with clients in the animal health and veterinary channels, and is passionate about marketing in the veterinary sector and the unique opportunities it provides.

Jane Manning
Andrew Nicholson

Andrew is a Creative Director with over 30 years experience in consumer and healthcare professional communications, turning sound strategy into ideas that get people thinking. His job is to make it marvellously easy for health audiences to say “I get it”. A D&AD Student Award led to a job in ‘healthcare advertising’. Andrew started his first creative agency aged just 24.

His passion has always been for ideas that challenge, educate and inspire. Andrew has been responsible for many high-profile, award-winning campaigns. Andrew grew up in the West Country and spent lots of time on his friends’ families’ farms. His school had a working farm and all pupils studied ‘Land Skills’ as a practical subject. Discovering sheep grazing on the cricket pitch and chickens in the long jump sand pits were regular occurrences. During the early part of his career Andrew worked extensively in animal health and is always keen to be a part of the VMA Awards to see what’s changed and what’s happening in that world right now.

Andrew Nicholson
Timothy Potter

Senior Clinical Director Westpoint Farm Vets, farmacy.co.uk and Kingshay Farming and Conservation Ltd

Tim graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2003 and then went on to complete a three year residency in dairy herd medicine and surgery. After his residency Tim undertook a PhD examining the design of antimicrobial dosing regimens for the treatment of calf pneumonia. Tim is now Senior Clinical Director of Westpoint Farm Vets, farmacy.co.uk and Kingshay all part of VetPartners for whom he also heads up their farm animal graduate training programme. Clinically, most of Tim’s time is spent providing advice on proactive health management to calf rearers across the UK.

Timothy Potter
Richard Rayment

ACD Copy, Langland

Armed with a BA in Visual Communications from UCA, Richard started his career as a consumer copywriter before moving into healthcare communications, where he’s plied his trade for over three decades. In 1997, Richard co-founded Junction 11 Advertising, which became the most decorated UK healthcare agency, allowing him to amass the majority of his 400 creative accolades.

Richard has now enjoyed a quarter of a century in creative director roles, which has included serving as an ACD at DDB Remedy, a deputy CD at BBH and a CD at Junction 11. He’s also served on many judging panels, including the Cannes Lions Health Jury. And he’s been Convenor of Judges at the Best of Health Awards as well as the PM Society Awards’ first ever Head Judge.

Richard Rayment
Justine Shotton

A 2008 University of Bristol veterinary graduate with a First Class intercalated degree in veterinary pathology from the Royal Veterinary College, Justine has over 15 years’ experience in zoo medicine, small animal practice and mixed practice in Oxfordshire, London and Hampshire, as well as internationally. In 2014, she completed a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Health from the Royal Veterinary College and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Justine worked for eight years leading the vet team at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, continues working as a locum emergency small animal vet and was British Veterinary Association President in 2021-22 with her theme of Sustainability and is passionate about improving environmental sustainability in our profession and optimising animal welfare. She recently joined RSPCA as the Head Vet for Wildlife and Exotics.

Justine Shotton
Alison Speakman

Alison graduated from Glasgow in 1991 and spent a brief time in mixed practice before undertaking a residency in feline medicine, then a PhD studying Bordetella bronchiseptica in cats at the University of Liverpool. After a period of post-doctoral research, she returned to private small animal practice gaining her CertAVP in small animal medicine. Apart from a period in industry 2006-2008, Alison has remained in small animal practice for the last 25 years. In addition, Alison is the lead veterinary surgeon and a trustee of a local animal sanctuary with a keen interest in shelter medicine. Alison has been a volunteer for the British Small Animal Veterinary Association since 1994, undertaking various roles within Education, Congress, Regional and Petsavers committees. She has held the post of Honorary Secretary for the association and is the current Senior Vice President of BSAVA.

Alison Speakman
Fiona Stephens

Fiona is a Veterinary Surgeon and Head of Veterinary Connections at VBD -publisher of Vet Times, and has worked in the veterinary industry for more than 25 years. She was in clinical practice for 18 years with roles spanning large mixed practices, high-end small animal hospitals and charity work in the Bahamas (where she also managed to sneak in a stint as an underwater photographer!). She has a particular interest in imaging and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Diagnostic Imaging. In 2014, she moved into management full-time and worked as a regional director before heading up recruitment for a large, family-owned veterinary group based in the south-east. Fiona is passionate about effective communication and has completed a Specialist Diploma in Internal Communications from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Within communication, her areas of interest are voice, listening and dialogue and their impact on engagement and retention.

Fiona Stephens

NMT judging panel

Stephen Dann

Managing Director and Marketing Strategist
BA DipM FCIM FIDM AMRS
Chartered Marketer

More than 40 years’ experience as a practising marketing professional.

‘Hands on’ experienced in all key marketing disciplines – especially direct marketing, channels and networks, digital and social media, CRM and database marketing, strategic planning, and branding. Strongest interests are in marketing innovation and was an early innovator in loyalty schemes in the 1980s, in database/direct marketing in 1990s, and since then in digital and social.

Stephen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of The Institute of Data and Marketing and a Member of The Market Research Society.

Stephen Dann
Mo Gannon

Director at Mo Gannon & Associates; providing marketing consultancy and market research both UK and internationally, specialising in agriculture, animal health and veterinary markets. Mo has a BSc (Hons) and PhD in Animal Science (Nottingham university / BBSRC Silsoe Research Institute). After several years in vet pharma sales and vet pharma marketing Mo has been working as a consultant within the industry for the last 20+ years. Mo holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the Market Research Society and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Mo has been a VMA Committee member since 2000 and has been judging the New Marketing Talent Award (formerly known as Young Marketer of the Year) since its inception. Mo is also a Level 3 Marketing tutor at Cambridge Marketing College.

Mo Gannon