The Team

We’re a trusted team of thinkers AND doers – connected new business obsessives, brand storytellers and reputation specialists, drawn together by our passion for helping clients realise their potential. We’re also people, we understand the challenges of business, we are open and here to support you.

Emma Thwaite

Founder

Emma has been helping businesses grow for over 25 years. Knowing what works, she can encourage others to think like business development people and spot opportunities. Emma has had hands-on experience with global networks and independent agencies across pitch leadership, lead generation, prequalification of commercial opportunities and relationship marketing.

Emily MetCalfe

Marketing & New Business Specialist

Nicknamed the ‘why bird’ as a kid, Emily isn’t afraid to ask why to get to the root of a problem and then apply a strategic diagnosis. With a focus on brand management, finding that distinctive thing that makes you, you and then sharing it with the right people (repeatedly) to get results is what she thrives at doing.

Emily’s background is in client services, producing effective and creative campaigns for global network and independent agencies, and leading Client Services departments. As a trusted client partner she intuitively understands their needs and the challenges they often face. She has worked both client-side and in new business departments at agencies for the last 10 years and brings all her skills to marketing and business development teams.

Deb Khan

Consultant

Deb’s personal brand logo sums her up. It’s made with a personalised embosser. Designed by her client, Fallon. In their words, she leaves a mark. She changes people; how they work & behave at work. She draws on her background in education, theatre & consultancy, delivering world class solutions that drive business success.

Deb has spent the last 20 years building and growing creative businesses. She designs fast, flexible high impact solutions for some of the best in their sector, with impact on the bottom line.

Diane Schaefer

Marketing & New Business Specialist

Over a career spanning media, the arts, property, design and technology, Diane has been using creative and commercial expertise to help organisations – from world-renowned market leaders to founder-led SMEs – engage their audiences and grow.

Immersing herself into her clients’ business, Diane helps discover what makes them special in order to define strategy and planning to target new clients.

Where Diane helps businesses plan projects, optimise sales processes, build pipelines and develop deeper client relationships, she does more. Her expert knowledge and empathetic approach has earned her the reputation of a close and trusted adviser.

Gemma King

New Business Specialist

Gemma initially fell into new business after taking a job at a lead generation agency, where she quickly realised her interest in the creative and marketing services world married well with her communication skills and thrill of the chase in opening up new opportunities in a highly competitive industry.

Fast forward almost 20- years and her time spent in New Business Agencies and In-house has given her exposure to almost all agency disciplines from brand, corporate comms, influencer marketing and customer engagement – to – media planning & buying, insights, international production and marketing effectiveness consultancy.

Her career has given her a unique insight into organisational structures and the challenges faced at all levels from Local, International and Global marketing teams. She has the unique ability to simplify complex propositions and spot strategic opportunities to tailor creative propositions to connect with business problems. Opening new doors at all levels right up to c-suite decision makers.

Anna Burns

Consultant

Anna thrives in the world of PR agency new business. For 17 years, she's driven success for both large global agencies and independents. Her passion lies in crafting compelling narratives and propositions that resonate with clients and build agency value. Collaborating closely with agency senior leadership, Anna’s experience spans the entire new business process, from refining agency mission and target setting to identifying prospects, cultivating relationships, navigating procurement, and leading winning pitches.Building a strong internal new business culture is vital to her success. This fuels understanding of how to truly meet client needs, resulting in attracting new accounts and agency brands that stand out in the marketplace.

Rebecca Lalonde

Marketing Specialist

Becca has spent her career in new business and marketing in and around the creative industries: Across agencies, in-house roles, intermediaries, new business agencies, and even creative recruitment. Her journey has equipped her with a deep understanding of the universal and unique challenges agencies encounter, especially when it comes to market positioning and crafting growth-oriented marketing programs. Fuelled by her enthusiasm for assisting agencies in reaching their goals, Becca utilises her industry expertise, strategic acumen, and creative flair to empower her clients.

Joanne Merecido

New Business Director

Joanne thrives at the intersection of growth hacking and strategic business development. With experience on both the client-side and agency-side, she possesses a deep understanding of the marketing landscape and leverages this to craft innovative marketing and new business strategies that drive tangible results for agencies.

Her expertise lies in converting new business leads through robust processes encompassing outbound outreach, pipeline building, and securing RFP wins. Joanne's passion for the industry extends beyond strategy – she's a committed advocate for diversity and inclusion, actively involved with organisations like WACL, Bloom, and MEFA.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Joanne is a captivating individual who enjoys engaging with new people and sharing her insights. She has even graced the stage and judged marketing awards, demonstrating her natural ability to connect and inspire.

Sophie Astin

Content Writer & Founder of Life Stories

With over 20 years’ experience working with businesses across various sectors, Sophie helps clients to distil and articulate their ideas to create engaging and impactful written content for LinkedIn and blogs, as well as website copy, articles, newsletters, email campaigns and e-books.

Her thorough research guarantees each piece is well-informed and authoritative, while her versatile writing style aligns with the client’s tone and voice, ensuring the content resonates with a broad audience and drives results.

Partners

From PR and production, to commercial consultancy and everything in between, we've cultivated an extensive network of experts and entrepreneurs, self-starters and do-ers, who are passionate about transforming clients' businesses with the same hands-on energy.

I can honestly say I’ve never worked with anyone as driven as tenacious and driven as Emma. In the 4.5 years she's worked with The Kite Factory she's overhauled our new business process, language, creds and proposition, leading to huge success. From a personal point of view she's taught me never to give up, and there's always an upside. She works collaboratively with the team and understands there's no 'one size fits' to get the best out of those she's working with. Her involvement has been a huge factor in delivering the agencies growth.

James Smith, Managing Director, The Kite Factory