StrategiQ’s 2019 Annual Awards

14 min read by Levi Clucas 23 Jan 2020


We kicked off a new annual tradition in 2019 – the StrategiQ Annual Awards! Think of it as our monthly MVP but on mega steroids. These awards give the team, the directors and the heads of department an opportunity to recognise the achievements of fellow colleagues and reward those who have truly excelled over the past year.

There are four award categories:

  • The CEO’s Champion

  • Marketer of the Year (Marketing & Operations Side)

  • Marketer of the Year (Production, Design & Development Side)

  • The People’s Champion

CEO’s Champion

As the name suggests, the CEO’s Champion award is decided by our spiritual leader, Andy Smith. After sitting himself in a dark room to think about how wonderful we all are (what a lovely job!), Andy went through the VERY painful process of shortlisting three team members and finally choosing one to win the coveted CEO’s Champion award. Alongside the awesome recognition and a fancy framed certificate, the CEO’s Champion also wins a New York break for two, four-night stay in a 5* hotel and £500 spending money! Ooooooohhhhhh.

The criteria for the award included the value of client work, the impact on clients’ businesses,  client feedback, and training and development achievements.

Here is the shortlist for CEO’s Champion, along with a few words from Andy on why each person made his final three:

Nick Woolnough

“Nick has enabled me to focus on building the company by taking on more responsibility for managing and leading the marketing team. I’ve had great feedback from his direct reports on how his coaching sessions and day-to-day support is making an impact on the team. Leadership is lots of things, but you have to be focused and resilient, and over the year he’s done that for me.”

Kara Thurkettle

“Kara’s development in the past year has been huge. Her commitment to learning, her tenacity to do things right and her confidence to challenge have made her really stand out this year for me.”

The winner wasn’t an easy choice, but there could only be one. And that winner was:

Charlie Taylor!


So, why did Andy pick Charlie as this year’s CEO’s Champion?

“Because of his consistent impressive performance, I almost overlooked Charlie. Then I started to list things about him that stood out to me. The revenue he’s been responsible for, the performance of his clients, the drive for leadership and his support with various people. The way he’s handled account management, his maturity over career setbacks and the number of additional hours he does without entitlement all add up to a huge impact on us as a whole.”


Marketer of the Year

Next up it was Marketer of the Year, with one award given to a member of the marketing team and another to somebody in our production team.

The prize for Marketer of the Year is a European city break for two, four nights in a 5* hotel and £500 spending money.

Let’s start with the shortlist for the marketing team award, which was another bundle of wonderful:

Tom Cox

“Over the past year, my confidence in our social offering has increased massively, and frankly that alone could warrant the award. Tom’s grasped a notoriously difficult channel and has consistently demonstrated tangible results for clients in a multitude of campaigns – all whilst pushing the boundaries of what we can do, and never being afraid of trying new ideas.

He also took things up a gear this year by putting in the legwork to get the agency Facebook Blueprint Certified. Many accreditations of this kind are fluffy, but this one isn’t; it demonstrates that we really know what we’re talking about. On top of all of this, his creative flair is a force to be reckoned with, and he’s been putting forward some incredibly strong suggestions for PR campaigns which are absolutely genius. It’s this kind of thinking that clients come to us for as an integrated agency; our ability to ideate, and then successfully execute.

Finally, Tom’s a great person to work with. He’s a consistently positive and cheerful presence in the office, and every interaction I’ve had with him over the past year has been an absolute pleasure. Even if he doesn’t win this, I’d like Tom to know that his peers have massive respect for the work he does and the way he’s moved the agency forward.”

Charlie Taylor

“Charlie has set clear goals for 2019 and never wavered from them. His achievements in taking a single service line from a steady monthly revenue to more than double that are borne out of a commitment to results and sheer determination and hard work. Clients love dealing with him and he has shown a real desire to further his knowledge of marketing strategy – resulting in happy clients that are really benefiting from his knowledge. Not only that, the marketing team love working with him for his inclusive style that is helping to yield growth of marketing retainers. Add in the leadership training and exceptional consistency of behaviours and Charlie is a deserving winner.”

Again, the winner was a tough choice for the heads of departments, but the winner was none other than:

Roisin Ryan-Self!


“Roisin is The Rock of StrategiQ. Her tireless efforts to make an impact on clients have been nothing short of incredible. Even when faced with difficulties and curveballs she’s handled everything thrown at her with resolute composure and positivity that is extremely reassuring. Even when stressed, Roisin seems to have an innate resilience. As far as I know, she’s the only person in StrategiQ history to win MVP in their first month, and she’s shown no signs of stopping in her ascent to ‘Roisin the Machine’ status. A prompt and thoroughly deserved promotion and clients singing her name from the rooftops are a testament to her ability and dedication. With so many in the team now, it can be hard to know what people are doing on a day-to-day basis but Roisin has been something of a rocket since joining, with an almost meteoric rise (whoa, metaphors). I really think Roisin is one of the people who will flourish in 2020 and hit anuvva level of Supreme Glory.”


I’d just like to point out that these are genuine nominations from other employees, left in-tact for authenticity. Even if they do include words like ‘anuvva’.

Next up was the Marketer of the Year (Production) award. The prize is the same as the marketing team award, so let’s get straight into that fabulous shortlist:

Duncan Brown (AKA Dave)

“He keeps an immaculate record of his work and has been the perfect mentor to a new developer joining the team who has been inducted very quickly and has maintained our standards due to the accountability this person has shown. He has also been pivotal and a key player in our new senior development team having been promoted this year to lead developer. His leadership hasn’t necessarily been through managing people, it’s been by following our processes and standards, consistently raising his hand first when out-of-hours help has been needed and having a new-found awareness of his commercial impact on the business throughout the year.”

Simon Thompson

“Simon is, without doubt, the most experienced and skilled developer within the development team but his skills go so much further than simply ‘a good developer’. He is a natural problem-solver and is always willing to help any team member who needs help regardless of whether it is his job or responsibility to help. One of the great things about Simon is he approaches every task impeccably and always thinks about every possible outcome and scenario. The level of expertise he offers the business is irreplaceable (in my opinion) and I have not worked with a developer who offers the wide variety of skills and experience that Si does. When I think about Simon’s role and what he is capable of, he has so much to offer and can easily wear multiple hats at StrategiQ and fulfil the roles to a very high standard.  From my time working with Si, I have NEVER seen him lose his s**t or crumble when dealing with tough situations. He just always remains calm and professional.”

Who’s getting emotional by now? Two absolutely deserving winners, but the one who pipped them at the post was this superman:

Ashley Thrower!


“Ash has been on a quiet, but quite exceptional journey in 2019. Taking his first steps as a leader in his own name, while being the benchmark for quality in our design team is a tough assignment. I’m sure there were times when it was tough – but did he actually break a sweat? At all!? His ability to hit a brief is second to none and there is no doubting the impact that his clinical efficiency and ‘give a ship’ attitude has had on the business’ revenue. You can only dream of a team of Ashley Throwers!”


Last but by no means least was the People’s Champion award. Weirdly, this one was the easiest to pick a winner for, purely because it was down to the number of nominations from the team. The prize was again a European city break for two with a stay in a 5* hotel and £500 spending money.

There were some wonderful nominations for this award – people from across the whole team with varying roles, responsibilities and successes. Here are just a few:

Gemma White

“Gemma’s impact on this business and our clients’ is immense. In the eight months she has been working with us, you can tangibly see the results of her hard work and determination in moving us forward. Not only that, but her support of other team members in any role has been invaluable. Although not actively taking part in training and development, Gemma’s transition to head of client services – plus her support of others as they transition into new roles or face challenges – has been awesome. I can’t think of one team member that hasn’t benefitted from her guidance. Gemma is my nomination not just because I work closely with her, but because she is awesome (so you can’t say it’s just because I sit next to her!).”

Luke Tubby

“Luke has absolutely smashed it this year. Taking a newbie junior developer under his wing from the beginning of the year, ensuring our standards are consistently being pushed through the ceiling, improving our central code base and still making time to improve the loading times and speeds of each of our individual sites. From growing out of his shell to being more confident and consistently producing excellent client work, Luke has made great strides this year. Luke took time to train other people on the team, showing that he is gaining leadership and communication skills. He is also always open to my questions and gives me logical and simple explanations. Over the course of the year, he has quietly gone above and beyond juggling multiple projects, getting involved in stuff last minute and pitching in when needed to ensure stuff was ready for client review.”

Adam Pescod

“Adam has been consistently excellent all year round. He is one of the core pillars of StrategiQ. If the content was poor, other channels would suffer and we would lose clients. Adam’s high standards ensure page content, blogs and white papers are all top quality. Whether he was creating hundreds of pages for huge sites, interviewing company directors, pushing out press releases or working on the 30+ monthly content pieces for clients, Adam never slacked off or let his high standards slip. He is a true credit to the company.”


Becky Evison

“I don’t think that a day goes by when she is not going above and beyond for the clients she is working on. Her attention to detail is second to none and this year she’s also added customer persona work to her portfolio. She started the year excellent and finished the year exceptional. With a work ethic that is unquestionable, a skill set that is unrivalled and a dedication to the company that is unparalleled, if there is anyone that I look at in the company and think “that’s who I should be more like”, it’s Bex.”

Mike Wilson

“I couldn’t not put Mike forward. In addition to providing customers with a great product and service, I think it’s easy to forget sometimes the amount Mike does for us as an agency too. He’s taken the photography service offering and made it his own. As well as client photography he looks after our own photography needs, which can be a job in itself! He’s pushed himself in his own time to taking on extra photography courses over several weekends to further his knowledge, and in addition to photography, Mike has also developed his video skills over the past year to lead and manage projects entirely in Ipswich. An absolute pleasure to work alongside.”

There was a strong case for a number of people in the team – however, there was a clear winner who everyone would agree was deserving of the award. The winner is well known for his wizard-like magical skills when it comes to anything even remotely technical. He is also just a super nice guy that makes it practically impossible to argue against his victory.

You got it, the People’s Choice winner was none other than the head of research & systems…

Simon Thompson!

“Simon is the epitome of what StrategiQ stands for. His endless dedication, ability and knowledge to support not only just the development team but StrategiQ as a business makes him a force to be reckoned with. He NEVER grumbles about having to jump into ‘the matrix’ at a moment’s notice and at any hour of the day to help resolve a problem when our clients need us most. All done in his quiet, calm and unassuming nature.

“He is our protector – he ensures we have the tightest security and puts into practice the most efficient processes to protect both ourselves and our clients, allowing us to get back up and running quickly without any dramas and giving our clients the assurance they’re in the safest hands. Inspiring, polite, and the humblest of people, it’s a genuine privilege to work alongside him. Simon is nothing short of a genius.”


I’m not crying. You’re crying.

It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to award these amazing people and to see the sheer level of recognition and passion for supporting each other. Many congratulations to both the winners and everyone who was shortlisted and nominated!

Fancy being in one of these (very) long gushy blogs? Or maybe winning a trip to New York and some dosh? Get in touch to find out how you can be part of it.

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