Our Hive

Team

Our hive

We are an agency where people come first. Where passion and creativity are prized. Where clients are celebrated. One where there is time to think, to go the extra mile. A land of opportunity.

We are focused on developing and investing in our talented team and infrastructure for growth.

Kirsty Leighton
Queen Bee

Kirsty is the founder of Milk & Honey. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate brand PR and communications. She has a rather privileged view of the communications landscape having held leadership positions in successful City and financial, technology, corporate and consumer agencies. She started Milk & Honey determined to put people first, creating a happy and healthy place to work. Where passion and creativity are prized. Where clients are celebrated. One where there is time to think, to go the extra mile. A land of opportunity.

Kirsty Leighton

Kirsty Leighton
Queen Bee

Kirsty is the founder of Milk & Honey. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate brand PR and communications. She has a rather privileged view of the communications landscape having held leadership positions in successful City and financial, technology, corporate and consumer agencies. She started Milk & Honey determined to put people first, creating a happy and healthy place to work. Where passion and creativity are prized. Where clients are celebrated. One where there is time to think, to go the extra mile. A land of opportunity.

Caroline Addy
Aussie Bee

Caroline began her PR career in 2010 working on high profile campaigns across a variety of consumer sectors, including food & drink, not-for-profit and entertainment. After moving to Sydney for four years, her focus turned to all things technology and innovation (IT & networking, software development, telecoms, consumer electronics) where she represented global tech giants Cisco and GitHub, amongst others.

Having crafted first-class campaigns and relationships on both sides of the world, Caroline’s experience has taught her the ability to adapt at the drop of a hat. Caroline has learnt from the best in the industry and is passionate about inspiring her team to believe in themselves, be brave and continue raising the bar.
After a year on the board in London, Caroline returned to Sydney to lead our Australian business.

Caroline Addy
Aussie Bee

Caroline began her PR career in 2010 working on high profile campaigns across a variety of consumer sectors, including food & drink, not-for-profit and entertainment. After moving to Sydney for four years, her focus turned to all things technology and innovation (IT & networking, software development, telecoms, consumer electronics) where she represented global tech giants Cisco and GitHub, amongst others.

Having crafted first-class campaigns and relationships on both sides of the world, Caroline’s experience has taught her the ability to adapt at the drop of a hat. Caroline has learnt from the best in the industry and is passionate about inspiring her team to believe in themselves, be brave and continue raising the bar.
After a year on the board in London, Caroline returned to Sydney to lead our Australian business.

Maggie Gaston
Aussie bee

Maggie is known for her integrity, creativity and sparkly personality! As an experienced communicator she works closely with stakeholders to design original campaigns that have great storytelling at the core. Maggie thrives on elevating brands and people through PR and social, while remaining focused on tangible business impact.

Maggie started her career in the UK before relocating to Australia four years ago. She brings a fresh perspective to her clients with a wealth of experience in the technology space including cyber security, fintech and data analytics. Over her career, she has supported numerous brands on their growth journeys; from start-up to IPO and beyond.

Maggie’s second passion lies in charity and not for profit. Having started her PR career in the third sector Maggie has experienced the power of using PR as a force for good.

Maggie Gaston
Honey bee

Maggie is an experienced communicator. Working closely with C-level execs she designs campaigns that have creativity and storytelling at their core. Maggie thrives on elevating brands, supporting them on their growth journey from start up to IPO and beyond.

Maggie started her career in the UK before relocating to Australia in 2016. She brings a fresh perspective to her clients with a wealth of experience in the technology space including cyber security, fintech and data analytics.

Alongside her deep knowledge of the tech and innovation sector, Maggie is also passionate about charity and not-for-profit. Having started her PR career in the third sector Maggie has experienced the power of using PR as a force for good.

Francesca O’Connor
Consumer bee

Fran heads up consumer. She started her media career as an assistant on a TV production company in 2007 before moving to PR. Since then she has held a number of senior positions in global agencies designing and delivering high impact campaigns for technology, wellness and consumer lifestyle and retail brands. These include Kellogg’s, Diageo, Philips, P&G, Nikon, Moonpig and Sony.

At the hive, Fran has board responsibility for talent development and wellbeing. Ensuring the whole team are growing, learning and supporting one another.

Francesca O’Connor
Consumer bee

Fran heads up consumer. She started her media career as an assistant on a TV production company in 2007 before moving to PR. Since then she has held a number of senior positions in global agencies designing and delivering high impact campaigns for technology, wellness and consumer lifestyle and retail brands. These include Kellogg’s, Diageo, Philips, P&G, Nikon, Moonpig and Sony.

At the hive, Fran has board responsibility for talent development and wellbeing. Ensuring the whole team are growing, learning and supporting one another.

Simran Maini-Hoskins
Corporate bee

Simran heads up our corporate offer. She started her career at The Economist press office which sowed the seed for her love of intelligent storytelling. She has since worked for London PR agencies including Speed Communications and W Communications designing and executing corporate and consumer campaigns with an impact.

Simran is passionate about diversity which she believes leads to richer storytelling, more successful campaigns, and happier workplaces. She spent time at marcomms consultancy The Unmistakables to better understand the challenges of targeting minority groups. She now leads the hive in talent and development to bring this diverse lens to everything we do.

Simran Maini-Hoskins
Corporate Bee

Simran heads up our corporate offer. She started her career at The Economist press office which sowed the seed for her love of intelligent storytelling. She has since worked for London PR agencies including Speed Communications and W Communications designing and executing corporate and consumer campaigns with an impact.

Simran is passionate about diversity which she believes leads to richer storytelling, more successful campaigns, and happier workplaces. She spent time at marcomms consultancy The Unmistakables to better understand the challenges of targeting minority groups. She now leads the hive in talent and development to bring this diverse lens to everything we do.

Laura Reijnders-Dorr
MONEY BEE

Laura is keeper of the cash! A chartered accountant with a master’s degree from Erasmus, Laura spent ten years auditing with EY before joining the board at Milk & Honey. She plays a central role in directing the business. Keeping us on an upward growth trajectory whilst ensuring client’s budgets are treated with care. Ensuring we deliver the best possible return on investment.

Laura Reijnders-Dorr
MONEY BEE

Laura is keeper of the cash! A chartered accountant with a master’s degree from Erasmus, Laura spent ten years auditing with EY before joining the board at Milk & Honey. She plays a central role in directing the business. Keeping us on an upward growth trajectory whilst ensuring client’s budgets are treated with care. Ensuring we deliver the best possible return on investment.

Jessica Ballinger
BCorp Bee

Jessica heads up our technology offer and sits on our board. She is celebrated for her creativity and ability to design transformative campaigns. Before arriving at the hive, Jessica spent eight years at London PR agencies Brands2Life and Red Consultancy. Telling stories for major enterprises and challenger brands across cyber security, cloud, digital marketing, fintech and data analytics.

She is passionate about building a team which is always looking for creative inspiration from the wider world. This means she is often busy at industry events and carrying out judging duties. Jess is also the power behind our B Corporation accreditation, driving the highest standards in social, ethical and environmental impact.

Jessica Ballinger
BCorp Bee

Jessica heads up our technology offer and sits on our board. She is celebrated for her creativity and ability to design transformative campaigns. Before arriving at the hive, Jessica spent eight years at London PR agencies Brands2Life and Red Consultancy. Telling stories for major enterprises and challenger brands across cyber security, cloud, digital marketing, fintech and data analytics.

She is passionate about building a team which is always looking for creative inspiration from the wider world. This means she is often busy at industry events and carrying out judging duties. Jess is also the power behind our B Corporation accreditation, driving the highest standards in social, ethical and environmental impact.

Caroline Gruen
Insights bee

Caroline heads up our B2B and government affairs offers. She started her multi-award winning PR career in 2009 in-house within the automotive industry before moving to central government, then to global agency Weber Shandwick.

Over the years Caroline has built up quite the awards cabinet, having been recognised in PRWeek’s 30 under 30 in 2016 and celebrated for her client campaigns along the way too. As a board director at the hive, she leads our analytics and innovation activity ensuring every creative campaign has demonstrable business results.

Caroline Gruen
Insights bee

Caroline heads up our B2B and government affairs offers. She started her multi-award winning PR career in 2009 in-house within the automotive industry before moving to central government, then to global agency Weber Shandwick.

Over the years Caroline has built up quite the awards cabinet, having been recognised in PRWeek’s 30 under 30 in 2016 and celebrated for her client campaigns along the way too. As a board director at the hive, she leads our analytics and innovation activity ensuring every creative campaign has demonstrable business results.

Rachel Proctor
Digi Bee

Rachel is our digital doyen. She is responsible for all digital services across our client portfolio, whilst focusing on five key accounts.

Rachel has been working in marketing communications since 2014 when she graduated with a first-class honours’ degree in business management and marketing. Before joining the hive, Rachel worked with Thomson Reuters in a variety of internal communications and event roles. Prior to that she was part of the awards team at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Rachel is a voracious learner and holds diplomas in web design, digital PR and mobile app development. She was celebrated in 2019 as one of PR Week’s ‘30 under 30’ identifying the industry’s leaders of tomorrow.

Rachel Proctor
Digi Bee

Rachel is our digital doyen. She is responsible for all digital services across our client portfolio, whilst focusing on five key accounts.

Rachel has been working in marketing communications since 2014 when she graduated with a first-class honours’ degree in business management and marketing. Before joining the hive, Rachel worked with Thomson Reuters in a variety of internal communications and event roles. Prior to that she was part of the awards team at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Rachel is a voracious learner and holds diplomas in web design, digital PR and mobile app development. She was celebrated in 2019 as one of PR Week’s ‘30 under 30’ identifying the industry’s leaders of tomorrow.

Imogen Wallis
Digi Bee

Imogen is a lover of all things social. Having been both agency and client side, Imogen began her career 2015 as an account manager for a social media agency. Here she was deep diving into content creation, copy writing and creating event coverage for a range of clients from fashion to confectionary.

Looking to switch things up and work in-house, she then took up the helm of all things marketing and PR at luxury nightwear start-up Yawn. Tackling all sides of the business from PR coverage, social media management and PPC. Imogen’s experience, and first-class honours degree in marketing and advertising, has allowed her to gain a fantastic understanding of client struggles from all business angles and how to optimise the digital world.

When not building award worthy digital campaigns, you’ll find Imogen planning her next trip across the world, singing her heart out at a gig or taking her puppy ‘Biggie’ out for some quiet time.

Imogen Wallis
Digi Bee

Imogen is a lover of all things social. Having been both agency and client side, Imogen began her career 2015 as an account manager for a social media agency. Here she was deep diving into content creation, copy writing and creating event coverage for a range of clients from fashion to confectionary.

Looking to switch things up and work in-house, she then took up the helm of all things marketing and PR at luxury nightwear start-up Yawn. Tackling all sides of the business from PR coverage, social media management and PPC. Imogen’s experience, and first-class honours degree in marketing and advertising, has allowed her to gain a fantastic understanding of client struggles from all business angles and how to optimise the digital world.

When not building award worthy digital campaigns, you’ll find Imogen planning her next trip across the world, singing her heart out at a gig or taking her puppy ‘Biggie’ out for some quiet time.

Harriet King
Media Bee

Harriet is a self-confessed news junkie and can always find the right angle to a story. Our longest standing team member, Harriet is also a shareholder in the business. Before arriving at the hive, Harriet worked across marketing and creative agencies and with brands such as ASDA and British Airways.

As well as her creative flair, she has an eagle eye for news jacking opportunities whilst managing award winning campaigns for clients. Harriet has agency wide responsibility for our CSR activities and junior recruitment, something close to her heart. Outside of work she enjoys finding new places in the city to eat, drink and dance.

Harriet King
Media Bee

Harriet is a self-confessed news junkie and can always find the right angle to a story. Our longest standing team member, Harriet is also a shareholder in the business. Before arriving at the hive, Harriet worked across marketing and creative agencies and with brands such as ASDA and British Airways.

As well as her creative flair, she has an eagle eye for news jacking opportunities whilst managing award winning campaigns for clients. Harriet has agency wide responsibility for our CSR activities and junior recruitment, something close to her heart. Outside of work she enjoys finding new places in the city to eat, drink and dance.

Lewis Oakley
Storytelling bee

Lewis is permanently attached to the phone, selling in stories to media and sweet-talking influencers then revelling in the results.

Before joining the hive, he worked at Red Havas on major household names including Greggs and TransPennine Express. Lewis started his career in broadcast PR, securing his clients coverage on some of the nation’s leading TV and radio shows. This was followed by three years in the digital sector where he developed his understanding of SEO and influencer relations.

Lewis Oakley
Storytelling bee

Lewis is permanently attached to the phone, selling in stories to media and sweet-talking influencers then revelling in the results.

Before joining the hive, he worked at Red Havas on major household names including Greggs and TransPennine Express. Lewis started his career in broadcast PR, securing his clients coverage on some of the nation’s leading TV and radio shows. This was followed by three years in the digital sector where he developed his understanding of SEO and influencer relations.

Ailene Barr
Data Bee

Ailene began her PR career in 2014 and spent five years focussing on the personal finance world of energy bills, broadband, mobiles and financial services. She has a nose for a story and will often be found buried in research and analysis hunting out the perfect angle. Ailene can bring the star quality out in new spokespeople and is always on the lookout for broadcast opportunities to maximise exposure.

Ailene has an ear to the ground for industry developments and new regulations to better empower her clients to be on the front foot of change, especially in digital industries.

Ailene Barr
Data Bee

Ailene began her PR career in 2014 and spent five years focussing on the personal finance world of energy bills, broadband, mobiles and financial services. She has a nose for a story and will often be found buried in research and analysis hunting out the perfect angle. Ailene can bring the star quality out in new spokespeople and is always on the lookout for broadcast opportunities to maximise exposure.

Ailene has an ear to the ground for industry developments and new regulations to better empower her clients to be on the front foot of change, especially in digital industries.

Brittany Farquhar
Social Bee

Brittany started her digital communications career in Toronto, Canada and moved to London in spring 2018. Prior to relocating she worked in recruitment communications for the largest college in Canada. She worked on various marketing campaigns and assisted in the social media strategy and email marketing for the overarching brand. In her early career, she was part of a team at a bespoke digital and influencer agency.

Brittany puts her digital smarts to work across an array of through the line campaigns at the hive. She is buzzing with ideas and practical applications to make them fly. Brittany also leads on internal marketing for our own business. Outside of work, you’ll find her raving about the latest podcasts, pop culture news or her adventurous travel stories.

Brittany Farquhar
Social Bee

Brittany started her digital communications career in Toronto, Canada and moved to London in spring 2018. Prior to relocating she worked in recruitment communications for the largest college in Canada. She worked on various marketing campaigns and assisted in the social media strategy and email marketing for the overarching brand. In her early career, she was part of a team at a bespoke digital and influencer agency.

Brittany puts her digital smarts to work across an array of through the line campaigns at the hive. She is buzzing with ideas and practical applications to make them fly. Brittany also leads on internal marketing for our own business. Outside of work, you’ll find her raving about the latest podcasts, pop culture news or her adventurous travel stories.

Charlie Bush
Culture Bee

Charlie is passionate about content, his clients and culture. He’s got his finger on the pulse and isn’t one to shy away from creativity. He is always on the lookout for upcoming trends and loves creating new ideas for our integrated campaigns across our B2B and B2C clients.

Charlie puts people first and heads up our Culture Club, which brings social events to our team members. When he’s not busy pitching to the media, or working on new business, he is almost certainly organising the next trip to an art gallery, comedy club or team yoga session.

Charlie Bush
Culture Bee

Charlie is passionate about content, his clients and culture. He’s got his finger on the pulse and isn’t one to shy away from creativity. He is always on the lookout for upcoming trends and loves creating new ideas for our integrated campaigns across our B2B and B2C clients.

Charlie puts people first and heads up our Culture Club, which brings social events to our team members. When he’s not busy pitching to the media, or working on new business, he is almost certainly organising the next trip to an art gallery, comedy club or team yoga session.

Badara Jeng
Media bee

Badara has a knack for identifying a good story and selling it to media. Having entered the world of PR in 2019, he has quickly built relationships with journalists across a number of sectors. Becoming a reliable contact for members of the press looking for commentary, data, or insights.

Badara also has a passion for both politics and communication. He holds an MA in Political Communication, a BSc in Economics, and previously worked in a barristers’ chambers where he liaised with high-profile solicitors to resolve issues on behalf of the clerks and barristers. In his spare time, you’ll find him creating TikToks and engaged in social issues.

Badara Jeng
Media bee

Badara has a knack for identifying a good story and selling it to media. Having entered the world of PR in 2019, he has quickly built relationships with journalists across a number of sectors. Becoming a reliable contact for members of the press looking for commentary, data, or insights.

Badara also has a passion for both politics and communication. He holds an MA in Political Communication, a BSc in Economics, and previously worked in a barristers’ chambers where he liaised with high-profile solicitors to resolve issues on behalf of the clerks and barristers. In his spare time, you’ll find him creating TikToks and engaged in social issues.

Adam Toms
Content bee

Adam has more than 20 years of communications experience in the public, charity and private sectors.

As head of content, Adam taking complex subjects and translating them into a form that’s understandable, meaningful and interesting to relevant audiences. He has put words into the mouths of Lords, Ministers of State and blue-chip CEOs – and developed the full range of corporate communications collateral.

Before joining the hive, Adam led Editorial at Genomics England, ran his own writing business, was head of communications at a national medical regulator, managed corporate communications within the NHS and has been at the sharp end of major national events such as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Adam Toms
Content Bee

Adam has more than 20 years of communications experience in the public, charity and private sectors.

As head of content, Adam taking complex subjects and translating them into a form that’s understandable, meaningful and interesting to relevant audiences. He has put words into the mouths of Lords, Ministers of State and blue-chip CEOs – and developed the full range of corporate communications collateral.

Before joining the hive, Adam led Editorial at Genomics England, ran his own writing business, was head of communications at a national medical regulator, managed corporate communications within the NHS and has been at the sharp end of major national events such as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Tushar Parmar
News Bee

Tushar is a media junkie who has worked across a range of B2B and B2C campaigns. He combines strong research and writing skills with his creative flair, delivering results that generate impact and add value.

Starting out as an intern in 2015, he hasn’t looked back since. His experience includes digital SEO and B2B agencies where he used research, data and videos to secure coverage.

Graduating from Northumbria University, he also held a role at The Business Desk, covering regional Yorkshire news. At the Hive, he is responsible for Milk & Honey’s volunteering programme. Outside the office, he enjoys playing and watching (sadly the latter of late!) cricket and rugby whilst also exploring the live music scene.

Tushar Parmar
News Bee

Tushar is a media junkie who has worked across a range of B2B and B2C campaigns. He combines strong research and writing skills with his creative flair, delivering results that generate impact and add value.

Starting out as an intern in 2015, he hasn’t looked back since. His experience includes digital SEO and B2B agencies where he used research, data and videos to secure coverage.

Graduating from Northumbria University, he also held a role at The Business Desk, covering regional Yorkshire news. At the Hive, he is responsible for Milk & Honey’s volunteering programme. Outside the office, he enjoys playing and watching (sadly the latter of late!) cricket and rugby whilst also exploring the live music scene.

Richard Green
Business Bee

Richard sits external to the business and advises on risk, governance and tax. As non-executive director, his principle role is to keep the board on their toes. Pushing us to be the best we can be. He works between New York, Sydney and London offering business advisory chartered accountancy services for ambitious growth companies.

Richard Green
Business Bee

Richard sits external to the business and advises on risk, governance and tax. As non-executive director, his principle role is to keeps the board on their toes. Pushing us to be the best we can be. He works between New York, Sydney and London offering business advisory chartered accountancy services for ambitious growth companies.

Petrina Marks
Humming bee

Petrina is another amongst us with a dual career, a seasoned EA capable of keeping the board in check and a super talented baker.

Having worked with Kirsty is a previous agency, the two work together in sync. Petrina is energetic, innovative and motivated with strong attention to detail. She keeps the office humming, occasionally fuelled by some fabulous edible creations.

Petrina Marks
Humming bee

Petrina is another amongst us with a dual career, a seasoned EA capable of keeping the board in check and a super talented baker.

Having worked with Kirsty is a previous agency, the two work together in sync. Petrina is energetic, innovative and motivated with strong attention to detail. She keeps the office humming, occasionally fuelled by some fabulous edible creations.

Lizzie Elkin
Honey Bee

Lizzie loves getting under the skin of ambitious growth companies. After finishing her degree at the University of Nottingham, Lizzie moved to London to kick-start her PR career. She thrives on building strong client relationships and previously worked at a recruitment agency, helping young companies’ onboard new talent. Lizzie loves exploring London’s music scene, listening to the latest podcasts and travelling the world.

Lizzie Elkin
Honey Bee

Lizzie loves getting under the skin of ambitious growth companies. After finishing her degree at the University of Nottingham, Lizzie moved to London to kick-start her PR career. She thrives on building strong client relationships and previously worked at a recruitment agency, helping young companies’ onboard new talent. Lizzie loves exploring London’s music scene, listening to the latest podcasts and travelling the world.