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Moving to Bournemouth? Here are 8 people you need to know

19 Apr 2018

Thinking of relocating to Bournemouth? Get more familiar with the area by adding some notable people to your news feed.

For the month of April, we’ve been looking at Bournemouth and its surrounding area, and examining the rich tapestry of sci-tech talent and opportunity it has to offer.

We began with an overview of the location and looked at what it has to offer from a sci-tech point of view. While it has a vibrant and mixed economy, digital and creative industries seem to be where Bournemouth really thrives, with roughly one digital agency per 1,000 people.

For those thinking about relocating, you might want to improve your news feed on Twitter to see good things from Bournemouth natives, interesting happenings about the area or a combination of both.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve rounded up eight great Twitter accounts to get you started if you’re thinking of moving to Bournemouth.

Gellan Watt (@GellanWatt)

Gellan Watt is an award-winning agency founder based in Bournemouth. He founded Thinking Juice in 2003 before merging it with The Emerge Group in 2011.

Aside from the variety of accolades Thinking Juice has won over the years, Watt also won a number of awards personally, including UK Marketing Industry MD of the Year.

Following the sale of The Emerge Group and its agencies in 2016, Watt now works directly with ambitious brands as a global brand strategist, growth hacker and creative director.

Ruth Spencer (@bournemouthbc)

As digital economy manager of the Bournemouth Borough Council, Ruth Spencer supports bringing in investment, developing partnerships and projects, and helping the digital sector to expand.

Spencer’s plans fall in line with Bournemouth’s Digital Challenge to be in the top 20 global cities for digital and creative by 2020.

Spencer also sits on the advisory panel for Barclays’ Eagle Fab Lab in Bournemouth, and supports the growth of Code Club, a volunteer initiative helping to equip the next generation with the skills they need to excel.

Dan Willis (@Daniel_willis)

As a successful brand and culture development marketer, Dan Willis has specialist knowledge within the digital industry – a perfect fit for Bournemouth’s tech scene.

Willis is the founder and managing director of Bournemouth-based digital consultancy firm Why Digital and has worked with a number of notable brands, including Cancer Research UK, B&Q, Unilever and Cisco.

Willis is also keen to use his work to find ways that technology can have a positive impact on day-to-day life, and raise awareness around mental health.

Gillian Donald (@Gidonald)

Gillian Donald works in business development in Hixsons, an accountancy firm based in Bournemouth.

Donald’s extensive experience of business development, strategy and management has stood to her over the years, and she considers herself a strong supporter of Bournemouth and its local businesses.

Donald also has strong science connections, with a background in food science and technology followed by a lecturing career, management and international businesses in further education.

Tom Quay (@tomquay) ‏

Tom Quay is the founder of Base, a tech firm that combines design thinking with data analytics and modern engineering to provide innovative digital products.

Quay is also the founder of the free Open Device Lab in Bournemouth, enabling tech start-ups and other creators to use mobile and tablet devices to do their testing.

Quay is also the CEO of Passenger Technology Group, a transport data management platform with apps and services that include mobile ticketing and passenger information apps.

Dr Fiona Ling (@bournemouthuni)

Bournemouth University (BU) psychology lecturer Dr Fiona Ling has a lot of qualifications behind her. Prior to her position at BU, Ling completed a postdoctoral appointment at Victoria University in Melbourne and at University of Limerick.

Ling is a qualified sport psychologist and children’s fitness instructor, having worked with junior state and national athletes and artistic performers while completing her master’s degree.

Ling is a huge advocate for health and wellbeing, and her research focuses on the psychological self-regulatory mechanisms that underpin health behavioural change and the development of metabolic health over childhood in cross-cultural contexts.

Kosta Mavroulakis (@KostaMavs)

Kosta Mavroulakis is an award-winning and global super-connector for start-ups, SMEs and corporates. He is the founder and CEO of Empact Ventures, a UK firm that designs, delivers and supports some of the leading start-up initiatives in Europe, from local investor pitch days to international start-up programmes.

Over the past few years, Mavroulakis has been the campaign manager of StartUp Britain, a UK campaign for small business.

Mavroulakis is also currently the global vice-chair of the I-COM Global Data Startup Challenge and UK vice-chair of the Europe India Centre for Business and Industry.

Leila Willingham (@LeilaWillingham)

Despite being the youngest entry on our Bournemouth list, 18-year-old Leila Willingham has achieved a lot already.

As an account executive at Liz Lean PR, Willingham founded Digipigz in order to bridge the gap between businesses and the next generation.

A major advocate for young people and promoting a tech career to young women in particular, Willingham frequently speaks and writes about the importance of inclusion when it comes to younger generations.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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