Meet the team

Uptake Strategies is made up of a team of industry experts who have hands-on marketing experience in international pharma and biotech companies.

Each of us brings complementary skills and expertise in the following areas:

  • US, European and Emerging pharmaceutical markets
  • Marketing brands at different stages of the product lifecycle
  • Functional expertise across marketing, market research, finance, sales and business development

Therapy area expertise in:

  • All major primary and secondary care diseases
  • Specialist vaccines
  • Oncology therapeutic areas and orphan diseases.

Meet the team

Stephanie Hall Managing Director
Jon Twomey Strategic Marketing Consultant
Belinda Blakeney Project Manager
Maxine Smith Director

Stephanie is a strategic pharmaceutical marketing consultant with experience in global, European and UK healthcare marketing. Stephanie has worked for major blue chip corporations GlaxoSmithKline, sanofi-aventis and Eli Lilly and Co in a variety of marketing, sales and finance roles over the past 21 years.
Stephanie is a chartered marketer, a chartered management accountant, speaks French, Italian and Spanish and has taught the postgraduate diploma for the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is also a judge on the PMEA Awards programme for the UK and Europe.

How colleagues describe me: energetic, international, focussed on results

Jon is a Chartered Marketer and skilled workshop facilitator, with marketing excellence consulting experience across a multitude of FMCG and pharmaceutical clients. Jon has a direct, positive and constructively critical style of workshop delivery which many clients find demanding and very stimulating. His particular areas of expertise include: digital marketing solutions, performance measurement and marketing planning.

How colleagues describe me: dynamic, challenging, supportive

Belinda comes with a wealth of experience in project management and science education, as well as being a qualified Prince2 project management practitioner.
With 14 years’ experience delivering complex operational projects in the form of a suite of conferences at the Association for Science Education, along with work on highly confidential school pupil testing projects, Belinda manages multiple projects with a wide range of clients to ensure they are delivered at the highest level of client service.
Belinda has extensive staff and project team management expertise at a high level and is skilled at leading flexible and disparate teams and overseeing the work of project leaders working to her, bringing exercises in on time, to quality and on budget.
Belinda has a driving passion about delivering against project milestones whilst maintaining the highest of quality and being open and flexible to changing priorities.

How colleagues describe me: diplomatic, open-minded, supportive

Maxine draws from experience at both operational and strategic levels and from early R&D to mature promoted brands. Her areas of expertise include strategic business planning, project management and lifecycle brand management.
Maxine has blue chip pharmaceutical company experience at global, European and local operating levels and has a flair for asking tough yet simple questions to identify priority issues for client teams.

How colleagues describe me: enthusiastic, dedicated, pro-active achiever

Katya Kaidanovska Strategic Marketing Consultant
Jane Counsell Strategic Marketing Consultant
Liz Ainslie Strategic Marketing Consultant
Vanessa Burrow Strategic Marketing Consultant

A trusted pharmaceutical marketing advisor with 11 years experience gained as a strategy consultant at Deloitte Consulting and as a Global Product Strategy Director at a major global pharmaceutical. Katya successfully delivers projects across the product development and commercialisation lifecycle, with particular strengths in new product development and launch readiness.
An experienced meeting facilitator, Katya is repeatedly praised for generating high-quality insight. Able to make complex strategic decisions and roll up her sleeves to ensure successful delivery, clients give strong feedback on her intellectual rigor and positive approach.

How colleagues describe me: agile, committed, deductive

With over 20 years' experience in pharmaceutical sales, marketing and medical roles, Jane's expertise ranges from hands-on product launches to creating commercialisation strategies for early and late phase products.
She is skilled in opportunity assessment for business development projects, defining target market, developing value propositions and identifying key messages for customer groups.

How colleagues describe me: logical, efficient, constructive team player

Liz has over 18 years commercial experience within the pharmaceutical industry, the majority of which spent with GlaxoSmithKline. She has enjoyed a highly varied career working at both local affiliate and global level. Her structured approach to marketing planning and brand positioning always has the customer at the heart of the project.
Her style is energetic and engaging and draws upon her broad experience base to bring theoretical marketing concepts to life, to the point of practical application.

How colleagues describe me: energetic, motivating, pragmatic

Vanessa is a senior marketing leader with over 20 years’ experience in leading healthcare businesses including GSK, Novartis, Sanofi and specialist healthcare agencies across communication, analysis and education in the UK & Australia. She has unique experience across the range of healthcare (pharma, OTC and FMCH) with particular skills in positioning, insight, communications, multi-channel thinking, digital capability development, category thinking and strategy and planning.
She also has a passion for enabling people to flourish in life, is a qualified coach, and is studying for an MSc in Positive Psychology.

How colleagues describe me: passionate, insightful, inspiring

Liz Kirk Strategic Marketing Consultant
Alice Whale Marketing Manager
Karen Jeffery Strategic Marketing Consultant
Georgina Lonsdale Strategic Marketing Consultant

As a strategic marketer with practical in role experience, Liz brings great credibility in designing and delivering Marketing Excellence programmes. Having worked with both international and country affiliates, with senior leaders on executive panels as well as operational managers, Liz is very able to see the perspective of all stakeholders and arrive at mutually successful solutions. Prior to her consultancy work at Shire, Liz worked at Bayer and has worked across a diverse range of therapy areas, including haemophilia, respiratory, cardiovascular, men’s health & ADHD.
Liz’s first degree was in German & Management Studies at Leeds University, followed by a Diploma in Business from Portsmouth Business School. She is also a Chartered Marketer and has recently joined the judging panel for the Pharma Times Marketer of the Year. She is a competent German speaker and speaks conversational French.

How colleagues describe me: analytical, creative, engaging

Alice is a highly experienced Project Manager and an accredited Digital Marketer working at global, regional and local level across a variety of healthcare clients and projects, across the eight service platforms offered by Uptake Strategies.
With 6 years’ experience working in pharmaceuticals and healthcare across all major therapy areas and Consumer Healthcare and with a background in biological science and genetics, Alice successfully manages multiple projects, ensuring key milestones and deliverables are met on time and to budget.
Alice also leads on creative design including digital design and strategy for client projects when required. Experienced in branding healthcare marketing programmes and launches she has a passion for creativity and digital and is Google accredited having studied a broad spectrum of Digital Marketing modules.

How colleagues describe me: creative, versatile, determined

Karen is an expert in global and local consumer marketing excellence bringing extensive client-side experience of both strategic and operational marketing from over 20 years at ICI/AkzoNobel’s decorative paints division.
Having headed up the consumer research team and held a number of senior marketing roles in the UK, she joined the global marketing leadership team with a brief to build a global marketing academy for the 700 strong marketing community spread across over 40 countries.
Karen has won the UK Marketing Society’s award for excellence in the area of “Marketing capability/organisational change” and the prestigious Grand Prix award for the best overall entry across all categories.

How colleagues describe me: insightful, collaborative, striving for excellence

Georgina is highly experienced in marketing and consultancy and has lead many major projects for Uptake Strategies with her positive and engaging approach. She consistently delights clients with her approach, insights and quality outputs and facilitates success by combining a sound understanding of challenges with practical, business-driven solutions.
Georgina has held senior roles within Abbott, GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim and has managed a diverse range of therapy areas including respiratory, obesity, hypertension, anti-infectives, gastro and allergy. More recently, she has successfully applied her expertise in the technology sector (for Microsoft), excelling in a fast-moving, digital and highly complex marketing environment.

How colleagues describe me: insightful, solution-driven, strategic

Mark Simmonds Strategic Marketing Consultant
Elizabeth Bolivar Digital Marketing Account Executive
Nick Fenn Strategic Marketing Consultant
Kelly McDonald Project Manager

Mark has worked with some of the world’s biggest international companies and world leaders in branding and insight. He began his career working for Unilever where he spent 5 years in brand management. For the last 22 years he has been specialising in the field of marketing learning and training.
Mark has had responsibility for the development and delivery of training programmes for a number of large international clients across the world. These have included O2, HSBC, Heineken, Tesco, Sanofi, Lloyds, Unilever, Thomson Reuters, Bayer and Revlon. He has specific interest and expertise in the areas of brands, insight, innovation and creativity, where he runs both training and live action learning courses.
Mark graduated from Exeter University with a BA Honours in French.

How colleagues describe me: creative, fun-loving, results-driven

Elizabeth is a skilled digital designer with a degree in Digital Marketing and Communications.
Elizabeth has a degree in Social Communications and Digital Marketing from Universidad Monteavila located in Caracas, Venezuela. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
In her previous roles she has worked as a TV Producer and a Business Assistant Manager. These experiences gave her the opportunity to develop a strong eye for detail, a unique and creative style and the confidence to deliver the best results working under pressure.
Along with her practical experience in graphic design, Elizabeth brings an exceptional array of skills and abilities that she will use to support both internal and client-focused communications and design projects.

How colleagues describe me: creative, capable, passionate

Nick is an international strategic marketing and communications specialist with over 16 years’ experience, gained in London, Barcelona and Latin America, with both blue chip and smaller clients mainly in the FMCG and pharma/PCH industries. He trained and practised as a strategic planner at top advertising agency networks and now works with consultancy clients across the world.
Pharma experience includes corporate branding, Patient Association and Medical Society engagement/ communication; therapeutic experience includes cardiology, respiratory, gastroenterology.

How colleagues describe me: passionate, curious, engaged

Kelly is a confident and capable Project Manager working across our largest projects to enable smooth & seamless delivery of our client outcomes.
Kelly has a background in Health Promotion and Behavioural Sciences and eight years’ experience working as a trainer in multinational companies. Kelly helps create a positive team working environment helping to deliver stronger project outcomes
Kelly’s particular areas of interest include nutrition and physical activity.

How colleagues describe me: enthusiastic, motivated, focussed

Trudie Loveridge Strategic Marketing Consultant
Neil Houson Strategic Marketing Consultant
Yasemin Aksoy Account Executive
Sophie Franks Finance Assistant

Trudie has over 25 years experience in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry in a Consultancy, International Medical Education Charity and at GSK.
Trudie led marketing, strategy and business development teams within GSK and as a Director of Education for Health, an accredited Medical Education Charity. She has experience in a wide variety of therapy areas including respiratory & allergy, anti-infectives, urology, diabetes, pain and oncology.
In her consulting work, Trudie has worked with a range of major pharmaceutical companies at Global, Regional and Affiliate level to design, develop and deliver face-to-face and virtual Marketing Excellence training programmes and consulting projects.
As a skilled, enthusiastic trainer and facilitator, Trudie takes pride in gaining commitment to solutions and developing others to deliver results.

How colleagues describe me: dependable, inspirational, fun

Neil has over 21 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, leading brands across Oncology, Hospital Specialist, Secondary and Primary Care sectors in both large blue chip and smaller pharmaceutical companies.
A marketing specialist with broad “hands-on” expertise leading strategic and operational planning and execution for critical brands.
Neil has significant launch leadership expertise together with market access strategy / implementation and NHS policy influence experience.
Well versed in the PCMPA Code of Practice with over 7 years as a final signatory and with an advanced certificate from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

How colleagues describe me: passionate, focused, reliable

After an international upbringing, Yasemin pursued her passion for the sciences completing a master's in Genetics with her thesis developing an adipose cell model of the disorder lipodystrophy. Outside the laboratory, Yasemin developed analytical skills while building her communication abilities by delivering Dementia awareness seminars to schools and offices. Eager to tackle healthcare and practise from a business level, she completed her master's in Marketing Strategy and Innovation at Cass Business School in London learning the foundations of business, market research and project leadership.

How colleagues describe me: driven, proactive, inquisitive

Sophie has a varied background in Finance and Administration with a keen interest in Biological Sciences and Healthcare.
Sophie has a degree in Animal Science from The University of Reading where she was able to focus her studies on health subjects, choosing modules such as Neurobiology, Immunology and Endocrinology.
In her previous roles she has worked for a large construction company in the finance team, taking responsibility for a wide range of finance functions including reporting, sales, payables and VAT.

How colleagues describe me: inquisitive, supportive, focused

Zoe Hall Chief Welfare Officer

Zoe Hall is Chief Welfare Officer and responsible for ensuring there is a positive and productive working atmosphere at our offices in Ascot. Her skills in listening are a great resource for the Uptake Team when needing to work through complex challenges and she is a great sound board for brainstorming new ideas. Zoe can often be found checking on each individual member of the team throughout her day and skilfully uses her warm and empathetic attitude to encourage regular rest breaks, thus improving the team’s efficiency. With 6 years’ experience in her current role, Zoe is a valuable asset to the Uptake team!

How colleagues describe me: empathetic, approachable, uplifting

How we measure our success

Stephanie founded Uptake Strategies in 2005 with a vision of creating a network of expert strategic marketers respected across the industry for professionalism, integrity and business results.

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