Tara Attfield-Tomes, EAST VILLAGE PR

Tara Attfield-Tomes – She/Her

Owner and Managing Director

Tara is EAST VILLAGE.’s Founder and Managing Director, responsible for how the business looks on the outside and feels on the inside… with new business development added in for good measure!

She’s passionate about PR, people and paying it forward and is regularly invited to speak in the media and at events on the PR industry, team culture and her charity projects.

EAST VILLAGE. was founded by Tara Attfield-Tomes, back in 2013. 

She’s the driver behind the brand and is focused on building an agency for the future through her three passions: PR, People and Paying-it-Forward. 

Having specialised in lifestyle PR from the start of her career, she’s delivered campaigns for the likes of Stella McCartney, BBC Good Food Show, Taste of Birmingham, Style Birmingham Live, and International Dance Festival Birmingham. Her experience working with local independent retailers, internationally renowned fashion brands, acclaimed entertainment venues, award-winning arts venues and everything in between, means that TeamEV taps into strategy and expertise that spans more than 15 years in the industry.  

Tara set up EAST VILLAGE.  to create an agency that she’d be proud to work for. Centred around a strong team culture, she’s passionate about driving a people-led agency; from flexible working and free mental health support, to team socials and creative idea generation, Tara is focused on driving innovation and loves embracing change. She says that her role is focused on “how EAST VILLAGE. looks on the outside and feels on the inside,” ensuring the perfect balance between employer brand and a sense of belonging. 

A respected lifestyle PR expert, Tara regularly speaks at events and on webinars on subjects including personal and employer branding, building a strong team culture, leading with empathy, and being a female entrepreneur.

She sits on The Agency Collective’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board, and is a mentor through Soho Mentorship; a partnership between Soho House and Creative Mentoring Network, which aims to get more people from underrepresented communities into the creative industries.

Tara is also Co-founder and Chair of homeless charity Let’s Feed Brum, sits on the management committee for Tabor Living, and is a patron for SIFA Fireside.

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Hattie D’Souza – She/Her

Director of People & Strategy

Hattie is second in command at EAST VILLAGE. and drives forward client strategies and innovation.

Passionate about getting the best out of people and nurturing talent, she’s also the team’s Head of Happiness and oversees the agency’s approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Since interning with EV. during the summer of 2015, Hattie returned as a full time member of the team in the same autumn. Hattie is now a key part of the business’s Senior Leadership Team, alongside Tara, as Director of People & Strategy.

She is responsible for managing the team’s overall productivity, progression, and processes, to ensure that EAST VILLAGE. continues to deliver over-and-above for clients each and every day. A people person who takes a vested interest in getting the best out of #TeamEV., Hattie explores new ways of working that prioritise both efficiency and wellbeing. This dedication to innovation helped to cement her place on PRWeek’s 30 Under 30 list in 2022.

She’s also the person who keeps the team on top of industry trends and insights, ensuring that we’re always pushing forward new ideas that get results and developing as an agency for a modern workforce. In addition to supporting Tara with new business and commercial growth. 

Hattie is ‘Head of Happiness’ at EV. and puts our people at the heart of everything we do. Alongside Tara she leads our ‘Happy & Healthy’ strategy; from little treats in the post to engaging new services that support the team in every walk of life. She’s trained as a Mental Health First Aider and has introduced new wellbeing initiatives, and free mental health support for the team. 

Hattie considers herself an ‘adopted Brummie’ and is passionate about the city. She co-founded homeless charity Let’s Feed Brum, alongside Tara, which landed her a place in Birmingham Live’s ’30 Under 30’.

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Susie Burns, Commercial and New Business Director at EAST VILLAGE., smiling to camera against a backdrop of leaves

Susie Burns – She/Her

Commercial and New Business Director

Susie is EAST VILLAGE.’s Commercial and New Business Director, sitting on the SLT to help steer the agency’s commercial objectives and commercial creativity, as well as developing new business opportunities.

Susie is our Commercial and New Business Director which means she is responsible for keeping the SLT accountable when working towards commercial objectives, commercial creativity and developing new business opportunities for EAST VILLAGE. Susie joins us with over 16 years’ experience working in marketing across global agencies such as WPP and Omnicom. In 2019 Susie started her family and after three years, two children and one global pandemic, joined EAST VILLAGE as Commercial and New Business Director in 2022.

At her previous agencies, she was responsible for creating and managing partnerships, sponsorships and events for clients such as TUI, Sony, Diet Coke, Direct Line Insurance and Dulux. She brings commercial creativity and a desire to deliver excellent work for clients. When she is not running around after (or being run ragged by) her two small children, Susie enjoys strength training in the gym, listening to audiobooks and also a post workout drink!

In the pandemic, frustrated by lack of resources detailing different careers available to people, she started a podcast called ‘The Career Couch’, which showcases different people each month, giving their story on how they got into their careers, anything they would do differently and advice for anyone else wanting to join their industry. You can give it a listen here.

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George Jessup

George Jessup – He/Him

Brand Executive

George is EV.’s Brand Executive, helping to put out the EAST VILLAGE. ethos in an authentic, engaging, and exciting way across our owned channels, and thinking of ways to get #TeamEV in front of the right people.

George is passionate about social justice, sustainable living and ethical consumerism. He was a member of the Eco Education Society at university and has volunteered in the past for a range of charities including the YMCA and Kissing it Better. 

George joined EAST VILLAGE. as a PR & Communications Trainee, as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme, after graduating from Aberystwyth University with a degree in History and Media. He was first introduced to the PR and marketing industry during an internship at the New Welsh Review, Wales’ foremost literary magazine in English, and soon realised that he had a natural flair for creative copywriting and media relations.

Having cut his teeth at comms as EV.’s Junior PR Account Executive, George soon realised his love for all things brand. This has seen George step into the role of Brand Executive, helping to put out the EV. ethos in an authentic, engaging, and exciting way across our owned channels, and thinking of ways to get #TeamEV in front of the right people. George works alongside our account teams to create impactful PR campaigns; aiding with research that supports client PR strategies, as well as creating multi-channel content that ensures stellar client coverage.

EV.’s core values and ethics resonate with his own: George is passionate about social justice, sustainable living and ethical consumerism. During his time at university, he was a member of the Eco Education Society and has volunteered in the past for a range of charities including the YMCA and Kissing it Better.

Outside of EAST VILLAGE., George can either be found hitting a PB at the gym, sampling the latest health and wellbeing ‘fad’ or listening to a good ol’ podcast.

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Bambus – He/Him

CEO (Chief Excitement Officer)

Bambus joined TeamEV in January, after stealing the hearts of our MD, Tara, and her fiancé.

He moved up from Bristol to Brum (like his colleague, Hattie) at the start of the year, and has been a local celebrity ever since… taking pictures with fans on his daily walks, and enjoy puppichinos from his friends at Starbucks on Colmore Row on the regular.

Full of fun and incredible at cuddles, Bambus is dedicated to increasing the profile of the chows.

He’s also prolific on social media and you can catch regular pupdates on his @olly_and_bambus account. What’s more, you can see the adventures of him and his sister on @colmorechows, as they enjoy life in Colmore BID.

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