Tara Tomes
Owner and Managing Director

Having been both agency and client-side prior to EAST VILLAGE., Tara has worked with local independent retailers, internationally renowned fashion brands, acclaimed entertainment and event venues, large scale exhibitions, and everything in between. Tara founded EAST VILLAGE. in 2013 with the ambition of creating an agency that centred around a strong team culture and delivering… PR with personality.

Tara is well-connected across the city and wider region, and sits on the Board for Colmore BID, the business improvement district for the city’s commercial quarter. She is also a member of the BID’s Place Marketing Group, helping to deliver events like Colmore Food Festival.

Tara’s connections across the professional sector span a decade, having been a member of BPS Birmingham Future; the membership organisation for Birmingham’s young professionals. During this time, she was Chair of the organisation and also sat on the BPS Birmingham Board for three years, helping to champion the city’s professional services sector, and attract and retain talent.

In 2018, Tara co-founded Birmingham Sales and Events Forum, which helps connect sales and events professionals from across Birmingham’s hospitality sectors to encourage partnerships, collaborations, and the sharing of best practice.

In addition to running EAST VILLAGE., Tara also owns a publishing group that runs three business news websites – MBN Online – which she does with her fiancé, Olly.

She is passionate about charity and is a founding director of homeless charity, Let’s Feed Brum; which provides hot food, essential supplies and friendship to those living on the streets. As well as sitting on the Let’s Feed Brum Board of Trustees, Tara feeds the homeless every Monday and is the night’s team leader. Added to this, Tara is Ambassador and Service Patron to LoveBrum, a charity that unearths hidden gem projects in the city, and she supports local charities Breast Cancer Haven, West Midlands and Mariposa Trust with marketing and events.

Tara also won CIPR Outstanding Young Communicator 2010, was nominated for Birmingham Young Professional of the Year in 2011, and was up for Business Woman of the Year at the 2017 Birmingham Awards.

Hattie D'Souza, EAST VILLAGE.
Hattie D’Souza
Account Manager and Head of Social Media Strategy

Since interning with EV. during the summer of 2015, Hattie returned as as a full time member of the team in the same autumn and is now second in command to Tara, as Account Manager and Head of Social Media strategy.

Hattie graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in English. As such, the written word is her forte and she enjoys articulating the vision of others. Hattie is a meticulous creative with an eye for detail and grammatical accuracy. EAST VILLAGE. was Hattie’s first venture into the world of PR, after previously working for media outlets in South East Asia including TimeOutKL, The Singaporean, and The Expatriate.

An avid believer in Birmingham’s young people, Hattie heads up the BPS Aspire Advance committee. Hattie is Chair of the committee, helping bridge the skills gap between the city’s students and working professionals. Advance engages the talent of tomorrow, inspiring them to build a life in Birmingham by providing them with access to exciting opportunities, influential individuals and prominent leaders across the city.

Hattie also still contributes to the BPS Birmingham Future mentoring committee, supporting with the running of the Future Mentoring Academy schemes.

Hattie is a trustee of Let’s Feed Brum, a volunteer-led organisation that provides food, drink, essential supplies and friendship to those living on the streets of Birmingham. She goes out once a week with her fellow Let’s Feed Brum volunteers to serve food, hand out supplies, and help the homeless, but the group actually operates every Monday-Saturday.

Aside from being a pernickety grammar pedant, Hattie is an avid reality TV watcher. She lives her life vicariously through Gogglebox and believes that if you don’t spend time Keeping Up With the Kardashians you should probably just Bake Off.

Nicole Gauntlett, EAST VILLAGE.
Nicole Gauntlett
Account Executive and Events Lead

Nicole is EV.’s Account Executive and Events Lead, priding herself on her passion for developing relationships and enthusiasm for creating memorable events.

A dedicated and ambitious individual, Nicole works hard to deliver PR campaigns that ‘pack a punch’ and strives to bring fresh ideas to the table. Nicole is extremely focused on achieving success for clients; everything from initial brainstorming to day-to-day delivery.

Having previously worked for integrated agency, WAA Chosen, Nicole has a variety of experience across retail brands including intu Merry Hill, intu Derby and Sutton Coldfield’s Gracechurch centre. This experience is invaluable to EAST VILLAGE.’s exciting retail client base.

As well as day-to-day client activity, Nicole is also EV.’s Events Lead, helping to create everything from intimate dinners through to large scale shopping events.

Emma Jones
Junior Account Exec

Emma is Junior Account Executive at EAST VILLAGE., having joined the team for a year as Marketing Apprentice from BMetC. Having worked previously for a large hotel for over a year, Emma decided that a career in hospitality wasn’t where she wanted her future to be, and so decided to set her sights being trained in the fabulous world of marketing.

Emma is determined and has a fresh eye on the job at hand and enjoys meeting new people, which is perfect for #TeamEV’s busy events schedule. Emma’s focus includes supporting across all clients but her speciality lies in social media content creation and management, mixed with some good old PR.

She’s a happy-go-lucky girl and always willing to lend a hand.

When Emma’s not working she can be found shopping around Birmingham, enjoying a chilled glass of wine or taking a good old selfie.

She thinks a Cosmo cocktail best describes her, not only because it’s her favourite colour, but it also represents her classy appearance and the fun side of her personality!

Laura Nelson, EAST VILLAGE.
Laura Nelson
PA to Tara Tomes

Laura is the newest member of #TeamEV, joining as Personal Assistant to MD, Tara Tomes.

She joined in the summer of 2018, after impressing Tara with her hardworking ethos, stellar organisational skills, and determination when taking on any challenge.

Outside of work, Laura dedicates her spare time to ‘Contact the Elderly’, a charity aimed at reducing loneliness in the elderly, where she is Group Coordinator and Driver.

She can also be found at the stables taking a stroll on a horse or spending quality time with her boyfriend and family.

Jodie Tipper
Jodie Tipper
Junior Account Exec

Jodie first joined #TeamEV two years ago for a week of work experience during her studies at university. She returned again last year for further work experience and has now returned full time as a Junior Account Executive.

Jodie has recently left Birmingham City University where she had been studying Media & Communications. She has a huge passion for visual design but also loves the world of PR and events.

As a creative, and innovative individual she enjoys creating new designs, and trying new challenges, having recently attempted the art of creating a font.

She is keen to meet new people, and eager to learn new skills.

When Jodie’s not working, she’s often back in Stoke eating oatcakes, or socialising with a gin, or two.