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 is co-Chair of BPS Birmingham Aspire, heading up the Advance committee. Aspire helps bridge the skills gap between the city’s students and working professionals, with Advance specifically aiming to engage 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.

2018 also saw Hattie listed in Birmingham Mail’s ’30 Under 30’, as well as receive nominations for ‘Best Employee’ at the English Women’s Awards and City of Birmingham Business Awards.

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 Manager and Head of Events

Nicole is EV.’s Account Manager and Head of Events, priding herself on her passion for developing relationships, producing memorable events and creating campaigns that leave a lasting impression.

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.

Her greatest achievement however, is giving birth to her very own mini member of #TeamEV, Vivi, last spring. After returning to work at the start of 2019, Nicole found there was a lack of support for mums still looking to grow their careers and develop their skills. Nicole launched Grow Mama; a group providing support and resources for emerging mothers in business.

Nicole is also a coordinator of the Red Box Project Solihull, a charity that supports young women is schools experiencing period poverty.

When she’s not momming or drinking a cold glass of Sav with the EV. girl gang, Nicole has a passion for interior design and is constantly on Pinterest looking for new ideas for her house renovation.

Jodie Tipper
Jodie Tipper
Account Executive

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 joined the team officially in the spring of 2018.

Jodie graduated from Birmingham City University, where she had been studying Media & Communications, with a First Class Honours.

She has a huge passion for delivering engaging content, whether that be across one of the many social media accounts that she manages, or hitting headlines with client news. She’s always crafting creative ways to plan, deliver and analyse work that we deliver for clients.

Outside of EAST VILLAGE., Jodie is a member of BPS Birmingham Future and sits on the BYPY Committee, helping to organise the infamous Birmingham Young Professional of the Year Awards. As well as volunteering for Let’s Feed Brum; managing the charity’s social media accounts and going out every Monday to feed the city’s homeless.

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

Louise Evans
Junior Account Exec

Louise is a final year Media & Communications student, studying at Coventry University. She first joined TeamEV an intern in June 2019 and soon after became a member of the team in August, with hopes of learning the tricks of the trade whilst completing her degree.

An Instagram junkie and aspirational blogger, Louise is always seeking for new ways to create content. During her time at university, Louise created her own blog where she enjoys writing about her travel tips and all things beauty and lifestyle. She also has great interest in videography, to compliment her blog posts; her videos capturing her latest travels are displayed on YouTube.

When she’s not working or studying, Louise is jetting off on holiday or back in Essex where she’s living her best life sipping on prosecc’ with the girls or chilling with her two sausage dogs Wilson and Lola.

Leah Higgins, TeamEV
Leah Higgins
Social Media Exec

Leah first joined EAST VILLAGE. as an intern in April 2019 and shortly became an official team member in May 2019 as a Social Media Executive.

After graduating in 2017 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, Leah found a passion for creating content through social media; having a particular love for photography, videography and blogging.

Whilst heavily pregnant Leah started her own blog to showcase and express her love for creating content and create a community where parents can talk and share their experiences. Her online presence goes from strength to strength; she now creates online marketing through her social media for huge international brands from the comfort of her own home.

Through growing her own social media business, Leah has found a unique way to bring organic engagement to our clients.

Her greatest achievement, however, was giving birth to her baby boy Rupert in the Spring of 2018. Alongside looking after her young family, Leah runs her online business and works for EV; hard working and driven, Leah wants to ensure she gives her child the best possible life.

CEO (Chief Excitement Officer)

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

He moved up from Bristol to Brum (like his fellow TeamEVer, 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.