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Understand Our Name

So why Talking Stick? The story goes something like this… Read more

what is a talking stickOur ancient forefathers (the word ‘ancient’ used loosely) often met to debate and discuss the issues of the time. Picture UK Prime Minister’s Questions in the Parliament House of Commons…histrionics, disorderly at times and generally a loud cacophony of noise! Well, legend (and history, although ‘legend’ sounds better) has it that it was during these gatherings that the “talking stick” was introduced aka Mr Speaker in the Commons. He or she who held the talking stick held the sacred power of words and determined who could speak. Nobody could speak during the debate unless they were holding the talking stick. Needless to say, mute fights broke out to get hold of the stick, but we digress!

Simply put, Talking Stick Marketing & Communications believe in holding onto the stick for the benefit of our partners. We will get your message across succinctly, professionally and most of all, through the cacophony of noise.

Meet Our Team

Marc Reading: Director

Account Director for Africa and Asia

About Marc | Contact Marc

Marc Reading: Director

Tel: +44 1278 661 592 | Skype: marc_reading | Email: [email protected]

Marc, originally from Wales, moved to Southern Africa in the 70′s where he was actively involved in the development of hotels, lodges and adventure tourism products in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and throughout Africa. Marc then turned his focus to Sales & Marketing and became responsible for Thomsons Africa Sales and Marketing in Europe and North America and accumulated an intimate knowledge of these areas along with an excellent reputation.

Marc moved back to the UK in 2007 and setup Talking Stick Marketing in the same year, with promoting bespoke properties in Africa being the primary focus. Marc’s wanderlust travel spirit took him travelling to Asia, where upon his return, began the development of marketing strategies for clients in Asia. Marc is now a well known personality within the travel industry, with over 25 years of experience and has sat on the Board of the Southern Africa Travel Organisers Association (SATOA) in the United Kingdom, where his input was invaluable to the organisations success.

Talking Points: Marc has a love for mountaineering and high places, a qualified ski instructor and has worked for the international school of mountaineering, climbing Mt Kenya, Kilimanjaro, Ol Donio Lengai and the Ruwenzoris of East Africa

Byron Shirto: Director

Representation & Events Director

About Byron | Contact Byron

Byron Shirto: Representation & Events Director

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

Byron has a wealth of experience in the travel industry, having spent many years with leading inbound ground agents in Africa dealing with adventure travel, photographic safaris and incentive and event management. He then spent many more years involved with Sales, Marketing and Product Development for Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa with leading luxury Tour Operators in the UK.

Byron is a former Chairman of LATA, an association that promotes travel to Latin America, creating and running Experience Latin America for 5 years. Byron is now Event Director for Experience Africa and Brand USA Travel Week, two leading travel events in Europe dedicated to the USA and Africa respectively.

Talking Points: In 2007, Byron broke the Guinness World Record for playing the longest football game, a staggering 35 hours.

Oonagh Mallinder

Latin America Account Manager

About Oonagh | Contact Oonagh

Oonagh Mallinder: Latin America Account Manager

Tel: +44 1242 (0) 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

Oonagh’s long-standing love affair with all things Latin American began with her first visit to Peru as a backpacker 10 years ago, having been drawn to the region during university studies of the Inca empire. Returning from these first 6 months of addictive travel in Latin America, Oonagh couldn’t quite imagine a career without some kind travel involved, and hasn’t looked back since! Her subsequent nine years in the travel industry have taken Oonagh to some of the UK’s leading tour operators, gaining experiences in Sales, Product and Marketing – as well as getting to return frequently to the part of the world she most loves.

Talking Points: Oonagh’s various return visits to Latin America have developed some interests that she would have once considered pretty unlikely – bird watching for example! More mainstream interests acquired from these travels include hiking, Andean cuisine and Central American rum!

Lucy Bainbridge

Senior Events Operations Executive

About Lucy | Contact Lucy

Lucy Bainbridge: Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

Lucy is a SOAS and King’s College London graduate with a long-standing interest in languages, culture and travel. Lucy spent her early childhood in Greece at an international school, where she learned at a young age, the importance of experiencing and understanding other cultures. Whilst studying Chinese and Economics for her undergraduate, Lucy lived in China for a year, spending all her free time travelling around as much of China and South East Asia, as possible! In 2015, Lucy was awarded a scholarship to study Conflict, Security and Development at King’s College London, where she specialised in female gang culture in developing countries.

Talking Points: At the age of 10, Lucy was shipped off to stay with family friends in Chile, to spend her summer skiing and learning Spanish. Lucy has also studied Russian and Japanese over her academic career, and is always keen to practice them over a drink.

Noushien K-Rad

Events Co-Ordinator

About Noushien | Contact Noushien

Noushien K-Rad: Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

Noushien studied Events & Business Management at University of Plymouth, here Noushien gained lots of incite and passion for the industry. Afterwards, Noushien went to explore various countries to soak up their culture, with her favourite parts being Asia and New Zealand. Noushien combined her love for travel and events together working as an Operations Co-ordinator for a VIP Tour Operator in the UK and then as an Event Project Executive for an international incentive travel company.

Talking Points: For those who love to know ‘Off the beaten track’ information about destinations, let me know. I tend to find the more unusual places and activities to do when I explore a destination or particular area of a country.

Molly Yeomans

Events Co-Ordinator

About Molly | Contact Molly

Molly Yeomans: Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

Molly studied Media and Communications at Bournemouth University, striking an interest into news and history from around the world. As a creative individual she enjoys developing new communication ideas and marketing campaigns. Molly loves to travel whether its a relaxing beach holiday or exploring the unusual and quirky places within a city.

Talking Points: Molly enjoys taking on new challenges, she once cycled 500km along the Loire Valley, France in aid of Parkinsons UK.

Alexandra Dawkins

Events Co-Ordinator

About Alexandra | Contact Alexandra

Alexandra Dawkins: Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

With an interest in cultures and languages, Alex studied English and Linguistics at the University of Leeds, taking the opportunity to spend her third year studying in Reykjavik, Iceland. After graduating, she undertook a solo backpacking trip around Latin America and, when she arrived back in the UK, the travel industry seemed an obvious place to start her career. She has subsequently gained sales and marketing experience at two award-winning UK tour operators.

Talking Points: Alex is always looking for unique holiday destinations. Recent trips include Easter Island, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Azerbaijan!

Jake Stavrinides

Marketing & PR Executive

About Jake | Contact Jake

Jake Stavrinides: Marketing & PR Executive

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: [email protected]

Jake is a veteran to Marketing, PR and Branding having begun his career by making tea for Richard Branson at his book signing. (Within months he was Marketing Executive at his Virgin Publishing empire!) Snapped up by Penguin Books in London, he then enjoyed a decade working across myriad business sectors including marketing and PR assignments for hotels, hospitality and an ongoing relationship with Abercrombie & Kent.

Talking Points: For those travel professionals in need of TLC he is a clinical reflexologist plus his fascination with Korean popular culture and regular lifestyle features for The Guardian means communication with Jake is always memorable.