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Director of People & Head of Marketing 

The English National Opera, commonly known as ENO is a pioneering, globally recognised, values led company, with the belief that opera is for everyone and can change lives. With a real passion for Diversity & Inclusion, their inspirational CEO, Stuart Murphy, instructed Stanley Royce Jones on two critical appointments, a Director of People and a Head of Marketing. The brief was clear, to identify candidates from outside the arts sector who would bring a fresh perspective to ENO and challenge conventional thinking. As well as technical capability and experience, all candidates needed to be able to flourish in a fast paced, entrepreneurial, non-corporate environment. Candidates had to be creative thinkers with a positive, solution led mindset. 

We conducted an extensive search process for both roles engaging with candidates across multiple sectors including visitor attractions, large scale venues, stadia, as well as broader leisure and hospitality companies. With the Director of People search we produced a diverse shortlist of four candidates, all of whom were from under represented communities and from a varied range of sectors including holiday parks, health clubs and tech. The successful candidate, Denise Mackenzie was the Head of People at The Big Table Group (which includes casual dining brands such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas) and formerly held senior roles at Virgin Active and Sodexo. 

With the Head of Marketing search it was critical the candidates had experience of driving new audiences to a physical destination. Our shortlist included candidates from leading racecourses, visitor attractions and public gardens. The successful candidate was Hollie Costigan who was Head of Marketing for Lancashire Cricket Club. Hollie had been instrumental in driving new audiences into the club through promoting their T20 Competition and ‘Friday Night Live’ concept to a younger, more diverse demographic. 

Both searches highlight our ability to attract candidates from outside the narrow confines of our client’s own sector and instead focus on complementary sectors which can add real value and fresh thinking. 

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