Meet our 30 under 30 for 2022, as nominated by businesses across Devon and Plymouth and carefully selected by our judges and sponsors.
They represent some of the brightest minds in business and the future of industry in the region.
Click below to see more stunning pictures from the event courtesy of Amy Stanford Photography.
SW Business Support Solutions
From being unemployed this time last year, Aaron has worked his way up the chain to become Marketing Project Manager at SWBSS. Once he noticed areas in the business’s social media that could be improved, he used his initiative to found a dedicated social media team which has now grown to over 10 team members – providing jobs for several unemployed young people through the Kickstart Scheme. Aaron has created several sustainability-based marketing campaigns and has progressed the business from 16 social media posts a month to more than 150. He always pushes himself to be the best and ensure work is of the highest quality and consistency.
Babcock International Group / Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd
Since joining Babcock four-and-a-half years ago on the graduate programme, Adam has been promoted into a senior supply chain manager position and now leads the supply chain element for export opportunities. He has worked on one of the UK’s largest Defence contracts and played a pivotal role both within the bid phase, as well as operationalising it by leading all of the transformation elements. Entrepreneurship is key in Adam’s current role, which involves engaging with potential customers to understand their needs, and creating solutions to meet them. He also continues to nurture the development of local businesses within the local community.
Babcock International Group
Since completing the graduate development scheme, Alex has progressed rapidly to become Head of Supply Chain at Babcock. In support of delivering Warship, Submarine and Naval Base Management projects, he is responsible for the strategy and governance of the supply chain function which comprises more than 300 staff with an annual spend of £350m per annum. Alongside this, he works closely with the Devonport Executive Management Board to deliver against the business’s aligned strategy. Alex has also supported outreach initiatives with local schools, colleges and universities by completing the mentoring programme, Young Enterprise programme, STEM events and attending careers fairs to promote Babcock and the supply chain as a great place for a career.
Wild Muse Design Co (freelancer)
During her time at university, Brogan worked as a freelance designer with large content creators including Demi Jones from Love Island (UK) and Hannah Ann Sluss from The Bachelor (US). This led to JDO – a multidisciplinary design studio with offices in London, Shanghai and New York – reaching out to hire her as a social media content and junior designer while she completed her final year at Plymouth College of Art. As well as working with international brands and businesses, Brogan has helped several startups across Devon. She has also inspired and supported her colleague, Alex Keitch, Marketing Manager of Wild Muse Design Co, into unlocking her true potential by launching their design studio together.
Putnams / Plymouth Container Storage / Putnam Property
Bubbles’ manufacturing business, Putnams, continues to go from strength to strength, investing heavily in its online presence before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This in turn has seen e-commerce online sales grow by 208%. The company has also taken on more employees to cope with increased demand seen for British manufacturing and buying local. Alongside this, Bubbles has also started and grown a property development company, Putnam Property, which focuses on bringing unloved older buildings back into use and has invested heavily in the sympathetic upgrades of multiple buildings in and around Plymouth. In May 2020 she also started Plymouth Container Storage, which is currently at 98.4% occupancy.
Real Ideas Organisation
Catherine joined Real Ideas as an apprentice in 2017 and in just five years has developed and progressed to hold the position of Digital Communications Manager. As well as doing an outstanding job of communicating the vision, purpose and activities of Real Ideas, she has led the communications and marketing of the Illuminate Light Festival, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the event, and also spearheaded the content creation strategy and campaign for Real Ideas’ 15th birthday in January 2022. As a social enterprise, Real Ideas operates a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Catherine’s efforts to effectively communicate this broad range of work is key to delivering the company’s social and environmental impact.
Barrister, Magdalen Chambers
Born and bred in Devon, Charlie has enjoyed an incredible year. The barrister has expanded his legal practice to involve large-scale property disputes and represented some of the largest companies in the country, as well as strengthening his links with charities including Shelter Plymouth and local community law clinics. Charlie continues to work with students at the University of Exeter, by teaching on the undergraduate Environmental Law module, and also had his first book published on a specialised topic of the law of costs that he wrote during lockdown. He is enjoying returning to in-person work locally and hopes to build on the progress made in the last 12 months.
Chlo and Co Media
Chloe took the leap to start her own creative social media agency in 2021 and also became an online coach and creator for female health. She has provided three students with internships, worked with other freelancers and produced/created content and managed socials for more than 20 businesses. After recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea, caused by over exercising and disordered eating, she decided she wanted to help others recover, too. Her Instagram account (@chlohodgkinson) has nearly doubled in followers during the past year, and she has created journals to help those in recovery and provided online support workshops. Chloe hopes that by being a ‘30 Under 30’ she can “reach more girls, help them and also show myself that I’m doing the right thing”.
Ocean City Media
Chris is multi-skilled in the truest sense: a cameraman, editor, producer, director, audio mixer, and all-round gifted storyteller. In April 2021, he took the bold step of leaving his job as an online journalist at the BBC to co-found with two former colleagues the Plymouth-based video and audio production company, Ocean City Media (OCM). Thanks to Chris’s hard work, OCM has quickly gained a strong foothold as a company, with a diverse and growing client list. Chris is a natural teacher, leader, role model and communicator, and learns new skills and techniques every day to stay ahead of the curve in terms of storytelling formats, style and the technology needed to deliver those.
Conor is the co-founder of clickbar, an order-at-table marketplace solution which is being rolled out across Exeter over the next few months. On top of building clickbar, he has become the youngest ever Consultant Director at 180 Degrees Consulting, a programme that consults charities in the developing world, and has also co-founded the Exeter Public Speaking Society. In terms of sustainability, Conor has led the consultation of charitable projects that improve access to clean water and education in Rwanda, and promoted awareness around colorectal cancer in Lebanon. Conor will often find a solution in situations where other people cannot. He does all this in a way that brings everyone with him – he doesn’t isolate anyone, making everyone feel like they’re part of the larger project.
Babcock International Group
David completed Babcock’s graduate scheme in May 2021 and joined the Group Environment team as a ‘Low Carbon Engineer’. Over the last year, he has built upon his understanding of corporate sustainability, becoming an expert in carbon accounting following the Greenhouse Gas Protocol approach. Everything David does in his current role contributes towards sustainability and the creation of a better world, and he always strives to share his knowledge and encourage colleagues to take action themselves. As well as shaping Babcock’s global Net Zero strategy, David has also been instrumental in the success of ‘the3engineers’ in securing funding for 4,000 children’s books to be distributed to schools in Plymouth ahead of World Book Day.
Ellie has certainly come a long way in the last 12 months. After setting up a table on the public footpath that ran through her farm at home during lockdown to sell coffees, she has since converted an old trailer into a premium coffee outlet – which has created a real community hub. Ellie only uses sustainably sourced coffee, which is roasted locally, and biodegradable packaging. After her best friend’s dad became terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, she organised a raffle with more than 20 local businesses which raised over £1,000 to help the family. Ellie has now progressed to hosting seasonal markets, and was recently awarded a grant through the University of Exeter’s Start Up Scheme.
In November 2020, at the age of 22, Georgia launched Unearth PR, a Devon-based PR firm which has grown immensely during the past year – with a 500% increase in new client sign-ons and a 1,800% increase in net profit. The firm’s ethos is that it specifically works with conscious brands. The team also works completely digitally to minimise waste of printed PR and marketing materials. Alongside her success with Unearth PR, she was also promoted to the role of digital PR manager at We Are North UK, a global digital agency. This has given her the opportunity to lead global client accounts and her own team, as well as run Unearth PR.
Boozy Events & Savora Drinks
Gregor has started not one but two thriving businesses in the past two years. Boozy Ventures t/a Boozy Events was formed in 2020 with his business partner Cameron Esson and is on track to hit £2m in revenue in its third year. He has since grown the Boozy Events team to more than 20 people and was nominated for the Food & Drink ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award. Gregor joined Matthew Walker with Savora Drinks in 2021 as a mixer brand for Tequila, with two flavours: one for Blanco Tequila and another for Reposado Tequila. Despite both these businesses having physical warehouses in Scotland, Gregor has managed them from his home in Exeter. Boozy Events is also a partner of Charlie House, which helps terminally ill children, and the firm has helped to raise more than £3,000 in the last year.
Plymouth College of Art Students' Union
After graduating from Plymouth College of Art in 2020, Harriet was elected as Student Union President and Student Governor for 2020/21 and re-elected again for 2021/22. Throughout her time in office she has been nominated for several accolades, including the Extra Mile Award in the National Societies & Volunteering Awards. The most notable is an international award for Best Campaign Supporting Student Wellbeing. Harriet was invited to write an essay as part of the Plymouth White Paper, and was also invited to speak at the Society for Research into Higher Education 2021 conference, ‘(Re)connecting, (Re)building: Higher Education in Transformative Times’, in which she spoke about diversifying and broadening student representation and fostering a more connected student community. Her leadership continues to be fundamental to the growth of the Student Union.
People & Organisational Development Partner at NHS / Board Trustee at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth
Born and bred in Plymouth, Jack attended Devonport High School for Boys, before completing a BSc (Hons) Business Management undergraduate degree at the University of Plymouth and then gaining a place on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. More recently, he completed his Master’s in Human Resource Management. His current role as People & Organisational Development Partner sees him acting as the lead specialist within the Urgent, Emergency & Trauma Care Group for all People, Employee Relations, Recruitment, Learning and Development and Organisational Development activity. In March 2021, alongside his brother James, he was approached to join the Board of Trustees for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth – something he is very passionate about.
Ministry of Defence (Navy Command) / Board Trustee at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth
Another Devonport High School for Boys pupil (and twin brother of fellow ‘30 Under 30’ winner Jack), James has progressed very far within the Ministry of Defence (MoD), already reaching Grade 7 at age of 24 which is a huge achievement in itself. In another challenging yet successful year, James has led the procurement of a new Naval Base Services contract for Navy Command within Devonport, making history as the largest support programme ever attempted by the MoD. James is a great leader and is well-respected amongst his peers, with many recognising the difference he continues to make within the Devonport Dockyard. He is also on the Board of Trustees for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth with his brother.
Colour Digital Print Ltd & Colour Calendars
James has accomplished many things during his time with Colour Digital Print Ltd & Colour Calendars, being instrumental in the development of staff and improving vital areas such as health and safety within the workplace. He has also spearheaded major efficiency savings within the business, in production and the studio. Having been escalated into upper management quite quickly, James has overseen other managers within the business – a very difficult role for someone so young. He has helped to identify issues with these roles, taking some responsibilities away and identifying mismatches of skills and duties. Most importantly, has done so respectfully, with consideration given to staff who have been with the company for decades. This improved infrastructure has resulted in a happier workforce.
The Family Law Company
Jasmine joined The Family Law Company during lockdown, having moved from a different area of law. Specialising in Private Law Children and Domestic Abuse cases means supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our community – and Jasmine has worked hard to ensure that the firm can support as many clients as possible while also maintaining the team’s wellbeing. Jasmine is simultaneously studying for her LLM in Legal Practice (virtually) which has involved studying alone at home and taking exams on camera. In the last year she has also completed her Law degree and Master’s in Legal Practice. Despite being early in her legal career, Jasmine has a brilliant understanding of the balance of empathy and technical knowledge needed to support the most vulnerable of our community.
Make Amends (Shekinah)
Jess has progressed immensely throughout her first nine months in post as a Restorative Justice (RJ) & Family Practitioner. This role involves bringing victims and offenders of crime, often serious, violent, complex and sensitive crimes, into communication to find a positive way forward. As a part of her co-location in local police forces, Jess has given presentations to officers and sergeants to raise awareness of RJ and to ensure they follow the Victims Code of Practice. She has networked incredibly successfully and become embedded within services around Devon and Cornwall passionately working to empower victims. Jess has recently graduated with a First in Bsc (Hons) Sociology from the University of Plymouth, and is now starting the process to be an accredited practitioner.
The Conscious Candy Company Limited
What a year it’s been for Laura Scott. Last year The Conscious Candy Company Limited hit a turnover of £1m and moved into a 5,000 sq ft unit. The business is 100% vegan and uses recyclable plastics (if at all) and biodegradable options. It also uses schemes that replant trees, as well as non-toxic printing materials and inks. Personally, Laura has been shortlisted for Gordon Ramsay’s new series in which she has the opportunity to win a £250,000 investment. She has also been a finalist in the Plymouth Western Morning News for ‘Young Person of the Year’ and for ‘Young Person of the Year’ and ‘Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year’ twice at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. She is also a mentor working with University of Plymouth students.
Services Design Solution Ltd
Lewis has great enthusiasm and passion for his work and the construction and built environment sector. He continues to make an outstanding impact on SDS, working on high-profile projects in Exeter including the redevelopment of Vaughan Road; refurbishment works at Middlemoor Police Station, and the new IoT Data Centre at Exeter College. Lewis has experience from various healthcare projects across the region and, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has had the opportunity to work on the Exeter Nightingale Hospital redevelopment project. Lewis is upping his involvement with the CIBSE Young Engineers Network South West Committee, and plans to meet on a regular, more structured basis, to help with the planning of events to deliver to local young engineers in our industry.
Maddie has established herself in the local Plymouth area and further afield by setting up Swolesome Foods, a growing business which specialises in ‘fit foods’. Swolesome recently hit a huge milestone, engaging a stockist in Poland to drive down shipping costs which have been passed on to the customer. Maddie is a keen athlete, training in CrossFit as well as partaking in cold water swimming. She is a big advocate for mental health, female entrepreneurs and for female health in general. Maddie employs other young female staff including those who have young families and is flexible for them working around their home lives, while maintaining a strong work ethic to ensure the customer comes first.
Babcock International Group
In the past 18 months, Nathan has completed his graduate scheme with Babcock and moved into a full-time role as a Production Controller. This involves the management of his own team, and managing the overhaul of complex submarine systems. Nathan was earmarked for success at an early age. At just 16, received an Engineering Arkwright Scholarship, which was matched by his IMechE and UKNEST Undergraduate Scholarships while at university. He was also highlighted as a future leader of engineering – something of which he is really proud. Alongside his day job, Nathan has also taken on the voluntary role of University Engagement Initiative Programme Manager. This has involved taking the current level of engagement from the Plymouth site and rolling it out across the UK.
Plymouth City Council / The Box Plymouth
Oleta has been one of the constants of The Box, Plymouth during a turbulent first year of opening. She has provided a steady hand and has really shaped how the attraction runs for staff and for visitors – during and after lockdowns. Oleta never shies away from sharing her knowledge or experience with other colleagues, and her work as the founder of Plymouth Beach Cleans has helped to support environmental practices at The Box. Her work ethic and interpersonal skills have led to a well-knit front-of-house team who are the backbone of operations on site. She is a respected member of the team and often inputs on all matters that will impact the operation of the building.
Paddy Hutchings Racing
Patrick has seen a great development in his sailing during the past year, especially with launching his own self-funded campaign to compete in the Solitaire Du Figaro. He has secured several sponsors that have allowed him to charter a Figaro boat, currently held at Mayflower Marina. In addition, Patrick has pushed for a message of sustainability in the local area and launched a #Sail4Sustainability project to benefit the local community. The aim of this campaign is to educate children, using the boat to engage young people and encourage them to be more sustainable with their plastic use, and also to try and shift the decisions of companies within the marine industry in the way they use plastic to using more sustainable methods.
Fireball Beach Volleyball Ltd
Life’s a beach for Samuel, who started his business two years ago (just before the pandemic hit) and has since grown Fireball to become one of the UK’s biggest beach volleyball events companies. He also founded his own tournament, the Southwest Series, and helped to develop several young players from Devon and the South West who are now playing for England. Last year, the team hosted more than 50 events across the region and Wales, including one of only five annual grand slam events. In addition, Samuel continued his career as a player, rising to the rank of No.5 in the UK, and as a team to being the third-ranked team in the country, winning eight medals on the UK Beach Tour and competing for England on the World Tour.
Diversity Business Incubator
In the last year, Tania has shown incredible growth with the different projects and events she has organised in Plymouth with Diversity Business Incubator (DBI) – including the city’s Black History Month programme. This featured a scavenger hunt running throughout the month, cooking demos with chefs from different backgrounds, and important talks/conversations. Tania has encouraged us here at DBI to go digital as going digital reduces this pressure to control air pollution. She also has a deep passion for what she does and the work she is trying to do. Tania continues to influence her colleagues with her work ethic and has encouraged some of her team members to get out of their shells and found their voice and passion at work.
Babcock International Group / Devonport Royal Dockyard
In his role at Babcock, Thomas has developed into leading small teams and setting people to work on complex packages during fleet time operation of Navy Warships. He has done all this alongside completing a Higher National Certificate HNC, an ILM level 5 Institute of leadership and management and an APM Project management qualification. Being exposed to many new people, processes, and procedures has helped Thomas gain confidence and a better understanding of the way Babcock supports the Ministry of Defence. As well as being an active committee member of the Young Professional Network, he is a proud recipient of Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and also runs a youth centre for 12- to 18-year-olds.
As Fuel’s Head of Immersive, Vicktor has had another strong year and has been at the forefront of innovation in the agency. Over the past year he has introduced a series of new ideas which have enabled clients to overcome global challenges and increase sales. Vicktor’s driving goal in the Immersive industry is to create and facilitate the adoption of AR & VR for the purposes of improving B2B interaction, reducing travel, manufacturing costs and enabling faster and more efficient learning experiences. He even introduced a new 3-D shopping experience for e-commerce clients which has increased sales and reduced the amount of returns as a result of a more accurate purchasing decision. His ability to create literally anything continues to amaze and inspire his team mates at Fuel.