Meet the team

Diana Stephenson

Diana set up Calvin Marketing in 1995. Her vision was to work alongside a small number of clients providing marketing support, strategic planning advice, training and research. Since then Calvin has developed into a full-service agency, albeit with it’s own unique approach.

Diana graduated from Leeds University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology. Her first job was working on the £14 million Halifax Building Society account at Brunnings in Leeds. Working as part of a small account management team, Diana gained a wealth of experience across national press, radio, women’s press and TV. She left Brunnings to work on the Comet Electrical account and it was at a brand development meeting for Comet that she first met her husband Peter.

Diana came to the attention of Cheshire agency Carterbench who at the time were described by one industry title as the ‘Young Turks’ of Manchester’s agencies. At 27 she became the youngest board director in the agency’s history. During her time at Carterbench Diana worked on accounts such as: Cheshire Building Society, Mallinkrodt Veterinary, English Grains Healthcare, Carpet World and Bellway Homes. When Carterbench merged with Brunnings Diana was taken full circle back to her original employers having gone from graduate trainer to board director.

Diana is married to Peter and has a daughter, Meredith. In her spare time she enjoys trying to keep on top of the garden, nurturing vegetables, slaving over a hot stove (cakes being a favourite), or out walking their dog. Diana is also the marketing Governor of Wilmslow Preparatory School.

Julia Bickerton

Julia’s career started in the retail sector and she was quickly promoted to the position of Retail Manager and Area Supervisor for top retailer, Jaeger before becoming Retail and Area Manager at Alexon. For both of these organisations, Julia was responsible for training, sales support and financial reporting for stores across the UK.

She managed the opening of many new stores throughout the UK, including planning, recruitment, stock holding, store layout, training, promotion and ongoing support.

Diana and Julia met some years ago at a time when Julia was considering a career change, on learning more about the advertising industry, Julia decided to make the move and join the agency world. She has held senior positions with Carterbench, Brunnings and McCann Erickson before joining Calvin Marketing.

She has directed and managed many high-profile advertising, direct marketing and PR accounts and has proven her value to clients both strategically and managerially.

As a Group Account Director at McCann’s she was responsible for a number of key account teams and was a member of the new business strategic team.
Julia has worked on accounts such as: Royal Doulton, Farepak, Kleeneze, Great Universal Stores, Matalan, George at Asda. Peugeot, Park Food Group, and De Vere Hotels.

 Julia joined Calvin Marketing in 2000 as a director to support Diana and the team and to run her own client group.

Peter Stephenson

Peter spent the first 15 years of his working life travelling the world as a surfer. He won many “open” competitions, including university, English and Scottish Championships. During this time, he intermittently studied and graduated from Teesside Polytechnic with an HND in Business Studies and a Diploma in Management Studies. Peter spent 5 years in Australia working and surfing across the continent until he finally settled in Burleigh Heads, Queensland. His first full time job was marketing manager for one of Australia’s largest property developers.

On returning to the UK, Peter competed an MBA at Aston in Birmingham before joining the advertising world to work on the £11 million Comet Electrical account. Having met Diana at the agency he then followed her to Cheshire where he became MD of Whitefriars in Chester and directed the Liquoursave, Lo Cost, MBNA and Iceland accounts as well as being responsible for the profitability of the agency group. Peter then joined McCann Erickson where he became a board director and managed accounts for British Gas, JD Williams, Magnet, Pilkington Glass and the Brick Development Association.

Years later he joined BJL in Manchester as Managing Director of the Direct Marketing Division and directed Littlewoods, the Woolwich and the Holidaybreak business which included the Eurocamp, Eurovillage, Sunsites and Keycamp brands.

Peter joined Calvin Marketing to support the team, develop new business and manage the finances. As well as holding an MBA, Peter has been a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing for many years. His main interests outside of work are golf, gardening, and spending time with the family.

Sara Wheater

Sara is an all-round communicator with more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of PR, copywriting, corporate communications, content marketing and community relations across both the B2B and B2C sectors.

She started her career in the City as press officer for Barclaycard working with celebrities including Rowan Atkinson, Denise Lewis OBE, Cheryl Baker and David Bellamy OBE to promote the global credit card brand and create community programmes across the fields of sport, conservation and charity.  It was at the time that the ‘world wide web’ was born and Sara was instrumental in introducing many of Fleet Street’s media to the internet at London’s first Cyber café as she launched the UK’s first online shopping mall – BarclaySquare.

Her passion for using the internet as a PR tool saw her returning to Bournemouth University (where she studied for her BA Hons in Public Relations) to deliver a series of talks on the changing face of PR in a digital age.

Whilst working her way up to Associate Director for global agency Ogilvy PR Sara was also selected as one of the agency’s top 50 rising global stars  – recognised by colleagues for her tenacity, people skills and creativity.  The dotcom boom saw Sara and her team bagging multi-agency, multi-country clients such as Sony Business Europe, Jones Day and Royal Mail.

Having worked at director level both in-house and agency side in the financial, technology, charity, healthcare and property sectors, Sara is adept at dealing with many projects on the go and enjoys the creative thought process involved with delivering client brand strategies.

Her passions outside of work are her three growing children, running (has completed several half and one full London Marathon for children’s cancer charities), walking and more recently rediscovery of art and landscape painting.

Alex Brown

Alex studied English Language at Newcastle University and during this time undertook various work experience placements in PR and communications.

With a good view of what the industry was like, he decided to further his studies and took a Master’s degree in Public Relations at the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.

In 2014 Alex took up his first role at a business to business PR agency. Clients ranged from enterprise technology, to commercial white goods. Five years there gave him an in-depth view into various sectors, working on award-winning campaigns.

In his spare time Alex enjoys walking, particularly as part of the outdoor activities group he’s a member of.

Charlotte Gribbin

Charlotte, from Sandbach, graduated from the University of Chester, achieving a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing.

During Charlotte’s time at university, she was fortunate enough to be selected to take part in a yearlong programme combined with Disney World and Central Michigan University. The opportunity gave her the experience of living, learning and working in Florida as a character performer at Disney World. She had the chance to be 13 Disney characters over the course of the year!

Alongside attending lectures at Central Michigan University’s Florida campus, Charlotte learned first-hand how the business process works at Disney, straight from their own experienced cast members.

Charlotte’s love for America continued when she took part in Camp America, working as a summer camp counsellor at a children’s camp in Boston, Massachusetts. Charlotte’s summer at camp was spent teaching horse riding and creating countless lifelong memories for many children.

Charlotte really enjoyed the digital marketing side of her university degree. She loves that she can put what she has learnt at university into practice at Calvin Marketing, while enhancing her PR and marketing skills from such a well-established, valued company.

In Charlotte’s spare time she loves being around her friends, family and her dog, Poppy.

Katya Joyce

Katya, from Congleton, graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Bachelor’s degree in English and History in 2018, and went on to complete a Master’s degree in History at the University of Manchester in 2019.

During her time at University, Katya worked as an English Tutor for children in the Birmingham area alongside working as a Student Ambassador, discussing her time and experience with prospective students.

Katya wanted a role where she could creatively utilise her writing and communication skills in a people-focused role, finding her perfect position in Marketing and PR as a Trainee Account Executive at Calvin!

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends, family and her bulldog, Bruce, alongside baking, painting, and travelling.