FEED Spring 2021 Web

Catherine Crawley Cooke Optics Director of marketing

What do you do? I am thrilled to be leading this ongoing challenge of driving marketing, content, commercial social media and engaging community management for this iconic British historical cine lens manufacturer. We make “the best glass in the world” for cinematographers and their favourite hire companies worldwide. Made in Leicester, in the British Midlands, United Kingdom. Who has been a mentor in your career? Every boss I’ve ever had has been a mentor, whether leading by good example, sharing knowledge and empowering me and the business to reach our full potential – or by bad example of how not to do it, which is equally interesting, but a lot less pleasant. I actually had a famous mentor: musician and entrepreneur Dave Stewart. I became studio manager of his start-up with ex-Microsoft partner, the late Paul Allen, in The Hospital Club, a multi-discipline business of TV studio, gallery, restaurant, music studio and private members club. Dave visualised it as a modern-day version of [Andy] Warhol’s Factory built in an old hospital in Covent Garden, close to his London home. What did they teach you? What was interesting at The Hospital Club was how the then CEO, representing the investor, and Dave (creative director) were world’s apart and how I became piggy in the middle in disputes over creativity and finances. It was clear that creatives are often misunderstood, but that without experience in creative businesses, senior commercial management were the ones with a fundamental misunderstanding. What have you learned that you would most like to pass on? Research, research, research. Trust your instincts, but make sure you fully develop ideas and costings, and the strength of an internal pitch is as important as an external one. Keep an open mind to where opportunities present themselves. Some of mine have come from (i) being spectacularly sacked for my involvement in a parody memo which led to my job at Spitting Image ; (ii) someone I met on a dating site and built a platonic friendship with led to my job at the Top Gear Track Experience; (iii) hearing about a cruise ship hire and pitching my previous attendance and database of the Cannes Film Festival led to the Gumball Rally; (iv) taking on a freelance, multi-client, social media agency contract job from a cold incoming LinkedIn recruitment approach led to my current job at Cooke Optics. You just never know. Who would you like to mentor? Someone at least 20 years younger than me (at 53) who has as much to teach me as I them. All knowledge and learning is a two-way street. The world is constantly changing and we need to try our best to keep up, continue to learn and stay curious.

Matt McConnell MediaKind CEO

What do you do? I’m honoured to be part of an inspiring and talented team of media pioneers, committed to delivering for our customers day in and day out. My job is simply allowing our people to do what they do best. Who has been a mentor in your career? John Schanz – master connector, silo breaker and all-round superhuman. He was chief network officer at Comcast, where we worked together for more than five years. He and I shared the same beliefs in leading with care and thoughtfulness in all operations, which helped elevate me to another level. What did he teach you? It’s all about the team and the culture. The primary focus for any business leader should be to hire great people, give them the resources and support they need, then get out of the way. Your job is to make them great. What things have you learned that you would most like to pass on? The importance of authenticity, trust and transparency. It’s really all about finding people with that wiring – you can’t make that up. Who would you like to mentor? When you’ve witnessed a great mentor in action, you find that mentoring is not so much a lesson, but rather a character. I hope to be an example of character in all my work, every day, for people starting out at MediaKind and all the way up to my peers on our leadership team.


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