Natalie Downie

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Natalie Downie is F&T’s Managing Director. Nat joined F&T in 2014 on a two-week work experience placement. Four years in, she was promoted to MD and received the prestigious Top30Under30 Award for the Hull & Humber region in the same year. She loves pushing the business to the next level and taking care of her employees and clients. When Natalie’s head is not in F&T business, she’s either on a spinning bike or out for a country walk with her partner and influencer dog Bruce where all walks end with a wine.

DARREN CLEWES

GROUP SALES DIRECTOR

Darren is the Sales Director for Forward & Thinking, as well as the sister group of companies. He’s got 23 years of experience in the advertising industry spanning press, OOH, radio and TV. Darren joined F&T from Primesight Outdoor, where he worked as a Business Director. He delights in providing joined up solutions for clients, backed by intelligence and evidence. Out of work time, Darren plays guitar in a few bands and is a junior girl’s team football coach. 

ALISON JOHNSON

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR

Alison is a founder of Forward & Thinking and COO and Director of its holding company SAAS Global. She oversees the overall strategy and ethos of the Group. With a mission to create the most innovative and customer-focused agency in the country, Alison’s drive knows no bounds. She has built an impressive team who really care about our customers, each other and the success of every campaign. And all this whilst being a taxi service for three children! 

NATALEA WALKER

MEDIA PLANNING MANAGER

Natalea oversees the Planning & Artwork team and optimises processes to provide the best campaign results and the smoothest client experience. She loves hearing about how the OOH landscape is constantly changing and incorporating new platforms into campaign plans. When she’s not juggling deadlines and liaising with Suppliers, you can find her rummaging through clothes rails or scanning fashion websites to grab a bargain!

Marina Gaines

Group Marketing and Communications Manager

Marina overlooks F&T’s marketing strategy and branding as well as those of its sister companies. She’s joined F&T in 2019 from M&C Saatchi after moving to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside from London. She loves F&T’s caring culture and that the clients are always front of mind. When she’s not sitting at her laptop devising plans and strategies, she’s outside in the field with her husband and son tending to their grape vines on the East Coast. 

Andrew Johnson

Founder/Director

Andrew is a founder member of Forward & Thinking and CEO/Director of Group holding company SAAS Global. His remit is to build the teams and then get out of their way to let good things happen. A graduate of Hull University, Andrew ran businesses in Europe and the USA before returning to East Yorkshire. He is now the proud owner of our amazing ‘Wesleyan Chapel’ HQ as well as a father to 3 children, 10 marine fish, one cat and is fiercely resisting increasing this count any further.

Jo Costello

Senior Business Development Manager

Jo joined the F&T family 5 years ago. She has worked in the ad industry 13 years during which she has seen media platforms change and evolve. Jo’s main passion are her clients, and she prides herself on account management. When not at work she is juggling her time being a busy mum and finding time for herself, whether that be stood in the rain on the sideline of her son’s football match, or knee-deep in mud at her daughter’s stables watching her ride, or enjoying a cheeky cocktail with friends – there’s never a dull moment!

Matt Ryder

Digital Marketing Manager

Matt runs F&T’s digital department, ensuring his team delivers the best service and results possible for our clients. He came to F&T in 2018 from one of the UK’s largest digital marketing agencies and is a big fan of our internal commitment to honesty and doing what is right over what is easy. When he’s not reporting on stats or tweaking campaigns, he’s looking for the perfect burger and craft beer or researching the next amazing place to visit.

Emily Rymchuk

Senior Media Planner

Emily is Senior Media Planner at F&T. She joined in September 2017 after 5 years of working at Redfish Group. She loves the family vibe between all of the employees and how much hard work and care really goes into the clients wants and needs. When she’s not researching the best OOH media for clients and putting the plans together, she’s either out and about socialising or watching sport … with a Prosecco (or two)!

Georgia Hall

Designer

Forward & Thinking’s Designer. After graduating with a BA Hons Degree in Interior Architecture & Design, Georgia joined SAAS Global as an apprentice in September 2019. Since then, Georgia has progressed to become full-time Designer, supporting the Group Marketing and Communications Manager with responsibility for branding, social media and visual design and production for F&T and the group as a whole.

Fiona Downie

Senior Artwork Executive

Fiona is the Senior Artwork Executive at Forward & Thinking, overseeing the whole booking process and making sure our clients fabulous artwork is distributed to the correct channels, ready for the world to see!  She has been with F&T since November 2018, after moving to Yorkshire earlier that year, having a change of scenery the hustle and bustle from working in the City of London. She loves the company and the close-knit and family vibe we have here at F&T. Outside of work, she loves to have a cup of tea in her PJs, binging some Netflix!

Katie Jones

Group Accounts Manager

Katie is the Group Accounts Manager for F&T and its sister companies. She joined the team in 2018 and loves F&T’s strong work ethic and passionate team. When Katie isn’t head down in an excel sheet, you’ll find her exploring the mountains with her family and partner, followed by a drink in a cosy pub! 

Chloe Cordell

Media Assistant


Chloe is the Media Assistant here at F&T. She joined the company in September 2019, she loves how much everyone respects and care’s for each other and their clients, they always go above and beyond. When she’s not liaising with suppliers and checking bookings, she spends her time with her partner Chris trying to train their cheeky puppy Freddie!

Molly Thompson

Digital Marketing Executive

Molly is a digital marketing executive here at F&T. She joined the team in November 2019 following four years at The University Of Hull, studying a BA in Business and Marketing and an MSc in Advertising and Marketing. She loves F&T’s emphasis on training and development and is always working towards gaining the next Google accreditation. Outside of work, she’s either binge-watching a Netflix crime documentary or planning her next holiday!

Lydia Empson

Content Producer

Forward & Thinking’s Content Producer. After a successful internship in February 2020, Lydia joined F&T and its sister companies with a BA Hons Degree in Media and Popular Culture. Her responsibilities include creating and distributing relevant content through social media platforms, company websites and marketing campaigns. In her spare time, Lydia enjoys spending time with her girlfriend and planning catwalk worthy outfits.

Andrew Marshall

Business Development Manager

Andy has 10 years experience in marketing spanning across print, digital, TV and OOH. He has a passion for creating lasting business relationships which develop alongside clients goals. Outside of work Andy can be found with his wife and children (mostly being taxi to his teenagers or climbing frame for his toddler), organising the Sunday league Men’s football team he manages or in his garden pub/shed enjoying a cool glass of Moretti.

Sarah Nicholson

Digital Marketing Executive

Sarah joined Forward & Thinking as a Digital Marketing Executive in October 2020, after working in-house for a large E-commerce company. She graduated from the University of Hull in 2018 with a BA Marketing degree as a mature student, having switched careers from accounting to marketing a few years previously. Sarah was drawn to Forward & Thinking by the client-focused approach and close-knit team. When she’s not working, she can usually be found spoiling her pet rats Frodo and Sam, gaming, or reading a fantasy novel.

Sarah Thompson

HR and Payroll Manager

Forward & Thinking’s HR and Payroll Manager. Sarah joined F&T and its sister companies in 2020 when an exciting new opportunity cropped up for the business. Sarah is an experienced HR professional and has worked in a variety of industries over the years. Driven by people, she takes pride in providing a hands on and supportive approach. When Sarah’s not at work it’s safe to say she’s got her feet up at home, beer in hand and spending quality time with her husband.

Lydia Goodrick

Artwork Assistant

Lydia joined F&T in April 2021 after moving back to Yorkshire from Chester. She studied English Literature at University and began her working life in the Financial Services Industry. Lydia loves how passionate the team is at F&T and how diverse the range of clients can be! When she isn’t running around trying to control her indoor guinea pig that loves to chew wires and furniture, she is a huge bookworm and loves hunting for her next read in second hand bookshops. 

James Perry

Financial Controller

F&T’s Financial Controller. James oversees financial processes, financial management, and improving business performance to help everything run smoothly and efficiently. Having previously worked in the education and commercial sectors, he has a rounded financial background and aims to provide balanced financial advice and judgements. Away from work he has a busy family life with two young children, and enjoys trail running whenever he gets the chance.

Andrew Sterling

Andy joined Forward and Thinking in July 2021 as a Media Planner. Coming in with 5 years’ experience in media/marketing, he is looking to generate positive results for F&T’s clients. He is very process driven and is excited by F&T’s focus on training and development for their employees. Outside of work, Andy loves to be active whether that’s playing sport or supporting his beloved Watford FC!