The Team

Rowena Holland

Managing Director
Rowena (Row) Holland has more than 35 years experience of publishing and public relations. As a journalist she worked on a broad range of publications in the agricultural, catering, food, inflight and travel retail sectors including International Tax Free Trader and DFNI. From 1988 to 1996 she acted as a consultant within UK PR company, The PM Partnership, specialising in food and catering accounts.In 1996 Rowena saw a niche for an agency that would specialise in duty free/travel retail and Essential Communications was born. 

Ben Holland

Media Coordinator & Social Media Manager
Ben joined Essential Communications in 2010 after taking both PR and social media marketing courses in London. Ben’s role is wide-ranging and includes monitoring press coverage, writing and issuing releases, managing our social media presence, and providing general assistance to clients and the media.

Chris Madden

Account Manager

Chris has more than a decade's experience as a journalist across news, business, brands and leisure. He spent three years writing about duty free and travel retail with Frontier and DFNI as Business Editor, Brands Editor and Tobacco Editor, he also helped organise and presented the annual Frontier Awards in Cannes. Prior to that he worked for six years on newspapers with Trinity Mirror and Northcliffe as a reporter, editor and Leisure Editor.​

Jayne Cooper

Events Manager
Jayne has some 20 years experience of the travel retail industry having first joined Tax Free World Association (TFWA) as PA to Sarah Branquinho, then Commercial Director, in 1995. Since then, she has served in various roles for TFWA, including the assistance and management of conferences and the organisation of TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes and TFWA Asia Pacific in Singapore.  Jayne also has experience working as a freelance events organiser and venue finder for various companies including London-based agency, Financial Marketing. Jayne continues to provide editorial texts for TFWA.

Florence de Margerie

Events Organiser - France
Florence (Flo) brings a wealth of events organisation experience and contacts to Essential Events. She has over 20 years experience orchestrating operations for Exhibitions, Conferences and Fairs in various industries, including TFWA World Exhibition & Conference for ten years. Project management is her forte from taking an initial brief to venue finding to temporary recruitment, invitations, onsite coordination, logistics, security and meet-and-greet. From a lunch for four to a conference for 400, Flo takes it all in her stride. Bi-lingual in French and English, Flo’s contacts are second to none. Apart from Travel Retail she has also worked extensively in the Luxury, Nautical and Pharmaceutical industries. 

Tom Aspel

Creative Consultant
Tom is Essential Communication’s Creative Guru. For the last six years, he was the creative director for a design agency where he provided creative leadership, ran the team of designers and controlled the creative output of the studio. He has masses of experience in all types of creative work including web and digital projects such as designing interactive brochures and bespoke websites and microsites. Clients he has worked with include; Toyota, Greenpeace, Savills, WaterAid, Deutsche Bank, Lotus, Caffé Nero, Save The Children, British Land, NHS, Seiko and King’s College London. Prior to this,Tom worked for PPS Publications where his brief included the TFWA Dailies in both Singapore and Cannes.

“Feedback on LinkedIn has been good, if I recall well I had up to 7,000 – 8,000 views for some of the editorial articles (about Ricola) I shared. On top of that, overall response from retailers has also been very positive, not that I can put down my finger how much the journalist visit and subsequent articles had to do with it but I felt some good vibes in the second half. I guess it’s a reflection of the good PR work we’ve done with EC over the last two years on many fronts.”
Andreas Reckart, Vice President Sales Middle East & Travel Retail, Ricola (post a TR journalist visit to herb farm and factory)