Counter Context appoints former diplomat and senior civil servant

21st January 2013

As a family run business in Sheffield, Counter Context is not only surviving in this challenging economic climate but looking to expand and grow.

For 18 years the company has been  providing specialist communications solutions for clients to help them engage with stakeholders and communities both in the public and private sector on major transport, development, regeneration and energy projects. 2013 will be the year of growth for Counter Context.  Alexis Krachai (Executive Director) welcomed new Associate Director Simon Collingwood to support the firm's growth.  Simon and Alexis have known each other for a long time and Simon joins Counter Context from a diplomatic posting in the USA to look at broadening the client base and taking the current services to the global market. In the USA, Simon led the British Government's commercial work in the southern states of the US out of the Consulates in Houston, Atlanta and Miami.  The most recent highlight was showcasing the UK in the margins of the Formula One Grand Prix in Austin Texas where he drew in the Governor of Texas Rick Perry, alongside racing legends Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill. Prior to that, from 2008, he lived in New York supporting the person responsible for business relations between the UK and US one of the largest and most sophisticated trade and investment relationships.  He was also responsible for leading the Government's commercial marketing effort, engagement with the financial services industry and established work to identify commercial opportunities for UK companies in the infrastructure sector in the US, following the Obama stimulus bill.  While there, he led the Consular effort to support British citizens trapped in New York due to the fallout from the Iceland volcano in 2010 Eyjafjallajokull which closed British airspace for a number of days. Simon has worked with the British Government for nearly 14 years.  Over this time he has worked on a range of Government priorities : led the team that wrote the Trade and Investment White Paper in 2004; part of the team that handled the collapse of MG Rover in 2005; advised Ministers on trade policy priorities outside of the World Trade Organisation's Doha Round .  Over this time he has worked in a number of different Government Departments, including HM Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department for International Development, supporting a range of Government Ministers such as Alan Johnson, Malcolm Wicks, Patricia Hewitt, Douglas Alexander, and more recently Gregory Barker, Lord Stephen Green, and Alistair Burt. Joining this ambitious family business, with a clear view on growth opportunities in the year ahead, Simon has brought his family to Sheffield (his wife Katharine and two young boys Alex and Sam) to see where this new role takes him and the team at Counter Context. With a number of exciting ideas, prospects and projects comes the opportunity for Counter Context, to play a part in putting Sheffield on the map. Counter Context welcomes him and looks forward to the coming year. For more info on Counter Context please visit www.countercontext.com  

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