HERO ASSEMBLE

Our team is made up of entrepreneurial changemakers and ambitious big-picture thinkers. We are expert technicians, producers, imagineers and marketers who believe we have the responsibility to do the right thing. We came together to take on an epic new adventure in creating a better future for you, for them and for us.

Simon O’Kelly

CEO

Following a stint on the road as a touring musician in his early twenties, Simon founded his first tech startup in 2013, cutting his teeth in business running a team of app developers.

He migrated over to the music industry in 2016 with the launch of UMA Music Group, combining his experience in raising funds and project management with a passion for music and events. 

Following a stint on the road as a touring musician in his early twenties, Simon founded his first tech startup in 2013, cutting his teeth in business running a team of app developers.

He migrated over to the music industry in 2016 with the launch of UMA Music Group, combining his experience in raising funds and project management with a passion for music and events. 

Today, UMA Music Group is an entertainment company that produces live events and TV formats dedicated to progressing social good and environmental sustainability through the power of music.

HERO formed as an off-shoot of UMA Music Group and enabled Simon to merge his experience with technology and the entertainment industries for the first time, deepening his commitment to social-good with the two companies continuing to work very closely together. 

Simon also acts as a strategic consultant across various organisations within the private sector and the third sector.

Following a stint on the road as a touring musician in his early twenties, Simon founded his first tech startup in 2013, cutting his teeth in business running a team of app developers.

He migrated over to the music industry in 2016 with the launch of UMA Music Group, combining his experience in raising funds and project management with a passion for music and events. 

Harvey Goldsmith

CBE
CHAIRMAN

Harvey is a legendary producer and promoter of rock concerts, charity events and television broadcasts – responsible for Live Aid and Live 8, the two largest music events in the world, ever.

Harvey is a legendary producer and promoter of rock concerts, charity events and television broadcasts – responsible for Live Aid and Live 8, the two largest music events in the world, ever.

He is is one of the world’s most famous music impresarios, having produced, managed and promoted shows with most of the world’s major artists – from The Rolling Stones to Beyoncé – in a career spanning more than five decades. 

Alongside popular culture, Harvey also brought opera (Pavarotti), Circus (Cirque du Soleil), Irish Dancing (Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance) and country music to the masses. He was instrumental in transforming the Millenium Dome into The O2 Arena, now one of the world’s busiest venues, and more recently, he pulled back the curtain on Hans Zimmer with his first live concerts.

Harvey has received numerous awards including the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 1996. In January 2006, Harvey was awarded the Chevalier des Artes et Lettres from the French Minister of Culture and more recently – to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Harvey received the Diamond Award for his contribution to The Arts. In July 2012, Harvey received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Brighton.

Elsewhere, Harvey is the Chairman of The British Music Experience, the UK’s only Museum of contemporary music from 1946 to the present. He is also a Board Member of Editorial Intelligence, Captive Minds and Investment Board of Edge VCT. Harvey is also on the Board of ImagineNation, a Dutch immersive theatre company.

Harvey is a legendary producer and promoter of rock concerts, charity events and television broadcasts – responsible for Live Aid and Live 8, the two largest music events in the world, ever.

Tara Borna

GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR

Tara joined HERO as Global Marketing Director following her move to London from Toronto where she led the entertainment and marketing division for one of the leading resorts in Western Canada. Responsible for promoting a wealth of world-class acts across music, sports, and comedy, Tara developed a strategy for building out national marketing and media campaigns that took holistic communications to new heights. Her unscripted approach to both above and below the line communications led to a significant uplift in concert-goers, year on year.

Tara joined UMA Music Group and HERO as Global Marketing Director following her move to London from Toronto where she led the entertainment and marketing division for one of the leading resorts in Western Canada. Responsible for promoting a wealth of world-class acts across music, sports, and comedy, Tara developed a strategy for building out national marketing and media campaigns that took holistic communications to new heights. Her unscripted approach to both above and below the line communications led to a significant uplift in concert-goers, year on year.

HERO thrives on Tara’s passionate and visionary approach to marketing and communications, taking full authority over re-engineering our communications strategy from the ground up with humanistic, purpose-driven imagination. Tara leads our worldwide marketing strategy, overseeing our global media and communications including agencies, creatives, and campaign initiatives alongside her executive team.

Tara joined HERO as Global Marketing Director following her move to London from Toronto where she led the entertainment and marketing division for one of the leading resorts in Western Canada. Responsible for promoting a wealth of world-class acts across music, sports, and comedy, Tara developed a strategy for building out national marketing and media campaigns that took holistic communications to new heights. Her unscripted approach to both above and below the line communications led to a significant uplift in concert-goers, year on year.

Cherry Seaborn

TECH & INNOVATION DIRECTOR

An entrepreneur with a genuine concern for the health of the planet – environmentally, socially and economically. Cherry acts as Technology & Innovation Director, overseeing the ideation, design and creation of the App itself.

An entrepreneur with a genuine concern for the health of the planet – environmentally, socially and economically. Cherry acts as Technology & Innovation Director, overseeing the ideation, design and creation of the App itself.

Cherry is employed as a Technology and Digital Risk consultant at Deloitte LLP where her focus is on risk management, products, solutions & innovation for a wide range of organisations, in the rapidly developing digital world.

Academically, Cherry is currently studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business at the University of Cambridge, UK. She was part of the Master’s in Management, Foundations of Business class of 2014 at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and currently sits on the Board of Visitors for the Fuqua School of Business. She holds a Bachelor’s in Science (Cell Biology) from Durham University, UK.

An entrepreneur with a genuine concern for the health of the planet – environmentally, socially and economically. Cherry acts as Technology & Innovation Director, overseeing the ideation, design and creation of the App itself.

Ross Patel

STRATEGIC DIRECTOR

Ross is dedicated to spearheading a new-age movement aimed at fusing low carbon, low impact and commercial business into a harmonious, sustainable lifestyle and steers the team towards new ways of thinking. He constantly raises the important questions and encourages discussion around our beliefs and choices.

With a background in artist management, Ross has extensive experience in event and festival management, through which he makes every attempt to bush boundaries and integrate innovative low-impact solutions. He is the team’s resident early adopter of veganism, meditation and thriving pioneer of minimal plastic consumption and consumerism, consistently illuminating his deep passion and commitment to extend Life on Earth as we know it while searching for a better future.

Ross is dedicated to spearheading a new-age movement aimed at fusing low carbon, low impact and commercial business into a harmonious, sustainable lifestyle and steers the team towards new ways of thinking. He constantly raises the important questions and encourages discussion around our beliefs and choices.

Joel Gardner

GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR

Having led a strategy, partnerships and creative agency for the majority of his career, Joel brings to HERO an innate understanding of how effective partnership campaigns work; seamless and enjoyable relationships behind the scenes, resulting in unique yet natural collaborations for the world to see on show.

Previous projects include BMW and the London 2012 Olympic Games, countless band and brand partnerships for one of the UK’s leading music tech companies Cambridge Audio, and brand activations at arenas across the country.

Having led a strategy, partnerships and creative agency for the majority of his career, Joel brings to HERO an innate understanding of how effective partnership campaigns work; seamless and enjoyable relationships behind the scenes, resulting in unique yet natural collaborations for the world to see on show.

Previous projects include BMW and the London 2012 Olympic Games, countless band and brand partnerships for one of the UK’s leading music tech companies Cambridge Audio, and brand activations at arenas across the country.

Joel’s passion for sustainability comes from a desire to live a life with greater purpose, and this is his exact approach to our partnerships too; ensuring purpose is always at the forefront of everything we do, and in turn, we’ll make a difference.

Having led a strategy, partnerships and creative agency for the majority of his career, Joel brings to HERO an innate understanding of how effective partnership campaigns work; seamless and enjoyable relationships behind the scenes, resulting in unique yet natural collaborations for the world to see on show.

Previous projects include BMW and the London 2012 Olympic Games, countless band and brand partnerships for one of the UK’s leading music tech companies Cambridge Audio, and brand activations at arenas across the country.

Ben Connor

CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER

Ben’s background resides in TV production, having worked on shows such as The Voice, A League of Their Own, The Choir, and the BAFTAs.

He ran his own independent production company before co-founding UMA Music Group with Simon in 2016 where he currently heads up UMA Studios, responsible for overseeing all broadcast and media platforms and partnerships. 

Ben’s background resides in TV production, having worked on shows such as The Voice, A League of Their Own, The Choir, and the BAFTAs.

He ran his own independent production company before co-founding UMA Music Group with Simon in 2016 where he currently heads up UMA Studios, responsible for overseeing all broadcast and media platforms and partnerships. 

His role as Executive Producer on behalf of UMA Studios includes everything from format ideation through to production planning, scheduling, strategy and delivery. 

Ben’s understanding of the entertainment industry and the mechanics of producing high-quality media content now underpins his role as Chief Content Officer at HERO, working with various production partners to deliver an innovative and effective content strategy.

Ben’s background resides in TV production, having worked on shows such as The Voice, A League of Their Own, The Choir, and the BAFTAs.

He ran his own independent production company before co-founding UMA Music Group with Simon in 2016 where he currently heads up UMA Studios, responsible for overseeing all broadcast and media platforms and partnerships. 

Dani Sylvia

CREATIVE & BRAND DIRECTOR

As an independent artist, Dani has a wealth of experience within the music and performing industry in bringing ideas to life with a deep understanding of the nuances that connect us all as humans. 

Dani’s role as Creative & Brand Director sees her take the lead on all visual concepts, from branding and design through to marketing and communications, working closely with our design and communication agencies, alongside Tara.

As an independent artist, Dani has a wealth of experience within the music and performing industry in bringing ideas to life with a deep understanding of the nuances that connect us all as humans. 

Dani’s role as Creative & Brand Director sees her take the lead on all visual concepts, from branding and design through to marketing and communications, working closely with our design and communication agencies, alongside Tara.

As an independent artist, Dani has a wealth of experience within the music and performing industry in bringing ideas to life with a deep understanding of the nuances that connect us all as humans. 

Dani’s role as Creative & Brand Director sees her take the lead on all visual concepts, from branding and design through to marketing and communications, working closely with our design and communication agencies, alongside Tara.

Jamie Hole

ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR

Former International Marketing (& Promotions) Director at Universal Music Group, Jamie spent 20 years honing his skills at the world’s #1 Recording Company where he sat across marketing strategy for both UK and US East Coast repertoire including Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, Eminem and Rihanna.

He was responsible for the international exploitation and planning of UK signed repertoire from all of Universals UK labels (Virgin EMI, Island UK, Polydor UK, Decca and Capitol UK) and was personally in charge of the global plans for Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Robbie Williams, Iggy Azalea, Disclosure, The Vamps, John Newman, Jack Garratt, The 1975, KSI and many others.

Former International Marketing (& Promotions) Director at Universal Music Group, Jamie spent 20 years honing his skills at the world’s #1 Recording Company where he sat across marketing strategy for both UK and US East Coast repertoire including Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, Eminem and Rihanna.

He was responsible for the international exploitation and planning of UK signed repertoire from all of Universals UK labels (Virgin EMI, Island UK, Polydor UK, Decca and Capitol UK) and was personally in charge of the global plans for Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Robbie Williams, Iggy Azalea, Disclosure, The Vamps, John Newman, Jack Garratt, The 1975, KSI and many others.

Prior to the UK, Jamie looked after Universal’s US East Coast label Groups which included Republic US, Island Def Jam and Motown Records. During his time in this role, he was a key player and creator of global launch plans for the likes of Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, The Killers and many more.

Jamie joined UMA Music Group as Industry Relations Director in 2017 and most recently adopted the role of Entertainment Director at HERO where he applies an unparallelled expert knowledge of key entertainment markets with an enviable list of contacts, helping drive worldwide industry relationships and the recruitment of high profile Ambassadors. 

Former International Marketing (& Promotions) Director at Universal Music Group, Jamie spent 20 years honing his skills at the world’s #1 Recording Company where he sat across marketing strategy for both UK and US East Coast repertoire including Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, Eminem and Rihanna.

He was responsible for the international exploitation and planning of UK signed repertoire from all of Universals UK labels (Virgin EMI, Island UK, Polydor UK, Decca and Capitol UK) and was personally in charge of the global plans for Sam Smith, Emeli Sande, Robbie Williams, Iggy Azalea, Disclosure, The Vamps, John Newman, Jack Garratt, The 1975, KSI and many others.

Anna Johnson

IMPACT DIRECTOR

Anna’s purpose is at the nexus between science, communications, and collaboration. Harnessing this sense of purpose, her professional life revolves around the delivery of positive impact. 

Previous roles include music festival sustainability management, leading research activities for a national campaigning organisation to stop plastic pollution and a Dutch University Green Office, and communications for a circular economy-oriented startup whilst studying for an MSc Environment and Resource Management. Until recently, Anna was Communications Director at a business-led collaboration network, focused on tackling complex social challenges.

Anna’s purpose is at the nexus between science, communications, and collaboration. Harnessing this sense of purpose, her professional life revolves around the delivery of positive impact. 

Previous roles include music festival sustainability management, leading research activities for a national campaigning organisation to stop plastic pollution and a Dutch University Green Office, and communications for a circular economy-oriented startup whilst studying for an MSc Environment and Resource Management. Until recently, Anna was Communications Director at a business-led collaboration network, focused on tackling complex social challenges.

As Impact Director, Anna leads our approaches on social and environmental sustainability through relationship building with the scientific community and the application of academic rigour. She helps guide the team through the decision-making process by highlighting insights from the latest scientific research, leveraging data to help ensure we continue to deliver on positive impact goals in our pursuit of business-for-good. 

Put simply, Anna oversees our journey towards growing a responsible business and manages our relationships with our team of world-renowned Advisors and specialist research agencies.

Anna’s purpose is at the nexus between science, communications, and collaboration. Harnessing this sense of purpose, her professional life revolves around the delivery of positive impact. 

Previous roles include music festival sustainability management, leading research activities for a national campaigning organisation to stop plastic pollution and a Dutch University Green Office, and communications for a circular economy-oriented startup whilst studying for an MSc Environment and Resource Management. Until recently, Anna was Communications Director at a business-led collaboration network, focused on tackling complex social challenges.

Neal Neilinger

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Mr Neilinger has advised sovereigns, municipalities, corporations, foundations, endowments, pension funds, and high net worth clients for over three decades. 

He is currently a board member for Sabal Palm Bank based in Sarasota Florida and is an Advisor to the Chairman for New York Private Bank and Trust, the largest privately owned bank in the United States.

Mr Neilinger has advised sovereigns, municipalities, corporations, foundations, endowments, pension funds, and high net worth clients for over three decades. 

He is currently a board member for Sabal Palm Bank based in Sarasota Florida and is an Advisor to the Chairman for New York Private Bank and Trust, the largest privately owned bank in the United States.

Having held senior management roles with international banks such as Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank And Credit Agricole while based in London and New York, Mr Neilinger has successfully navigated his clients through multiple credit cycles.

Mr Neilinger was the co-founder of the National Advisory Council for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation which runs the largest outdoor Museum in the United States and was a past Board Member for the United Way in Greenwich Ct. 

 

Mr Neilinger has advised sovereigns, municipalities, corporations, foundations, endowments, pension funds, and high net worth clients for over three decades. 

He is currently a board member for Sabal Palm Bank based in Sarasota Florida and is an Advisor to the Chairman for New York Private Bank and Trust, the largest privately owned bank in the United States.

Stephen Pell

FCCA / CTA
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Stephen has held a number of roles within the entertainment business. Formerly, he was Managing Director of an international accounting practise where he specialised in international tax planning and business structuring for high profile artists within the music and entertainment industries, including artists such as Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, JB Gill (JLS) and Lawrence Taylor.

Stephen also runs his own tax and accounting practice, ICONAC, with offices in London and L.A. providing business management support to the global entertainment industry.

Stephen has held a number of roles within the entertainment business. Formerly, he was Managing Director of an international accounting practise where he specialised in international tax planning and business structuring for high profile artists within the music and entertainment industries, including artists such as Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, JB Gill (JLS) and Lawrence Taylor.

Stephen also runs his own tax and accounting practice, ICONAC, with offices in London and L.A. providing business management support to the global entertainment industry.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honours from the University of Birmingham, is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser and a published author, regularly contributing to the media on subjects concerning the entertainment business.

Stephen has held a number of roles within the entertainment business. Formerly, he was Managing Director of an international accounting practise where he specialised in international tax planning and business structuring for high profile artists within the music and entertainment industries, including artists such as Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, JB Gill (JLS) and Lawrence Taylor.

Stephen also runs his own tax and accounting practice, ICONAC, with offices in London and L.A. providing business management support to the global entertainment industry.