Unsung Hero

Ben Annibal - 80Six

Ben Annibal is an absolute legend in the live events industry, albeit a quiet one. He's been a Project Manager for over 15 years and has an entire collection of slightly faded black t-shirts to prove it.

Over the years, Ben has built a solid enviable work ethic. His ultimate professionalism and passion for the craft greatly influences the work culture at 80six.

  • Difficult location to build a stage? Ben will do it.
  • One-off show that needs to be up and running in 14 hours? If Ben commits, he'll deliver.
  • Last-minute changes to a job? Ben doesn't panic. Ben ACTS.

His technical expertise and obsessive attention to details have been instrumental in delivering work of the highest calibre for The Neighbourhood Weekender, Manchester Pride Festival, Tamworth Castle Summer Fest, Reading & Leeds Festival or Rochester Castle Concerts.

'The pre-production for Rochester Castle with Ben Annibal was seamless. The prep had thoughtful coloured labels, he even supplied a key for the colour codes. Such a sharp prep. Not one dead pixel or dodgy cable'. Sonny Evans - Production Manager at Penguin Media Hire

This year, Ben celebrated 5 years with 80six and we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love he received, demonstrating his impact within the industry once again.

Robert Watson, Senior Account Manager: Aww love Ben!

Calum Field, Head of Production: Ben installed an LED screen we bought from you guys nearly 4 years ago. Has worked absolutely perfectly since! Top bloke.

Adam Pollard, Technical Production: I ❤️  this man

Marianne Castagnet, Production Coordinator: Well-deserved Ben. A pleasure working with you on our jobs 👍😊

Andrew Hedges, Head of Events: It's always great working with you.

Ben Hyman, Senior Project Manager: Absolute legend ❤️

Rafael Filomeno, Marketing Manager: The best indeed.

Ben's not only a team player. He quickly becomes everybody's friend - that friend in the industry you can always turn to when things go awry.


Pete Cordiner - Actavo Events

Actavo Events UK are proud to nominate Pete Cordiner, Senior Site Supervisor as our Unsung Hero.

Pete joined Actavo in 2015 as yard crew and quickly developed into a core member of the team due to his strong work ethic, professionalism, can-do attitude and kind hearted nature. He is respected by all crew, internally and externally making the fast-pace environment feel calm and controlled.

From day one he has gone above and beyond, from training and mentoring our crews, assisting with recruitment and he’s always a phone call away, no matter the time or the issue. His commitment and dedication is seen across all sites no matter how big or small the job. Whether he is loading a lorry or building a large grandstand, he is always thinking of the next step and how he can make the working day flow as smoothly as possible for everyone. He’s often the first one in the office in the morning to make sure the heating is on and there is milk in the fridge to make sure everyone has a nice start to the day!

“Pete is a safe pair of hands, if I ask him to look after something, I know it is done. He genuinely cares about everything he does and everyone he works with.” Emily Kenward, UK Operations Manager.

Pete is also extremely well respected amongst our clients,

“I just wanted to drop you a note to say a massive THANK YOU for the work on my project over the last few days. You guys were brilliant, Pete big props for your can do attitude and just getting your part of the show done, it was comforting to have you guys there and to be honest to not have to worry about that element.” Ben O’Shea, Director, Anna Valley

We are grateful and very lucky to have Pete on our team!

Gemma Newman - Newman Events

Newman Event Services is a family run, industry leader of security services, founded by Dean Newman. Both Deans wife, Tracey, and daughter, Gemma, are employed in the role of finance director and logistics manager respectively. 

I had spent several months preparing for our deployment at the start area of the London Marathon, where Gemma would be a supervisor for the event. Tracey would also be working at the event, as the lead for the grandstand. 

We were two hours into shift when I received a call from my father-in-law, to let me know that Tracey’s mother, Jen, had passed that morning. I immediately called Gemma to report into me, where I had to break the news that her nan had died that morning. It came as a surprise, even though Jen had been unwell with cancer, as just two days before she was told she had a few months left. 

Gemma immediately planned with me to step up and take responsibility for the job, so I could go and get Tracey, and take her home to be with her family. I introduced Gemma to the managers from London Marathon, explained she was being left in charge due to the bereavement, went through some paperwork and maps with her, and then left. 

Gemma successfully over saw the remainder of the shift, including small issues that arose, and even oversaw the ‘not-done-before’ movement of large vehicles in one of the entrances whilst it was still getting runners into the event. This vehicle movement caused concern for the organisers but under Gemma’s supervision, it happened without a hitch.

I am extremely lucky to have someone like Gemma in the company, who was able to put her personal feeling aside to finish the job, so I could go and support my wife.

Davina Rowe - Harrier

There is one person that springs to mind when you say Unsung Hero and that is Davina Rowe, our project co-ordinator.

Davina is primarily office based and supports the whole Harrier team with a variety of tasks, some that definitely sits outside of her job description.  She makes sure that the team have all the information they need to be able to hit the ground running and provide clients with the best possible service.  She is also a key point of contact for our clients, providing a back up contact when the team are working on other events.

Davina provides not only a practical support to the team but is very proactive around welfare for the team.  She regularly checks in with the team when they are working away from home or during extremely busy periods, not to discuss work but to check on their wellbeing, mental health and to be a general sounding board for any issues, concerns or challenges that might be impacting on individuals.  The whole team know that they can lean on Davina for support which is invaluable to us as a company as well as to the individuals themselves.

Davina keeps the team efficient, organised and genuinely puts people, whether clients or team members, at the heart of our business operations.  She remembers birthdays, special occasions and provides the management team with the additional information needed to continue to put people first.

Jay Sirah - Qdos Event Hire

Jay has been with Qdos Event Hire for over eight years, initially joining as an experienced Hire Controller and working her way through the ranks to be appointed Commercial Director in early 2022.

Jay is not only highly organised, with a unique ability to multi-task and prioritise but delivers the highest standards of customer service in even the most challenging of circumstances. This was evident during the pandemic when the team had to be scaled back due to the cancellation of so many events and then throughout 2021 as the event industry began to slowly rebuild. Working with minimum personnel, Jay was happy to chip in with any task that arose, whether that was ensuring that cabins were prepped and ready for delivery or compiling detailed commercial reports for the management team.

In 2022 Jay was integral to Qdos’ successful delivery of numerous high-profile events, including HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, British Grand Prix, Moto GP, Wimbledon, Slam Dunk, BMW Championships and Operation London Bridge, along with managing long terms contracts with the Metropolitan Police and ESG.

Jay’s hard work and commitment to the business have been instrumental in Qdos’ recent growth and success. Jay has played a significant role within the launch of our dedicated Location Facilities division and worked closely with the team in our newly established Scottish office, providing them with immeasurable support and encouragement.

“Just a quick email to say thank you for assisting me with the TV compound operation for Moto, I couldn’t have been happier to know that when asked you all stepped up and made the job so much easier and for that I am very grateful! Hope we get to do it all again next year, with a few learnings from this one.”

Alison Redbart, Events Manager, Silverstone

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