CSM Diaries

03 Jul 2023

Meet Your CloserTogether Taskforce

Meet Your CloserTogether Taskforce
In May we announced the launch of the CloserTogether Taskforce (CTT) - a new employee resource group dedicated to creating positive change at CloserStill Media. We were delighted to receive a fantastic amount of interest and applications. We are pleased to share the details of the individuals who will make up the Taskforce below.

 The CTT has already formed two working groups (People & Culture and Inclusive Events). All of the groups have held their inaugural meeting and selected chairs. The groups will be meeting throughout the year and the Taskforce members will also have their first in person meeting in London in September where they will also be participating in a day of training to help equip them with skills needed to be successful in their role.    

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments for the Taskforce or working groups, please don't hesitate to reach out to any of the following employees.

Meet The Chairs

rakimRakim Asher
Main Taskforce Chair
Job Title: Group Digital Lead

Location: London, UK 

As a dedicated advocate for diversity and inclusion, I take pride in my role on the CloserTogether Taskforce. I believe in creating an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Being part of this taskforce allows me to bring my expertise and make a meaningful impact. Collaborating with diverse and talented colleagues inspires me to foster a culture of innovation. By promoting inclusivity, I aim to break down barriers and cultivate a workplace where collaboration and understanding thrive. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to CloserTogether and build a stronger, harmonious workplace at CloserStill. Let's work together to inspire greatness.


Sébastien Brasseur
People & Culture Chair
Job Title: Group Marketing Manager, LT

Location: London, UK  

I wanted to join the CTT because of my personal experience. I have often witnessed individuals excluded from groups within the school and work environments only because they were perceived as 'different'. Despite the knowledge, skills, and ambition that one possesses, feeling rejected can significantly affect self-confidence and hinder personal and career growth. My intention in participating in this project is to ensure that every individual feels welcome within the CSM family, irrespective of their background, and to offer them equitable support to advance in their career within the organisation.

SimonaSimona Jevdokimovaite
Inclusive Events Chair
Job Title: Marketing Director, Healthcare

Location: London, UK

I wanted to be part of the CloserTogether Taskforce as I'd love to contribute to the development of CSM, our initiatives and our overall company culture. I've loved being part of CSM ever since joining in Feb 2022 - I think there's a lot of great things that we do already, but likewise, there's a lot more that we can still do better.  I'm a massive believer that having a truly diverse and inclusive organisation will have longer-term value and generate higher profits for the company, as it means we have a whole plethora of ideas, perspectives, opinions and awareness on whatever topics we address. This also shouldn't be limited to our internal teams, but should filter down to our products, features and events that we organise. Being able to contribute to this change is something I'm very excited about.  


Meet The Taskforce

Kevin Alfred
Delegate Sales Executive, London

People & Culture

I wanted to join the taskforce because I come from a diverse family and grew up in one of the most diverse areas, Newham. So naturally, I wanted to be part of a group that promotes diversity and in turn, inspires creativity and collaboration. I find it beautiful how regardless of our differences, D&I is something that everyone at CloserStill has an equal stake in.

Jason Andika-Smith
Senior Marketing Manager, Coventry

Inclusive Events

As an older gay, disabled person, I want to contribute to this group for the benefit of all and also to learn from it in equal measure.


Catherine Beck
Senior Operations Manager, London 

Inclusive Events

I'd like to see if I can make a positive change!




Susan Jacobs 
Publications Manager, USA (Learning Guild)

Inclusive Events

I wanted to become a member of CloserTogether because I was thrilled to see our company take on such a progressive initiative. I personally tick off many of the boxes when it comes to diversity. I am a woman, gay, Jewish, left-handed, older, and I have a son who is neurodiverse! I am passionate about inclusion and want to help assure that all our employees and delegates from around the globe feel seen, welcomed, and embraced for who they authentically are.

David Kelly
CEO, USA (Learning Guild)

People & Culture

I hope to build systems and processes that put DEI into practice within our company, and at the events we host.




Rudy Mootoosamy
Divisional Finance Director, London

People & Culture

CSM has made some great strides at being a diverse employer, however, I have noticed that this is not reflected at leadership level. Therefore, I am keen to help open up opportunities to the richly diverse talent available within the company, with CSM benefitting from a well-rounded and inclusive Leadership Team.



Dalma Paimann
Project Manager, Mannheim 

Inclusive Events

To be part of a community that contributes to our society, our CSM community, both within our offices and outside in the events we all represent. By actively participating, I aim to contribute to a culture that values diversity, respects all individuals, and provides equal opportunities for everyone.




Oscar Renedo
Events & Commercial Director, Barcelona

People & Culture

As an organization, we have to understand that an inclusive society is needed and that diversity works when there's a great perception of inclusion, so being part of this journey is a fantastic opportunity to make a significant and positive impact for generations to come.


Jaya Sexton
Conference Producer, London

Inclusive Events

I’m so excited to be a part of this initiative to make both our internal working environment and our events as inclusive as possible! By recognising that everyone has different needs that are all of equal importance, we can cultivate a culture which celebrates everyone’s individuality. As key players in the events industry, we have a responsibility to represent diverse voices and show everyone that they belong in the industries we’re passionate about. I’m excited to collaborate with the rest of the taskforce to come up with impactful policies that hold us accountable while we continue to run exceptional events.
Katja Teichmann
Marketing Manager, USA (CommerceNext)

People & Culture

Joining CloserTogether was important to me because I truly believe in the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, especially with the current political environment in the US. With LGBTQ+ rights at risk and a general attack on diversity and equity, it is more crucial than ever to create safe spaces for minority groups. My goal is to share my perspective as a queer woman to double down on the values of CommerceNext and CloserStill, creating more opportunities for diversity among our teams and improving inclusion for our existing teams.
Wilson Wong
Head of Operations, Singapore 

People & Culture

As our Singapore's business is expanding and same goes for the headcounts in the office as well. Becoming a member of CloserTogether will helps to ensure proper practice of workplace DEI in order to create and maintaining a successful workplace.


Meet The Sponsors & Supporters

SK AM SK RachelKilmartin

Suzanne King

Chief Operating Officer

Inclusive Events

Alexia Maycock

Chief Marketing Officer

People & Culture

Stephanie James

Group HR Director 

People & Culture


Rachel Kilmartin

Senior Communications

Inclusive Events,
People & Culture