When friends become colleagues: meet Valérie and Anke, the newest members of Club Manda. Valérie has been working as Senior Communications Manager since May. With her extensive experience in PR and communications, we know she will play a crucial role in the growth and flourishing of our agency. Anke is our new All-round Communications Dynamo. With her sharp pen and history steeped in media and lifestyle, she is poised to become another secret weapon.

Ladies, please introduce yourself. Who are you?
Anke: I’m a 36-year-old extroverted introvert, living in Antwerp - I can actually walk to the office in less than ten minutes. I love meeting new people, going out and being social and creative, but I need to recharge on my own afterwards.

Valérie: Since May, I have been Senior Communications Manager at M and A. I am from Antwerp, aged 35 and the happy owner of Pippa, my Cavalier King Charles. I love food, cooking, art, yoga and music. An evening with friends or family is what I enjoy most.

What is your background, in terms of work and education?
Anke: I graduated as a journalist and started my career mainly in the media. I worked as an editor for Radio 1, as a host for JIM TV and I reported on festivals for De Standaard. In between, I also worked in the fashion industry, as a saleswoman and a stylist.

Valérie: I studied strategic communications at UA and have been working in communications and PR since 2013. I started my PR career at various agencies in Antwerp and right before joining Marnix and Ally, I spent almost five years exploring the corporate world at Arvesta.

What is your role within the M and A team?
Anke: I will focus on content and creative writing and slowly find my way into PR and marketing as well.

Valérie: I am Senior Communications Manager and I try to guide our lovely team in finding their best selves possible.

Why are you a good match for M and A? What are your expectations and what would you like to contribute to the team?
Anke: I have been following M and A since the beginning, a decade ago, and have always liked the agency's style, brands and approach. I look forward to growing together, inspiring each other and building new stories and campaigns. My strength is undoubtedly my sharp pen and I am happy to share it in exchange for some PR insights!

Valérie: I have known M and A since day one and have always been a fan of their spirit, attitude and understated cool. M and A has always stayed true to itself, by not catering to every trend that comes along, but by creating valuable stories and content. That is also what I want to pursue and contribute. I hope to bring growth, positive vibes and tell great stories.

What is usually the first thing you do when you arrive at the office?
Anke: I usually cuddle with the 'dog of the day' first - most of my colleagues have dogs and they take turns bringing them to the office. Then I slowly wake up at my desk with a cup of coffee, going through my to-do list for the day.

Valérie: I say hello to the day's office dog, make a nice cup of coffee and check my diary. I usually have a lot of meetings during the day, so I use the first half-hour to prepare everything properly.

What are you passionate about? What do you do in your spare time?
Anke: I love my family and close friends, whom I also consider family. I try to see them several times a week, for drinks, dinner or a quick chat. I also love traveling (lost my heart in Southeast Asia), vegan cooking, yoga and reading. During the summer I enjoy going to festivals, especially when there’s some hip hop involved.

Valérie: I have a real passion for food and cooking and recently discovered vegan cooking. Because I believe in learning by doing, I spend my weekends in the kitchen at Camionette, an amazing vegan restaurant. When I'm not cooking, you can find me enjoying time with friends and family at concerts, restaurants or in nature.

Lastly, how would you describe yourself in five words?
Anke: I’m an enthusiastic, funny, sensitive and loyal dreamer.

Valérie: I am positive, outgoing and very passionate. I am also a foodie and a leader.

Thank you for sharing! We can’t wait to get to know you better, both as colleagues and as individuals.