2022 C&IT A-List

We’re delighted to announce that TWO of our very own superstars have been featured on this year’s C&IT A-List!


Each year, the C&IT A-List celebrates 35 ‘Rising Stars’ who represent excellence, resilience, and creativity: those who will help steer the future generation of talent in the event and experience industry. Take a look at our two A-Listers: Ziana Juma and Ebony Richards!

Ziana, Executive Producer in our Events & Experiences team, joined the company in September 2019 – and who’d have predicted that only a few months later, the world would be turned upside down! And Ziana showed amazing resilience and hard work in the face of every challenge thrown her way. Her empathy and expertise fill her clients and colleagues with confidence; her opinions are trusted and inspire growth and collaboration.

Ziana knows exactly when the team needs a boost of motivation and acts like a true team lead in these moments. Chloe Legrand, Director, Event Operations, says, “Ziana has a beautiful ability to make space for everyone to be heard and supported. Watching her and every member of her team thrive on-site is simply a delight.” Ziana’s “thank you” emails have become quite famous at FIRST! She doesn’t just thank the project team; she knows exactly what they have successfully achieved and highlights it perfectly for them to feel special.

Shanti Tarumarajan, Team Lead in Events & Experiences, said, “Ziana is a natural-born superstar and one of the rare unicorns of our industry. She can both imagine and inspire a team to convert a blank space into an engaging event, or devise the best solution to deliver a compelling virtual offering. Her lateral and practical thinking means she can connect with suppliers, colleagues, and clients from all backgrounds and levels of know-how, never blinding with jargon. No matter how busy she is, she will always make time to speak with colleagues and help troubleshoot, teach or brainstorm when required. It’s not all just work for Ziana, as she’s our resident tastemaker for all things ‘hip & happening’ and is always entertaining us with her adorable nephew! Ziana is one of a kind, and we are so lucky to have her.”

event production

Ebony, Venue Sourcing Manager in our specialist Venue team, joined the company in 2015 straight out of university and has since quickly progressed into a number of exciting positions. In 2021, she helped establish a new specialist Venue Team at FIRST, bringing several refined processes designed to support not only our clients and business but each individual on her team.

Lianne Judd, Team Operations Manager, Events & Experiences, commented: “As her manager, it’s always a delight to hear such positive feedback from the people she works with (and to see her projects completed in-budget and to timeline)! She really is our A-Lister every day of the year!”

Vivienne McLaren, Venue Sourcing Manager, EMEA Region, added: “I have worked with Ebony for 7 years. She is hard-working, always willing to help others, and is a fantastic team player. She regularly displays great leadership skills and the high level of creative problem-solving and adaptability needed to not just maintain but to grow FIRST’s high standards of client delivery. Her approachability, shining personality and ever-growing expertise sees her regularly called on to advise and assist on a broad range of internal and external projects. It’s been a real pleasure to work and socialise with her over the years and see her grow from strength to strength in the events industry.”


Full C&IT A-List

If you want to join our award winning team, check out our Open Roles or Get In Touch!