The international education industry faces many challenges, but there are also many opportunities. V1 Sales & Marketing are uniquely positioned to enable you to capitalise on these opportunities to drive sustained growth. We do this by using our own insights and our own first-hand experience of recruiting international students, finding strategic partners, and the day-to-day running of language schools.

Expertly supported by our hand-picked delivery partners we ensure the projects we deliver are always of a First Class standard. V1 Sales & Marketing exists to help you navigate business challenges and emerge stronger.

We value the personal relationships in business, so please read a bit more about us here:

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SAM BUFTON

Managing Director & Founder

Initially I trained and worked as a teacher, before holding numerous senior sales and marketing roles in various industries, culminating in 5 years as Chief Commercial Officer for a medium-sized language school chain. Whilst travelling and working around the World I would often speak with people in the industry who needed help, but didn't know where to turn. I decided to create a business to address this need and V1 was born. I love having the freedom to be able to manage the business how we want to, focusing on service. I enjoy the feeling of having a client trust us to deliver, and I am excited by the fact that every day is different! Outside of V1 I spend most of my time with my wonderful wife and baby daughter. When I do get time to myself I like to relax by watching and playing sport, and I have a keen interest in aviation.

See my LinkedIn profile and connect here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sambuftonv1

Contact me directly at: sam@v1sam.com

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Luke Simmons

Director

I have worked in the language travel industry since 2002 following a previous career in teaching, teacher training and school assessment. I worked for, and became a board director of one of London's largest language school operations. Following the sale of the company I became CEO, and have since worked in consultancy for a number of businesses. I remain very proud of the work that the industry does and have built lasting working relationships with both schools and agencies worldwide. Problem solving has always been my passion and so V1 Sales & Marketing's business aims were immediately attractive to me. The varied client and project basis of V1 is really stimulating, challenging and always rewarding. I want to work with good people, achieve great things and have fun along the way. Outside of V1 I have a beautiful wife and 3 sons who keep me busy. Travel, food and people are my passion.

See my LinkedIn profile and connect here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukehcsimmons

Contact me directly at: luke@v1sam.com

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Alena Rostarova

Client Services Director

I was born and raised in Slovakia. After my University studies I have moved to the UK where I lived and worked as an au-pair for almost 5 years. When I returned back to Slovakia, I have entered the youth travel industry and been involved with it since then. I worked as a sales manager for a language school chain for over 7 years and was overseeing the region of Eastern Europe, Russia, CIS and Turkey. I had spent most of this time travelling and developing good work relationships with agents, but also schools. I truly love this industry and I have made some very good friends here.

I started to work for V1 Sales and Marketing in September 2016 and having known Sam for several years it was a very easy decision to join V1. I enjoy learning new things and find it very exciting to see this business from several different angles. Since I'm working from my home, I also appreciate the flexibility this job offers.

I spend most of my free time with my husband and our dog, I also love reading, gardening and watching films.

Contact me directly at: alena@v1sam.com

Team member pierspalmer

Piers Palmer

Digital Associate

I am a co-founder of Kyan, who are recognised as one of the UK's leading digital agencies and who exist and love to make products and experiences that are simple and beautiful to use. We design for people; everything we do is primarily about delighting the person connected to an experience, whether it's an employee using a business tool or a customer interacting with a website.

I cut my design teeth building interfaces for CD-ROMs (remember them?) back in the 90's and ever since have worked with some of the UK's biggest brands and startups to design, build, produce and manage digital platforms that have helped businesses realise their potential.

I have enjoyed working on some great projects with V1 so far, and we look forward to many more.

A fan of Futura Bold, comic books and a father to four daughters, I like to offset a burger and beer habit with mountain biking and long-distance dog walking. I have become a happy cliche.

Team member sally

Sally Pritchett

Design, Print & Video Associate

Often known as 'Tigger on Speed', Sally is passion in human form. Having spent her early career client side, getting thoroughly cheesed off with agencies not understanding her briefs, she decided to create an agency that brings that extra commercial acumen to their client's communication strategies. That agency is Something Big and we are delighted to entrust them with our own client's work when it comes to design, print and video/animation.

Team member sophia fergus

Sophia Fergus

Copywriting/Content Associate

I have been writing professionally for 13 years, specifically within the language travel sector since 2011. Five of these years I spent heading the marketing department of one of the world's most ambitious and recognisable language school brands. I find huge satisfaction in shaping language to build powerful brands and campaigns, and to create beautiful materials.

I'm also a qualified and passionate graphic designer, and for me no piece of communication hits the spot unless the written and the visual work in harmony. I love exotic travel and the food that goes with it, and I'm the published author of two children's books about dogs!

Team member boriana maurice

Boriana Maurice

Higher Education Associate

As a multilingual professional from the UK higher education sector, I specialise in international student recruitment, partnership development, and communications. I have completed a variety of roles at British universities, ranging from the creation, delivery and leadership of higher education programmes, through to the implementation of international expansion strategies. I successfully developed country-specific entry strategies in South-East Asia and Europe including partnership sourcing and agent network expansion leading to a growing institution's presence and penetration of international markets.

I can support cross-functional teams to define international development objectives and implement dissemination strategies and plans as part of EU and NATO funded projects.

Supporting international education providers to overcome new the challenges and create growth opportunities in an increasingly complex international environment is my passion. When I am not tackling global challenges I love challenging myself by climbing mounts across Europe or learning new languages.

In my free time I make a good companion for wine-tasting or authentic culinary experiences.

Team member nikki kieran

Nikki Kieran

CRM Associate

I've worked on both client and agency side in industries such as insurance, airline loyalty programmes, charities, sport and recruitment for education and the British Army. My experience has enabled me to understand both the agency and client side and take the best from a range of industries to benefit education.

I've always been passionate about combining customer experience with business objectives, so after I discovered CRM 15 years ago there was no going back. The principles are still the same but the CRM and Marketing Automation tools have advanced to offer more choice, flexibility and the need to understand data and processes like never before. I work with organisations at all stages of maturity, from choosing and implementing a CRM solution to improving a mature CRM programme.

Outside of work I'm kept busy by a little boy with a big personality! I relax by watching films (on the TV these days ), try to stay fit and very occasionally still get to go snowboarding.

Team member marcus hemsley

Marcus Hemsley

SEO Associate

I co-founded Fountain in 2008 with the aim of disrupting the Digital Marketing industry. As Creative Director, my vision and passion for evidence-based marketing helped build an award-winning approach that takes the risk out of Digital Marketing through accurate forecasting and data-driven analysis.

With a background in copywriting, I ensure our SEO service is at the forefront of best practice, leading a team of specialist consultants whose expertise ranges from technical SEO to online PR and link building.

We like to start by asking "how many new customers do you want through SEO?" and "how much are you willing to pay for each new customer?", working backwards to calculate the most profitable route to growth using extensive keyword and competitor research. I love my work. I'm always thinking about marketing – because it is about communication and sharing ideas in a way that is interesting and useful to the audience. Overall it's about being interested in other people, their lives, their experience and how they perceive the world.

Team member philip preedy

Philip Preedy

Quality and Assurance Associate

I have worked with inspection, accreditation and quality assurance schemes in the education industry for the last 30 years, both with national and international schools, colleges and educational institutions. I had considerable success, raising standards overall, prior to inspection and ensuring that "best practice models" are always replicated in the establishments that I work with. Outside of V1 I like to spend time with my family, children and grandchildren.