At Chief Nation, we bring together talent across marketing, data, creative, and – of course – events under one roof. In this series, we’re introducing you to the people that make your campaigns shine.

We’d like you to meet Craig McCartney today, one of our dedicated Managing Directors and self-proclaimed old millennial and brand ambassador of Chief Wine Officer, although the only thing he knows about wine is that he likes drinking it.

Craig loves kung-fu films and YouTube parties

You’re a Managing Director here at Chief Nation. Could you tell us what this means for you and your team?

We’ve got three MDs here – Richard and Laura, too – and our roles are split across various elements of the business. I’m responsible for marketing, sales and creative, as well as our other internal brands.

I work closely alongside our chairman, David Moore, to help drive the growth of the business. We’re lucky in the sense that Chief Wine Officer, our flagship event and networking experience, sells itself and the business grows on repeat customers, recommendations and each time our clients move companies.

David and I also work on refining our integrated service, which includes digital, and we’ve just launched a shiny new Chief Nation brand with a redefined ethos, offering and proposition.

Sharing champagne with Tim Peake
has been a highlight

Walk us through your average day.

To adjust to these new, remote working conditions, we’ve set up a number of team and companywide catchups at the start of each day to see what everyone is working on, what’s working well, where we have challenges and which client campaigns need an extra bit of love.

Normally I have a few sales calls scheduled in, plus a few client calls about existing programmes booked in. Any additional time is spent reviewing any new Chief Nation brand content.

As well as the brand refresh, it’s been a busy time for us with the launch of our exciting virtual event experience. I host up to two of these a week – they can take place anywhere, from the west coast of America through to Scandinavia.

Secret Santa…best day of Craig’s life

Curveball: favourite movie and why?

Kung Fu Hustle by Stephen Chow, although I haven’t seen it in years now. But I’ve watched it about 50 times so it kind of has to be my favourite movie by default. It was one of the first movies where I felt I was at one with the director and totally understood the conceptual way he told his story. Also, it had some great kung fu scenes.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Saying no to customers who want to buy our Chief Wine Officer events. These get booked up so far in advance that we sometimes turn away business – we’re only a small team and these events are very exclusive so we can only run a certain number per month.

I’m also not sure if people laugh at my jokes because I’m the boss, or because I’m funny so that is a challenge!

And the most rewarding part?

Working with the team . We have a lot of fun in and out of the office, and when people are happy they do great jobs – so it’s a win-win!

What’s the best present anyone ever gave you?

I’ve been known to moan about receiving sub-par presents, so one year, for Secret Santa, the whole office bought me the most random, rude, silly and useless set of gifts I have ever received. It was the best day of my life.

Do you have any hobbies? How do you unwind at the weekend?

Pubs, YouTube parties, golf and friends.

Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?


Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Once you’ve got a task to do, it’s better to do it than live with the fear of it.”

Logen Ninefingers, a character in The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie

What’s been your biggest accomplishment at Chief Nation?

I started as a digital marketing account manager, I then worked my way up and have since undergone an MBO. Officially I am now co-owner of the agency and one of five directors.

Plus, we signed the MBO paperwork the week Covid-19 hit and within a few days of becoming business owner we had to officially shut our doors.

We then created, sold and launched a brand new virtual event service within two weeks which means we’ve won loads of new clients, saved jobs, and thrived in a challenging climate.

Finally, what’s your favourite drink?

Purely judged by volume it has to be beer. Although Champagne is making a run for number one spot.

Interested in discovering more about our new digital to human approach to B2B networking?

You can get in touch with Craig directly, or head over to our Services page.