A DIRECTOR of a York PR and communications agency is celebrating 20 years with the company.

Karen Tinkler joined the Partners Group as an account executive in 1999 before being promoted to account manager and account director.

In 2006 she was part of a management buyout team with colleagues Monica Green and Jayne Davies who took over Partners from founder Hugh Venables.

“A good relationship with Hugh paved the way for a smooth buyout, but there was a big mindset shift to make from employee to employer. I also felt the pressure of buying an already successful business and making sure it stayed successful.

“What I quickly learned was that I had to put my own stamp on the business and not just carry on doing things just because that’s the way they had always been done.”

During her time with Partners, Karen has worked on projects ranging from Viking invasions to global business acquisitions and grassroots charity campaigns.

“It’s amazing to think 20 years have gone by since I joined Partners. So much has changed, both in my role here and in the PR industry over the last two decades, which means it’s stayed an exciting industry to work in.”

Karen spearheaded the company’s international work and is now chair of the International Public Relations Team, a network of independent PR consultants from around the globe delivering international publicity campaigns for SMEs.

She is also vice-chair of York Professionals and works with charities including MySight in York, where she is supporting the team to develop a publicity strategy.

The Partners Group recruited two new members earlier this year. The other team members have been with the company from three to 23 years.

Karen said: “I feel very lucky to work with fantastic people and with clients who understand how strong PR and digital campaigns can help them move their business forward.”

Established in 1988, The Partners Group works with clients in the manufacturing, professional services, food and drink, building and construction sectors throughout the UK, providing PR, digital and communications services.