Team

Meet the Freshwalks team. We are a collective team of individuals who share a passion for the great outdoors and the wonderful North, not only for its impressive history and natural beauty, but the resilient beehive that forms its business community. Together we are on a mission to get the business people of the North – and beyond – walking and talking more.

Michael Di Paola

Founder

Michael Di PaolaFounder
Michael Di Paola -  Founder

Michael is a co-founder of award-winning brand agency, Studio North, having started the business over 15 years ago in Manchester city centre.

Today, Michael is well known in the local business community for connecting people and ideas through a myriad of branded networks and regular events such as TwitFaced, Betworking and more recently Freshwalks. Always leading from the front with the purpose of bringing together like-minded souls for their commercial benefit and personal enjoyment.

In addition to these ventures, Michael is an ambassador for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital charity, an alumni of Forever Manchester and provides brand consultancy to Prevent Breast Cancer.

He was a member of Insider’s prestigious 42 Under 42 list in 2012 and was recognised as the inaugural Man of the Year in 2013 by Downtown Manchester in Business. Peer Index ranked Michael as the most influential Manchester businessperson on Twitter in 2014.

Michael leads out on Freshwalks routes knowing how to both welcome and connect people, putting first-timers or nervous networkers at immediate ease and playing corporate cupid whenever necessary.

Michael Di PaolaFounder
Michael Di Paola -  Founder

Marketing

Daniella Russo

Marketing and Corporate Partnerships Manager

Daniella RussoMarketing and Corporate Partnerships Manager
Daniella Russo -  Marketing and Corporate Partnerships Manager

Daniella is a freelance marketing consultant based in Manchester and Cheshire.

Having worked in the health and fitness sector for over nine years, Daniella has a deepened appreciation for both the physical and mental benefits of Freshwalks and is a beaming advocate of all that we stand for: seeking inspiration from her ever-changing surroundings and networking on the move wherever she goes.

Since joining Freshwalks in 2017, Daniella has gone on to graduate from University with a First Class Degree in BA Marketing (Hons), obtained diplomas in ‘Digital Marketing’ and ‘Innovation and Creativity in Marketing,’ CIM qualifications and built an eclectic portfolio: supporting clients with everything from training to strategy. Looking forward, she hopes to support Freshwalks in its mission to make the business community happier and healthier.

Daniella RussoMarketing and Corporate Partnerships Manager
Daniella Russo -  Marketing and Corporate Partnerships Manager

George Royle

Marketing Executive

George Royle -  Marketing Executive

George Royle is a Marketing student with plans for a career within Digital Marketing ahead.

Having recently graduated with a First Class Degree in Business and Marketing (Hons) at Manchester Metropolitan University, George is looking forward to taking the next step in his journey this September – undertaking a Masters in Marketing (to be completed by Summer 2021).

George’s passion for Freshwalks stems from his love of the great outdoors and meeting new people, with the physical and mental benefits this brings.

Since joining Freshwalks in 2019, George has enjoyed dipping his toes into the marketing world – relishing the opportunity to create and deliver email campaigns and provide ongoing social media support. This introduction has helped confirm George’s aspirations for a successful career in Marketing and sparked an interest to branch out and support more clients going forward.

 

George Thompson

Marketing Executive

George Thompson -  Marketing Executive

Digital Marketing enthusiast, George Thompson, is currently a full-time student at Manchester Metropolitan University. George has undertaken a position as a Marketing Executive at Freshwalks alongside his studies to put theory into practice and help us on our mission to grow into new territories. 

Having recently graduated with a First Class Degree in Sports Marketing (Hons), George is looking forward to undertaking a Masters in Marketing (to be completed by August 2021). This will support him in his pursuit of an exciting career in the realms of Digital Marketing.

Since joining Freshwalks in 2019, George has quickly grown in confidence and skill – delivering content across social media platforms, working as a team to revise strategy and, personally, by curating creative posts on his personal blog. This introduction has helped confirm George’s aspirations for a successful career in Digital Marketing and has motivated him to connect with people within the marketing world – learning from them and broadening his horizon for both personal and professional development.

George’s passion for Freshwalks stems from fond memories of trips to the Lake District with his family when he was younger and his appreciation for meeting new people whilst reaping the physical and mental benefits that Freshwalks brings.

Walk Leaders

Carolyn Delehanty

Partner - Freshwalks Classic

Carolyn DelehantyPartner - Freshwalks Classic
Carolyn Delehanty -  Partner - Freshwalks Classic

Carolyn Delehanty of Delehanty Consulting is a Customer Experience Consultant specialising in vulnerable customers.  With a wealth of commercial and customer knowledge from numerous sectors, she set up Delehanty Consulting in 2019 and now helps responsible businesses improve the experiences of their vulnerable customers/users leading to happy colleagues, customers and shareholders/trustees.

After joining a Freshwalks event in the North West, Carolyn was so inspired that she set the wheels in motion to bring the concept to the East Midlands.  Carolyn enjoys walking and loves meeting new people so is great at making people feel relaxed and part of the Freshwalks’ family right from the outset.

Join Carolyn in the stunning countryside of the East Midlands which is rich in heritage, wildlife and fauna so something for everyone. Carolyn prefers steady, mostly flat walks with interesting things to see along the way.

Carolyn DelehantyPartner - Freshwalks Classic
Carolyn Delehanty -  Partner - Freshwalks Classic

John Knott

Partner - Freshwalks Classic

John KnottPartner - Freshwalks Classic
John Knott -  Partner - Freshwalks Classic

John Knott is the MD of Zola Systems. As a highly-experienced .net, MVC, SQL Server, Umbraco developer, John specialises in information design and creating systems that capture, analyse and present data in an easy to understand layout aimed at all user levels.

After being a keen advocate for Freshwalks for a number of years and placing consistently on our Freshwalks’ leader board, John made the leap to become a Walk Leader to extend and introduce our community to the beauty on his doorstep in Northern Manchester and Rochdale.

No stranger to a challenge, John also loves to push himself and give back along the way – participating in various hiking challenges for charities such as The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research. This has helped provide him with an understanding of how to fit training in with a busy lifestyle and young family, as well as the resilience required to succeed.

As a Scout Leader, John is well practiced in navigating exciting terrains, aiding group boding and teamwork and ensuring that no one is left behind! If you’re considering joining John for a walk in his Northern Manchester territory, be assured you’ll be in great company and have plenty of support from our friendly Walk Leader.

John KnottPartner - Freshwalks Classic
John Knott -  Partner - Freshwalks Classic

John Shinnick

Partner - Freshwalks Private

John ShinnickPartner - Freshwalks Private
John Shinnick -  Partner - Freshwalks Private

John is a portfolio Non-Exec Director, currently with five appointments helping organisations to solve problems and identify opportunities. Separately, John also coaches and mentors four or five CEOs or Managing Partners at any one time. Current assignments range from FTSE100 to professional services firms.

A Grant Thornton Partner for just short of 21 years; all spent working with dynamic people to make their businesses great; 12 years of which also involved leading Grant Thornton locations.

John has the technical capabilities and expertise that comes with this professional services background, but his focus has increasingly been on commercial negotiation and strategy, getting the very best out of people and teams. To support this, John is an NLP Practitioner and European Mentoring and Coaching Council qualified.

John is also a Trustee of MAG, (Mines Advisory Group), a non-governmental organisation that assists people affected by landmines, unexploded ordnance, and small arms and light weapons.

Recently reigniting his love of the great outdoors through Freshwalks, John is also a highly-skilled, commercial photographer who regularly captures the essence of Freshwalks through images of both people and landscapes. He also holds a National Navigation Award accreditation. 

John ShinnickPartner - Freshwalks Private
John Shinnick -  Partner - Freshwalks Private

Katya Willems

Partner - Freshwalks Classic

Katya WillemsPartner - Freshwalks Classic
Katya Willems -  Partner - Freshwalks Classic

Katya Willems of Easyinstamcr has been a familiar face to Freshwalks for quite some time now. Her career is jam-packed full of #moments: enlightening her clients as an Instagram trainer, capturing stunning photos on the move, gaining inspiration from her surroundings and even running her own networking events.

Having consistently placed on our leader board in recent years and acted as an advocate of Freshwalks to her friends and colleagues, it was no surprise that Katya agreed to come on board to help us lead a VERY EASY series of Freshwalks Classic events. Katya is the perfect, welcoming face that will make you feel at ease on your first walk. Expect an easy pace and plenty of photo stops to catch up with your thoughts or enjoy the view… after all, she is a photography fanatic!

One thing Katya has always adored is watching the magic that happens when you brings strangers together. We’d love if you would check it out for yourself by joining her on her next easy route as Walk Leader.

Katya WillemsPartner - Freshwalks Classic
Katya Willems -  Partner - Freshwalks Classic

Tour Guides

Philippa Vishnyakov

Partner – Freshwalks City

Philippa VishnyakovPartner – Freshwalks City
Philippa Vishnyakov -  Partner – Freshwalks City

Philippa Vishnyakov is a qualified Green Badge Tour Guide for Manchester and an Associate of the Institute of Tourist Guiding. She has been taking groups of Mancunians, Greater Mancunians and guests from further afield, on tours around the city since 2009.

Philippa has featured on TV (BBC2 Great British Railway Journeys) and radio (BBC World Service, Manchester Radio Online, BBC Radio Manchester) talking about Manchester, a city of pioneer, protest and performance.

Philippa VishnyakovPartner – Freshwalks City
Philippa Vishnyakov -  Partner – Freshwalks City

Sue McCarthy

Partner - Freshwalks City

Sue McCarthyPartner - Freshwalks City
Sue McCarthy -  Partner - Freshwalks City

Sue McCarthy has been an official Manchester tour guide since 2008, but has worked in the tourism industry for much longer. Her experience includes tour management, tour operations and teaching.

An adopted Manc; she is an ambassador for the city and proud to show it off to visitors from all over the world. Sue regularly works with travel journalists, conference guests, student groups, sports fans, families and tour operators.

Every guest and every tour is different, which makes the job so fascinating. The skill is trying to make sure that each visitor (or local) gets the most out of their time in Manchester.

Sue is registered with the Institute of Tourist Guiding (ITG) and a member of Marketing Manchester. She is qualified to guide in French.

Sue McCarthyPartner - Freshwalks City
Sue McCarthy -  Partner - Freshwalks City