Born and brought up in Edinburgh, Tonya spent her student years acquiring an LLB, a Dip LP and an MBA from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities. She also acquired an Equity card from a spot of board-treading in theatrical comedy revue and as a singer in a series of ‘never-quite-likely-to-make-it’ bands.
After university Tonya moved into a client account management role at the global HQ of leading advertising agency, JWT, in London where she spent two hectic years of pitching and developing TV, Print and radio campaigns for a broad range of blue-chip clients including Unilever, Allied Breweries and several government agencies.
Tonya then moved back up to Scotland, to try something different and spent two years as a music presenter with Northsound Radio in Aberdeen, before getting the opportunity of a year-long stint as a DJ at Capital Radio on the shores of the Indian Ocean, in South Africa.
On returning to the UK, Tonya joined the BBC as a staff presenter with the award-winning News and Features team at BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Following her success down south Tonya returned to Edinburgh, taking on a mainline presenter role at Radio Forth.
During her 16 years at Forth House, Tonya broadcast a variety of music, talk and interview programmes and enjoyed chewing the ‘on-air’ fat with a host of politicians, writers and celebrities, ranging from Lionel Richie and Westlife to the likes of Ben Elton, Gordon Ramsay and Alexander McCall Smith. She also continued to work regularly, as live compere at a wide variety of large scale public events including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, The Bank of Scotland Fireworks, Truckfest and Fringe Sunday, as well at more intimate events like product launches, family events and roadshows.
Along the way, Tonya spent several years as a newspaper columnist and features writer with a variety of publications and as a part-time college lecturer in Business and Management - which led to work in presentation and communication skills training.
As a CIPD certified practitioner in Learning and Development and an experienced stage performer, Tonya enjoys working on both entertainment and learning events for a diverse range of private clients and organisations including The City of Edinburgh Council, Waterstones, Baillie Gifford, Talisman Energy, Scottish Water, Business Stream, Axis Shield, Unique Events and The Edinburgh Moonwalk.
Tonya is a total professional and her preparation for any event is meticulous. She is a superb host and facilitator whose knowledge and experience enables her to deliver impactful and effective events for a wide range of client activities, including conferences, staff events, skills training, awards ceremonies and corporate dinners.
“Articulate and perceptive, Tonya is a skilled presenter whose warm, empathic style engages with delegates of all levels. I would have no hesitation in recommending Tonya to other clients as a presenter and facilitator.”
Chris Wallace, Director of Communications, Scottish Water