I’m Dan and I’m an Account Manager on the B2B team here at SITA. I help clients secure opportunities for content in the trade media and create it. I also deliver my own brand of unique humour to team meetings and everyone* loves it.

Nearly two years in and, goodness me, how time has flown. It’s been somewhat of an eye-opener since the early days of switching from working for a publisher to creating the content that I used to hack to pieces and thinking “how different can it be?” I’ve gone from largely wondering what on earth is going on to possessing a mild grasp on the day-to-day and leading several accounts. The highlight has to have been discovering that I’m not the oldest person at SITA. Stewart Darkin actually holds that honour by a couple of months. I’m delighted, as we often say in PR…

First ‘proper’ job if you don’t count washing up in pubs and pulling pints! Through a family friend, I was offered a year’s work as initially an office junior working for a distributor of amusement equipment and ended up staying for four, culminating in managing one of the arcades that the company operated. Rochdale vs HK? The level of spoken English was/is probably better in the former British colony. While picking up a not nearly adequate competence in spoken Cantonese I also developed a weird transatlantic accent, which was the subject of much ribbing on my return to Lancashire.

I was incredibly lucky. As 19 year old obsessed with video games working in one of the busiest arcades in the world during the ‘90s renaissance of coin-op? It couldn’t have been scripted any better! Life took me away from that sector eventually but I returned in 2017 to work for InterGame, writing about the industry that I loved. It was only a short shuffle sideways into iGaming and sports betting but it’s an industry that is fantastically buoyant and fast-paced. Just right for a young buck like me…

Ha! This one is going to paint a target on my back. It’s an easy one though. Cats are perhaps the lowest maintenance ‘proper’ pets you can have. I’ve got two daughters so that’s enough responsibility right there. Cats don't smell, yap, require bathing or walking and don’t eat or roll around in excrement. (I’m comparing them to dogs, not my daughters) They’re also the only animal species that I’m convinced are secretly plotting to rise up and overthrow humans. So I want to be on the right side of any potential feline armageddon.

I don’t really go in for the high-end modern art masterpieces that you often see on there but I’ve got a few very solid dishes that I like to flex quite often, including a prawn and rocket linguine, Singapore noodles and a killer spaghetti and mozzarella-stuffed meatballs! I like tinkering with condiments too and have always got pots of chimichurri or barbeque sauce on the go. The spicier the better!

I’m not sure the word count is sufficient for those epic tales! However, in 2002, I was rescued from a faulty elevator (along with a dozen other people) in the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas that we’d been stuck in for over four hours by the LVFD. We had to climb out of the car into the elevator shaft and jump onto an adjacent car while in between the 100th and 101st floors. All very Hollywood. Skip forward to 2012 and my family and I were evacuated from our apartment in Marbella by excitable Spanish firefighters at 2am as a huge hill fire approached our complex. I ended up on Channel 5 news retelling the drama. I got my hat trick a year later while on a boat tour around the Pembrokeshire coast in South Wales. The vessel struck a rock, started to take on water and began to list badly. Two lifeboats, a police launch and an RAF helicopter later, all 50 people were safely ashore. Made BBC Radio 5 and various other news outlets. Maybe that’s why I’m now in the job I am? Who knows, but the moral of the stories clearly is, don’t go on holiday with me.

It normally doesn’t take much for that to happen, unfortunately for everyone else. But despite the fact that my shower-standard vocal ability would see me horrendously shown up by anyone with a modicum of actual talent, I guess I’d have to say anyone from Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Jack Black or Stevie Wonder. It’s a list as eclectic as my taste in music!

I’m a huge fan of single player, narrative-driven games, with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us probably my all-time favourite - one of the few games that had me completely invested in the characters and their journey. For me, it’s somewhat of a landmark in video gaming; games of its ilk have developed it as a media format into one that surpasses revenue from movies and music combined. For a long time now, it’s no longer something that's just "for kids".