Wordsmith and stage lion – a rare combination. Having been in on the action at the forefront of the industry for almost 20 years, Bettina Gebhardt has seen all the relevant trends come and go. From 2010 to 2015, she was managing director at the international agency Grayling Schweiz AG (formerly Trimedia International). In addition to managing the location and advising national accounts, she was also responsible for winning and strategically developing international clients. Before that, she earned her spurs at leading agencies: Ahrens and Behrendt (today: A&B One), Hering Schuppener, Kothes Klewes (later: PLEON, today: Ketchum). It was during this time that she developed an absolute feel for all things “consumer”. Now she is setting the standard in all facets of brand communication. The university-trained art historian learned from scratch how to implement themes by storytelling. Having graduated from the rigorous school of the humanities, she effortlessly summarizes in key points the most complex topics of corporate communications. In media and crisis training seminars and strategy workshops, she finds herself in her element. When it comes to media work, she is a force to be reckoned with on the phone. Her common sense and an approach that is just down-to-earth enough enable her to bring these strengths to the table. In addition, she has a great deal of expertise in the Swiss and German markets in the areas of industry, food/beverage, tourism, bodycare and lifestyle. Bettina is a confident advisor at the management level and a sought-after sparring partner for clients. Her team appreciates what it is to be challenged by her. She maintains her mental and physical fitness by trail running in the German and Swiss mountains. To ensure she finds the right places when traveling, she keeps the Guide Michelin in her glove compartment. And there’s always a good book in her bag.
Gabi discovered her love of literature and language(s) at an early age. The magical world of Harry Potter fascinated her as much as learning foreign languages. A bachelor’s degree in English and German at the University of Zurich was therefore an obvious choice. Seized with city fever, Gabi then moved to London and completed her master’s degree in English Literature at University College London. The British Library, the numerous museums and the theatres became her second home there. Gabi first used her skills in working with language as an intern for an online magazine. Now she is enthusiastically doing the same for Kontx. But Gabi is not only known for her affinity for languages. She approaches new tasks with a great deal of creativity, applying unconventional ways of thinking. The power of stories and of storytelling influenced and inspired Gabi during her studies; she now incorporates this knowledge into her work on a daily basis. Although she rarely travels without a book, Gabi can also be found immersed in other activities – for example, in the gym playing volleyball, on the slopes in the wintertime or wherever there is good coffee.
After graduating from school, Michelle gained her first experience in the field of events and radio, where she worked as a moderator/presenter. It was here that she discovered her love for communication and finally decided to study journalism and communication at the University of Zurich. During her studies, Michelle worked in the service sector, earning money but also broadening her knowledge of human nature, which now benefits her in dealing with clients and colleagues. The knowledge she acquired during her studies now provides Michelle with the necessary tools for her work at Kontx Kommunikation, where she is valued on the team as a trainee. In everyday agency work, Michelle can break down complex issues and quickly find solutions. She is never at a loss for a creative solution. Michelle is a team player who always supports her colleagues, always willing to go the extra mile. But Michelle also lives out her creative potential apart from work; she loves cooking, for example. Nevertheless, she finds ways to maintain balance by being active – whether teaching Body Pump or Grit lessons at the gym, playing squash or running in the countryside.
On beginning her bachelor studies in media and communication at the University of Zurich, Nina knew she wanted to work in a communications agency one day. Since the fall of 2018, she has been part of the Kontx Kommunikation team as a trainee. She has been able to gain a lot of experience in a short period of time, adding something new every day. This is what makes Nina a highly motivated, dedicated colleague. Nina, responsible for her own small projects, actively supports the experienced consultants in developing campaigns. When it is time to develop creative ideas, Nina always has good ideas. Working together with Michelle, Nina also manages Kontx’s own social media channels. Her motto – “There is a solution for everything. You might just have to change your perspective” – makes sure she doesn’t shy away from problems. In her free time, strength and endurance training in the fitness center are simply part of the picture. For Nina, it’s the perfect balance to her daily university and professional life. She also loves good food, enjoys cooking with friends and trying out new restaurants.
Silke Conrad-Harris, having been exploring the world of communication for almost 20 years, is a communications professional to the core. Even during her studies in adult education, psychology and media, she knew her path would lead to communication. Silke manages even the most complex projects without losing sight of the details. In storytelling she skillfully speaks a clear language and succinctly conveys messages. Silke has worked for various well-known national and international agencies, such as komm.passion, PLEON (today Ketchum) and Hill & Knowlton, where she has held all the positions from trainee to senior consultant. It was during this time that she earned her spurs in brand communication, advising and looking after clients from the food & beverages, bodycare and lifestyle sectors. From 2010 to 2014 she developed the PR department of BCC Business Communications Consulting as managing director. There, she focused primarily on corporate communications, discovered her love of industry and sustainability issues, developed complex strategies and conducted coaching sessions for clients. At the beginning of 2015, Silke set out on a two-year trip around the world. She traveled four continents, learned languages and spent several months at a winery. However, she never lost her love for communication: joining Kontx Kommunikation as a partner after her return was a logical consequence. Silke is a confident, valued advisor for clients and employees alike. In her spare time, she goes jogging; when the wind conditions are right, she goes paragliding. When the weather is grey and cloudy, she simply needs a good book. And, if you ask her, there can never be a delicious meal without a good glass of wine.
Even before studying communication at the University of Zurich, Livio was out gaining his first professional experience in various fields. He realized early on that while communication is omnipresent, it is never the same. Years of working in the catering department of a football stadium and writing texts for the Tamedia sports desk taught him that the same event will not necessarily require the same language or appeal – that it always depends on the context. A football fan in the stands expects to be appealed to differently when ordering a beer than a commuter on a train wanting to keep up with the same football match via live ticker. Experiences in the field of live sports events, unique in their structure, have provided Livio with excellent training in producing creative texts that must accurately describe a situation but also, under time pressure, be error-free.
His master’s studies in journalism and communication finally anchored these experiences in a comprehensive theoretical context. Now, having gained a completely new perspective during an exchange semester in Japan’s capital of Tokyo, Livio feels perfectly equipped to meet the needs of Kontx clients. In addition to a fascination with challenging his own creativity, Livio pursues balance by traveling to distant cultures or exploring surrounding regions in his VW bus. Sports play an important role in Livio’s everyday life, whether he is outside for a run, working out at the gym or at Smolball practice with friends.
It was early in life that Lilian envisioned herself working in the media industry. At first her goal was to work for the St. Galler Tagblatt one day. In 2013 she began working on a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication. Having always been fully aware that a university degree does not finance itself, Lilian spent two years in a sales position at an H&M store. There she learned how to deal skillfully even with difficult customers and how to engage in sales and consulting talks. On completing her bachelor’s degree, she began work as a marketing assistant at an IT company, gaining initial experience in communications. She then returned to university. While working on her master’s degree, she spent a semester abroad in Vienna. There she came to know and love Viennese culture – and to navigate the notorious Viennese humor. Now at Kontx, she is able to put to use the knowledge she acquired in the course of her studies and her work in retail and marketing. In addition to her professional goals, Lilian places priority on spending time with her family. With three brothers and two little nephews, there is always something going on. So her favorite way to spend her free time is with her godson out on the playground. When she’s not with her family, Lilian is often seen with friends at the movies or at her craft table with her sewing machine, a hands-on outlet for her creative energy.