Meet the team

Find out more about the team behind Gloucestershire’s most innovative media company.

Innovation Hub

James Fyrne

Group Publisher

Background: James grew up in Gloucestershire’s but moved away for his undergraduate degree at at Royal Holloway University of London, PGDip at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, followed by working as a PR in London and journalist in Dubai, before returning to his home county to launch SoPublishing.
James’s role: James is responsible for SoPublishing’s commercial success and continued business development. He manages the Advertising Hub, oversees special projects and works closely with our designer, videographer and web development agency.
SoPublishing career highlight: Test driving supercars, sharing stories with Marco Pierre White over dinner and flying helicopters at Gloucestershire Airport – and winning the Footgolf #SoGlosChallenge, of course!
On the weekend: Days out with his children Elijah, Ada and Abel, DIY, and rekindling his love for filmmaking.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Kingsholm Stadium.
Loves: Work, real ale, whiskey sours, his Weber barbeque and the film Magnolia.
Hates: Moths.
Ultimate bucketlist: To get on The Island with Bear Grylls for a nice relaxing few weeks away.
Yes, really!: James’ surname used to be Fryer until until he meshed it with Michelle’s, originally a ‘Byrne’, when they tied the knot. Fryer and Byrne made Fyrne!

Michelle Fyrne

Group Editor
Background: Michelle co-founded SoPublishing in 2007, returning to her home county of Gloucestershire after living in London and the Middle East. She has worked as a writer on titles including The Guardian, The Evening Standard and Time Out Dubai during her 15-year media career, and gained a postgraduate diploma from City University’s prestigious Journalism School and a History and Politics degree from Queen Mary University of London.
Michelle’s role: Michelle steers the editorial direction of SoPublishing’s titles, oversees marketing strategy, and drives the company’s ambitious growth plans. She also writes reviews and has a slight obsession with Instagram.
SoPublishing highlight: Creating the original concept for SoGlos on the back of a napkin at the top of the Burj Al Arab – it was the first small step in an exciting entrepreneurial journey.
On the weekend: As well as bringing up her sons Elijah and Abel and daughter Ada, Michelle is busy renovating a dusty Georgian money pit in Cheltenham. She grows veg, loves trying out new restaurants and mixes a mean mojito.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Pittville Park.
Loves: Wes Anderson films, interior design magazines, milky tea and scallops.
Hates: Mice and noisy eaters.
Ultimate bucketlist: To visit 40 countries before turning 40 – six countries to go, but she’s not saying how many years are left…
Yes, really!: Michelle was once chased by a wild lion on a walking safari in South Africa.

James Denley-Dufton


Background: James has worked as an in-house designer for a number of tour operators, including leading the design team at luxury travel specialists Abercrombie & Kent.
James’s role: James makes things look pretty. Not afraid of a bit of white space, he enjoys getting client’s messages across through clean, clear and compelling design.
SoPublishing highlight: Developing the SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards SGGLA brand, and all the collateral that went with it, which reached 1.2 million people across social media in 2018.
On the weekend: Weekends are mainly family time with his sons Felix and Fox, and wife Sarah. Given the chance he’ll find places to throw himself down on his mountain bike. Given a babysitter, he’ll go to dinner with Sarah or listen to metal music at Two Pigs.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Forest of Dean downhill tracks.
Loves: Mountains, rare steak, mouldy cheese.
Hates: Trash TV, waiting, football.
Ultimate bucketlist: Tour Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia on a motorbike.
Yes, really! James shares a birthday with Jimi Hendrix (day and month, not year).

Barney Witts


Background: Barney has been a videographer for four years and in that time built up a client list that includes Enterprise Rent a Car and Greenman Festival. He recently won an award for Best Business Video in the Stroud District TV Awards, and also works as a community musician for The Music Works, a charity which helps young people find their creativity.
Barney’s role: Shooting and editing the slickest, most inspiring and viral videos in Gloucestershire as part of SoGlos’s event showcase and business showcase services.
SoPublishing highlight: Filming the lovely people at Cafe Rene in Gloucester and getting to know the friendly SoPublishing team in our Cheltenham offices.
On the weekend: Going to gigs and festivals, producing music and doing bad DIY around the house. Walking other people’s dogs because he hasn’t got a dog yet!
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: For food Falafel Mama in Stroud, and for a drink it would be The Prince Albert in Rodborough.
Loves: Anything pickled, beer and basslines.
Hates: People who are always late.
Ultimate bucketlist: To buy a boat and sail the seven seas.
Yes, really! Whilst filming The Village People on stage, Barney had a feather put in his hair and had to dance in front of 10,000 people.

Editorial Hub

Melissa Hamblett

News Editor

Background: After studying Broadcast Journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, Melissa began her career working for a number of UK radio stations, including Heart, The Breeze and Jack FM, as a news reader and producer. Before joining SoGlos, Melissa spent five years working for the BBC as a broadcast journalist and social media manager.
Melissa’s role: Leading the Editorial Hub team by example, writing an array of engaging content from news articles to hot lists, planning forward features and liaising with clients to provide great content marketing solutions. As well as driving SoGlos’s social media channels forward.
SoPublishing Highlight: Being lucky enough to review some of the county’s top eateries and attractions for SoGlos. Melissa’s favourites have included The White Spoon, The Ox Steakhouse and The Maytime Inn; with wonderful days out at Hatherley Manor Spa and Slimbridge.
On the weekend: You’ll most likely find Melissa clambering through the county’s soft play centres with her son Max, and husband James. Or occasionally behind the decks at Cheltenham Rock Club, 2 Pigs.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Gloucester Guildhall.
Loves: Disney, pancakes with Nutella, roller coasters and lipstick.
Hates: Peanuts and rude people.
Ultimate bucketlist: To one day run a B&B in Croyde, North Devon and wake up to a view of the ocean.
Yes, really!: Melissa has a half sleeve tattoo entirely dedicated to Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

Sophie Bird

Senior Staff Writer

Background: Sophie grew up in Malvern and studied English Language and Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire where she fell in love with Cheltenham. Her career has included writing sharp editorial copy for a national blood cancer magazine and creating successful social media campaigns.
Sophie’s role: Sophie joined SoPublishing back in January 2017 and writes a whole range of exciting content ranging from competitions to hot lists. She also manages SoGlos’s Facebook page and creates lots of content for SoGlosWeddings.
SoPublishing highlight: Reviewing some of the loveliest places across the county in the SoGlos team challenges.
On the weekend: After an early morning run, you’ll likely to find Sophie tucking into brunch in town. She loves whipping up a storm in the kitchen and making cakes for everyone to try. In the evenings, Sophie loves a full house of friends and family so she can cook up a big roast dinner.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Pittville Park
Loves: Delicious coffee, pancakes, running leggings and pretty stationery.
Hates: Stilton, clutter and tofu!
Ultimate bucketlist: Visiting the glow worm caves in New Zealand.
Yes, really!: Sophie collects rubber ducks and has over 25 so far.

Becky Boxwell

Advertising Campaign Manager

Background: Becky grew up in Cheltenham and began her career in advertising as a marketing apprentice, winning Gloucestershire’s Business Apprentice of the Year award. She has since gone on to work with some of the largest companies in the county, designing and implementing successful marketing campaigns.
Becky’s role: Becky joined SoPublishing in October 2018 and helps to look after our clients’ campaigns on a day-to-day basis, as well as managing display advertising across the SoGlos website.
SoPublishing highlight: Trying delicious food during SoGlos team reviews at new restaurants in Gloucestershire.
On the weekend: You’ll most likely find Becky going for brunch with friends, spending all her money on new clothes and shoes, or exploring new places in the Cotswolds on long walks with her family.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Cleeve Hill Common
Loves: Prosecco, glitter, and perfectly winged eyeliner.
Hates: Waiting for anything.
Ultimate bucketlist: To go snorkelling in Bora Bora.
Yes, really!: Becky has an A-Level in Physics and originally wanted to become an Engineer!

Advertising Hub

Sophie Lucas

Advertising Hub team leader
(currently on maternity leave)

Background: Sophie grew up in the Cotswolds and joined SoPublishing after an eight-year career in the property industry, coming directly from her role as senior sales negotiator at one of Gloucestershire’s most successful estate agencies.
Sophie’s role: Sophie is a senior member of the Advertising Hub team, where she looks after a broad portfolio of clients across the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire.
SoPublishing highlight: Sophie says the variety she experiences every day in her role is her real highlight. Helping all different kinds of businesses grow means each day holds something totally different.
On the weekend: Sophie is a real foodie and spends her weekends in Cotswold pubs, Cheltenham restaurants and wandering around Stroud farmers’ market.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: At the top of the hill behind her cottage in Pitchcombe, enjoying the incredible views of the Slad Valley.
Loves: Sundays, seafood… well, all food, country walks, candles and Christmas!
Hates: Marmalade and spiders.
Ultimate bucketlist: Travel to Iceland to see the Northern Lights and bathe in the Blue Lagoon.
Yes, really!: Sophie has met the queen.

Terri Chapman

Senior Advertising Consultant

Background: Terri joined SoPublishing straight from Andrews Estate Agents’ Cheltenham branch, where she progressed to senior sales negotiator after two and a half years with the company – winning the accolade of best sales person for Gloucestershire in 2016, no less. Although she’s still annoyed at only placing second in the south west!
Terri’s role: As a senior advertising consultant, Terri works with business in and around Gloucestershire, providing a consultancy-led service to help them grow and attract new customers.
SoPublishing highlight: Meeting an exciting array of businesses since joining the company, and already helping everything from pubs and restaurants to hotels, shops and festivals with their marketing.
On the weekend: Catching up with friends, trying new places for dinner and watching the latest films.
Favourite place in Gloucestershire: Prinknash Abbey.
Loves: Literally all food, cider, country walks, deer and weekend getaways.
Hates: Clowns, and people who randomly change direction while walking.
Ultimate bucketlist: To visit Salar de Uyuni, the Bolivia salt flats.
Yes, really!: Terri crashed the set of Mission: Impossible – Rouge Nation twice whilst on a weekend away in London.

Would you like to join the SoPublishing team?
See for details of current opportunities.