MARKETING Cheshire, the agency promoting growth in Cheshire and Warrington, has appointed a new chief executive.

Katrina Michel joined as CEO last month. She has a strong marketing and business development background.

After leaving university she joined the Foreign Office but after five years moved into marketing roles at Publicis and Ogilvy before taking Cheetham Bell into the WPP group to revive the J Walter Thompson Manchester office. She was chairman of CBJWT from 2005-2007.

She has also worked in her own consultancy roles and has recently worked on projects for American Express and Unilever.

Katrina said: “I am delighted to be leading such a dynamic organisation, and to be promoting a region that has so many strengths.

“Cheshire is exceptional because of its businesses, people and experiences and I want to spread the message far and wide that Cheshire is the brightest star in the North.”

One of Marketing Cheshire’s early wins for 2013 includes major new short breaks campaign Romantic Cities, in partnership with VisitEngland.

Key players supporting Chester’s role in the campaign are Chester Grosvenor and Spa with its Michelin-star Simon Radley restaurant, Abode Chester with its Michael Caines restaurant and champagne bar and Chester Zoo.

The campaign will incorporate a range of national online, broadcast and print elements in partnership with network radio stations as well as national newspapers.

Katrina added: “Chester welcomes more than eight million visitors each year, from across the world, who have fallen in love with the city’s breathtaking buildings, fabulous shopping and irresistible restaurants.

“This campaign is a great example of the industry working in partnership to stimulate tourism and grow jobs throughout the country and I hope Chester will reap the benefits over the forthcoming year.”

Edward Pysden, chairman of Marketing Cheshire, said: “The board is delighted to appoint Katrina as Marketing Cheshire’s CEO. Katrina brings strong marketing skills and expertise from a competitive private sector background.

“In combination with the experience of our team we are expecting a strong and refreshed focus on marketing the undoubted strengths of Cheshire and Warrington.”