Meet Thomas’ Movember Squad

25 November 2021
8 minute
Meet Thomas’ Movember Squad v2

This month, Thomas’ Movember team has taken follicular action in support of men’s health. In this blog, they talk candidly about the motivation behind their participation in Movember, and their favourite moustache-wearers.  

Matt Johns, Senior Product Marketing Manager

Matt J - Movember v2

Why are you participating in Movember?

I’ve seen friends and family members suffer with mental health issues as well as prostate and testicular cancer, and when I first started growing for Movember in 2006, I realised how little I knew about the focus areas of Movember. As a father, I wanted to make sure that I learnt about these so I could try to educate my son and prepare him for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

This is a toss-up between Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, but Tom Selleck nudges over the finish line just ahead of Burt Reynolds for pairing his with Hawaiian shirts and white shorts in Magnum PI (a brave fashion statement that I know I couldn’t get away with).

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be afraid of talking about how you feel – there’s no shame in feeling sad, lonely or upset. Also, don’t ever drink Imperial Honey Glazed Ham beer. Just don’t, it’s so wrong.

What do you want for Christmas?

I’d really love an electric car so I can try to reduce my carbon footprint further, but being realistic, a new pair of running shorts would be good too.

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

Seabrook’s Worcestershire Sauce flavour are amazing – thick, crunchy and tangy. My mouth is watering thinking of them now!

Simone Da Pont, Client Sales Consultant

Simone Da Pont - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

From my perspective there is a lot of attention on women and their mental health or mental health in general (which is great)! But I’ve noticed that it is a much bigger hurdle for the men I know to speak about their mental health. I was raised by a single father who rarely – if ever – spoke of his mental wellbeing and the trauma of losing his wife. The consequences of this unprocessed trauma are something I still deal with as a daughter on a daily basis. So it is extremely important to me to also direct energy towards men’s mental health and to create and nurture more safe spaces for openness about such things.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

Very difficult one as I fear I may start WWIII if I have to pick between my partner and my father, so both? 

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Kindness to others starts with kindness to yourself – you can’t pour from an empty cup.

What do you want for Christmas?

Although world peace and everyone being healthy and happy would be the PC answer (and I mean, who wouldn’t want that?!), I am actually saving for a Vitamix. So, if I’m being very open and transparent, that is what I’m secretly wishing for. Unfortunately, [in the Netherlands] Christmas isn’t a big celebration gift-wise, so I’m afraid I’ll just have to continue saving for it myself!

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

I very rarely eat crisps to be very honest, but you can definitely wake me up at night for any (of course vegan) cheesy flavoured crisps!

Sabby Gill, CEO

Sabby Gill - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

I lost my father to the dreaded disease that is cancer a number of years ago, and there is not a day goes by where I don’t think of him. He made me the man I am today, and I am eternally grateful for his encouragement to be the best me I can be.  You may wonder why I grow a beard as opposed to a moustache for the month of November. As you can see from this picture, for a month, it allows me to have a greater connection to one of the greatest men that ever lived.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

I have two. Nobody comes close to my first pick which is Albert Einstein – the man was a genius.  The second man is also regarded as a genius but for different reasons, and that has to be Ali G.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t sweat the small stuff, life’s too short. Challenge yourself in everything you do.  Believe in yourself, and so will everyone else.

What do you want for Christmas?

A time machine.

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

Salt & Vinegar Chipsticks, preferably crushed into smithereens.

Joe Sanchez, Chief Sales Officer

Joe S - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

Through some recent personal experiences, I have become more aware of mental health issues, and it has become a passion of mine to help where I can. I’ve discovered that it’s ok to say “I’m not ok.” I’ve been humbled by the willingness of my friends and colleagues to support me through times when I’m not at my best. All I had to do was share.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

Gotta be Tom Selleck…I do realise I am aging myself with that answer!

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Buy Apple stock. Okay, that and always strive to be focused, passionate, and kind. Don’t worry so much about money.

What do you want for Christmas?

My kids to get along…and a Theragun.

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps? 

Salt and Vinegar. Which wasn’t a ‘thing’ in the USA growing up. As soon as I tasted them, I was in love.

Nick Liddle, Digital Marketing Manager

Nick Liddle - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

To show my support and stand shoulder to shoulder with every bloke out there who has a story to tell or is battling through something.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

Borat – 100%.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t give two monkeys what everyone thinks, and the well-trodden path isn’t always the right one

What do you want for Christmas?

The kids to have an amazing time, lots of laughs, good food and quality alcohol…

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

Brannigans Beef and Mustard.

Stephen Pegler, Head of Sales Enablement

Steve P - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

Four years ago, life threw some serious curveballs at me and I had a nervous breakdown, resulting in a terrible period of depression. I'm lucky in that I recovered and now living a very healthy, happy life, but for 18 months I wasn't sure I would make it. A good friend of mine from university tragically took his own life a couple of years ago, leaving behind a partner and two kids. These events have made tacking mental health issues a lifelong cause for me.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

John Cleese as Basil Fawlty and (like Sabby) Sasha Bowen Cohen, but this time as Borat. Both comedy geniuses.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Think before jumping in headfirst, be careful who you marry, don’t follow the crowd, embrace uniqueness.

What do you want for Christmas?

Quality time with my daughter, family, and partner.

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

Tyrells cheese and onion.

Mark Akehurst, Business Development Manager

Mark Akehurst - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

I have personal experience of poor mental health. I have seen and experienced the significant challenges that mental health challenges can cause everyone but as guys talking and being open about our own issues does not come naturally to all of us (myself included). Movember provides a platform to start these tough conversations and more importantly, continue the discussion moving forwards.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

Salvador Dali - truly a work of art.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Questioning everything is good, but start with questioning and talking about your own feelings.

What do you want for Christmas?

Nice food, good beer my family all enjoying themselves and loads of laughs.

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

Scampi Fries - totally inappropriate for work (or most other situations to be honest!) but I LOVE THEM. Ironically, I hate real scampi!

John McGill, Integrations Manager

John McGill

Why are you participating in Movember?

Because men die too young for stupid reasons, because they don't know when or how to ask for help, when to go to the doctors, when to take it easy and when to go easy on themselves.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

Ian Rush, what a legend.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

I wouldn't change anything. For one, the young me wouldn't listen, and secondly it's the 'wrong' turns and the stumbles that have brought me here, and I can't complain.

What do you want for Christmas?

Sleep. 

What’s your favourite flavour of crisp?

Cheese and Onion...That's everyone's fave, isn't it?

Hein Jan Lapidaire, Regional Director Asia

Hein Jan - Movember

Why are you participating in Movember?

My father suffered from prostate cancer in the nineties. After a rigorous surgery, he was able to extend his life with another fifteen years. Though treatment impacted his quality of life, at least he was able to enjoy his retirement. Many people are not that lucky (if you can reasonably call it lucky). Several family members and friends died too early due to too-late diagnoses of prostate or testicular cancer. I am participating in Movember to raise awareness of this, and all forms of awful cancer. You only have one life. Check your self regularly and listen to your body, especially when you are coming to a ‘certain age’.

Who’s your favourite moustache wearer?

I wore a moustache in my twenties. At that time, it looked ridiculous on me. Maybe it was because of the tremendous popularity of Freddie Mercury and other icons who grew a moustache. It was only in Movember 2020 that I started to grow facial hair again. But my favourite of many years ago for all kinds of reasons is Freddie Mercury!

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Keep things in perspective. Excel in your areas of strength, but don’t be too hard on yourself if something is not working. Be proud on what you accomplish!

What do you want for Christmas?

Easy one. I hope that, despite all the COVID restrictions, I can travel to the Netherlands to celebrate Christmas with my loved ones!

What’s your favourite flavour of crisps?

My favourite (see the picture) is Kettle Chips Salt & Vinegar, but maybe Kettle’s Honey Dijon is even better... 

Sponsor the team and support men’s health here: Movember - Team 

Hein Jan - crisps
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