Meet the judges for Emerging Leaders 2021

By AdNews | 26 July 2021

AdNews is delighted to reveal the judges for this year’s Top 20 Emerging Leaders program.

This year sees a cross-section of industry leaders and people, culture and talent specialists determine who will make the coveted list.

Judging for the program will take place in August with the Top 20 Emerging Leaders revealed in the September/October edition of AdNews.

The overall winner will be announced at the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards on 28 October at The Ivy Grand Ballroom.

The winner of the Emerging Leader award will receive a year's subscription to AdNews, two tickets to an AdNews Live of their choice and an executive coaching program of six coaching sessions from The Transition Coach, with an opportunity to work on their professional goals and leadership development.

Know someone who deserves to make the list? Don’t miss out on nominating them here.

Read more on this year’s judges below:


Andrew Sherman - founder, The Transition Coach
Andrew Sherman is the founder of The Transition Coach and is an International Coaching Federation PCC accredited executive coach. The Transition Coach helps leaders successfully navigate professional transitions to thrive at work. Whether it is navigating a transition in leadership approach, providing support moving into a new leadership role or changing career direction, Andrew combines an evidence-based approach to coaching, with the benefit of practical leadership experience. Andrew is also a developmental coach for Sparro, Australia’s largest independent digital performance agency; and a founding coach for Huddle, which helps senior leaders gain clarity and stand out as they transition into a new role or change career direction.


Simon Hadfield - managing partner, DMCG Global
Simon is currently managing partner with DMCG Global, an international executive search and recruitment firm with eight offices around the world. He previously had a varied and rich career in advertising across Europe and Australia including stints with Saatchi & Saatchi London, DDB and BWM Dentsu in Sydney, the latter running Telstra for seven years as GM. He broadened out his experience into media, spending a few years with UM Sydney also. Simon is one of the industry’s smartest and most trusted operators, he understands the primacy and potency of great ideas to culture and brands, and possesses a keen, experienced eye for great talent only matched by his warm, engaging nature. He’s proud of his association with many award-winning campaigns and knows first-hand the challenges and rewards of building a successful and rewarding career in our industry.


Gai Le Roy - CEO, IAB Australia
Gai is the CEO of IAB Australia which is the peak advocacy, research and standards body representing digital media and advertising. Gai has worked in the media industry for 30 years and the digital ad industry since 1998. Prior to running the IAB Gai held senior data, strategy and research roles at Fairfax Media, Nielsen and ninemsn. Gai is a global leader in media strategy, effectiveness and measurement as well as building and managing teams that help close the divide between digital and traditional marketing.


Linda Wong - director, people, MFA 
A leader with deep agency experience and a passion for helping people grow, Linda has been in the industry for a long time. She started her career in media agencies and has spent the past decade and a half developing the MFA's world-leading people programs, working with inspiring individuals and leaders to ensure our industry is better at what we do. Her current projects involve leading the industry EVP and DEI strategies, to provide the framework for our industry to work better, be safe and inclusive, and ensure we all come to work as our true selves.


Davanh Inthachanh - director of people and culture, Seven
Davanh Inthachanh has more than 20 years’ HR experience and has led the people and culture team at the Seven Network for the past five years. In her role, she is responsible for driving change to develop and build a fully engaged and high performing team. Under Davanh’s leadership the people and culture team has helped to drive and enhance business performance by implementing people initiatives focused on employee engagement and performance and development. Davanh is passionate about developing individuals and teams. Davanh holds a Bachelor of Business from UTS and a Master of Human Rights from the University of Sydney.


Keeley Pope - CEO and founder, KPMR 
Keeley Pope founded her recruitment company, KPMR, in 2007 and has successfully recruited senior leadership talent within the marketing services, media, advertising and technology sectors throughout Australia and internationally since. A passionate and dedicated recruitment and talent acquisition specialist who strives to always provide recruitment solutions excellence to hiring managers and candidates at all levels. Keeley is a Commended Finalist in the Global Recruiter Asia Pacific Awards - Best Recruitment Consultant APAC category and is the Sydney leader for The Nappy Collective charity which helps families in crisis across Australia.


Robert Stone - chief people officer, Wunderman Thompson Australia
Rob is the chief people officer at Wunderman Thompson, where he is responsible for the agency’s most important asset - people! Rob was previously the chief talent officer at McCann Australia and McCann London. Rob played a critical role in McCann Worldgroup’s recent success, having helped to transform and diversify the agency’s approach to its people. Rob’s unique and forward-thinking to talent also played a significant role in converting global new business wins. He sat on the Global Diversity & Inclusion Coalition and was recognised by being asked to present evidence at The House of Lords regarding the benefits of an internationally diverse workforce in the wake of Brexit. Prior to McCann, Rob was the global talent partner for Adidas, based out of HQ in Germany. He oversaw the major sporting brand’s largest talent initiative in the history of the business. Rob was responsible for building and enhancing Adidas’ digital offering across Germany, Amsterdam, London, Brazil, Moscow, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai. Before his passion for talent, Rob fulfilled his childhood dream of playing for the Melbourne Tigers in the NBL from 2008 until 2010. Rob lives in Melbourne with his wife Annabel and their little boy Finley. He’s a British bulldog owner and serious sneaker collector!


Ellie Rogers - agency director ANZ, Facebook and Instagram 
Ellie is responsible for leading Facebook and Instagram’s agency business across media, creative, and consultancies. She has been part of Facebook ANZ’s leadership team for the last seven years, and has helped build the business here across Australia and New Zealand. Ellie has spent 20 years in digital marketing. Prior to joining Facebook, Ellie spent 13 years working at media agencies including Ikon and Profero. She started her career as a wheeler dealer TV buyer in London playing good cop in the TV negotiation game. She then joined a digital start up, Profero, where she was initially completely bamboozled by the lingo but then amazed by the creative possibilities and accountability that digital offered advertisers. She moved to Australia 14 years ago to join Ikon where she headed up their digital services including mobile, technology, data, search and social. She has been part of a number of award winning teams, and includes three Cannes Lions trophies on her virtual mantelpiece.


Belinda Lodge - CEO and founder, iPopulate
Belinda Lodge is a dynamic, respected, discerning and ultra-discreet advertising recruiter and founder of iPopulate Pty Ltd. Since launching her own company in 2009, Belinda has been behind some of the biggest agency/talent moves of the past decade making her the go-to headhunter in the industry.


Pauly Grant - chief talent officer, Publicis Groupe ANZ
Pauly Grant, chief talent officer at Publicis Groupe ANZ, is an innovative and strategic HR leader with a 20-year career that has spanned marketing, communications and the fashion industry. She has led the people and culture strategy for companies to deliver organisational transformation, new operating models, employee engagement, best practice L&D programs, safe and productive working environments, and holistic D&I strategies. In her role at Publicis Groupe, Pauly has been a strategic business partner to the Publicis ANZ CEO and coach to the agency CEOs/MDs across the ANZ business. She is a member of the Talent Executive Committee for Publicis International markets. Pauly is a creative problem solver who identifies and embraces new approaches to solve complex problems by leveraging new technologies and data. She is driven by helping people thrive both in their personal and professional lives, and believes companies that foster a culture enabling people to do their best work in turn drives exceptional business performance. Publicis Groupe, which employs more than 1,500 professionals in Australia and New Zealand, was named a winner in the prestigious 2021 HRD Employer of Choice Awards, and a Finalist in the 2020 Australian HR Awards in the Employer of Choice and Best Change Management Strategy categories.


Charmaine Moldrich - CEO, OMA and MOVE 
Charmaine has more than 30 years of experience in leadership, management, marketing, communications and business development across a variety of sectors including the arts, media, higher education, and government. Charmaine is uniquely positioned to lead industry growth in a rapidly-changing, technology driven world. Charmaine has been CEO of OMA and MOVE since 2010. Charmaine is a non-voting member and public officer on the OMA board, and an appointed director on the MOVE board.


Shiva Kumar - head of brand marketing and communications, Australia and New Zealand, LinkedIn 
Shiva currently leads LinkedIn’s communications efforts across Australia and New Zealand. In this role, he works closely with business and marketing teams to drive LinkedIn's brand awareness and share its story with members and customers. Shiva has over 18+ years’ experience in communications and brand marketing across Asia working with leading technology companies. During this time, he has led integrated communications strategies, crisis communications and reputation management programs via in-house and agency roles. He has had experience driving full-funnel brand marketing and consumer comms campaigns to generate awareness and consideration.


Manon Pietra - people partner, Canva
A HR leader with broad experience across media and advertising as well as tech, Manon is an expert in strategic talent engagement in fast-paced and ever-changing organisations. Featured on HRD’s Most Innovative HR Team list, Manon was recently awarded the Young Business Leader award in Campaign’s Women Leading Change Program. She is currently a people partner at Canva.

Entries close Wednesday 28 July at 4pm. The cost per entry is $75 plus GST. You can enter your next rising stars here.

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