In our second to last installment of all the winners form the B&T 30 Under 30 Awards, we bring you the five sizzling specialists who are killing it in their respective fields.
In case you’d missed it before, make sure you also take a gander at the media agency guns, the digital gurus, the media peeps and the advertising and design luminaries. And come back Tuesday to give a big wave to the marketing and PR winners.
Sally Hickson – content director at bohemia group
Sally is no stranger to B&T’s numerous awards! She was nominated as a finalist in 2015’s Women in Media Awards and has had her ingenious work showcased at the annual B&T Awards. Hailing from New Zealand, Sally entered the media industry as an account exec at creative agency powerhouse Whybin\TBWA. After 14 months she was doing such a stellar job she was promoted to account manager. However the call of overseas entered her being and whisked her off on a year abroad.
Upon returning, OMD snagged her as communications manager. Her standout moment was leading McDonald’s sponsorship of reality singing show X Factor. Off the back of this she successfully conceptualised and pitched Jacob’s Creek’s first ever brand funded TV partnership with Channel 7. To top off that year, she was selected a finalist in the MFA NGEN awards.
Currently Sally’s got her hooks in Bohemia Group as a content director. According to her boss and Bohemia’s CEO Brett Dawson, it’s hard to keep a smile off her dial. “She has that unique ability to bring people along for the ride with here, learning and laughing all the way to great client outcomes,” he says.
Now, Sally enters her fifth year of the media industry and while it’s given her much enjoyment, gender equality and workplace diversity are the two areas she stresses needs changing.
“If we don’t act soon, we will struggle to attract and retain female talent, our organisations will not have a rich bank of diverse perspectives in all areas of decision-making and I will lose the wonderful women mentors I so deeply value as part of my professional development,” she says.
However, with leadership skills solidly under her belt, Sally is well-placed to surge ahead and bring change to the industry. Watch this space!
Lindsay Rogers – Business director at Chello
While her career started smack in the middle of the GFC, meaning the company she wanted to work for couldn’t offer her a job, Lindsay was unperturbed. She moved to Pusher (now Publicis), Pacific Magazines and later onto production manager at Take One Productions. But in July 2014 she teamed up with her business partner to launch a brand new creative content agency called Chello.
“We started off with the two of us, two personal laptops and a bunch of enthusiasm,” she says. “Now, 18 months in, we have a team of nine full time staff, over 45 clients which include nine not for profits, something we’re purposeful and proud to be able to support.”
Lindsay’s way of thinking and skill earned her an incredible stint at Executive Bootcamp in Design Thinking over at Stanford. That was in September 2014, and in the same month Chello won its first international client, United Airlines. The agency was up against two global creative agencies and came out on top.
If that wasn’t enough to celebrate, just over a year later Lindsay nabbed the title of Telstra Young Businesswoman for NSW. It was down to the growth of Chello in such a short space of time.
Lindsay has a firm belief good ideas come from a vast range of sources in the industry. You can’t just look at what others are doing and copy, you need to search, look for patterns and weave ideas together.
Tom Walter – creative strategist at Tumblr
He’s only a quarter of a century old and yet he’s part of the Aussie creative strategy team at one of the biggest social media platforms. As the first employee outside of the US Tom is entrusted with Tumblr’s commercial strategy, a team of strategists and 4.6m visitors each month. No pressure or anything.
When he was a young lad of 19 he nabbed a copywriting job while finishing completing his university degree. In 2012 he scored a coveted place at AWARD School in Queensland, and it was this sweet spot of advertising Tom got the warm and fuzzies over. Afterward AWARD School, he moved to Sydney and worked in strategy roles for The Station Agency and AnalogFolk, leading projects clients such as Diageo, Nestle, Toyota and Canon. During this time he was also named a finalist in the 2013 APG Planning Idol Competition, the youngest finalist in the field.
“But then I got the call that would lead to the biggest and most rewarding challenge of my career – launching Tumblr in Australia,” he reminisces. That’s not the type of call you shy away from.
Still, his crowning achievement is his five-year involvement in Youngbloods, helping young people connect with their peers and developing a mentoring program for universities.
The widely used hiring idiom of “no dickheads” is a good one, believes Tom, and one many of the big companies in Australia adhere to. For him, success will be enthusiasm and happiness in response to the question “Did you work with Tom Walter?”
“This industry of ours is small, and being able to retain positive connections with everyone you come into contact with is not just a representation on your personality but an essential skill of business,” he says.
When asked to describe his attributes in no more than five words: “Inspiring people to create awesomeness.”
Via Tendon – digital and social media account director at Haystac
Via has had her fair share of power naps in toilet cubicles. A perseverant at her work with no job too small for her, she now runs a team of six, reporting to the general manager.
When trying to get her foot in the door though, she became well versed in coffee runs and spend months being as an unpaid new business manager at a boutique agency. She’s also been the lead client liaison for the RMIT Pitch Night, working alongside the committee, board members and 27 agencies.
And before graduating she landed a job as a strategy coordinator at Carat (nine to five) and Ops Fellow for The Digital Society (SoDA) – a US-based network for top digital innovators (nocturnal job), connecting 600 professionals around the world through webinars and conversation threads. Phew, if that’s not enough to tire you out, we don’t know what is.
She stands by the strong mentality that was ingrained in her growing up that leaders are meant to serve. The great leaders are the ones that use their power for the greater good, she says, citing Nelson Mandela, Aung San, and Barack Obama.
“In this industry, we are fortunate to have great innovative leaders, but not enough empowering leaders. This is a gap I believe I can, and will, fill.”
In Via’s view, success is about more than just numbers and stats. It’s about turning our visions into reality.
“When I am handed a task, I commit to giving it all that I have, with what I have, where and when it takes place. I believe in having integrity in all that I do – no work falls short of this.
“Most importantly, I believe that success is represented by constantly thriving to be part of the solution.”
Jack Watts – founder at Bastion EBA
Jack originally wanted to be a footy player. But alas, an injury held him on the sidelines, leaving him lost and forlorn and unsure what to do next. He went to uni and studied marketing. He scribbled down in a notepad, ‘Start a business that helps corporates invest in community’. When he graduated, Jack was a one man band with a notepad, an idea and no clients.
Then, the GFC hit. No one wanted to invest in charity. He looked for opportunities to engage sports, art charities and lifestyle events, eventually leading to creating sponsorship company Bastion EBA. He founded the agency when he was a wee lad of 22. Now it’s grown into a 60 person operation with offices all over Australia and even in the UK.
One of his biggest career achievements is knowing he’s helping to make people’s lives a little bit better each day. With Bastion EBA he and the team are creating partnerships that benefit businesses and communities. More than that though, it’s helping people pay their mortgages, send kids to school, and create a life where they don’t have to miss seeing their kids growing up. That’s a huge achievement for any business leader, especially one under 30.
For him, success is creating a workplace where people can be themselves, create a life around work, hit the surf in the morning if they want, drop their kids off to school. With hopes of becoming a dad soon himself, he doesn’t want to have to apologise to his child for being late.
“To do it with people I respect immensely is the cherry on top for sure.”