Mark Berry (left, pictured), the award winning former regional design director at VMLY&R, has joined brand experience and innovation company Akcelo as a partner.
Two additional senior appointments have been made, with Issac Lai (right, pictured) and Bethany Ryan (centre, pictured) joining Akcelo as it continues to add new clients.
Berry spent more than 10 years at WPP leading the design practice for VMLY&R. He led some of the agency’s largest clients including CommBank Group’s digital experience transformation, McDonald’s store and commerce experience, along with product design and innovation projects for Pfizer and Rip Curl.
Working alongside Akcelo partners Aden Hepburn, Dave Di Veroli and Miles Scott, he will lead Akcelo’s design practice.
Berry said: “Akcelo presents a great opportunity for brands to fuse creativity and experience design to deliver outstanding brand experiences, be that class-leading mobile products to commerce experiences in the physical environment. I’m excited to be working with some great old friends and category leading brands as we build a new model with our client partners.”
Aden Hepburn, CEO at Akcelo said: “It’s great to welcome Mark as a partner to the business. Having worked with him for a decade I know what he brings for our clients, team and our product. Mark is a clear leader and brilliant human; clients and staff absolutely love him and everything he brings. We couldn’t be luckier to have him join Akcelo.”
Also joining Akcelo is Bethany Ryan who has been appointed business lead across Lion’s portfolio of beer brands. With over 12 years of business management experience in the UK, Canada and Australia, she brings a wealth of expertise from creative, media and specialist agencies. Upon her return to Sydney, she was senior business director at Leo Burnett Sydney, leading flagship, integrated campaigns, for the Suncorp Group, Emirates and Honda. Most recently she was a consultant at KPMG on Westpac.
Award winning strategist Isaac Lai has been appointed following a stint at learning and communications technology company LEARNT. He previously worked at VMLY&R for four years, rising to become connections strategy lead on brands such as McDonald’s, Microsoft, Netflix and The Australian Open, as well as leading the agency’s search offerings across the region. Winner of Mumbrella Next’s Creative Agency Talent Award in 2019, he will lead Akcelo’s social, content and search practice.
Hepburn added: “In Isaac and Bethany we have two highly experienced senior leaders who will ensure we continue delivering the best work for our clients. I welcome them both.”
Akcelo launched in July to ‘build brands for the experience era’ by bridging the disconnect between a brand’s DNA and the experience a consumer has when they engage with it across its ecosystem. Akcelo is working with a number of local and international brands including Lion’s beer portfolio that was recently announced.
Akcelo delivers a suite of services across creative, customer experience and technology.