Meet The B&T 30 Under 30 Project Manager Finalists!

Young professionals work in modern office.Project manager team discussing a new idea.

In these strange plague times, B&T is more determined than ever to unite the industry and revel in the glory of our industry’s best and brightest overachievers.

That’s why over the next few weeks we’ll be celebrating adland’s youngest and most talented individuals; that’s right, B&T‘s 30 Under 30 finalists.

There are 10 finalists in each category, and 10 categories overall. So, if you’re keen to see who made the ultimate list this year, now’s your chance. Let these individuals inspire you, make you seethe with jealousy and ultimately motivate you to do the best work you can, and enter the Awards in 2021.

Without further ado, here are the 10 Project Manager finalists.

Bianca De Candia, Pacific Magazines

Bianca joined Pacific at the age of 21 working across marie claire and InStyle in various marketing roles.After four years, she returned to Adelaide to take on a new role as Global Marketing Manager for Australian Fashion Labels managing a portfolio of six brands across Australia, China and USA. But she missed media and the hustle and bustle of Sydney, so came back to Pacific.

Across the past 3 years she has worked her way up the ladder in the Commercial Implementation Team and is now a Senior Brand Activation Manager – overseeing all commercial campaigns and managing a team.

Some of her key achievements include: Project managing 20+ client sponsorships/partnerships in 2019 including Audi, Toyota, Georg Jensen, Samsung & Veuve Clicquot across 12 events for marieclaire, InStyle and Women’s Health.

Bronte Mikel, UnLtd

Bronte landed her first gig at Dentsu while she was at university, working at MKTG on production for experiential events. Six months into the role she pitched for and won the UnLtd account to create an unconventional gala dinner for 500 senior media industry attendees. She overcame challenges such as a limited contact database and a limited charity budget by leveraging personal contacts and devising creative solutions. The result: the project exceeded fund raising targets (raising over $370k for youth at risk) and was dubbed ‘The Best Industry Event of the Year’ by senior attendees. She was then was hired by UnLtd to join their events team as an Event Manager. She has managed 8 events in 8 months across two states, with over 700+ attendees.

Claire Hunter, Bauer Media Group

After completing a Master of Arts and Cultural Management Melbourne University, Claire began working at Creative Partnerships Australia, where she fell in love with project management. Fostering partnerships within the cultural sector, she then took these skills to Cancer Council Victoria, working in events. Here she managed the logistics of several national and community-based campaigns.

Now she works as Bauer Media’s Head of Implementation. Managing both the client implementation process and Implementation team; she wears many hats daily, overseeing up to 50 campaigns across the team. 

Claire’s biggest source of professional satisfaction is the renewed multi-year partnership with the Victorian Racing Club. During the lead up and throughout the Melbourne Cup Carnival she implements all media activity, and event manages the build of the ELLE Lounge within the Birdcage facility. Hosting 200 corporate guests across Carnival, and celebrities and influencers alike, she oversees this activation from end-to-end, ensuring an editorial vision and brand presence is brought to life through mastering logistical complexities and juggling competing stakeholder demands.

Courtney Wade, News Corp Australia

Courtney’s media career started after an internship with Initiative Media in 2013. Whilst she loved agency land, the challenge and desire to try publisher side, led her to her next role, a sales rep at News Corp. During her time in sales, she was awarded AE of the Quarter, and a Silver award in an internal Cannes Young Lion comp.

She stepped into Account Management with ease, spending over 3 years honing in on her people skills and client first thinking, as well as overcoming a fear of presenting in public. After reflecting on nearly 4 years in sales, she decided to focus on her strength of bring large partnerships to life, and was offered a role as a Project Manager. She had learned not only how to present, but how to think on her feet, manage difficult conversations, deliver results all whilst promoting her brand.

Emily Mead, OMD

Emily started her media career in 2013 at Nova Entertainment (then DMG Radio). Her naturally curious mind landed her a promotion as a Sales Rep after six months. In 2016, she moved into Agency Sales, where she was recognised as a Media-I finalist three years running. She won the Sales High Achiever Award at the Nova Entertainment Awards in 2018, recognising the best revenue performance from an individual in the company.

In 2019 she was approached by a long time mentor to apply for a contract agency side as Head of OMD Create, OMD’s content, activation and social arm. Since joining the business midway through 2019, she has restructured the team, developed and reset its strategic vision, led the partnerships team to an award shortlisting in Festival of Media APAC.

Kana Phung, Havas Blvd

Kana’s passion for the events industry was early and clear. With a keenness to develop broad experience, she pursued roles in conferencing, corporate events and local government. Her eagerness to connect consumers and brands led to her joining experiential marketing agency, Chieftain Communications.

Her thirst for knowledge, coupled with a foundation in project and stakeholder management, resulted in rapid promotions. Becoming the lead project manager of the agency, she led campaigns for multi-national brands across FMCG, consumer tech, tourism, healthcare and NFP.

In 2016, Kana embarked on her next challenge, joining Red Havas, tasked with building the experiential arm of the business. She hit the ground running, championing brand experience strategies across the wider Havas network. As a result of that success, the company created specialist brand experience agency, Havas Blvd. An agency where she is the Senior Producer and a founding member. Kana’s next mission? Spearheading Havas Blvd’s approach to identifying and integrating opportunities with parent company Vivendi, harnessing that power to enrich meaningful brand experiences.

Katrina Leo, Orchard

In the span of 4.5 years, Katrina has risen from a Digital Project Assistant to Senior Project Manager. She won the NSW Data Challenge hackathon, named a Rising Star in Enero (Orchard’s umbrella company) in 2019, and helped the Orchard US team triple in size. She is the lead Project Manager delivering a large creative campaign for Zoetis in the US, winning silver at the Vetty Awards, while simultaneously delivering a large scale eDetailer and a website in the span of 4 months.

Melanie Ochmann, News Corp

Melanie’s passion for media started nearly 7 years ago at News Corp where she moved through roles in Sales for the Australian and Prestige Brands, gaining traction as an exec, then a team leader and finally into the digital team. It was here she found her calling in project management and process.

After four years, she moved upstairs to the News Life Media team, into a client solutions role, delivering integrated solutions for the WHIMNS network. A career highlight in this role was learning how to manage multiple stakeholder’s agendas between editorial, commercial and product on a deadline, whilst also not losing sight of what consumers want to engage with. Melanie wore many hats in the role, which led her to her current role and journey at News, and the one she’s most proud of.

Melissa Gray, Pedestrian Group

Melissa’s career has spanned across televised live commercial events with Nickelodeon, radio sales and implementation with Nova Entertainment. She currently works at Pedestrian Group. Across the last two years with Pedestrian, she’s worked across 65 integrated campaigns. She headed up the ‘World’s Biggest Beer Run’ campaign for BWS, shot and edited in six different countries while simultaneously going live, the campaign included the management of a microsite, a weekly national competition resulting in a social reach of over 3 million.

She’s continued to lead the ongoing partnership with Stan and helped launch their most prestigious Originals event with a renowned guest list of 400 at the Sydney Opera House. She took charge of Deliveroo’s ‘Food Freedom’ campaign involving a live stunt 10-part video series and promotion resulting in 50,000 competition entries.

Within her first 12 months at Pedestrian, she attained her senior role and was given the opportunity to train and mentor new starters. She was recently promoted as the client lead to implement this same creativity and streamlined process within the Openair Cinema team.

Rebeccah Churchward, Kamber

Rebeccah began her work in communications following a fundraiser she organised for World Vision’s 40-hour famine while still in high school. When she graduated, she was approached by World Vision to apply for a communications role in their Youth Advocacy team – VGen.

After working in not-for-profits for the best part of four years doing various social media and comms roles, she moved agency side. She was invited to join Kamber as a Client Executive specialising in project management and communications, and two years later she’s a Client Manager.

She’s managed projects of all sizes including an 8-month video production project which saw Kamber producing 180 videos for the Spotlight Retail Group from start to finish. She’s managed the redevelopment of websites for both clients and Kamber, including the redevelopment of a portion of The Good Guys website. This required 100 pages of website copy, each of which needed to be tailored for SEO and have accompanying graphics. She successfully completed this work in just four weeks.

p.s B&T‘s 30 Under 30 Awards, presented by Vevo (our newest sponsor – hello and thank you for your support, legends!), will be taking place virtually on Thursday, 4 June 2020. You got that? Thursday, 4 June. There’s no big in-person party like usual this year and we’re going to have to content ourselves with virtual drinking games and remote flirting. 

Thanks to all of our sponsors!




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B&T 30 under 30 project manager

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