Project management is unsexy, it’s fair to say. But, without good project management, those big, eye-catching and jaw-dropping campaigns would never get done.
So, that leaves adland in a bit of a pickle. How do you manage to get ideas off the ground and executed? Well, a good place to start would be to ask one of the Best of the Best Project Managers for help. Now, a lot of the names on the list are more than just Project Managers. They have all manner of skills and manifold responsibilities within the companies they work for. But, at the heart of all their jobs, is getting stuff done.
Every week on B&T, we reveal the Best of the Best in a particular segment of adland. This week, we’re taking a look at the Project Managers. We’ve covered heaps of other categories so far, including the best Recruiters, the ‘Rainmakers’, CMOs and Commercial Directors – Media. As ever, these lists are an inexact but potent science. We leverage our longstanding and well-trusted industry connections to find the best people.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be revealing the Best of the Best in the following categories: Public Relations – Consumer, Strategist – Media, Mentor, Developer, Casting Director, Industry Association Chief, Experiential Producer, Social Change Maker, Journalist, HR, Planning Director – Media, and Marketer.
So, that’s all the guff and disclaimers out of the way. Here are the Best of the Best Project Managers.
10. Sammy Lowndes, account manager, Usual Suspects Creative
Managing digital projects is one thing but, as the B&T events team will attest, managing real-life events is another kettle of fish entirely. Fortunately for Usual Suspects, they have a brilliant project manager in Lowndes.
With nearly six years under her belt at the experiential agency, it’s fair to say that Lowndes has a flair for keeping things in order and on time. — whether that’s a budget, deliverable, schedule or stakeholder egos.
9. Stuart Capel, national head of operations, Spark Foundry
Capel has been there and done that in the world of media. He’s held previous roles in Carat’s London and Sydney offices, as well as Initiative, Leo Burnett and Zenith.
Capel has now been the national head of ops at Publicis’ Spark Foundry for just over a year and was charged with making the agency’s processes more efficient and putting tech to use to solve problems created by legacy systems. With the agency producing some very interesting and different work for its clients of late, it’s clear to see that Capel’s having a great effect on the business.
8. Lauren Simpson, brand marketing manager, The Trade Desk
Simpson has only been with The Trade Desk for four months but, considering her previous role at Twitter came to an abrupt end under the auspices of Elon Musk’s “hardcore” work culture and mass redundancies, we’ll let her off.
As the brand marketing manager at the adtech firm, Simpson has already been put through the wringer with the company going big at Advertising Week APAC. Given her track record, we’re expecting a lot more to come.
7. Nick Geyman, portfolio project manager, Mars Foods
In his role at Mars Foods, Geyman is responsible for the launch of all the company’s new products and he manages transformational business projects including capital, technology and new processes. For a company the size of Mars Foods, that’s a helluva job. But fortunately, Geyman has a background with some of the biggest companies in the industry including Kellogg.
6. Jeroen Jedeloo, regional operations director, Ogilvy Network ANZ
Hailing from the Netherlands, Jedeloo has spent nearly nine years at Ogilvy, starting as the head of integrated operations before rising to the regional ops director. During that time, he has worked on huge campaigns for the network and brought the best out of his team members. Considering that he has worked in agencies across three different continents, it should come as no surprise that Jedeloo knows what it takes to get stuff done.
5. Bec Coulson, business manager, IMAA
Coulson’s work at the IMAA covers all manner of roles and responsibilities from supporting the general manager and the association’s board to working with its effervescent CEO Sam Buchanan. But that’s not all. Coulson develops and brings the IMAA’s events to life, as well as creating and implementing its training programs. Onboarding partners, bookkeeping and data management all come under Coulson’s staggeringly wide remit, as well. It’s safe to say that all businesses could do with someone like Coulson in their ranks.
4. Martine Lozevski, head of campaign management, strategy & solutions, Seven Network
Lozevski scooped our overall Best of the Best Project Management gong last year and she has continued to prove an exceptional part of the Seven Network team. As the head of campaign management at Sevn, she ensures that the business meets its key objectives and that advertisers are kept happy. That’s some doing, especially when she works across some of the Network’s biggest shows including Sunrise, Australia’s Got Talent and Home & Away — and the small matters of the AFL, cricket and horse racing.
3. Suzanne Corliss, program & change management director, GroupM
Any role that involves organisational change in a business as large and as successful as GroupM — and all its agencies — deserves significant recognition and, in Corliss, the holdco has an exceptional woman. She leads transformational projects, reorganisation design, cultural and structural change, functional, process and systems change and technology implementation and adoption. Just writing that down made us tired. If that wasn’t enough, Corliss also provides change leadership and advisory across the holdco, helping its very impressive cadre of female leaders.
2. Claire Riding, group strategy director, content & partnerships, Wavemaker
Riding picked up the Project Manager trophy at this year’s B&T Women in Media awards and, frankly, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone who knows her. She has been instrumental in creating the campaigns for Netflix and its ever-changing roster of shows in Australia. However, rather than simply managing to keep her head above water, Riding has been able to excel in her role, picking up award wins, racking up billions of hours of views and reaching almost three-quarters of a million Australian families. The fact that Netflix described her as “instrumental” in the success of its shows should not be underestimated.
1. Ben Joyce, group chief operating officer – ANZ, Dentsu International
Kirsty Muddle, CEO of Dentsu Creative, told B&T that Joyce was the “finest project manager” she had ever worked with. We could leave it there. But we won’t.
Joyce has been in the role at Dentsu for just two years and has previously served as the group executive director for operations and transformation. With more than two decades of experience managing business transformation projects, workforce and resource planning, product development, off-shoring and outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions and more, Joyce has seen it and done it. With someone like him operating behind the scenes, Muddle, Danny Bass and the rest of the Dentsu team are more than set up for success.
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