This November we are holding an election for four vacancies on our ten member board as Charlotte Barker, Mark Nutley, John Mathews and Gemma GIlmore reach the end of their time on the board.

The key skillsets needed on the IAPI Board for the next 3 years are:

  • Treasurer & Commercial Lead
  • Diversity & Inclusion Council Lead
  • Creative Council
  • Futureheads Chair

You can read more about each role here.

We are thrilled to say that nine nominations have been received and the nominees election pitches are listed below.

Nominee Details
Nominee Details

The five nominees putting themselves forward for MD vote to the Board are:

  • Adrian Fitz-Simon, Creative Director, Havas Dublin (Creative)
  • Amar Jacob, Account Director, In the Company of Huskies (D&I)
  • Aoife McCleary, Senior Copywriter, In the Company of Huskies (Creative)
  • Robert McDermott, Financial Controller, IPG Mediabrands Ireland (Treasurer)
  • Stha Banks, Head of Paid Social, Core (D&I)

This year, we are asking each member agency to vote for their preferred candidates for each of the 3 vacancies from the above nominees. Ballot papers will be issued to each agency by IAPI CEO Charley Stoney at the beginning of November. Ballot papers must be received by 20 November and the results will be announced at the IAPI AGM on 25 November.

The four nominees putting themselves forward for Futureheads Chair by public vote are:

  • Alison Cooke, Senior Account Manager, Publicis Dublin
  • Derwin Myers, Planner, Folk Wunderman Thompson
  • Jamie Fulham, Client Manager, Spark Foundry
  • Lauren Kavanagh, Strategic Lead, PHD Media

Every member of IAPI can cast a vote for their Futureheads representative. Please click here to access the poll and have your say. The poll will close on the 20 November and the results will be announced at the IAPI AGM on 25 November.

We wish them all the very best of luck.

Adrian Fitz-Simon
Adrian Fitz-Simon

Title: Creative Director

Company: Havas Dublin

I began my career in 1992 at Irish International - the name attracted me with visions of 1st class travel to exotic locations. The reality was a boardroom of John Player clients expecting you to light up to prove you ‘got’ their brand. But it was a great first agency.

From there I moved to CDP, Grey Helme and Chemistry - all now sadly gone, but it was at the latter that the art of collaboration finally sunk in and great work started to emerge. Along with my then partner Emmet Wright, I won Ireland’s first ever Cannes Gold Lion - an accolade satisfyingly rounded off last year with the Grey Lions win.

Having enjoyed some wonderful mentorship early in my career, I’ve always had a strong interest in helping young creative talent. I’ve taught at DIT and was on the ICAD board when we initiated what became the Upstarts programme. I’d love to help the Creative Council with the ongoing Open Doors programme, Cannes Young Lions, and help create new ways of introducing talent to the marketplace.

I am seriously impressed by the SMASH initiative. Back when I was semi-reluctantly inhaling clients’ products, mental health issues were, by and large, dealt with in O’Brien’s and Smyths in the hope they would be forgotten by Monday morning. How brilliantly far we’ve come! Having recently helped launch a new mental health text service (50808), I know how creativity can be used effectively to promote such worthwhile endeavours.

In 1992 the four women and five men in our creative department felt reasonably balanced, but it turned out to be a happy anomaly. Everywhere I’ve worked since has scored less well and this is an issue I want to help IAPI progress in the right direction.

Creativity and commerce don’t always see eye to eye. Like every ad creative, many of the ideas I view as my best are crushingly dismissed or changed beyond recognition (the psychology of relentless rejection fascinates me). Despite this, I remain captivated by - and dedicated to - our industry and I hope I can bring something new to the IAPI board.

Amar Jacob
Amar Jacob

Title: Account Director

Company: In the Company of Huskies

Being in the creative space for over a decade and having the opportunity to back an industry that I love is an incredible feeling. I believe strongly that when life presents you with an opportunity to affect change it’s important to rise to the challenge. With that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to make a change for the better.

Now, more than ever before we need to focus and deliver on Equality. Diversity and Inclusion [D&I] has been a topic of conversation for several years now, but I feel that the urgency to implement any meaningful and impactful actions has been largely missing and any change has merely trickled through the industry.

Personally as an immigrant to this country I believe I have a unique perspective that puts me in an interesting position to see the challenges faced by Ireland but also what it ‘can become’. I feel a great sense of pride that I chose to come to this country and live in this country, and I honestly feel that Ireland not only has the necessary ingredients but also the potential to be a global leader in equality and diversity across the board.

Ever since the death of George Floyd earlier this year I have led the charge to create a D&I team within our agency. Working closely with like-minded individuals we’ve created a roadmap for a series of actions that drive the D&I agenda within our agency, it would be my privilege to take this initiative to the next level, and share our plans with the industry.

I have been following IAPI ever since I moved to Ireland, and have seen the great efforts in this area and I'd be very happy to continue those initiatives, as well as implement further initiatives in this space over the course of the next three years.

I studied Business Administration in Madras, India completing my degree in 2008. Following which I joined a branding and creative agency called Banana Brandworks where I helped build a start-up agency from 4 people to over 40. I worked there for 7 years before leaving to do my Masters in Advertising at DIT (TU Dublin). Since 2016 I have worked with the client service team at In The Company of Huskies handling clients like Fåilte Ireland and Nissan Ireland. I have been actively involved in charity and CSR initiatives my entire life, supporting a variety of causes like climate action, disaster response & care for the underprivileged to name a few.

Aoife McCleary
Aoife McCleary

Title: Senior Copywriter

Company: In the Company of Huskies

I genuinely love working in advertising. Always have. And I’d be delighted to put myself forward for the Creative Council and offer my skills to the IAPI Board and its members.

Specifically, there are two key things I feel I could bring:

Firstly, I’m very passionate about seeing more women in Irish creative departments. So much so, in my spare time I co-founded Concepts + Cailíní - a collective of over 30 absolutely brilliant and extremely talented female creatives from Dublin’s advertising agencies. The aim of the group is to support and champion each other, and essentially create the next generation of female CDs.

As part of this, we’re on the cusp of launching a collaboration with TU (DIT). This will be an informal mentoring programme between working female creatives and student female creatives on the Advertising Masters programme. The students get to learn from women working in the industry, the creatives get valuable experience in mentoring and guiding juniors - and everyone benefits.

If elected to the IAPI Board, I would use these learnings to help create and shape initiatives, training programmes and support systems to ensure that more females progress to senior roles. This is so important for the industry, as in order for agencies to create truly great work, they need to have a diverse range of minds.

Secondly, I’m very passionate about getting Ireland the creative recognition it deserves, particularly on an international stage. As a newbie to Irish advertising after spending many years working in London, I feel like I can bring a fresh, almost ‘outsider’ perspective to the industry here, and could help inject new ideas to the mix.

While I am aware that I may not have the mileage of some nominees, what I lack in management experience, I can certainly make up for in energy, creativity and getting sh*t done.

About Me:

I studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast where I did a Masters in Advertising and Comms with the ambition of becoming an account manager. Luckily for my colleagues and clients alike, I didn’t. As I would have been rubbish at it. Instead, I moved to London and became a creative. My skills were honed in a very small agency where I was mercilessly thrown in the deep end and tasked with working on global campaigns for Dove and Lifebuoy. After that, I worked at Ogilvy London, where I spent 70% of my time working in-house at Unilever HQ to launch and grow their first ever branded content publishing studio. Next it was Karmarama. I spent several very fun years working on brands like Iceland, Costa, Honda and Air New Zealand here. In 2018, I fancied a little break. So I took a cheeky year and a half off to gallivant around Latin America. Because well, why the hell not? Sun-kissed and ridiculously chilled, I returned to Dublin in 2019 and joined the truly amazing team at Huskies as a Senior Copywriter. And this is where I am today.

Robert McDermott
Robert McDermott

Title: Financial Controller

Company: IPG Mediabrands Ireland

I have a very keen interest in securing the position of Treasurer with IAPI. I believe the experience I gained over my career spanning almost 20 years in Travel Industry, Electric Automation, Financial Services and my 7 years in advertising at IPG make me an ideal candidate and hence I am writing to seek your support. I know there are ambitious plans for IAPI and believe I am well placed to help IAPI achieve them.

I am ACCA qualified since 2004 and prior to that I received my degree in finance from DIT. My career has spanned many industries and the experience I have received has given me an excellent understanding of business across many sectors.

I have worked in IPG Mediabrands for the last 7 years where I have been part of a team that has grown the business to make it one of Ireland's most successful Media and Communications companies. I have enjoyed my time in IPG immensely and I believe with my experience I can greatly benefit the work of IAPI.

I would love the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills I have earned through my career to help IAPI and hence I am seeking election, I have a great understanding of the Advertising Industry and I believe I can apply my learnings to the finances of IAPI. I am a hard and very committed worker and I believe I can be a trusted voice on financial matters that will give great comfort as we move forward in difficult times.

Stha Banks
Stha Banks

Title: Head of Paid Social

Company: Core

Why I feel I can make a valuable contribution

I would be grateful for an opportunity to work with IAPI on Diversity and Inclusion to build on the initiatives IAPI has already started in the advertising community. Diverse viewpoints and perspectives will help us collectively nurture difference and spark creativity and growth for the industry.

In the past month, I had the opportunity to sit on the panel of the IAPI Webinar - Advertising Stands Up to Racism. Discussing this sensitive topic, with my industry colleagues and feeling the support of all those who participated in the session was invigorating. The impact was evident through the turn-out and the engagement. There is clearly a willingness to do good and create a diverse and accepting culture in this industry that we all love.

Back in June, I moderated a webinar discussion on Racism and Activism for the African Professional Network Ireland (APNI). This was following the murder of George Floyd. The impact of this was to allow people in the Irish community open the dialogue of tackling racism. As an industry we are in a unique position to change narratives communicated to the masses and promote inclusivity. It is an opportunity we can’t miss.

I have also worked with the Alpha Project, mentoring students from minority backgrounds and helping them build confidence to break through their barriers in the industry. The benefits of diversifying our voices, faces and genders in the advertising industry creates inclusivity, innovation, attracts more talent and more positivity.

Deep down I am an activist and have been for a long time. In 2010, I embarked on a journey to change the story of the ‘African’ the media had made most people accustomed to - of a poverty-stricken people. I hosted some of Africa’s top Fashion designers right here in Ireland, showcasing their elegant, vibrant, and diverse designs. With resourcefulness, zero budgets, limited experience in event planning and a lot of passion - the event reached thousands of Irish audiences through broadcast TV on RTE’s Capital D programme.

Diversity and Inclusion is something I have been long passionate about. So, if elected, I promise to give my full energy and commitment to working with IAPI and being of service to the industry that I love.

Now feels like the right time for all us to be activists.

Who I am

I have lived in Ireland for 20 years and have over 12 years experience in the Advertising industry. When I first moved to Ireland, I knew I needed to continue my education if I wanted any career doors to open for me. I completed my undergraduate in Marketing and Media in Dublin Business School and later a Masters in Marketing in the Dublin Institute of Technology. I began my career in advertising in a small online ad sales company, with my piece of qualification and a whole lot of drive. I transitioned to media agencies after 2 years and worked with IPG Mediabrands, Mediacom, Spark Foundry and now Core. I have experience across all digital channels and currently am Head of Paid Social in Core leading a team of social experts. I am an active member of the Core Diversity & Inclusion Council and make regular contributions. As a mother of 2 young brown girls, I am passionate about seeing better representation and role models for not just for my girls but all Irish children.

Alison Cooke
Alison Cooke

Title: Senior Account Manager

Company: Publicis Dublin

While there are many positives, being young today comes with it’s challenges. We are defined. We are looked down upon, due to perceived inexperience. We are also suffering, both mentally and financially, with lack of employment and opportunity. It’s great to be young, but it’s not easy and I understand that. Above all else, we want to be listened to, understood and appreciated.

I would argue that the young people of today are probably more knowledgable, confident, passionate, transparent and honest than previous generations. When I assisted in the McCann “Truth About Youth” survey in 2017, I was struck by secondary school children giving such a well informed and honest perspective on all manner of life topics, with very little life experience. They are not afraid to tell you their opinion, and are sublimely confident in doing so. We have seen evidence that young people of today are change the world for the better - climate change action, LGBTQ+, female rights and empowerment, to name a few.

Communications is an industry that can help change things that they are passionate about. However, I don’t believe they don’t know the industry actually exists, what opportunities await them or what entry steps are required for the career. I believe that, if they know about it and take interest in the industry, they will evolve the advertising industry for the better through their passion, action-focused mindset and confidence. On the flip side, I understand that talent retention is a major problem for many agencies. Many young people find themselves in advertising, through some way or another, and eventually leave for other industries.

If I am elected to the IAPI board to represent Futureheads, I want to find ways of attracting and educating young people about this industry, and retaining the talent that we currently have. I propose doing this in three ways:

Educate and Enthuse

Small anecdote: I made it my business to get a job in a creative agency when I was in D.I.T because an M.D of a creative shop in Dublin was the only agency that came into the college. I did not know what I wanted to do up until that day. My point it this - in order to attract young people to the advertising industry, we need to be where they are. If elected, I would propose using Futureheads as a vehicle to go into schools, college career days/ open days, Higher Options and other career fairs. I would also propose setting up and managing Futureheads social pages (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) and build/ use these to generate interest in what we do and a networking platform for people in the industry currently. I don’t think many people know what Futureheads actually do, or who they are, and how we can help. We need to be spearheading ourselves as a representative council, driving enthusiasm for the industry from both inside and out.

Empathy and Action

I strongly believe that Futureheads could be so much more as a ‘voice for the youth’ that it is currently and, in order give a voice, we need opinion. I want to start at the core and actually listen to young people, not make decisions for them by assumption without knowing the issues. We need to start monitoring and reporting what young people in our industry think, and then empathise and take action. If elected, I would propose and manage running yearly research on young people in the industry to find out, publish and then try to fix (within our control) what these issues are.

Mentorship and Training Resources

Progression is, I believe, one of the main concerns that young people have in the Irish advertising industry. I believe that Futureheads has done some good work in the area of mentorship e.g. speed mentoring, but I believe more could be done here. The nature of agencies mean that training and mentorship can take up a lot of time and money, and we could help make this easier.

If elected, I would propose more concrete and accessible mentorship programme, perhaps a paid online video course delivered by senior agency people in the area of strategy, client services, creative and digital, respectively. e.g. “Making the step up to Account Manager” could be one of the videos, for example.

As part of this, I would also propose an IAPI Futureheads digital training toolkit. It would cover the basics for junior CS people, creatives and strategists e.g. How to write a good task brief.

Vote for Ali>>

Meet Ali
Meet Ali

Get to know your Futureheads Nominees with these quick video intros before you cast your vote.

Derwin Myers
Derwin Myers

Title: Planner

Company: Folk Wunderman Thompson

I joined the Futureheads council last year because I care about who it stands for, the representation, engagement and empowerment of those under 30 in the industry. I believe I have made a positive contribution to date on the Futureheads with events such as speed mentoring and IAPI’s Got Talent and would love the opportunity to do more.

As an industry we continuously champion creativity and celebrate ‘the work’. In the pursuit of this we sometimes deprioritise the people responsible for that work. In a time when people’s worlds have gotten smaller and personal wellbeing has become more pronounced, how we treat and invest in our younger members now will stand to the resilience of our industry.

I believe I am the best candidate for the position of Futureheads chair for two reasons:

1. Creativity and empathy are two requirements in my job as a strategic planner, two traits I believe are needed by the next chair of the Futureheads. Empathy is required to truly understand the real day to day challenges faced by our U30 members and creativity is required to bring some lateral thinking and solutions to the table. I have the experience of exercising these traits in my work every day. What has brought us success in the past will not necessarily bring us success in the future. I believe it is time for change.

2. I have some thoughts around some initiatives that I believe our younger members and indeed industry could benefit from:

  • The availability of tax & financial planning resources/advice for current IAPI members and for non-existing members who have found themselves furloughed/made redundant as a result of Covid.
  • The launch and continuation of ongoing feedback from our younger members via forum/periodic survey/service that ensures the events, training and help provided by IAPI is reflective of our members needs, optimising activity and engagement.
  • Capitalising on the occurrence of remote working, I believe an initiative that looks to engage talent from outside of Dublin is more realistic than ever before. I believe this poses an opportunity to drive diversity and inclusion in the industry as well as promoting accessibility. This initiative could build on the work being done to engage early school leavers/individuals who do not have a third level education.
  • The promotion and facilitation of a completion aimed at second level students to promote engagement with the industry at a younger age, mitigating the loss of talent to other creative industries around completion of third level.

I do not have all the answers. I do not have sight of all the challenges that our industry and more specifically our U30 members face. However I have the appetite to understand what are the challenges faced by our members, the relevant skills from my job to collect, interpret and address these challenges and the personal passion to make a positive impact.

My name is Derwin Myers. I am a strategic planner at Folk Wunderman Thompson and serving member of the Futureheads council. I am running for the position of Futureheads chair and would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

Vote for Derwin>>

Meet Derwin
Meet Derwin

Get to know your Futureheads Nominees with these quick video intros before you cast your vote.

Jamie Fulham
Jamie Fulham

Title: Client Manager

Company: Spark Foundry

Over the last four years, I have enjoyed contributing to the Futureheads council in numerous ways. In 2019, I presented on behalf of the Futureheads at the IAPI Leaders’ Lunch. A key objective for the council is talent attraction and in the last two years, I have organised and managed several events such as the IAPI Futureheads mentoring event, which offers confidential speed-mentoring from industry peers to new industry starters. In addition to this, I presented at a number of job expo and college events on behalf of IAPI and the Futureheads council to help recruit new and exciting talent to the industry.

I hope that this speaks volumes to the experience I have on the Future Head council. My contribution to date has given me a great understanding of what the role of Futurehead chair to the board of IAPI would involve, whether that be the administrative responsibilities or just the general practicalities.

However even more crucially, my experience to date has given me the understanding of what is needed to drive change on the council and more importantly the board of IAPI. The Futureheads council represents all people under the age of 30 within our industry, that’s over 45% of the industry. This 45% of the industry needs a strong voice on the board now, more than ever. Younger people are more likely to be in economic hardship given their lower pay scales and most of all younger people are more likely to leave the industry over the coming months, and with this taking our emerging talent and future leaders.

I will guarantee that my voice, and the voice of the Futurehead council will be heard on the IAPI board, helping to shape a future that will retain our talented young people and support the future leaders of our industry.

Vote for Jamie>>

Meet Jamie
Meet Jamie

Get to know your Futureheads Nominees with these quick video intros before you cast your vote.

Lauren Kavanagh
Lauren Kavanagh

Title: Strategic Lead

Company: PHD Media

Like many people in our industry, I did not know what I was embarking upon when I started. However, I have been lucky to have found a career that matches my energy and passion while allowing me to work with a diverse range of businesses developing creative and impactful campaigns. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given, and believe that I can pass this on for those starting out in our industry, through my participation as Chair of the Futureheads.

What I will strive to contribute is a focus on continuing personal career development for under 30s within agencies, particularly at this time of uncertainty. In the short-term I will highlight and work to help solve challenges which could impact development, such as finding new ways to learn presenting skills when not speaking face-to-face, and remote relationship building. These are both challenges which newer colleagues have struggled to replicate while working remotely.

I have many examples of leadership and teamwork outside of my day-to-day role, including time pressured teamwork resulting in winning the Power of Press competition and being shortlisted for Cannes Young Lions.

Within PHD, I run monthly knowledge sharing sessions, where I encourage staff from all departments to share innovative ideas and results with each other, giving people a platform to show off creative thinking and hard work. This also acts as a space to upskill and learn from others outside of their core team or department.

I believe, if elected to the position, I will work with IAPI to find the best opportunities for those who are under 30 in our industry. This will result in enjoyable learning experiences, enhanced motivation, greater creative thinking and continuous development.


Current Strategic Lead at PHD Media, with 4+ years at Omnicom working across Planning and Strategy teams for Offline, Digital and Social. Prior to joining OMG I completed a MSc in Marketing Practice and a BSc in Marketing.

Vote for Lauren>>

Meet Lauren
Meet Lauren

Get to know your Futureheads Nominees with these quick video intros before you cast your vote.