Our People

Being independent and employee-owned defines our culture.

Our diverse team has skills ranging from crisis management to brand marketing. We are creatives, problem solvers, storytellers, trusted advisers, digital experts, thinkers, and doers.

We are ethical and inclusive with shared values of creativity in our thinking, credibility in our teams, energy in our actions and real warmth in our relationships.

Our successful, talented team is driven, has plenty of character and likes to have fun. We’re a tight, collaborative team that plays to each other’s strengths to achieve the best for our clients.

We make things happen with conversations that matter.

BROWSE BY:

Adelle Keely
Alysha MacLean
Bronwyn Millar
Kirsten Blanchard
Mandy Hancock
Melissa Neustroski

Adelle Keely

Chief Executive & Managing Director

With 20 years in the communications industry, Adelle has been trusted to evolve, promote and protect the brands and reputations of some of New Zealand’s most influential organisations. Her strength is understanding how brands, consumers, business, Government and communities interact – taking a creative, integrated approach across earned, owned and paid channels. Her diverse experience spans New Zealand, the UK and the US across sectors including building and infrastructure, ICT, FMCG, financial services, professional services and health & wellbeing. Adelle understands how to connect communications activity with clients’ commercial drivers and has extensive corporate and marketing communications capability including business advice, strategy, developing narratives & story-telling, issues & crisis management, capital markets, stakeholder & influencer engagement, brand campaigns, internal communications and media training.

Alysha MacLean

General Manager Auckland

With almost 10 years marketing and corporate communications experience in New Zealand, the UK and Europe, Alysha has strong commercial nous and a strategic problem-solving attitude. A digital native, Alysha is skilled at delivering integrated, content-led PR programmes aimed at building trust in brands and business. She has responsibility for leading client relationships and has a proven track record for running highly successful, insight-driven communications campaigns across diverse sectors including technology, FMCG, health, professional services and not-for-profit.

Bronwyn Millar

General Manager Wellington

Bronwyn has 20 years experience, providing business advice, marketing and corporate communications to help clients solve problems or create opportunities. She helps clients to look at things differently and to communicate and build trusting relationships. Bronwyn has extensive experience in investor relations. She is also a specialist in integrated thinking and reporting, providing advice to some of the world’s leading organisations in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Bronwyn works with clients to understand their sustainability risks and opportunities, and helps them to develop strategies and communicate to stakeholders. Bronwyn has extensive experience across a range of disciplines, including strategy, developing narratives & story-telling, issues & crisis management, capital markets, stakeholder & influencer engagement, creative brand campaigns, and internal communications. She works closely with the creative team and has a strong understanding of digital and traditional platforms.

Kirsten Blanchard

Group Account Director

Kirsten is a senior practitioner with 20 years’ experience in the communications industry. She has worked across the corporate and marketing communications spectrum and has diverse sector experience. Kirsten has worked extensively in technology sector having led the New Zealand communications functions for two global technology companies and advised a number of other local and international technology clients. She also has significant experience of the building, insurance and retail sectors. She is adept at partnering with large, complex organisations and has a proven track record of delivering genuine business outcomes for clients and their brands. Kirsten is highly skilled at communications strategy and planning, brand communications, corporate communications, change and employee communications, issues management and senior executive communications.

Mandy Hancock

Chief Operating Officer

Mandy is a Board member and director of Acumen and is part of the Executive Leadership team. She is a key contributor to the company’s business planning and strategy. Mandy leads the financial and administration team and is responsible for all the financial, commercial, technology, property, HR and administration functions for Acumen Republic nationally. Mandy is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and previously worked for Deloitte in the UK.

Melissa Neustroski

Group Account Director

Melissa (Liss) has over 20 years’ experience in the advertising and communications industries. Highly skilled at strategy and planning for both advertising and marketing, Liss also has deep experience in marketing and brand communications, alongside change and employee communications. In her previous role as Chief Executive of a human-centred design studio, she gained extensive knowledge of human-centred design research and uncovering actionable insights. As a Group Business Director, she has worked with big brands in the corporate, retail and financial sectors, large-scale multinational organisations and government departments, servicing clients and stakeholders at the most senior levels and delivering challenging projects tailored to diverse and complex audience groups.