Our Staff

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
Alex Popham
Alysha MacLean
Andrea Jutson
Bronwyn Millar
Desmond Nash
Emily Burt
Esther Robinson
Greta Morrison
Jamie Foote
Keeley James
Kirsten Blanchard
Lucy Smith
Mandy Hancock
Marissa Parr
Matthew Thompson
Maxine Glogau
Piper Byers
Prue Harrison
Reilly Hodson
Renee Ji
Sam Farrell

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.

Alex Popham

Senior Designer

Alex has over 10 years experience as a graphic designer and finished artist working in a variety of advertising agencies and media companies. Starting his career in newspaper editorial design, Alex then moved on to digital design and retail design for high profile New Zealand & Australian clients. Outside of design Alex also enjoys illustration and painting, commissioning his services as a freelancer for a variety of clients.

Alysha MacLean

Director 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.

Andrea Jutson

Account Director

Andrea is a former journalist for The Aucklander and The New Zealand Herald. Working across news, local government, profiles and feature writing, Andrea has strong media networks, a nose for a story and is adept at developing compelling, rich content across multiple channels. She also has experience in publishing, retail, information management. Andrea worked for Auckland Council during its amalgamation period and is the author of two crime novels published by Random House.

Bronwyn Millar

Director 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.

Desmond Nash

Senior Account Director

Desmond has 10 years’ experience in New Zealand and the UK managing the consumer PR activity for some of the world’s leading brands. Creative and a natural storyteller, Desmond understands what works across earned, owned and paid channels to drive awareness, engagement and brand love. He leads integrated campaigns underpinned by insights around consumer behaviours, market dynamics and societal trends to help drive commercial outcomes. Desmond’s experience includes ideas generation, product launches and promotions, proactive PR and media relations, content creation, integrated campaign and agency management. He also understands the power of authentic influencers and brings a broad range of contacts.

Emily Burt

Account Executive

Emily has a strong focus on politics and sustainability. She has experience in research and policy analysis, media relations, social media, and media monitoring. Attaining a Bachelor of Science, with a major in Politics and Environmental Studies, Emily uses this perspective to inform communication strategies and shape her storytelling.  

Emily works with our clients in the building and construction, telecommunications, and education sectors.

Esther Robinson

Senior Account Director, Government Relations

As a former Senior Political Advisor to Cabinet Ministers and direct from the Beehive, Esther specialises in government relations, media and public policy. With over 8 years’ experience on the parliamentary precinct she has extensive experience as a communications and advisory professional working with media, politicians, senior government officials and business. As a highly skilled advisor, problem solver and risk manager Esther knows how to handle a crisis and effectively engage with government and media.

Greta Morrison

Account Manager

With a fresh and creative perspective, Greta challenges communication strategies with her out of the box thinking. Greta’s experience includes work in the FMCG and construction sectors, alongside work with charity and humanitarian organisations. Greta has specialist experience in social media content creation, media relations, and research analysis. Greta holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychology, with a double minor in communications and marketing, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Otago.

Jamie Foote

Senior Account Director

Jamie has over 10 years communications experience having created and executed in-sights driven campaigns across New Zealand, the UK and Europe. During his career he’s covered a number of disciplines including corporate PR, consumer PR, B2B PR, marketing and content creation. Based in Auckland, Jamie has worked with some of the world’s largest tech companies on integrated campaigns that cover activations, product launches, messaging development and media relations. He also specialises in financial services having worked in-house for four years. As well as having a natural knack for story-telling. Jamie is passionate about helping organisations better understand how a cleverly thought-out content strategy can drive lead-generation, build trust and increase brand advocacy.

Keeley James

Account Executive

Keeley takes a creative approach to solving client problems. She works with corporate and consumer clients across a range of sectors including technology, retail, professional services and aviation. With experience in media relations, social media, and creative advertising, Keeley is a people-orientated and relationship driven consultant focused on telling her client stories in fresh and original ways. Keeley joined the Acumen team after completing a Bachelor of Communications degree, with a double major in Public Relations and Advertising & Brand Creativity.

Kirsten Blanchard

Client Partner

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.

Lucy Smith

Account Executive

With her people-centric personality, the client and the consumer are always at the forefront of Lucy’s mind. Her strength in understanding client needs, brand personalities and consumer preferences inspire engaging campaigns that resonate with people. She is passionate about telling brands’ stories and connecting them with consumers. Lucy joined the Acumen team after completing her Bachelor of Communication degree with an A GPA and numerous certificates of excellence. She is an expert in all things social media and community management.

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 operations team and is responsible for all the financial, commercial, technology, property, HR and administration functions for Acumen nationally. Mandy is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and previously worked for Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte in the UK.

Marissa Parr

Senior Account Director

Marissa is an experienced marketing communications professional with agency and in-house experience. Having worked with well-known brands across tourism, FMCG, lifestyle and retail sectors, Marissa has a sound understanding of the ever-changing landscape that businesses operate in. She has an eye for detail and loves a to-do list which has made her instrumental in successfully running major launches, consumer media relations activity, events and activations, and influencer marketing programmes.

Matthew Thompson

Accountant

Matt has a background in Accounting and Marketing, with over 10 years of experience in an accounting and analytics roles. He has worked in various industries such as Manufacturing, Distribution, and Not-for-profits, spanning regions like America, UK, and Australia.

In his role, Matt provides support across Finance, IT, and Operations, assisting our consultants in delivering high-quality work to our clients.

Maxine Glogau

Account Director

Maxine is an experienced integrated communications specialist, working for agencies in both New York and London. Skilled in creating engaging stories, Maxine has a breadth of knowledge in brand and corporate communications, media relations, influencer strategy and issues management. With her finger on the pulse, Maxine keeps up-to-date with the ever-changing media environment to deliver impactful results. Having a diverse background in accounting and finance, design and applied science, Maxine approaches her work with a unique perspective. Maxine’s enthusiasm and interpersonal skills allow her to build strong relationships with both media and her clients.

Piper Byers

Account Executive

With her fresh and creative perspective on the communication sector, Piper is passionate about helping her clients achieve great results. After joining the Acumen team in 2021 as an Account Assistant, she has gained considerable experience supporting clients with all their communication needs. Piper has specialist experience in media relations, media monitoring, social media, and research analysis. Holding a Bachelor of Communications, with a major in Public Relations, and a double minor in Advertising and Brand Creativity and Communication for Social Change, she aims to use her knowledge to create impactful work.

Prue Harrison

Operations Manager

Prue has over 25 years’ experience in operational management and senior leadership in corporate environments in New Zealand and the UK.

Prue has a passion for building and nurturing strong teams and individuals, and is responsible for learning & development and culture at Acumen. Prue is also responsible for ensuring that staff in Wellington and Auckland are provided with the best office environments to enable them to deliver excellence for our clients.

Reilly Hodson

Account Manager

Reilly is an exceptional storyteller, and his writing has been published in a range of top tier NZ media, including Metro and the Spinoff. Reilly is constantly coming up with ways to share clients’ stories in creative ways and he uses his strong understanding of the local media environment, great contacts and relationships to make sure those stories get seen by the right people. Passionate about content, Reilly produces his own online newsletter called Clipboard, focusing on Auckland life and fashion. ​Reilly joined the Acumen team after graduating with a double degree in Communications and Law (with First Class Honours).

Renee Ji

Account Director

With a background and passion for marketing communications, Renee helps her clients share their stories authentically with their audience. Her experience includes media relations, content development, campaign management and event management.

Sam Farrell

Account Director

Sam is a former broadcast journalist, turned communications specialist. Most recently, he has worked at the Beehive as a Press Secretary for two senior Cabinet ministers. Sam maintains strong media networks, has a sharp news sense and an intricate understanding of how Government works at a departmental and executive level.