Meet the 2019 Effie Awards Executive Team!

Posted 16 October 2019.

​Meet the Executive Team behind the 2019 Effie Awards!

​Kathryn Mitchell Kathryn Mitchell heads up the Trade Marketing team at TVNZ. Kathryn’s background is vast and that of a true marketer. She is passionate about customer insights and data to provide an intimate understanding of what motivates customers and consumers to ultimately deliver effective campaigns. Prior to joining TVNZ, Kathryn worked with leading global and local brands including Head of Customer Strategy and Insights at Yellow NZ, Head of Partnerships and Small Business Products at American Express. And, one of NZ’s iconic brands, Air New Zealand, where Kathryn was Loyalty Partner Manager for Airpoints and also worked with Sky City in a product marketing role. Kathryn is genuinely fanatical about customers and ensuring organisations have the framework and insight to be continually innovative to be ahead of the game.


Kamran Kazalbash Kamran is Head of Marketing & Customer Experience for Foodstuffs New Zealand where he oversees all National Marketing for the PAK’nSAVE and Four Square brands. Kamran has worked at agencies both in New Zealand and the UK, including working with Tesco Plc, one of the world’s largest retailers for over 3 years on their Retail Content Marketing. Prior to joining Foodstuffs Kamran was GM of Retail at FCB for 7 years and was a Senior Account Director at .99. In New Zealand he has worked with clients including; The Paper Plus Group, Noel Leeming, Farmers, Foodstuffs NZ and JR Duty Free.



Regan Savage Regan Savage is Chief Customer Officer and Marketing Director at Trade Me, NZ’s biggest and most popular online auction and classifieds site. Regan’s role has oversight of all of Trade Me’s marketing and communications, user experience, customer support, customer technology and trust & safety teams. Prior to this Regan spent almost seven years at NZ’s largest locally owned bank Kiwibank, ultimately as GM Marketing Communications, with his team awarded for effective marketing strategies that ensured Kiwibank consistently led the banking category in customer and business growth, brand strength and marketing innovation.






Craig Irwin With a career that spans Australia, the UK and New Zealand, Craig brings more than 25 years of Sales & Marketing experience to the Executive Judging Panel. He has worked for many household names over this career, including Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Fonterra and Frucor. More recently Craig joined IRI – a big data and analytics business that supports the FMCG industry in understanding performance, but more importantly helping plan the ‘where to next’ challenge. He is passionate advocate of marketing that builds and grows brands & businesses and sees the Effies as an ultimate recognition of great work that deliver on those outcomes.





Jodene Murphy Jodene Murphy is GM of Marketing at Bank of New Zealand. She’s been doing this sort of thing for a very long time - mainly in telecommunications companies, but sometimes for not-for-profits or airlines, or all sorts of clients whilst agency side.









Kate Smith Kate arrived in NZ in 1995 having been headhunted by Peter Cullinane to be Strategic Planning Director for Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, a post she held for nearly 10 years. At that time, Saatchi was the largest agency in NZ and one of the most awarded in Australia. Kate worked as part of the creative department across all the agency’s clients. Kate also sat on the S&S Global Planning Board.

On leaving Saatchi in 2004, Kate set up a consultancy, working mainly with clients to help them develop brand and business strategies. She was a partner at Shine for seven years over this time, and is also an associate of eatbigfish, a Challenger brand consultancy founded by Adam Morgan.


Oliver Downs Oliver Downs is currently GM Marketing for Asahi Beverages NZ where he and his team are responsible for developing the portfolio and brand strategies, delivering the day to day activities that drive growth, all while getting to work on some of NZ’s most fun liquor brands.

With almost 20 years’ experience, Oliver started his career in sales before making the shift to marketing. He credits this for his commercial approach to marketing and brand management. Oliver is passionate about people and teams, building brands and the power of creativity to drive business success.

In his spare time, which is unfortunately infrequent with young children, Oliver enjoys kitesurfing and travel.


Nileema Allerston Nileema heads Masterbrand at Vodafone New Zealand, where she is the strategic and creative custodian of both Consumer & Business brand, communications and partnerships.

Over the past 20 years Nileema has held a number senior brand and marketing roles across the risk, telecommunications and financial services industries in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She is passionate about leading teams and developing marketing strategies that deliver commercial success and brand excellence.

Prior to her time at Vodafone, Nileema led Global Brand & Marketing at Lloyd’s in London.