Meet the Executive Judges | 2020 Effies in association with TVNZ

Posted 16 September 2020.

Pivotal to the success of the Effies awards programme are high level Executive Judges; people who genuinely understand how marketing and advertising work, people with strongly developed analytical skills and sense of objectivity, people who like advertising and those that understand how to measure business success. This year we have an exceptional group of Judges. Read more about them below.


Bridget Lamont - Chief Customer Officer, Loyalty NZ

Bridget is Chief Customer Officer at Loyalty NZ and most recently has spearheaded the transformation of New Zealand’s favourite loyalty programme, Flybuys. She is an experienced marketing leader with over two decades of experience driving business results through relevant and valuable consumer marketing communications programmes and platforms.

Bridget has extensive experience in the retail sector, with 13 years at Woolworths NZ (Countdown supermarkets) driving brand, promotional, media, customer insight, loyalty and 1:1 communications strategy and implementation. Her team won the 2016 Keith Norris Direct marketing Organisation of the Year award. She has also held roles at NZ Post, SkyCity Entertainment Group and Ezibuy.

A self-confessed foodie, Bridget claims to make a spectacular bacon and egg pie, and lives in Auckland with her partner and two cavoodles.


Craig Irwin - Managing Director, IRI

Craig joined IRI from Fonterra in New Zealand and brings over 20 years’ experience in the FMCG sector across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. During his career, Craig has held senior management roles within Frucor Suntory Beverages and Pharmacare Laboratories.

He has a proven record of building and sustaining long-term partnerships with customers, and as a passionate and innovative leader he is responsible for leading the team to enhance IRI’s ability to meet the needs of our clients, as IRI continue to provide industry-leading insights and solutions to the marketplace.


Jonathan Symons - Marketing Director, TVNZ

Jonathan Symons is TVNZ’s Marketing Director, responsible for the Marketing, Blacksand, and the Research, Data & Insights teams. Jonathan previously held the role of GM Research, Data & Insights at TVNZ, where he led a massive shift in the way TVNZ listens to and learns from our viewers. Jonathan has also held executive level marketing positions at ASB and worked in a range of media and agency roles.






Jonathan Waecker - Chief Customer Officer, The Warehouse

Jonathan has been with The Warehouse Group since 2017. Beginning in the role of Chief Marketing Officer, Jonathan became the Chief Customer Officer in February 2020. Jonathan is responsible for attracting, engaging and retaining customers through marketing, communications, customer experience and eCommerce activities, leading brand strategy and driving customer engagement across the Group’s portfolio of brands, including The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7, 1-day and Warehouse Stationery.

Prior to joining The Warehouse Group, Jonathan was based in San Francisco as Vice President of Marketing Communications at Yahoo, the fourth largest online property in the world at the time, reaching over one billion users every month. In that role, Jonathan led the fully-integrated team responsible for delivering all marketing communications during a critical turnaround period for the company, winning numerous industry awards, while driving revenue and results for the business and brand.

Prior to Yahoo, Jonathan spent time in global marketing, brand strategy and business development roles at Zynga and The Walt Disney Company, two of the world’s most engaging and digitally innovative consumer brands. He has been named one of Brand Innovators 40 Under 40, received an MBA in Corporate Strategy from HEC Paris, a second MBA in Global Finance from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and graduated from San Diego State University.


Michael Healy - Chief Marketing Officer, Meridian Energy

Michael is a fiercely commercial marketer with a relentless focus on driving business outcomes. He has held senior roles in advertising agencies, and large corporates in both New Zealand in Australia with exposure to FMCG, banking, energy, not for profit, and technology. He has a strong view on the importance of applying both creativity and science to business and marketing and finding opportunities to drive growth. As a result of supporting strong business performance Michael is one of NZ’s most seasoned commercial marketers, and a finalist for 2021’s Marketer of the Year award from the NZ Marketing Association.


Rachel Elerm - National Marketing Director, Lion New Zealand

Rachel is currently National Marketing Director of Lion New Zealand, leading a team of Marketers to deliver category, innovation and communication across a portfolio of market leading brands including Steinlager, Speight’s, Mac’s, Corona, Wither Hills, Lindauer and Smirnoff. Prior to this she led the Goodman Fielder marketing team, and held senior positions in marketing for KFC in both Sydney and London. As a strong values-based leader with over 19 years senior marketing experience, she has significant expertise in leading teams and agency partners to build high-performing cultures. Rachel is a strategic marketing and communications expert, storyteller and brand builder with global and local experience in FMCG and Retail with award-winning work in marketing effectiveness across multiple brands, and also the 2018 winner of the Individual Marketer of the Year Effie award.


Suraiya Phillimore-Smith - Head of Marketing, Westpac New Zealand

An international marketing leader with over 20 years experience, who has achieved great success in building high performing teams and developing people, to meet customer and business outcomes.

With global, regional and local experience, working for some of the world’s largest brands, her experience and expertise brings a unique blend of Brand Strategy, Advertising & Marketing Communications, Data Insight & CRM, Commercial P&L ownership, across B2B and B2C marketing.