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beacon 2022 | inspiring individual

The Comms Council and Warner Bros Discovery are searching for the industry’s most inspirational leaders, with nominations now open for the Inspiring Individual Award. Nominated by their peers, the Inspiring Individual is the “unsung hero” in an organisation; the person who inspires others with their generosity of spirit, patience, willingness and passion, and who is integral to the company’s culture and success.

Sandy Smith worked in the media industry for more than 25 years, building many enduring client relationships. Her expertise and understanding of the sector led to her involvement in groups dedicated to improving advertising standards, research and addressing key industry issues.

The Inspiring Individual Award was launched in May 2011 at the Comms Council Media Awards. The inaugural recipient was Richard Fenner, then of SparkPHD. Other recipients of this Award have been Liz Fraser, who at the time was General Manager and chairwoman of the IAB; Alistair Jamison, CEO, Starcom & VivaKi NZ and the 2013 winner, Louise Bond, CEO of SparkPHD, Claire Harris from Nielsen in 2014, Chrissy Payne of OMD in 2015, Julia-Ann Hedges in 2016, Matt Bale, Co-founder of MBM in 2017, Robert Harvey CEO of Dentsu in 2018, Anne Lipsham, Head of Strategy at FCB Media in 2019, and Sean McCready, Managing Partner at MBM in 2021.

So what is the Inspiring Individual Award?

This award celebrates the “unsung hero” in the company; the person others find utterly inspiring with their generosity of spirit, patience, willingness, and eagerness to be involved. The person is integral to the company culture and passionate about contributing to the company’s success.

The Inspiring Individual Award nominees are selected by their peers. Nominees need to meet the following criteria:
Nominations should include an explanation as to why the nominated individual is deserving of this award. A nomination form can be downloaded via the Comms Council website ( or by clicking here
The Sandy Smith Inspiring Individual Award winner will be announced at the Beacon Awards Show on 9 June 2022 and will receive $10,000 to be used to further their education, – an opportunity to gain further experience and knowledge to be shared.

  • Is a mentor for others - this person invests time in younger members of the team, inspiring them professionally and encouraging them to evolve as individuals.
  • Shares their knowledge and wisdom accumulated during their time in the industry
  • Is the person colleagues go to when they want an answer that will be wise, practical and honest.
  • Contributes to the media industry – this person sees the value in being involved in industry developments and initiatives constructively.
  • Approaches challenges with a positive, can-do attitude.
  • Challenges the status quo with logic and reason.
  • Embraces the changes in our ever-evolving media landscape.