Meet the 2020 faces of the First Five Rungs: Lloyd Thomason named chair for 2020; Sophie van Duiven named new deputy chair

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Meet the 2020 faces of the First Five Rungs: Lloyd Thomason named chair for 2020; Sophie van Duiven named new deputy chair

Comms Council Industry support group, the First Five Rungs in Auckland will head into the New Year with a new chair, new deputy chair and five new members on its committee.


Lloyd Thomason (FCB) has been named the 2020 chair of the First Five Rungs committee following the departure of current-chair Jed Misa (Fuse – OMD), while Sophie van Duiven (Wavemaker) takes on the role of deputy chair from long-serving member Bonnie Shum (formerly Special Group).

Jack Close, Danielle Moeke, Chloë Tonkin, Becky Dawson, and Harrison Stone have also joined the now 11-strong team working to connect with and support new talent in the communications industry.

The new appointments come from a variety of sectors within the industry, all with different experiences and levels of expertise, bringing invaluable insight to the committee as it begins its 2020 planning.

Industry development director of the Comms Council, Marlen Smith, is excited about the new appointments and the direction for the committee in the year ahead: “Bonnie and Jed have been instrumental in building the First Five Rungs momentum over the last few years and we are grateful for their passion, dedication and hard work. They leave behind a very strong, well equipped team to continue the initiatives they’ve committed so much of their time to.

“We’re very proud of the work that the First Five Rungs continues to do and are thrilled to have members with experience from media buying, content creation and PR, in addition to the Suits and Creatives of the advertising industry.

“The expertise they’ve gleaned from the first five years of their career will provide the team with important insights to help develop their support tools for new talent.”

New chair of the First Five Rungs Lloyd Thomason is proud to be working alongside such smart, driven and caring people: “I’ve been meeting up with everyone for coffee to find out about the kinds of projects and changes they want to get behind next year. It’s been really inspiring, and the coffee’s been good too.

“2019 was a big year for FFR. With the help of TRA, we carried out a research project that uncovered new ways to ensure industry newcomers get the best possible start. This has given us a strong focus and sense of purpose going into next year.”

Senior account manager at Wavemaker and the new deputy chair, Sophie van Duiven was blown away by the FFR from her first meeting: “It was exciting, and very moving, to be in a room with people who are so passionate about this industry and motivated to make it the best it can be.

“I am honoured to follow Bonnie as deputy chair, she has done incredible things for the committee over five and a half years.”

The new team join existing members Abel Banda (Vizeum), Maxine Douglas (DDB), Sarskia Melville (King St Advertising), and Shreta Mala (MBM).