First Five Rungs names Andrew Eiserman as chair, Grace Chittock as deputy chair and Leo Shum as secretary

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First Five Rungs names Andrew Eiserman as chair, Grace Chittock as deputy chair and Leo Shum as secretary

Comms Council industry support group the First Five Rungs in Auckland is heading into the 2024 with a new chair, deputy and secretary.


Andrew Eiserman (Dentsu), has been named the chair of the First Five Rungs committee following the recent departure of Zoë MacDonald-Mair (Quantum Jump), while Grace Chittock (Spark Foundry) has assumed the role of deputy chair, following Chelsea Bostock (DDB). Courtney Spillane (Special), has also departed the role of secretary, with Leo Shum (Dentsu) stepping into the role.

Comms Council CEO Simon Lendrum, praised the new appointments and the direction for the committee in the year ahead: “Zoë, Chelsea and Courtney have worked tirelessly to bring the industry closer together, and have greatly shaped what the First Five Rungs have achieved. From a creative perspective, the FFR’s team has gone from strength to strength, especially in the design & refinement of the website. Zoë and Andrew became such a purposeful team in actioning the First Five Rungs creative vision, which is why we’re delighted to see Andrew step up into the role of Chair. The First Five Rungs has never had a creative lead before, and really speaks to the exciting new era the FFR is entering. Andrew has been part of the First Five Rungs for the last couple of years and I’m excited to see the work that he, Grace, and the rest of the team bring to life.”

Says Lisa Motteram, training and development manager, Comms Council: “The work that the First Five Rungs continues to do is of great importance to the Comms Council and we’re thrilled to have such exceptional young leaders at the forefront of this change.”

New chair of the First Five Rungs, Eiserman, is proud to be working alongside such a driven team and is looking forward to what 2024 brings: “I’m extremely honoured to step into the role and fill the big shoes left by Zoë. We have a raft of exciting initiatives coming in 2024 and I couldn’t be prouder of the team’s passion and energy.

“From a personal perspective, the work that the First Five Rungs does is imperative in setting up industry newcomers for a long time within the industry, and I’m highly aware of the difference a great support system can make.”

Chittock has been in the committee since 2022 and is excited to leap into the deputy chair position: “I’m passionate about giving back to the First Five Rungs, and helping people feel comfortable in this fast paced industry. With the support we offer, it means industry newcomers can set out to achieve their best.  I am privileged to be working so closely with Andrew, and the rest of the team.”

The First Five Rung members 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 kicks off 2024.

The First Five Rungs is a Comms Council initiative made up of young people across the communications industry, whose mission is to help industry newcomers receive the best possible start.