Women in PR inaugurates new president

Hera Communications managing director Anna Geffert has been named president of Women in PR (WIPR).

(Clockwise from left) Anna Geffert, Ngozi Emeagi and Addy Frederick
(Clockwise from left) Anna Geffert, Ngozi Emeagi and Addy Frederick

WIPR's new vice-president is Ngozi Emeagi, former events secretary and senior consultant at Powerscourt, while Addy Frederick, former Mentoring Committee member and group communications manager at Prudential, has been named as treasurer.

Geffert replaces Bibi Hilton, global engagement director for Unilever at Interpublic Group, and former Golin UK managing director, who leaves the post of president after three years. Sarah Samee – group head of external communications at Lloyd’s Register – is stepping down as vice-president, but remains on the committee.

Geffert was inaugurated at WIPR's virtual AGM last night (20 January), where four new committee members were also voted in: Roxanne Kalha, managing director of The Romans; Ronke Lawal, founder, Ariatu Public Relations; Sophie Raine, managing director, consumer brands, at Ketchum; and Jennifer Thomas, communications consultant, GSK.

Among its activities, the membership organisation for senior women in PR and comms works with PRWeek on the annual Mentoring Scheme for women who aspire to achieve leadership roles in the industry.

Geffert said: “Last year saw unimaginable difficulties and loss for our members; many of whom lost friends and family, employment and security, and the ability to lean on networks and contacts for guidance and confidence. As a result, WIPR has taken on a new role in helping women to rebuild and shape their careers – balancing the professional with the personal and supporting each other to overcome these challenges and lay the foundations for growth and success in the year ahead.

“It has been such an honour to work with Bibi and the inspiring women on the committee over the past three years. Together, we have begun to break down barriers of inequality for all women in our industry. As ever, there is always more work to be done and the pandemic has raised fresh challenges for us all to face. I look forward to welcoming our new committee members to continue our campaign for equality and to provide new, supportive tools, skills and opportunities to inspire and empower our members into senior leadership roles.”

Hilton said: “It’s been an incredible privilege to lead WIPR and to work alongside such a brilliant and inspiring committee and ambassador group. I’m immensely proud of everything we’ve achieved – from becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation to launching our first group in Wales. With her experience both of big agency and setting up her own business and her ambition, energy and exceptional leadership, Anna will be a fantastic new president. I know in partnership with Ngozi, Addy and the new committee will continue to drive WIPR forward in our mission to increase the number and diversity of women in leadership in our industry.”

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