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Meet Zora Artis – IABC Vic’s new Vice President

Zora is the new Vice President of IABC Victoria.  After being a member for just under a year, what made her take the step to join the IABC board

Why did you volunteer for the IABC Vic Vice President position? 

In 2004, I worked on the EOWA publication Australian Census of Women in Leadership that reported on women in leadership positions in the top ASX 200 companies and member organisations of the Business Council of Australia. Perhaps naively, I was quite astonished to learn how under-represented women were in senior executive positions and at Board-level. Looking back I think this is where my interest in boards started. I realised that change was necessary and that I should actively participate in that change. I'd been an active member on The Communications Council Victorian committee and championed the gender inequity issue within the industry. When I left agency land, I decided that I should be more pro-active in seeking Board level experience in non-profit organisations that I am passionate about. The IABC Victorian Chapter and Lighthouse Foundation are such organisations. In the year or so that I've been a member of the IABC Victorian Chapter I've been impressed with the level of professionalism and friendliness of the membership. The events that I attended were extremely worthwhile and the membership base was quite broad. I felt that I could add value to the Board with my broad experience, and also learn from the others on the Board and within the membership. 

 

What do you hope to achieve over the next year in this role?

In the Vice President role, I support the President and other Board members in delivering value to our membership. I'm in the process of pulling together our strategy for the next twelve months and will ensure that we meet the goals and objectives set. 
 
Challenges you forsee?

I love a challenge – life would be boring without them. The challenge here is that my knowledge of PR and corporate communications is limited compared with my expertise in brand, marketing, advertising and internal communications, so I am very keen to improve my skill set in these areas. The World PR Forum will be the beginning of my education process. 

What about Opportunities?

I feel that we have many opportunities ahead that we can optimise to further professionalise our Chapter. I am keen to consider new ways to add value to our members and welcome input from our membership about how we can do this. I'd like to look at innovation and creativity within the field of communications and beyond to identify insights and learnings that we can share with our members. I'd also welcome new members from the broader field of marketing to explore the benefits of joining IABC Victoria.  

 
What do you do in your downtime?
Downtime – not sure if I have a great deal of it. When it does happen my focus is either on my family or myself. I have two boys, aged 11 and 7, who are cheeky but the best of friends. One is sporty and the other creative, so we try to balance their interests along with ours during our 'family time'. When its about me, then I either indulge in keeping fit, retail therapy, catching up with friends or reading.
 
If you suddenly had a whole day free to do what whatever you wanted, what would it be?
A 'me day' is a nice thought. Ideally, I'd catch up with one of my local friends at cool cafe in Brunswick over brunch, then spend a few hours roaming the shops (bookshops, gift shops, fashion) before catching up with my husband for a long leisurely lunch (he'd need to take the afternoon off himself) in the sunshine by the river or near the beach. It does happen but nearly as much as one would like.
 
Do you hold any other volunteer positions?

I'm the Chair of fundraising event committee for an amazing charity called Lighthouse Foundation. It provides homeless young people who come from backgrounds of long term neglect and abuse with a home, a sense of family and around the clock therapeutic care. Through their Lighthouse experience, the young people heal, learn again to relate to others and rebuild their lives. In my role, I'm responsible for creating a major event from scratch that will not only raise the profile of Lighthouse Foundation but also become one of Melbourne's premier fundraising social events. The inaugural event is on Wednesday 14th November at the MARS Gallery in Port Melbourne and if you're interested then you can find out more at www.nextmelbourne.org.au.

 
What do you say when someone asks 'What do you do?"

 

At the core level I'm a problem-solver and enabler. I relish challenges and am not fazed by the industry, category, stakeholders or the audience. In the 20+ years of working client side and in agency I've worked in business development, marketing, strategy and management roles across a broad spectrum of brands in services, industrial, FMCG, start ups, SMEs, corporate and government sectors. Just over a year ago I left my role as a Strategy Director at a mid-size full service advertising agency to start my own business – Zora Artis Consulting. I am fortunate as I now work with both clients and agencies providing a range of business and marketing strategy and implementation services, along with executive mentoring. Happy to say, no day is routine. 
 
Describe a successful day at work?
Nutting out a strategy for a client that I believe will deliver. Likely to think through the implementation process and potential hurdles that they'll need to deal with to make it happen. During the course of the day its highly likely that I'll put out the odd fire and provide mentoring advice to my clients. In the evening I'd probably be networking and looking for new business opportunities. 
 
Were do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Interesting. Either running my success business with a number of talented and respected associates or working in a senior marketing or communications role with an organisation that values creativity and innovation. Add to that one or two Board roles.

Q&A by Amanda Riley, Communications Chair IABC Victoria Board member

 

 

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