IMAA announces three new members will join the industry body’s leadership team

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) today welcomed three new members to its  Leadership Team.

Es Chandra, CEO of Glide Agency (Western Australia), Melissa Roberts, founder and Director at The Advertising Room (Victoria), and Angela Smith, Chief Brand Officer, AFFINITY (NSW) will join existing IMAA Leadership Team members Jacquie Alley (The Media Store), Phil McDonald (BCM), Steve Fagan (Media Republic), and Tom Frazer (Half Dome).

“2022 has been another remarkable year for the IMAA, growing to 150-plus members and launching several initiatives including a Diversity & Inclusion Council, a Reconciliation Action Plan, more group deals with vendors, an international staff exchange program and a careers program. We have more big plans for 2023, so we are excited to welcome our new leaders to join the team to help realise our ambitions,” IMAA Board Director, Darren McKenzie, said.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our outgoing leader Angie Smith from MediaSmiths, who worked tirelessly on our careers and forthcoming education program and for her passion and energy. The IMAA Leadership Team is a great reflection of our national presence and it’s pleasing to see a range of agencies step up to the team for 2022/23.

Melissa Roberts launched The Advertising Room in 2015 as Australia’s first marketing and communications specialist agency where kids and families are the focus. Her experience covers local and international markets, having worked across five countries and six cities during her advertising career, including Ikon Communications, TotallyAwesome, Dentsu Aegis and Universal McCann in leadership roles.

“I joined the IMAA about two years ago and have been nothing short of impressed with how the IMAA supports the independent community through strong leadership, decision making, product offerings as well as a huge sense of being part of a connected community. This was one of the many reasons I wanted to be more involved,  but in truth, it wasn’t the main driving factor.  It was more about giving back to the independent agencies in our community. Being part of the future IMAA and helping drive more initiatives as well as offering time and support was my primary reason,” she said.

Es Chandra has led Glide Agency, Australia’s leading crowdfunding marketing agency, for more than 15 years. He leads a high-performance, results-focused team which delivers true ROI on media for national and global clients looking to scale their revenue via online and ecommerce sales.  He is a former facilitator, teaching information systems and multimedia, at both Murdoch and Curtin universities. 

Chandra said: “I’ve always been passionate about what independents can bring to the table regarding flexibility, transparency, innovation and producing the best results for clients, so the opportunity to be part of the IMAA community that supports and represents this, was incredibly exciting. A key strength that indies have versus the global agencies is that we foster a collaborative approach. I would like to explore how IMAA members and leaders can openly work and support each other to grow and gain opportunities and build upon a win-win culture on a national scale, as well as bringing insights and expertise on how we can best navigate and nurture a tech marketing future that Australia has been rapidly moving towards.”

Angela Smith has two decades of marketing and communications experience and heads brand at AFFINITY. She has leaned into her previous career as a qualified lawyer and research scientist to create an agency focused on achieving measurable outcomes. With more than 13 APAC and Australian Effies and a gold IPA Effectiveness Award to her name, Smith’s mission is to provide evidence on the vital role the industry plays in generating behavioural change and commercial value. Smith has also championed wellbeing at AFFINITY and the agency was recognised by AFR BOSS Best places to Work 2022 as the Best Wellbeing Practice in Australia.

Smith said: “Whilst it’s only two years since its inception, the IMAA has already made a positive impact on the media landscape. Indie agencies represent an important alternative to the larger holding company options available to advertisers but weren’t always being given the same voice or standing. The IMAA provides the platform to address this and create a more level playing field. Our ability to make and stand by local decisions whether it be about best practice, transparency, diversity, equitable remuneration and so on puts us in a unique position to help raise the tide overall. I know a lot of senior leaders in agencies on both sides of the fence welcome more agency owners having a seat at the table to help progress our industry. I wanted to be a part of this progress and couldn’t be more proud to be a part of what is a strong and dynamic leadership team who will continue to make a positive difference.”


For further information contact:

Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577