Virginia Hyland rejoins MFA board in new director spot

Virginia Hyland has re-joined the Media Federation of Australia’s (MFA) Board, not as a replacement to an existing director but in an additional director’s position.

Hyland previously served four years on the board in her position as founder and CEO of independent media agency Hyland. She stepped down from the board in 2019, sold her business to Havas mid-last year and became managing director of the Hyland division, before being she was elevated to CEO of Havas Media three months later.

In early 2020, the MFA announced Hyland’s independent agency replacement on the board was This is Flow’s Jimmy Hyett. Her re-appointment sees her join Hyett, along with other board members including Aimee Buchanan, Mark Coad, Mel Fein, Imogen Hewitt, Peter Horgan, Mark Lollback, Michael Rebelo, Chris O’Keefe, Katie Rigg-Smith and Sue Squillace.

“I am thrilled to be appointed to the MFA board to help guide and create new industry initiatives,” Hyland said.

“The board lead by Sophie Madden has done an incredible job in supporting the youngest to the most senior leaders in the industry through programs such as the Digital Foundations Certificate, NGEN and MFA 5+.

“The MFA is at the forefront of how we embrace new opportunities that propel us all forward as the landscape of the media industry continues to shift and reinvent.

“Off the back of the most challenging year for all of us, my focus will be to support the MFA to supercharge how we add value to our members and drive growth for marketers. I’m looking forward to the year ahead.”

The MFA’s CEO, Madden, noted that “Virginia has always been an active and committed member of the MFA community and the board is thrilled to welcome her back as a director”.

“With her experience in establishing and running a thriving independent agency for 15 years, and now at the helm of the Australian and New Zealand presence of a global network, Virginia provides a valuable perspective in helping to advance the work of the MFA and our industry,” Madden said.

The industry body for media agencies has also appointed new chairs for its MFA Finance, MFA Interactive, MFA 5+ Melbourne, and NGEN Sydney committees.

Mediabrands’ chief financial officer, John Clements, steps into the role of chair of the finance committee, replacing Hyland Media’s commercial director, Vince Meoli, who is retiring. Meoli served as a finance committee member for 17 years, and has been chair for 11.

OMD’s chief digital officer, Sian Whitnall, meanwhile, becomes interactive committee chair, taking over from PHD’s national managing director, Stuart Bailey.

Both Meoli and Bailey received an Industry Contribution award at the 2019 MFA Awards. Madden thanked both of them for their efforts.

“Vince has made significant contributions to our industry throughout his career and we’ve been lucky to have the benefit of his innovation, passion and commitment to best practice. The MFA community would like to wish Vince all the best in his retirement. We’ll certainly miss him,” she said.

“Thank you also to Stuart Bailey for steering MFA Interactive through important industry initiatives, such as the creation of MFA Digital Foundations and the Australian Digital Advertising Practices. We look forward to his continued involvement as an MFA member.”

WIN’s Emily Pye and Initiative’s Michael Cali have been appointed the NGEN Sydney chairs as the successors of Ziff Davis’ Myles Haslam and OMD’s Joe McCabe.

Initiative’s Leona Irvine is also the new chair of the MFA 5+ Melbourne committee, after Zenith’s Simon Schoen and Spark Foundry’s Zoe Edwards end their stint.

The full board of the MFA:

Sophie Madden, CEO, MFA
Peter Horgan, CEO, Omnicom Media Group ANZ – Chair
Megan Brownlow, Non-executive Director – Deputy Chair


Aimee Buchanan, CEO, OMD
Mark Coad, CEO, IPG Mediabrands Australia
Mel Fein, CEO, Initiative Australia
Imogen Hewitt, CEO, Spark Foundry
Virginia Hyland, CEO, Havas Media Group
Mark Lollback, CEO, GroupM ANZ
Chris O’Keefe, COO & Founder, Match & Wood
Michael Rebelo, CEO, Publicis Groupe ANZ
Katie Rigg-Smith, CEO, Mindshare Australia
Sue Squillace, CEO, Carat ANZ

MFA Committee Chairs:

MFA 5+ Sydney – Emily Cook, Wavemaker
MFA 5+ Melbourne – Leona Irvine, Initiative
NGEN Sydney Co-chairs – Michael Cali, Initiative & Emily Pye, WIN Network
NGEN Melbourne Co-chairs – Ebony Cvrin, Southern Cross Australia & Anthony Lopez, Atomic 212
NGEN Brisbane Co-chairs – Courtney Cholakos, Carat & Cassandra Nott, Ooh Media
Interactive – Sian Whitnall, OMD
Finance – John Clements, IPG Mediabrands
Awards – Joe Lunn, Mindshare
Research – John Grono, GAP Research
Systems – Victor Corones, MFA Independent Representative


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