About Rise


Rise opens up opportunities for women by:

  • Delivering our award-winning annual mentoring programme in the UK, Europe, North America and across the APAC and ANZ regions
  • Celebrating the skills and achievements of brilliant women across the industry through our annual Rise Awards
  • Providing free membership with access to regular networking events, seminars, workshops and conferences
  • Inspiring, educating, informing the next generation of talent through our Rise Up Academy programme.


Meet the Rise team

Sadie Groom

Rise Founder



Nicki Fisher

Rise Chair



Donna Smith

Managing Director



Lucy Seaton

Admin & Operations



Carla Maroussas

Mentoring Manager



Catherine Cywinska

Head of Marketing



Jodi Morelli

Growth Manager, North America



Global presence

Rise is headquartered in the UK and has regional chapters strategically located across Europe, North America, India, APAC, ANZ and the Middle East. Learn more about our Advisory Boards below.


UK Advisory Board


Nicki Fisher - Rise Chair

As an active leader and STEM Ambassador, Nicki Fisher was formerly, prior to her retirement, EMEA Sales Director for Clear-Com. She was responsible for sales and pre-sales teams, selling and supporting Clear-Com products and solutions across the entire EMEA region. Prior to joining Clear-Com in April 2014, Nicki was the Sales Director for the Tektronix EMEA Video Business for 8 years, where she was responsible for sales of Video Analysis and Monitoring equipment into the Broadcasting, Postproduction and Telco markets. Nicki spent 11 years working for Agilent (formerly Hewlett Packard) in a variety of senior management and individual contributor sales roles, where she was the first Female Account manager for the UK Aerospace and Defence business and also European Regional Sales Manager for the Communications Test Business. Nicki gained a B.Sc. Hons in Physics from Liverpool University in 1989 and began her career as a Product Training Engineer at Marconi Instruments.


Sadie Groom - Bubble Agency and Rise Founder

Sadie founded Bubble Agency a PR, marketing and events company focusing on the entertainment technology, sports and AV business, in 1999 and is still very much the driving force. Using her 20 years of PR and Marketing experience she not only looks after the business side of things and client strategy but also promotes the role of women in the industries she works in through her work with Rise, Women in Film & TV and SVG Women’s Initiative. A keen traveller, she is trying to go to 50 countries before she is 50 and would like to spend more time on the golf course.


Donna Smith - Rise Managing Director

Donna Smith has over two decades of success in blue-chip and multi-billion dollar companies, including NBC Universal and TiVO. Renowned for her entrepreneurial spirit and ability to lead teams towards strategic goals, she has been a driving force behind organisational and geographical growth. She has a proven track record in board-level decision-making and possesses diverse skills in sales, crisis management, start-ups, growth strategy, technology, leadership, fundraising, company culture and communication. Her pragmatism, creativity, and resourcefulness have consistently propelled businesses from concept to success and will drive her forward into her new role as managing director of Rise.


Lisa Lavender - The Traffic Bureau

Lisa Lavender is a business leader with over 25 years’ experience building and running businesses in the advertising industry at a local and global level. Having worked with numerous global brands, broadcasters, agencies and production companies, she has a deep understanding of business processes and the changes impacting the marketing supply chain. Lisa is the founder of The Traffic Bureau, the UK's largest outsourced specialist supplier of TV admin (Business Affairs) services. After selling TTB to Adstream, Lisa held a number of roles within the advertising distribution company. She is the former CEO of Adstream UK where she managed operations, account management and sales teams for Adstream's largest operating market outside of the USA.


Andy Beale - BT Sport

Andy is Chief Engineer for BT Sport, joining the innovative and disruptive British broadcaster at the beginning of its journey in 2012 to oversee the technology and construction of the landmark BT Sport Production Hub in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He played a pivotal role in the development and launch of Europe’s first commercial live sports Ultra HD channel BT Sport Ultra HD, and its HDR successor: BT Sport Ultimate. He led BT Sport’s pioneering Dolby Atmos launch and ground breaking advances in live VR 360. Recently he has delivered world firsts in 8K and 5G remote production. Previously he was Head of Engineering for Sports Media House, Octagon, and before that delivered projects worldwide for respected system integrator IPK.


Mark Harrison - DPP

Mark began his career as an Historian at Cambridge University, before moving into the media industry. He spent many years as a Director, Producer and Executive Producer, and won numerous awards for his filmmaking, including an International Emmy and a BAFTA nomination. Mark has held senior roles within the independent production sector and the BBC. He was MD of an independent production company before being appointed BBC Head of Arts, and then Head of Multiplatform Production. He was subsequently Controller of Production for BBC North and leader of the BBC’s End-to-End Digital programme, before becoming Director of Transformation for BBC Design & Engineering. In 2015 Mark became CEO of the DPP – the media industry’s international business network, which he founded. Today the DPP has nearly 500 member companies from across the whole media supply chain – from global tech giants to start ups.


Anne-Louise Buick -Platform Comms

Anne-Louise is the Senior Vice President, Marketing for Telestream, leading the Telestream global marketing organization responsible for all the marketing elements of Telestream’s GTM activities. Previously Anne-Louise was Vice President, Global Revenue Marketing at Avid, overseeing Field, Channel and Demand Marketing, leading marketing campaigns to drive revenue as well as worldwide channel marketing engagement. Prior to joining Avid, Anne-Louise was Head of Media Marketing and Communications at Ericsson, establishing a go-to-market framework to ensure the successful launch of new products, services and solutions, designing marketing programs to support business objectives and ensuring consistent and effective communication of customer value for the Media Solutions business.


Lesley Johnson - BBC Studios

Lesley is Global Director of Home Entertainment at BBC Studios, where she is responsible for the Digital and DVD business worldwide. She is Vice Chair of the British Association for Screen Entertainment and a Rise Advisory Board member. At work Lesley leads on support for women’s reproductive health, which led to the BBC signing the Workplace Menopause pledge in April 2022. In a wide ranging broadcast career Lesley has held senior editorial and operational roles across the television industry. She founded the Westminster news facility Millbank Studios, which broadcast the first live pictures from the House of Commons Committees and launched the Parliamentary Channel. In the late Nineties Lesley was Head of Production for Lifestyle at LWT and Granada TV where she looked after This Morning and was on the launch team of Loose Women. Lesley is a very keen sailor and has two grown-up daughters.


Lisa Collins - IABM

Lisa has been building powerful networks and communities for over 25 years, ensuring the groups she works with thrive and grow. After a flourishing career working for a variety of associations, membership bodies and not for profit organisations, Lisa launched her own agency, Dovetail Creative Ltd, in 2021 and now supports a variety of organisations with all aspects of community, member and customer forum engagement, events, marketing strategy, and consultancy. Lisa has worked within the broadcast, media, and entertainment space for over 12 years, working most recently with membership organisations, The Circle Society and IABM. Lisa is a frequent speaker and moderator at industry events.


Jackie Howes - Discovery

Recently winning the 2020 IABM Award for Technology Leader of the year, Jackie is recognised as a person who is at the forefront of disruption and innovation within the broadcast and media industry. Through inspired leadership she has helped to deliver ground-breaking technology and business benefits. Jackie has over 20 years of experience working in the broadcast industry and has worked for a number of different companies, always working in a role that bridges the gap between traditional IT and broadcast engineers. Today, as the Director of Media Infrastructure Architecture at Discovery, Jackie is directly responsible for scoping, defining and coordinating both large and small Infrastructure systems that have a direct impact on the company’s technical capabilities and profitability. She works alongside global teams and external suppliers to architect infrastructure ecosystems that supports the technical and operational aspects of production and broadcast systems. Jackie is a strong believer in sharing knowledge and endeavors to create an environment where every individual is able to choose the path they wish to take.


Stephen Stewart - Media Consultant

A television and radio professional with over 40 years in the industry, Stephen has enjoyed roles as varied as commercial producer, gallery director for tv programmes ranging from Formula 1 to UK Parliament. As well as TV production, Stephen is experienced in TV playout and media services having worked for the BBC, Channel 4, Thames Television and Deluxe. The lure of AI and machine learning saw Stephen move into the advertising technology space with Mirriad Advertising before becoming COO at Take 1 where he was responsible for leading and restructuring the Operations, Product and Media Technology teams and launching Access Services and Localisation/Dubbing, delivering thousands of hours of content for some of the world’s largest production companies and networks. The resulting growth in revenue led to the successful acquisition of Take 1 by Verbit.ai Stephen is now an advisor to Media organisations, a Rise Advisory Board member & mentor, an active contributor to the Rise Up Academy, as well as being Vice Chair of the Royal Television Society’s Technology Centre.


Europe Advisory Board

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Larissa Görner – Proximus Media House & Rise Europe Chair

Larissa Görner – Proximus Media House & Rise Europe Chair Larissa Görner is CTO - Technology, broadcast and infrastructure lead, for Proximus Media House, the media and content powerhouse of Proximus. With an extensive experience in media engineering, Larissa has played different roles from sales and marketing to product management and CTO, going through technical operations and chief engineer for outdoor broadcast, in companies like OBS – Olympic Broadcasting Services, Net Insight, and Grass Valley. Larissa is also board member of industry organizations like SMPTE, AIMS (Alliance for IP Media Solutions), and FKTG (the German counterpart to the SMPTE in the US). In such a male-centric environment, she was clear that she wanted to be involved in an organization that would allow her to work towards a better gender balance. She Larissa is based in Belgium and founded the Rise Europe chapter in 2022, launching the first mentoring program. She is focused on the Belgian and Dutch region and leading the mentoring program.


Noëlle Prat – Mediakern & Rise Europe Sponsorship Lead

Noëlle PRAT is a veteran media industry professional with 20+ years’ International Technology Sales Management experience, spanning system integrators, service providers and global leading Tech brands, selling strategic solutions and services to major Broadcast, Media & Entertainment Players across EMEA. She co-founded France based consultancy MEDIAKERN 5 years ago, through which she supports Media Technology Solution Vendors in their growth plans and go to market activities. She also consults for End Users going through important transformation projects as they try to find their ways in the maze of changing vendors' Business Models. In an industry transforming at fast pace, she defines herself as playing a dot-connector’s role facilitating technical and business change. She joined the RISE European initiative to broaden RISE’s spectrum in continental Europe, as one of the founding members, took part in setting up the European Advisory Board and currently leads the onboarding of Technology Partners & Sponsors. Based in France, she manages all RISE related activities in French Speaking regions. Noelle is a firm believer that diversity is key in transformation phases, and that diverse teams drive growth by naturally forcing creativity and innovation in all areas of the business. As a successful woman in Media Tech Sales, who was often the only one in the room, she'd like to use her experience to detect, attract and retain younger talents with potential in Sales that have a little je-ne-sais-quoi that others don't. Be bold, dare and care are her mantras. Vive la différence !


Chiara Parmeggiani – Net Insight & Rise Europe Comms Lead

Chiara is Customer Experience Manager and drives initiatives across and outside Net Insight to achieve Customer Experience excellence. Chiara enjoys wearing many hats, discovering cross-functional patterns, and turning great ideas into concrete initiatives. She is currently involved in project management and Customer Experience, but previously had experience in translation, illustration, branding, communication, content creation, UX design and event planning. Having been involved in diversity and inclusion activism since her school days, Chiara is passionate about giving everyone equal chances at self-development and success, and she believes the key lies in providing broad and early education on matters such as systemic racism, gender inequality and civil rights. Chiara is based in Stockholm (Sweden) and joined the Rise Europe Advisory Board to focus on the Nordics region, leading the comms strategy.


Silvia Botella – Synamedia & Rise Europe Marketing Lead

Silvia Botella is Senior Manager Marketing Communications at Synamedia, managing the end-to-end events strategy, from trade shows to webinars; industry affiliations, and external communications. Silvia has more than 15 years of experience in management positions within marketing and sales, with a strong focus on digital transformation, brand management, and international business development. Silvia has developed a wide career in the Media Industry, navigating uncertainty in a highly changing industry - from introducing new business lines in a company to generating business growth through sales and marketing strategy. Since Silvia moved from the rights media sector to the broadcast tech side, she has experienced the lack of women representation in the industry. The fact is that many talented women are moving this industry forward but very few have visibility or have access to managing and C-level roles. Silvia is convinced that change is possible, though collaboration and community work done by women, for women and between women. Silvia is based in Barcelona (Spain) and joined the Rise Europe Advisory Board to focus on Spain and Portugal, leading the marketing activities and events.


North America Advisory Board


Hilary Roschke - SDVI & Rise North America Chair

Hilary is the Vice President of Strategic Operations at SDVI. The Strategic Operations group is focused on keeping the company operating efficiently and effectively at scale while maintaining culture and sharp focus on customer success. Under Hilary’s leadership, the group operates at the nexus of people, technology and process to ensure optimal outcomes for SDVI, their customers, and their partners, Hilary received her degree in Electronic Media and Film and has worked in the Media Industry since 2004 in a variety of operational and strategic roles. Over her career she has optimized complex operational and technical ecosystems, working at the front of major cloud transformation initiatives at one major media company. Hilary also served in business management capacity, working in strategic roles for a fortune 500 company, helping navigate executives and organizations through major inflection points like re-branding, re-organization and large-scale company acquisitions. With her relentless focus on improvement, Hilary has helped drive organizational change, technological change, operational efficiency and increase business value/ROI in the media industry. She believes strongly in continuous change management, cross functional collaboration, and despises process for process’s sake. This continuous analysis and filtering of opportunities for improvement allows her to work with stakeholders to target the most meaningful efforts at the appropriate time.


ErinRose Widner - Verizon Business Group

ErinRose Widner has been a business development leader in the M&E and Technology space for over twenty years, creating transformational partnerships and innovative solutions for WB, Fox, Paramount, ViacomCBS, Google, Microsoft and Apple. She currently oversees Global Business Development for M&E, Studios and Emerging Technologies for Verizon. Widely recognized as an expert in her field, Widner has been involved in a number of industry groups that drive thought leadership and innovation including SMPTE, HPA, WICT, NAMIC, IEEE, The Sundance Institute, Film Independent, ETC and Women in Film. She is also incredibly passionate about improving gender and diversity representation in the M&E and Technology space, and is thrilled to now serve on the board of directors at Rise.


Anna Lockwood - Telstra

Anna is an experienced media industry executive specialising in broadcasting and sports. She started her career as a journalist and documentary film producer with a focus on natural history and wildlife programming. After ten years working in the wild she moved from India to London to join the media technology business as a consultant. Anna has since had global leadership roles across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. She currently works at Telstra at the convergence of the traditional broadcast industry and leading edge telecommunications and digital platforms. In addition to her role at Telstra, Anna represents Telstra as a Director on the IABM (International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers) Board, and is an Advisory Board Member and Mentor at RISE, a group for women in broadcast. She brings her interests in innovation, sports, and women in technology to her board and industry engagement.


Christine Purse - ignite strategic communications

Christine launched ignite in 2005 after a decade as VP at Hollywood’s post production bastion LaserPacific. There she built a team of in-house producers that served high end studio and creative clients’ needs in an expanding technological environment. Her time at LaserPacific gave her hands-on experience in the powerful intersection between technology and creativity and the incredible role it plays in filmmaking. Christine began her media career at a Denver PBS station, and moved to an advertising agency as broadcast producer. In that role, she became a Regional Emmy winner and earned a fellowship at the American Film Institute. Upon graduation from AFI, she launched a production company that produced award winning music videos and independent films. It was then, shooting film and ¾” video, that she fell in love with the “how can we do that” which intrigued her almost as much as the stories she was telling. From agency days to the road that led to ignite, Christine sees herself as absolutely lucky to have worked closely with amazing talent, iconic and emerging companies, influential organizations and brilliant technologists. And in some cases she has even gotten to spread the word about game changing developments. ignite works closely with companies behind the lens as well as leading guilds and organizations including the American Society of Cinematographers, American Cinema Editors, Hollywood Professional Association, Association of Moving Image Archivists and others. She co-founded and produces ACE's EditFest Los Angeles and EditFest London events. The pandemic era added Digital Event Producer to her portfolio and she produced EditFest Global and the HPA Awards as online global events. She is at work on a slate of 2021 digital events. Christine holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, and lives in Valley Village, California.


En Kelly - Apple, Inc.

En is a Senior Engineering Program Manager leading a team of technical project managers, technical media creatives, and user researchers within the Vision Products Group at Apple, Inc. A few of the shipping technologies En has supported include Vision Pro, Apple’s first spatial computer / 3D camera and ARKit RealityKit, and Reality Composer - enabling augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad devices around the world. Prior to coming to Apple, En worked with Microsoft as a producer shipping Microsoft HoloLens, one of the world's first wearable Augmented Reality computers.


Jill Porubovic - Jill Porubovic Consulting, LLC

Jill Porubovic has built a career of leadership success by delivering human-centered transformation across industries. Not one to sit by and wait for things to happen, she embraces technology and innovation, operational and service excellence strategies, organizational design, and communications to unlock opportunities for positive change. From startup businesses and divisions to Fortune 500 enterprises, Jill has earned the reputation as a difference maker and a builder of cultures where teams are inspired to deliver their best work—even during times of uncertainty and complexity. For these reasons, she is invited to speak about the areas of transformation, successful large-scale M&A migration, best-of-breed application and SaaS strategy, and the creation of customer change. The founder of Jill Porubovic Consulting, LLC., Jill draws upon more than 20 years of technology and operations leadership experience to guide client companies through their unique challenges. Her engagements have included work with gaming companies to structure communications and change management strategies. She is also a trusted advisor to companies across the evolving media and entertainment space with a focus on technology transformation and initiatives to leverage service as a differentiator.


Jane Sung - Cinedeck

Jane Sung is COO at Cinedeck, a position she has held since the company was founded in 2010. Jane has built up a wealth of experience helping customers improve their video production workflows. She believes the future of video technology is in distributed workflows and has guided Cinedeck towards creating software-only versions of its ingest tools, as well as cloud-based offerings.


Kate Fellion - Light Iron

Katie is Head of Business Development and Workflow Strategy at Light Iron. As one of Light Iron’s founders, she has been impacting the company’s evolution in workflow since 2009. She was instrumental in establishing Light Iron’s Outpost Mobile Post Systems, and she has produced a number of firsts in file-based finishing, including the first 6K DI (Gone Girl), the first studio feature cut on FCPX (Focus), and Amazon’s first HDR series (Transparent). Prior to launching Light Iron, Fellion worked at PlasterCITY Digital Post, where she played an integral role in the company’s first stereoscopic Digital Intermediate. Fellion is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), Women In Film (WIF), and Women in Media, and is a past mentor for the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA). She is a graduate of Whittier College with a self-designed bachelor’s degree in Aspects of Contemporary Popular Culture and a minor in Film Studies. Fellion is also an avid equestrian and currently competes in Western Reining across the Southwest region.


Kathy-Anne McManus - CDK

Kathy-Anne “KAM” McManus is an executive with global experience leading, creating, growing, and managing profitable Software, Sales, and Services business units around the globe. She currently sits on CDK’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) as EVP, Chief Customer Officer (CCO). In this newly created role, KAM will own the post-sales experience for all customers across Professional Services, Customer Success, Learning and Performance, Customer Care, and Consulting. KAM’s primary responsibility will be to drive customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty—maximizing the value of CDK solutions while continuing to improve NPS and ensuring profitability and efficiency for the business. KAM joins CDK from Avid Technology where she served as the company’s first Chief Customer Experience Officer as it expanded its customer success strategy to enhance customer touchpoints and provide exceptional experiences. In a career that spans more than three decades, she also held senior leadership roles in the service and support organizations of technology providers including Adobe, Amdocs and Ericsson and telecommunications operator Telstra. Having lived and worked on three continents, KAM has extensive global experience implementing business process change, organizational effectiveness, and technical solutions in the ever-evolving world of software sales and delivery.


Meg Travis - Iron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES)

Margaret ‘Meg’ Travis is the Director, Global Head of Marketing & Communications for Iron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES). She leads industry and client engagement across North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. Travis is a Boston native who has spent the past two decades working with clients in B2B marketing, helping organizations to develop effective message and creative strategies from early conception to execution. With an A.B. in Vocal Performance from Stanford University, she began her career in 1993, working for the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. There she advised emerging classical and jazz artists on career opportunities, which sparked her interest in the business side of music. She holds an M.B.A in Marketing from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and spent more than 12 years with global consulting firm Accenture, leading account-based and inbound marketing programs. Today, Travis is a fierce advocate for creators to prioritize preserving, protecting and archiving their assets. She is also passionate about the causes of music education and gender equality in the workplace, and volunteers on the boards of the Ipswich Music Art and Drama Association (her hometown arts education organization) and Rise North America.


Meghan Ross - Ateliere Creative Technologies

Meghan is a Chicago-based marketer that has been working in the Media, Entertainment and Technology sector for the majority of her career. Most of Meghan’s positions have been working with Partners - which she loves. A natural communicator, Meghan enjoys building and maintaining long-term relationships with her customers, vendors and partners. To this end, she is highly effective in working with diverse groups to successfully implement and execute programs that deliver results. Meghan’s extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development has given her a unique vantage point that allows her to more deeply understand the needs of her sales teams and create programs to best support their goals. Stakeholders appreciate her combination of “big picture” thinking and attention to detail. Meghan brings empathy, communication and organization to each position she holds. She has served on the board of Women in Film Chicago twice, helped launch the North American chapter of Rise and is proud to still be part of the board. Meghan has recently joined the team at Ateliere and is really excited to work with their industry leading partners. If you follow her on any social platform you will see she is a proud dog mom and features her fur kiddos frequently.


Michele Gauthier - Vice Media Group

Michele Gauthier is the Global Director of Production Transformation for Vice Media Group. The transformation unit is responsible for global strategic initiatives and operational alignment across the production business. Her background as a production executive lends to her ability to foster collaboration with cross-functional partners within production, post, and media technology. Michele previously held the role of Head of Production at Refinery29 in Toronto, Canada. She was brought on as a production expert to help translate the globally renowned brand into the Canadian market. Her priority was to continue delivering best-in-class content and high caliber service during this transition. Prior to Refinery29 she led the Integrated Production business at Vice Media in Canada where she successfully built an in-house branded production model. Michele continues to be inspired by the innovative work of her peers, colleagues, and the industry as a whole. Mentorship has played an integral role in her professional development and she is thrilled to be part of the Rise community to continue promoting knowledge sharing and connectivity.


Michelle Kelly - National Association of Broadcasters

Michelle Kelly is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Global Connections and Events, at the National Association of Broadcasters. In her current capacity, she has strategic oversight and ultimate responsibility for all marketing and communications activities tied to NAB’s major events (NAB Show and NAB Show New York) as well as other programs and services managed by the GCE department. She is also responsible for championing data-driven decision making and leading insight activities across all programs, products and customer profiles to shape business strategy. Michelle first joined NAB in August 1999 as director of marketing and left in January 2004 to accompany her husband who was reassigned to Hickam Air Force Base. While in Hawaii, she served as a consultant for NAB and various associations supporting their convention marketing strategy and programs, including the Hawaii Dental Association; Telexpo, a Brazilian-based telecom event; a security industry tradeshow sponsored by ASIS International and the Joint Spouses’ Conference, an annual event for active duty and retired military spouses. She rejoined NAB in 2007. The bulk of her career has been spent marketing trade shows in the communications sector, including 11 years (1987-1998) with the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA), an organization that represents wireless communications service providers. Michelle holds a B.B.A. degree in marketing from James Madison University. She and her husband Rick reside in Leesburg, Virginia with their two shelties, Luna and Leo.


Sandy Nasseri - MelroseINC

Sandy is the President and Co-Founder of MelroseINC, a WOSB and WBENC certified woman-owned business. In 2003, Sandy opened MelroseMAC to meet the accelerating needs in the media, technology sector. She understood the business challenges facing the entertainment marketplace and launched a company that would meet those needs. In less than one year’s time, MelroseMAC’s second location was opened in Burbank to accommodate the immediate needs of major studios. Today, MelroseINC has three distinct divisions: MelroseMAC, our experience centers; MelroseSRC, our national procurement and distribution arm; and MelroseTEC, our systems integrations group that designs end-to-end technology solutions. Sandy’s passion, intuition, and commitment to excellence have fueled her success as a leader of a multi-million-dollar company that is respected by its partners and customers, loved by its employees, and seen as unique in an industry where standing out is nearly impossible. MelroseINC has been partnered with Apple since 2003, starting as an Apple Specialist. For 15 years, Sandy has been an integral member of the Apple Reseller community, serving on the board for nine years. In 2017, MelroseINC was initiated into Apple’s inaugural class of Apple’s Premier Partner Program, exhibiting the ever-growing relationship MelroseINC has with Apple. As years passed, many of MelroseMAC’s customers were asking to have Sandy and her team not only procure products and repair machines, but to help install and implement the systems they were purchasing. With that, MelroseTEC was born. MelroseTEC provides clients with customized, large-scale solutions to create their infrastructure, or improve upon an existing one. With a state-of-the-art proprietary lab, our engineers specialize in developing and configuring the best possible workflow, IP architectures, control rooms, machine rooms, distribution infrastructures and quality solutions to meet each customer’s business needs. Together with our esteemed partners, MelroseINC provides products and services to customers such as Disney, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Fox, RedBull, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Universal Music Group, Bad Robot, Viacom, NASA, Snapchat, and more… As a woman-in-business leader, working in a male dominated industry, Sandy strives to be a voice for women in her marketplace. She serves on the Apple Advisory Reseller Board; serves as the President and Chair of the AVID Customer Association for the Reseller Channel; and is active in the American Express Women’s Initiative. Privately, Sandy is dedicated to the concept of repairing the world. She serves on the board of The Book Foundation and actively supports Alexandria House in Los Angeles. As a veteran of the military, Sandy promotes veteran hiring in both her own company and that of her colleagues. Sandy earned her degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering at ORT Technical Institute. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles and is active in her neighborhood community and her children’s schools.


Kate Wendelboe - BT

A strategist and accredited executive coach, Kate is Co-Director of Strategy and Growth for BT Security and founder of Recalibration Coaching. She previously ran the strategy and proposition development of a portfolio of BT’s smaller businesses and has also been a Director of BT's Media & Broadcast business. Before joining BT, Kate was in marketing and then journalism at Reuters - she was one of the team that started Reuters Insider, Reuters’ OTT platform for financial professionals. Kate also has an MBA from Cambridge’s Judge Business School where she specialised in Culture, Arts and Media Management.


APAC Advisory Board


Shweta Jain - AWS and Rise APAC Chair

Having worked in media industry for two decades in leadership roles across technology and new business initiatives, Shweta has a deep understanding of the challenges as well as the innovation which the industry thrives on. Ever since joining AWS in Jan-2018, Shweta has been a trusted advisor to media organisations in the APAC region on their strategy to leverage cloud for their most critical workloads. Shweta lives in Singapore with her family and is mom to two teenage girls who also happen to be her cycling and Zumba buddies. She’s passionate about I&D&E topics and is currently APAC Chair at RISE, a not-for-profit group to drive gender diversity in the media industry.


Nancy Diaz Curiel

Nancy Diaz Curiel is managing director at Digigram Asia Pte Ltd. She has been working for Digigram for more than 10 years, in the audio broadcasting industry. She oversees the company's strategy and sales across the APAC region with her local team based in Singapore. Passionate about people and new technologies, she has been dedicating her efforts in increasing her company's market share in the region, while developing a trustworthy network of partners and resellers. This third culture kid loves sharing and communicating with others, and is currently involved in a mentorship programme with a reputable French university, sharing her experience, network and guidance with young graduates. She is looking forward to learning from new inspirational personalities and contributing in empowering women in her side of the world.


Melissa Soobratty

Senior Media Director at World Table Tennis (WTT) and oversees all areas related to content to drive forward and further professionalise the organisation’s vastly expanding media operations. This includes overseeing commercial broadcast deals, live production plus social and digital media. She has accrued a wealth of experience in the fields of sports media, OTT, business development, strategy, and production over the years both in Europe and Asia. Her previous roles include Vice President, Media at Football Marketing Asia (FMA), Business Development Director, APAC at Endeavor Streaming plus commercial roles at StarHub, Setanta Africa, Fox Sports, and BBC Worldwide.


Leena Singarajah

Leena Singarajah is a senior executive with 26 years of commercial results and leadership and the sports, broadcast, media, and content industry. Her extensive experience covers commercial and growth strategy, securing and managing key client relationships, financial performance and profitability. She is also well versed and thirves in global mindset and cultures. She has previously worked for ESPN, ESPN STAR Sports, IMG, Scripps Networks and A+E Networks. A major focus in all of Leena's roles have been to develop business strategies to grow distribution, audience and ultimately monetisation. She has launched television channels, created digital content platforms, built local and regional advertising sales franchises and led businesses through digital transformation. She has also helped companies enter new geographical territories, diversify product portfolios, and convert strategies from B2B to B2C. During her sports career, Leena was responsible for content acquisition and programming for the ESPN and ESPN STAR Sports channels where she managed a multi-million dollar regional budget and acquired over 10,000 hours of programming negotiating with over 100 global sports rights holders and distributors. Specifically during her 15-year sports agency career at IMG, she was responsible for overseeing content and channel distribution of the world’s largest sports catalogue into Asia, as well as responsible for business development and other media-related activities for IMG Media across Asia Pacific. She has worked closely to help global sports federations like the IOC, ATP, European Tour, MotoGP, Wimbledon, Tennis Australia, and the FIVB expand their footprint into Asia Pacific, as well as working with Asian-based sports federations grow their footprint globally. She helped to launch Golf Channels across South East Asia in the 2000s as well as IMG’s first and fully-owned 24-hour sports channel, EDGESport.


Myleeta Aga Williams

Founder and Managing Director at AnKi Media, Myleeta Aga is an entrepreneurial, content leader experienced across the media and digital content businesses in multiple countries and functions. Previously, Myleeta was Netflix’s Director of content for Southeast Asia and Australia, responsible for content strategy, acquisition and originals in key markets including Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Australia. Before joining Netflix, Myleeta held senior roles at BBC Studios, where she led the company’s operations across Asia following her stint as SVP South and Southeast Asia – including channels, TV and digital sales, production, consumer products and Global News distribution, as well as BBC Player She also spearheaded several BBC productions in the region including Dancing with the Stars, The Office:India and Criminal Justice. Prior to joining BBC Studios, Myleeta helped co-found TV guide channel, What’s On India. She has also worked as Executive Producer at Discovery based out of Washington DC overseeing multiple factual and entertainment series from conception to execution. During this time she earned two Emmy nominations for her work as executive producer on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.


Naomi Kim

Naomi Kim is the Head of APAC Marketing at Rescale, leading APAC marketing and BDR team with over 20 years experience of demand generation, channel enablement, and marketing communications in Media and IT industry. Prior to joining Rescale, Naomi was Marketing Manaer, APAC at Avid in Singapore and Korea, and marketing manager at Motorola Solutions, developed a GTM strategy through vertical marketing campaigns. As a Marcom specialist, Naomi was responsible for the fast paced sell-through promotions whilst enabling over 1,600 distributors and resellers at Hewlett Packard.


Peter Bruce

Peter Bruce is a 30+ year veteran of the broadcast and media industry. He started his career in a production studio at Digital Visions, Austria. Peter has worked with the innovative pioneering companies such as AMPEX, Sony Broadcast and BTS / Philips Broadcast/ Grass Valley in the APAC region. Establishing the IABM APAC regional office in Singapore of which he ran for 6 years.


Rupali Sakar

Rupali Sarkar is currently working as a Senior Executive‐ Sales & Ops Support at ARK Infosolutions, Mumbai, a renowned media distributor organization in India. In this role, she is responsible for the end-end business development and management across Pan India. She works closely with end customers and resellers/partners to improve workflows and constantly build and maintain long-term relationships with them. Rupali possesses 12+ years of rich and diverse experience in Media Broadcast and AV industry across Sales, Pre-sales, Engineering and Business Development and she really enjoys the process of taking an idea and turning it into a real project. Having started her career with an intense passion to work in the creative world, she completed her education in electronics and telecommunications engineering with a post-graduation in media management. She is also a certified Trainer and the Leadership Coach and also started a Career & Wealth management coaching programs for women since January 2022.


Shad Hashmi

Shad Hashmi is a digitally-focused broadcast executive with broad T.M.T. expertise. His previous role at BBC Studios saw him launching digital products across the Global Distribution division, leading on partnership initiatives with Telcos and running broadcast operations. Prior to this he held commercial and engineering roles at Encompass Digital Media and CNBC. Shad also tries to give back to the broadcast community by spending his time mentoring as well as working on his Linked In vlog: T.M.T. 10 Cents focused on digital transitions and the Media, Telco and Technology


Simon Choi

Simon Choi is the Product Optimisation Director APAC at Hogarth Worldwide. Based in Singapore, he is A production studio technology professional with over 15 years in the media industry (TV broadcast and marketing communications) with extensive experience in project management, system design, sourcing, procurement and setting up of production studios across the APAC region. He is an avid fan of films and documentaries, with a passion for learning about the technology innovations that transform the industry.


Sharifah Ahmad

As the CMO and Head of Global Projects for Torque Video Systems, Sharifah orchestrates all aspects of publicity and driving brand growth in line with the overall business strategy, while supporting operational execution. She also oversees project management, from initiation to implementation. In between business travels and demanding project schedules, thanks to a supportive work environment, Sharifah lives the spirit of volunteerism through various community services, as well as academic programmes with the youth.


Vasundhra Gotra



Zin Mar Aung



Australia New Zealand Advisory Board


Shauna Purcell – Rise ANZ Chairwoman & Regional Sales Manager, RIEDEL Communications



Sam Yee - Rise ANZ Mentoring Program Lead & Product and Careers Advisor, Former Chief Product Officer & Head of Product

Sam Yee is a seasoned Product Management Leader with an extensive track record spanning over 20 years in the UK and Australia.  Her career has been defined by a relentless passion for consumer technology in sports and media particularly in SaaS/OTT subscription platforms. With a strong background in strategy, digital product development, personalisation, data analytics, and insights, Sam has held pivotal roles at industry giants like AFL, Kayo Sports, Seven West Media (Channel 7), Guardian Australia, and FOX SPORTS. More recently, Sam has been shaping the future of sports and health technology through her work with start-ups and visionary founders as Chief Product Officer/Advisor.  Whilst being a sports fanatic fuelled her professional journey, her natural energy and connections with people ignited the inspiration for career coaching and mentoring.


Tanya Rai – Rise ANZ Marketing/Events Lead & Marketing Manager, Telstra Broadcast Services

Tanya has worked in the broadcast and entertainment industry for over 15 years with a range of experience in marketing, events, project/account management and advocating diversity. She has worked with the BBC, Cheltenham Literature and Jazz Festivals, International Broadcasting Convention, Gritty Talent, British Arrows, Wildscreen and Icon Films. She also worked for Sundog Media Toolkit, managing projects to create automated cloud native tools for the versioning of packaged media (DCP & IMF) and building relationships with leading Hollywood Studios and UK broadcasters and as Marketing and Communications Manager at Pebble, who deliver automation, playout and management solutions for the broadcast community. Tanya currently works for Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS) as Marketing Manager to market their broadcast end to end solutions including a global media network, cloud-based media production, world-class satellite services and managed production and playout services. Tanya has hosted and produced many of the episodes featured in the ‘Rise In Conversation With’ webinar series, interviewing women in senior leadership roles from ITV, The Financial Times and the BBC. She also launched her own podcast in 2020, where she talks to diverse guests who work in the broadcast and creative industries about their top three ways of 'Keeping It Real'.


Monica Forlano - Rise ANZ Women’s Health Lead & Former Head of AFL Studios, Australian Football League

Monica Forlano is the Head of AFL Studios which is the production and in-house creative agency of the Australian Football League. Monica has over 20 years of media industry experience ranging from managing international operations of cable television in Europe, to leading broadcast channels and content production departments in Australia. Her key career achievements include developing marketing and business transformation plans around media creation and distribution, successful launch campaigns for major television programs and sports documentary production. Monica is also the Chair of Endometriosis Australia, the preeminent peak body for endometriosis and the largest non-government funder of research into this disease suffered by an estimated 830,000 Australians.


Pip Warren – Media Asset Management Professional Services Manager, Avid

Pip Warren's career in broadcasting has spanned many countries and cultures but has focused predominantly on international News and Current Affairs television coverage. Born in England where she was an apprentice Video Editor and then a Director for a London production company, followed by Sky TV (UK), and then moved to Hong Kong to join Star TV as their News Operations Manager, and as part of the team to set up Star News India. Pip moved to Australia to take up a senior managerial position with the ABC. Pip now lives in Melbourne, is an Australian citizen and works for Avid, a broadcast hardware, software, and solutions provider, headquartered in the USA, as a Broadcast Consultant managing and delivering project-based solutions and services worldwide. Pip is still very much enjoying what she does and the company of likeminded professionals. She's motivated by innovation, the rush of creating TV, and the satisfaction of assisting with numerous fantastic projects. Pip is a Life Member of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, and a member of the Brighton Yacht Club, a PADI – Dive Master and is also a qualified PRINCE2® Production Manager Practitioner. If there’s time, Pip chooses to travel, sail, scuba dive, cycle, swim, eat out or cook at home, and as many new things that she can find to try.


Will Munkara-Kerr – Enterprise Sale Manager, Avid

Will Munkara-Kerr is the Enterprise Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand at Avid. After beginning his career in the Media Technology sector as an Avid Enterprise Support role looking after Australian and New Zealand broadcasters and post production facilities, he spent the best part of a decade working in the wider Asia-Pacific region. Two years with Avid's Bid Management Team in Singapore was followed by six years in Hong Kong with EVS, where he started as a Technical Specialist before moving into a Sales Management role covering - at varying points - regions from India and Bangladesh; across to Japan and Korea; down to Australia and New Zealand; and everywhere in-between. He returned to Australia in 2016 as Technical Director for APAC with Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services, prior to running the Oceania business for French compression vendor Ateme. He rejoined Avid in 2022 to manage an awesome sales team and is based in Sydney.


Kahleah Webb – Head of Operations, Gravity Media  



Carlos Raso – Marketing Manager, Gravity Media  



Olivia Grimshaw – Head of Video and Product Operations, Nine

Olivia Grimshaw started her career in London in the theatre industry and transitioned into commercial television. After relocating to Sydney, Australia Olivia continued in broadcast operations for cable and commercial television. Upon returned from 3 years in the Netherland Olivia expanded into digital and online consulting for an Australian Sports Code. Olivia is currently providing content solutions to the media industry as the Presales and Customer Success Manager APAC at Grass Valley. 


Nina Walsh – Global Leader, Industry Business Development, AWS Media, Entertainment, Games & Sports Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Nina Walsh is the Head of Business Development, APJ & Americas for Media & Entertainment at AWS. She joined AWS in 2020 to lead M&E strategy for the region and is a global leader for Content Production, with over a decade of experience in visual effects (VFX) and animation. Prior to AWS Nina held senior leadership roles in business operations, strategy, commercial, creative, and technology. She led large-scale digital transformation and strategic growth programs for Tier 1 Film and Television production studios in the US, Canada, and Australia. Nina is an industry leader in her field, drawing from more than 18 years in M&E, spanning broadcast, radio, sports, and content production. She enjoys public speaking and presents regularly at global industry events. Nina has held production, technology, and leadership roles across some familiar industry brands including: Fox Sports, AFL, NHL, MLS, Bell Media, Deluxe, Company 3/Method, Encore Post & VFX, and Animal Logic. She is a passionate mentor and people leader who enjoys building inclusive and high-performing teams.  

Nina holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Sydney, and is a member of industry association, the Visual Effects Society (VES).  


Manda Hatter – Head of Operations, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)  



Tanya Kelly – Managing Director APAC, Xytech Systems 

Tanya is a highly experienced professional in the broadcast and media industry, having over a decade of experience at the senior management level. She began her career in London's Soho, working with major film distribution companies. Her operational roles included being a videotape operator, editor, and telecine colourist, where she worked on new documentaries and restored old films. Moving up, she joined the ABC in Australia, utilizing her skills for colour grading and restoration in their digital project. Later, she became Head of Studio Operations at Fox Sports, managing and developing the studio crew and facilities teams and facilitating their move to a new location while keeping broadcasting uninterrupted. In 2016, she founded her own consultancy, specializing in project management and technology solutions for the broadcast and media sector. She worked with numerous broadcasters and vendors, integrating resource management systems for automation and self-provisioning. Tanya's strong relationship with ScheduALL led to a partnership with Xytech in 2021. She helped deliver the Xytech Media Operations Platform to Australia and New Zealand, improving efficiency for large broadcasters and is now Xytech’s Managing Director in APAC. With an educational background in Psychology and English Language and Literature, Tanya is an innovative and collaborative leader. She excels at driving successful transformation projects, understanding processes, and engaging stakeholders for effective change. Her expertise in scheduling systems and workflows and her prioritisation of training and engagement ensures optimal technology utilization and smooth business operations.


Trupti Patel – Head of Program Management, Telstra Broadcast Services

I came to Australia in 1995, with my degree in Bachelor in Architecture. I have worked in IT and Telecommunications industry since 2000 and was the lead web site designer, and PM to deliver the VF Mobile Number Portability for their supplier. Over the years I have worked in Retail, banking and telecom industry, as  I found my interest in Project, program management and as analyst shine strong. In 2009 I joined Telstra for the T-Box program of work and since then worked on IPTV and media broadcast projects and program of work. In 2015 with Telstra's acquisition of Globecast Australia, I had the opportunity to deliver the relocation program of work and since then have grown with the company.
In my current role, I am leading a team of project managers, program managers and business analyst in delivery of broadcast media projects and program of works for Telstra Broadcast Services.

Sean Curran – GM Partnerships & Buisness Development APJ, Eluvio  



Amanda Leighton - Executive Director - Oceania, Amagi Corporation



Chrysanthe Nikakis – Consultant



Become a Rise Member

Membership to Rise is free and is open to everyone working across, or aspiring to work in, the broadcast and media technology sector.

As part of our community, you will be invited to all of our networking events / conferences / panels, as well as be asked to nominate your colleagues in our annual Rise Awards.

Each member is invited to apply for our annual Mentoring Programme and we are always looking for volunteers for our Rise Up Academy programme and for contributors to our reports too.

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