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Thrive Announces Melbourne Leadership Team with new appointments and promotions

Thrive PR Melbourne has kicked off the year with new appointments, promotions and a new leadership team marking the delivery of a transformation strategy that’s seen the agency diversify and strengthen its corporate, consumer and integrated digital service offering in Victoria. 


After three years at Thrive, Zoe Raknes, who has led Melbourne’s transformation with the support of Thrive’s Executive Director, Snezna Kerekovic, will hand over the baton to a new local lead as she takes on a leadership position with her family’s business. Raknes has played a key role in nurturing culture, team and clients and recruiting new team members into the Melbourne office. Together with Kerekovic, they have delivered growth, stability and innovation that has strengthened the agency’s local market presence, setting it up for continued success.


A critical part of the transformation has been continuing to attract exceptional talent and embedding a new senior leadership team. The senior bench now includes:


  • Nathan McGregor (Group Account Director/2IC), after almost five years at Thrive working across technology, digital and business, steps up into a 2IC role 

  • Summer Reading (Group Account Director), a former Thrive client from Hong Kong,  has joined from Ketchum in Singapore with extensive experience in tech and corporate PR

  • Melanie Campbell (Group Account Director), joins as a consumer PR and influencer expert working across auto, FMCG and wellness 

  • Erin Doyle (Senior Account Director, Social), up weights Thrive’s social expertise having started her career in journalism and more recently working in financial services

  • Erika Rutledge (Account Director), who joined Thrive in Brisbane, has relocated to Melbourne to work with News Corp and other local clients flexing her extensive media expertise

Thrive PR + Communications’ Melbourne Leadership Team. (L-R): Sophie Maguire, Melanie Campbell, Nathan McGregor, Zoe Raknes, Erika Rutledge, Summer Reading and Erin Doyle.


Thrive also welcomes back Sophie Maguire who will join the Melbourne Senior Leadership Team having been with the agency for numerous stints for more than fifteen years. She returns to work closely with the Executive Leadership Team and a newly appointed Melbourne Business Director who will be announced in the coming weeks. 


Zoe Raknes commented on the announcement: “It has been such a privilege seeing Thrive Melbourne - the location where Thrive was born - go from strength to strength with new team members, an enviable local and global client list and the cultivation of a culture and community like no other. I feel so proud of what we have created together, ” said Raknes. “It has been the most rewarding and transformative role of my career.”


Thrive CEO and founder, Leilani Abels, said “I’m so proud of what the Melbourne team are achieving together and the way we continue to evolve, challenge ourselves and bring new opportunities to our clients. Our AU/NZ footprint is unmatched as an agency and our capabilities across earned, social and content,  allow us to deliver greater value all under one roof. We are looking forward to announcing our new local business lead and so grateful for the role Zoe has played with Snezna in strengthening and diversifying the Melbourne team. It’s an exciting time at Thrive!”


Melbourne was the first location for the agency which now has offices in major states across Australia and in New Zealand. Thrive Melbourne has just completed a stellar campaign for WelleCo, including its founder Elle Macpherson visiting Australia for the first time in four years. The agency represents ANZ, News Corp, Chobani Australia,  Spotlight Group, Stihl, MG Motor Australia and many other multinational organisations based in Melbourne and nationally. 


Abels added, “Victoria is where it all began for our agency and we have proven that businesses are truly ‘limited by nothing’ being based and growing from Melbourne. I want us to help many more businesses in Melbourne grow and thrive into 2024 and beyond.” 

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