Katie Mills, the former head of brand and marketing at MediaWorks, has followed some of her previous crew to private tertiary education conglomerate Aspire2.
In joining the organisation as director of marketing, she will again work alongside former MediaWorks group chief executive Sussan Turner and former MediaWorks chief financial officer Peter Crossan.
Previously, Mills, Turner and Crossan were all part of the great MediaWorks exodus that also saw the departure of TV chief executive Paul Maher, head of interactive Siobhan McKenna, head of revenue Liz Fraser and group head of comms Rachel Lorimer (among others).
Turner’s tenure at MediaWorks spanned 30 years, while Mills and Crossan each spent 15 years at the media company. And all three will no doubt welcome the chance to reprise their working relationship.
“Being able to market the Aspire2 business that Sussan and the Aspire2 team have created is a huge opportunity,” says Mills. “She’s a formidable boss, a great mentor and is connecting me through this role with some of the best in the business.”
Aspire2 was formed in 2015 through the company’s acquisition of five tertiary education providers—NZ Tertiary Education Group, Queens Academic Group, Safety-n Action, Solomon Group and National Tertiary Education Consortium—in a deal reported to have been worth $190 million.
Turner has been involved with the business since March 2015 and has been integral in the formative months of the business.
“The progress of the business in the last 12 months is impressive and I want to support that momentum for the schools, faculties, staff and students who are doing phenomenal work,” says Mills.
Joining the education industry marks a second shift into unchartered territory for Mills in the more recent years of her career.
After leaving MediaWorks, Mills made the somewhat surprising decision to join infrastructure consultancy Opus International Consultants as general manager of marketing and communications—a position she held between March 2015 and January 2016.
“From marketing the weddings of nude strangers and multi-platform news services to some of the most impressive infrastructure projects around the globe,” she says. “Infrastructure was about as far away from entertainment marketing as you can get but it’s cool to see that the principles remain the same and the impact a strong brand, good culture and a great team can make.”
She says she enjoyed the experience at Opus, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to again work with Turner and Crossan on a new project.
“Right people, right place doing all the right things. It’s a really special product so I’m looking forward to running alongside the team here and doing some great stuff,” she says.