Meet our mentors

A mentor or professional coach can add huge value to your career progression. And mentoring is not all one sided, our IABC UK members have found the opportunity to share their knowledge and learned more about themselves too. Meet our 13 mentors.

Cami Joerin,  Senior consultant   


Cami Joerin

I have over 20 years’ experience in internal communications, employee engagement, change and employer brand. I’ve worked both in-house (at RBS) and consultancy (Bell Pottinger, Uffindell and Item) with blue chip clients across the financial services and retail sectors including RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, John Lewis Partnership (including Waitrose and John Lewis), and Argos.

I was Group HR Communications manager at RBS (2006-2008) where I managed the employer brand programme. As part of the role I created the HR reward and benefits communication architecture and designed employee recognition schemes and events.

Core skills and knowledge

My specialisms include strategic consultancy, global benchmarking, measurement design, campaigns, channel creation and management including events, web, audio and publications, employer brand strategy and implementation.

  • HR communications – benefits, performance management, employee surveys
  • Communicating to IT audiences
  • Adapting from consultancy role to corporate role and vice versa
  • Developing strategic content
  • Employer brand strategy and implementation
  • Developing harmonious relationships with stakeholders whilst taking full responsibility for delivery.

Interesting fact: Passionate book (Kindle) lover!

Casilda Malagon, Integrated Communications Specialist, Anglo-American

Casilda Malagon

I have 15 years experience in communications and development roles, with expertise in global policy communications,  in the mining industry. Experience in digital communications, event management and strategic communications.


Core Skills and knowledge:

  • Strategic communications
  • Planning and measurement
  • Government relations
  • Global Policy
  • Sustainable Development

Special expertise: Trained in influencing styles. Have been working in making change happen through influence for 10 years.

Interesting fact: I’ve lived in 5 countries but consider myself a Londoner now.

Dana Poole, Communications and Social Media Consultant, Unilever 

Dana Poole

I’m a passionate communicator, a digital ninja and an authentic leader with strong values: integrity, honesty and respect. I like to challenge the status quo and influence positive change wherever my roles take me.

I serve on the International Association of Business Communicators UK (IABC UK) Executive Board as VP Marketing and Social Media.

Through my work at Unilever, my volunteer work for IABC UK and other projects that I am involved with, my goal is to help communicators understand the digital landscape and deliver business strategy and goals through #DigitalLiteracy and #ESN (enterprise social network) adoption.

I love what I do and this passion for digital, new technologies and social media helps me blend work and private activities into a perfect circle of self-learning, knowledge sharing and fun.

Core Skills and knowledge:

  • Communications strategy and execution  –  trusted by Unilever, Shell, BP
  • Digital and Social Media –  problem solving, from strategy to tactics
  • Measurement  – distilling numbers into meaningful, actionable insights
  • Embracing change –  early adopter mindset
  • Authentic leader –  collaboratively driven, mentors, shares

Special Expertise:  I am good at networking (among Top 10 LinkedIn Marketers in 2014) because I genuinely like helping people, facilitating introductions, offering advice. Helping my peers succeed in their professional career or personal life gives me pleasure knowing I played a part in their success.

Interesting fact: I’ve worked as a croupier on cruise ships and travelled across 6 continents. I continue to expand my inter-cultural skills and I enjoy meeting people with different cultural backgrounds.

Daniel Schraibman, Director, Serekinti Ltd 

Daniel Schraibman

I’ve worked in communications for 20 years in the energy and financial services sectors but prior to that I was a financial adviser and branch manager, worked as a buyer for Land Rover and was a grocery manager of a supermarket. I’ve also worked as a volunteer journalist on a national newspaper in Ghana.


Core Skills and knowledge

I’ve been lucky enough to have worked across most areas of the communications mix in different sectors and so have developed a broad knowledge of the profession. However, some keys skills and knowledge would be:

  • Helping individuals and companies to develop successful relationships with the people and organisations most important to them
  • Developing communications functions and ensuring that there is the right team and resources in place to support the demands of the organisation
  • Being a trusted adviser to leaders to help them to do their jobs more effectively

Special expertise:

  • A commercial understanding of how businesses work and how effective communications can help organisations to grow and succeed
  • An ability to move effortlessly between creating a communications strategy and turning dry, complicated information into something that audiences might want to engage with
  • A creative flair for marketing, brand management and knowing what will resonate with different audiences
  • Helping clients manage the impact of crisis and change communications on their business. My experience has included managing the response to major incidents, mergers, acquisitions, divestments and restructures
  • Fast, efficient problem-solving and a strong cultural awareness thanks to extensive travel and working for global organisations
  • In-depth experience of managing teams and external agencies to deliver cost-effective results that contribute to the bottom line

Interesting fact: I worked on a travelling funfair in the USA after graduating from university!

Ezri Carlebach, Consultant


Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailI have considerable experience of creating, managing and measuring communications in print, online and broadcast media, and I have led multi-disciplinary communications teams for blue-chip corporate, public sector and non-profit organizations. I am an accomplished writer, with numerous published articles and contributions to two recent business communication books.

Core skills and knowledge

I have a broad range of expertise and regularly serve on juries of major industry awards schemes. I served as Chair of the international committee for the IABC Gold Quill Awards, 2009-2010 and was a member of the board of business writers’ network ’26’ for 7 years. I am a Visiting Lecturer in Public Relations at the University of Greenwich, and I have a special interest in organizational storytelling and design thinking for business.

Interesting fact: My first career was in music, playing and teaching double bass, touring and recording with a variety of artists in jazz, rock and cabaret acts.

What a mentee said about working with Ezri

“My mentor has acted as a sounding board for me to bounce ideas off, has recommended numerous helpful resources and reading, provided sound careers guidance, and has been a supportive presence through several job moves. As a generalist communications professional trying to find her niche, it’s been invaluable to have this support!”

Howard Krais, Director of Communication GSK


Howard KraisSenior change communications and employee engagement leader. Has had a career mixing in house and communications consultancy roles.

Recently joined GSK where he leads Executive communications having previously spent nearly 5 years with EY leading a global change communications team. Among previous roles has run own communications business and built at Eversheds LLP he built the internal communications function from scratch.

Core skills and knowledge

  • Change communications & employee engagement
  • Communications leadership
  • Building teams from scratch
  • Talent Management including communications competencies, career path & learning and development
  • Stakeholder management
  • Working globally/virtually
  • Cultural awareness
  • Experienced recruiter
  • Social media
  • Working across generations

Interesting fact: Chairman of Wealdstone FC, a semi professional football club based in North West London, playing in the Conference South, the 6th Level of English football.

Karen Drury, Executive Coach

Karen DruryKaren runs the training for the IABC mentor programme, and is a qualified executive coach. She is a change/internal communication professional and writer, spending her working life trying to get management to treat employees like adults.
Starting in external communication before moving into internal communication, she has extensive consulting experience, supporting change programmes and HR interventions at a senior level. She has worked in agencies, client side and as an independent.

She is an experienced facilitator and trainer, building on her Masters in Organisational Behaviour. Following roles in the arts, PR agencies and a small management consultancy, Karen set up and led the internal communications practice at Hill & Knowlton before becoming independent. Her experience covers the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Core skills and knowledge

  • communication strategy and implementation
  • workshop design and facilitation (groups of all sizes and seniorities)
  • communication support to HR programmes and change
  • writing – almost anything!
  • designing and conducting employee surveys and focus groups

Special expertise

  • leadership development programmes
  • supporting individuals through personal change
  • qualified coach

Interesting fact: I have been a dresser to Dr Frank.N.Furter in a touring production of The Rocky Horror Show and have sung at the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall. (Not in The Rocky Horror Show)


Michael Ambjorn, Founder Align Your Org

twitter-icon2linkedin-icon2Michael Ambjorn

These days, in addition to a varied portfolio, I run // Align Your Org – which houses a commercial practice and a non-profit lab – both focused on helping people achieve purpose driven impact: by aligning resource and effort through communication, clarity and consensus. Something that can be surprisingly fun.

So what about the rest of the time? Well, I serve on IABC’s International Executive Board and I am Past Chair IABC Europe / Middle East / North Africa.

I’ve worked across four continents and travelled across most of the rest. These days I live in central London, and originally cut my teeth at IBM and Motorola – and more recently headed up the Fellowship, a 27,000 strong group of social entrepreneurs, influencers and senior decision makers, at the 259 year old Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (RSA). I remain an active Fellow and I am a past Chair of the Diebold Scholarship Programme for the RSA in the United States, developing the next generation of high-potential changemakers.

I’ve got a passion for public speaking and as lead ambassador for the Speakers Trust, a charity that has trained more than 200,000 young people in public speaking, I’m doing my bit to advance this field.

Core skills and knowledge

  • Strategy alignment and facilitation – proven change practitioner and chair
  • Leadership and talent development – blue chip trained and tested
  • Industry insight and analysis – published author, speaker, trainer
  • International and multilingual – worked across four continents
  • Helping people make the most of their talents and passion.


Interesting fact: I like to throw sparks. Literally.

Mike Pounsford, Managing Director Couravel Limited


Mike PounsfordI started my career in marketing and sales. I spent  6 years as consultant for Towers Watson in Communication then Human Resource Management Practice; specialising in Employee Research. Director of Organisational Effectiveness Practice at Alexander Consulting Group (4 years). Founder and CEO of Banner McBride (WPP Group’s first start up business) specialising in brand engagement (5 years). Board Director Enterprise XP; non-executive director Clever Media. I founded Couravel in 2001; employee engagement and organisational change practice with associate network.

Core skills and knowledge

  • Small business leadership
  • Facilitation
  • Employee research
  • Organisational development

Special expertise

  • Employee communication strategy
  • Big Conversation/Big Picture/Rich Picture methodology
  • Neuroscience
  • Large group interventions
  • Brand engagement

 Interesting fact: I am a glider pilot and a keen amateur guitarist.

Olivia Gadd, Global Head, People & Culture Strategic Initiatives, Grant Thornton UK


Olivia GaddStarted life in general marketing and comms for a firm of architects; moved into press office for major contractor; a couple of years in a financial PR agency; ten years building a global marketing and comms function for a built environment consultant; a couple of years running an integrated comms and design agency; six years leading internal/external comms at big accountancy firm… now effecting transformational culture change globally for that same firm. Also on International Executive Board of IABC and a school governor.

Core skills and knowledge

  • Strategy development.
  • Translating strategy into practical action.
  • All aspects of marketing and comms.

Special expertise

  • Influencing without authority!
  • Full-time working mother!
  • Qualified coach-mentor and NLP practitioner

Interesting fact: I’ve traced my family tree back to 1745.

Stephen Welch, Communication consultant. Past President IABC UK 

Stephen Welchtwitter-icon2linkedin-icon2For 20+ years I’ve worked in the communication arena, veering across different disciplines and practices such as marketing, PR, corporate image research, internal communications, leadership and branding. These days I tend to focus on topics like internal communication, HR and comms and a business partner, and employee engagement.

I’m currently leading Internal Communications at Dialog Semiconductor, a fast-growing tech company; drawing on my experience of advisory work and also for five years I led the global technology consulting practice at Hay Group.

The other parts of my portfolio career have recently included: advising the government of Cyprus on the implementation of their reform programme, being appointed by the UK Cabinet Office to review internal communications across government (part of a panel), and improving leadership communication in a major oil and gas company.

These days, I’m also a regular columnist in Communication World, writing about business partnering to help communicators grow and develop their career at a senior level.

From 2012-2014, I was IABC UK President and I was on the IABC World Conference 2015 Programme Advisory Committee. I’m also a member of the CIPR, the Market Research Society and a Fellow of the RSA.

Interesting fact: I conducted the first ever (proper) employee engagement survey in Albania.

Tessa O’Neill,  Senior Culture Manager AbbVie


Tessa O'NeillI have 17+ years’ experience in corporate and employee communications across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, engineering and business services. I most enjoy developing innovative communications and providing consultancy services that help drive employee engagement, enhance reputation and deliver business results.

I designed and delivered a highly successful three-year corporate communications strategy that took global healthcare company, Abbott, from the mid-twenties to the Top 5 in the UK premier employer rankings, attaining a slew of awards. And I created the company’s first nationwide employee volunteering programme, which is still going strong today.

Most recently, I took a key role in devising and executing awareness and advocacy strategies to drive culture transformation for global biopharmaceutical, AbbVie, achieving a 7% increase in employees’ culture perception worldwide in the first year (5% in the following).

Core skills and knowledge

  • Creative and business-focused communications strategy
  • Client engagement at all levels
  • Project management
  • Reputation management
  • Strong writer

Special expertise

  • Communications management in an international matrix organisation
  • Corporate and employer brand stewardship
  • Culture transformation

I was President of the UK Chapter for 2014-2015, and remain the cheerleader for our mentorship programme – a great learning experience for both mentors and mentees!

Interesting fact: I love to be out in nature (whether running or walking my dog) where I can relax and be inspired.


Toomas Kull,  Senior Consultant, Project Associates 

Toomas KullAfter completing my Master’s degree in 2008, I started my career in the communications sector. I completed a five-month traineeship with the European Commission in the London office’s press office, and then spent a year at BIS, working with the Director for Communications.

I then headed over to the private sector and joined Regester Larkin as a junior consultant. Throughout the four years that I spent there, I worked with a range of multinational companies, ensuring that they are prepared for a corporate and reputation-threatening crisis and providing strategic communications advice. Over time, I was promoted to consultant.

After Regester Larkin, I joined Project Associates in Aug 2014 as a senior consultant. I work across sectors, and across corporate and individual (ie high net worth) clients, providing strategic communications advice, and supporting them during live crises.

Core Skills and knowledge:

  • Corporate communications
  • Crisis and issues management
  • Stakeholder engagement and management
  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Analytical thinking
  • Media handling
  • Client profile raising
  • Writing
  • Networking and relationship building
  • Client management
  • Project management
  • Cyber security and communications

Special expertise: 

  • Reputation management
  • Crisis communications

Interesting fact: I do swing dancing, and am part of a lindy hop performance troupe. I speak four languages, English, French, Russian, Estonian. I’m half Estonian, half Russian.