Meerkats boosts its strategic position with additions of Burnham and Walker to its team
Meerkats' strategy team has grown to nine with the recent appointments of Barry Walker and Claire Burnham.
Originally from Scotland, Walker began his career in Perth at Meerkats as a Brand Strategist. He worked with P&N Bank, Murdoch University, 96FM and Youth Focus, helping brands to develop a new way of thinking about themselves.
In 2013, he was awarded a position within the WPP Fellowship program. The three-year fellowship saw him move his family to London, where he developed digital content strategies for TNS global, The Royal Mint, Reckitt Benckiser, and Unilever. He moved to New York in 2014 to take up the position of Planning Director at J. Walter Thompson, where his clients included Macy's, KPMG, Kellogg's and Campari.
"The last three-and-a-half years of travel have opened my eyes to the broad spectrum of agency models and approaches out there, and while I got to work on numerous global brands, I can't help but imagine the results they might have achieved had the Meerkats 'way' been applied. Meerkats is a special place... it's nice to finally come home."
Burnham has worked client and agency side as a digital strategist and consultant in Perth and London. She was also co-founder of Perth-based digital consultancy, Digital Balance. She brings over 15 years experience on brands such as JPMorgan Asset Management, HBF, GlaxoSmithKline, Murdoch University, AHG, Synergy and The Water Corporation.
"Meerkats has always been recognised as an outstanding agency for strategy-led thinking," said Burnham. "Their recent changes and their vision for the future makes this a really exciting time to be a part of this unique team."
Chief Strategy Officer, Melanie Wiese, said: "Meerkats' strategic offering continues to grow as we align our founding purpose-led business to the commercial market need. The breadth of our strategy offering is helping businesses and organisations transform by understanding why they exist, ultimately delivering effective strategic solutions. The addition of Claire and Barry brings even more strength to what we see as a world-class offering at Meerkats."
As well as Walker and Burnham, Zoe Kitson has been promoted from within the business partnerships team, following a path of growth that saw her take part in the IPA Strategic Planning course in Sydney.
Simon Thuijs also recently joined as a strategist after winning the Communications Council JumpStart grad program. The strategy team at Meerkats is now the largest in the agency's 13 years.
The appointments have seen the agency's strategy team grow to a total of nine including co-founder Ronnie Duncan and Hayley Parker, currently on maternity leave.
Pictured clockwise from bottom left: Melanie Wiese, Claire Burnham, Emily Ryan, Barry Walker, Tammy Cooksey, Zoe Kitson and Simon Thuijs.