James Wright
Global Chairman

One of the most recognized agency heads in the world, James is global chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective and CEO of Havas PR North America. He previously served as group CEO of the Havas-owned Red Agency Australia and was responsible for Havas-owned PR agencies across the Asia-Pacific region. He also served as chief commercial officer for Havas Group Australia/New Zealand, which tripled in size once he took over. Under his leadership, the Red Agency transformed into a regional powerhouse of creativity and one of the most awarded agencies in the Asia-Pacific region. It was named Mumbrella PR Agency of the Year and CommsCon Agency of the Year. James joined the Havas Group in 2011 from the U.K. Previously, he was managing director at international agency Grayling, where he led international accounts including BT, HSBC, Sony, Jaguar and Land Rover. In 2017, PR Asia named James Agency Head of the Year at its annual awards show, and PR Awards Asia named him Asia-Pacific PR Agency Head of the Year. That year, he was also the Australian PR juror for the Cannes Lions Festival, the second time he has performed the role, having previously done it in 2013. In 2008, at the age of just 28, he won the coveted PRCA’s Consultant of the Year (U.K.) and the same year was named International CSR Leader by PR News USA at their All Stars Awards. In 2016, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, one of the youngest ever admitted.

Lesley Sillaman
Senior Vice President, Global (EMEA New Business Lead)

Lesley joined Havas PR in 2006, and since then has been immersed as strategist, content and speech writer, media relations specialist and trainer. She manages the Havas PR Global Collective, coordinating its cross-border work with Havas teams around the world, including on the Kellogg’s snacks and cereals business in EMEA. For Transitions Optical, Lesley launched the Transitions Adaptive Sunwear brand, and has introduced various new products with global brand names like Oakley, Nike, Callaway, Bell and Shoei. She has also been the executive speechwriter for the company’s annual flagship partner education event, Transitions Academy. For Sodexo, Lesley led the planning, messaging strategy and media outreach for the company’s first “Quality of Life” Conference, an international symposium in New York. And for 10 years, she has led all media, content development and partnership initiatives for International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association. Lesley was named PR News’ PR Professional of the Year in 2016. She received her bachelor’s from the University of Dayton and her master’s from the Annenberg School for Communications.

Linda Descano, CFA®
Executive Vice President (Americas New Business Lead)

Linda joined Havas PR in 2015 to spearhead the agency’s digital, social and measurement practice areas. With more than 15 years of experience, she specializes in providing strategic counsel and tactical implementation of integrated communications programs, incorporating PR, media relations, social media, content partnerships, influencer marketing, thought leadership and advertising. Her work includes a variety of sectors including financial services, economic development, pharma and corporate responsibility. Previously, Linda was managing director and global head of content marketing and social media at Citi, where she launched numerous digital firsts and served as president and CEO of Women & Co., the bank’s award-winning financial lifestyle community for women. Her honors include PR News’ 2018 PR Professional of the Year, 2018 Campaign U.S. Digital 40 Over 40, 2014 Fox Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fox School of Business at Temple University, 2014 Pinnacle in Leadership Award from the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, and 2013 Changing the Game Award from Advertising Women of New York (now known as She Runs It).  Linda also served as a judge for The Content Council Pearl Awards in 2018 and 2017. Linda serves as a capstone mentor and advisory council member for the Fox School of Business M.S. in Digital Innovation in Marketing program. She currently serves on the board of directors of New York Women in Communications (and is a past president) and Servo Annex, a digital consultancy.

Grant Richmond-Coggan
Business Director (APAC New Business Lead)

Grant Richmond-Coggan will drive the strategic direction for the account and ensure continuity for Account Management, billing and process across ANZ. Grant has a wealth of experience in both the corporate and consumer space, and is current lead for Toyota Motor Company Australia and Amazon Web Services – two companies that like Avis and Budget Group are leading their industries in this market.

In addition Amazon Web Services is run as an integrated cross market account for ANZ following the same one point of contact / one billing structure approach recommended for AB Group.

Grant has over ten years’ experience working with corporate, consumer and government clients in Australia as well as the UK and Middle East.