Northern Division

Below you'll find information about the chair and committee members in your wider geographic area.

If you are interested in joining your local committee please read the role description and contact the Chair of the Division below.

Fred Russo, Chair


Fred Russo is the Executive Director at Botica Butler Raudon Partners. Fred has spent the past 12 years in New Zealand working with Fortune 500 companies, IT businesses and local start-ups. He has led or managed PR programmes for technology giants including Intel, Samsung, LG, and Symantec. Fred also drives the company’s social campaigns and brand activations.

Fred moved to New Zealand from South East Asia in 2006, but originally hails from the United States of America. Fred holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and minor degrees in sociology and criminal justice from Northern Arizona University. A one-time international athlete, Fred is a former NCAA springboard diver and circus manager.

Fred was elected to the PRINZ Northern Committee in 2017. 

Adam Szentes

Photo coming soon

Adam is currently an Account Executive at Porter Novelli. He has experience across corporate, crisis, financial, marketing and public sector communication and as well as social media management.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Communication Studies from Auckland University of Technology in 2017, Adam was awarded the PRINZ President’s Award for the Top Academic Student in the PR Major.

Last year, Adam joined the Northern Committee as part of the PRINZ Student Ambassador programme. He is passionate about using communication for social good, with past projects including a media relations campaign with NET cancer charity, Unicorn Foundation NZ.

Ady Schwartfeger, FPRINZ


Ady has worked in the PR and Communications profession for 17 years gaining a wealth of communications experience across a variety of industry sectors (Local and Regional Government, Crown Entity and Corporate). Ady gained a Bachelor of Parks and Recreation Management in 1992 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Commerce in 1993. Adrienne then completed a Graduate Diploma in Communications and PR in 2004 and APR accreditation in 2011. She has supported PRINZ through involvement in the PRINZ Southern Committee from 2011-14 and the PRINZ National Conference organising committee in Christchurch in 2011-12 and received highly commended at the 2012 PRINZ Awards for her entry in the Internal Communications category.

Aakanksha Mehta, MPRINZ


Aakanksha has 10 years of international experience in leading external and internal communications. Her experience includes handling media relations, events, social media, executive communication, employee engagement, and business critical projects like change management and crisis solutions.

Aakanksha relocated to New Zealand in 2015 and joined Yellow to handle their internal communications. Currently, she’s the Account Manager at The Clique PR agency. Prior to that she’s worked in & for brands like Cure Kids, Bank of America, National Geographic and FOX International channels.

Aakanksha holds a Masters in Literature from the University of Delhi and a PG Diploma in Advertising and Marketing. She's a certified Green Belt, a Women Achiever awardee and is currently pursuing PRINZ Accreditation in Public Relations.

You can get in touch with Aakanksha through Linkedin and email.

Alex Harman

Bio + photo coming soon!

Lucy Handford


Lucy is AUT's Corporate Communications Manager, joining the university's communications team in September 2016. With a focus on both external and internal communications, she leads on internal communications, provides advice and supports all non-faculty departments on external communications.

Lucy has worked as a communications professional for over 13 years, working in both the UK and Australia. Starting out in the not for profit sector in London, she worked at a number of high profile charities including Terrence Higgins Trust and Prostate Cancer UK, focusing on major PR campaigns aimed at raising awareness and policy change. A move into the education sector followed with PR and media roles at Imperial College London and Monash University as well as broader communications roles at the University of Warwick. With her role at AUT, this is the first time Lucy has worked in New Zealand.

Mary Lambie


Mary became a television fixture in New Zealand as the face of the long-running TVONE show ‘Good Morning’. A journalist, she worked as a foreign correspondent in Japan and hosted radio and TV business shows over a 20 year, multi award winning broadcasting career. With motherhood came a successful move into business as an owner/operator of Subway restaurants.

Mary is the founder and managing director of Socius – a boutique Communications and Media Training company. Mary is also a regular commentator on TV3’s A.M Breakfast show and Radio Live Drive, a 4th Presenter on TV3’s The Project and a RNZ Newsreader. Mary has a B.A (Victoria University) and Post Grad Dip Arts (Communication Studies) AUT. Mary is Patron of the Multiple Birth Club NZ, a member of Global Women NZ and sits on the PRINZ Northern Committee as well as being mother to three teenagers.

+ 64 274 838 800

Travis Logan, MPRINZ


Travis has over ten years’ experience working in the public relations and communications industry in New Zealand. Travis began his career in 2006, working in the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand National Office for two years.

Over the years, he’s worked in the advertising, telecommunications, not-for-profit, postal service, education and financial sectors, specialising in corporate, marketing and internal communications, and media relations.

Travis has a Bachelor of Applied Communications degree from Manukau Institute of Technology in 2005 and achieved his Accreditation in Public Relations in 2015.

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