Ushering in the Advisors #3: Tess, Renny

Following the launch of the FrontlineSMS Advisory Board late last year, we’re honoured to announce news of our latest two appointees – Tess Conner and Renny Gleeson. Tess and Renny join previous recruits Larry Diamond, Jenny AkerJan Chipchase and Erik Hersman.

Rather than formulate a general board of Advisors, we’re trying to be strategic by appointing individuals in areas we consider key for the ongoing success and growth of the project. Tess and Renny fall into the branding/public relations category – clear communication and positioning will be increasingly crucial as we continue to build and deploy non-profit facing mobile services. In addition to their professional expertise, both have a strong interest in ICTs and their impact around the world. Tess has already spent the past year helping us with press and outreach, and Renny has been instrumental in the exciting – and path-breaking – branding work carried out on FrontlineSMS and the growing family of related projects.

Tess is an independent Communications Executive leading consultations which involve global community investments and social initiatives. With experience living and working in the developing world, she’s developed a great deal of passion and understanding around on-the-ground realities faced by rural communities, and the potential of the right technologies in the hands of these communities. Recently with Cisco Systems, her drive is to understand issues concerning technology’s role in education and economic development. She graduated with a Masters in Global Media and Postnational Communication from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and is an avid surfer.

Renny has worked all sides of the interactive marketing space from client, to agency, to publishing/sales, beginning his “career” as an animator and game designer creating online and CD-ROM games, before helping to found Saatchi & Saatchi’s Darwin Digital company in 1997. He was later recruited by the National Basketball Association to be their Senior Director of Global Media and Interactive Marketing, where he created mobile programs and programming, oversaw fantasy game-related syndication revenue and developed interactive platforms for NBA corporate partners. Renny has since found his spiritual home at Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) as their Global Director of Interactive Strategies, where he shapes client vision on the “brave new digital world”.

We’re incredibly excited to be able to draw on the considerable experience of our new Advisory Board members, each of whom will help steer and direct our technical, marketing and organisational development. With software downloads now approaching 5,000 and the imminent launch of a number of new initiatives, not to mention the emergence of new spin-off organisations such as FrontlineSMS:Medic and FrontlineSMS:Credit, there’s without doubt plenty to be getting on with.

The Board of Advisors will all be profiled on the FrontlineSMS website once all appointments have been made. The final two will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Welcome Tess and Renny! \o/

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