Staff Reporters
Nov 10, 2021

40 Under 40 2021: Anna Cherry, Spark Foundry

A firm believer that diverse and happy people are the key to unlocking profit, Cherry is proving that hypothesis correct as she builds a formidable strategic offering at Spark Foundry.

40 Under 40 2021: Anna Cherry, Spark Foundry
Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry

Anna Cherry

National head of strategy
Spark Foundry

Anna Cherry sees no daylight between people and profit. To the Spark Foundry strategy head, they are one in the same: Empowering talent to shape their own paths and pursue passions is what unlocks profit, she believes.

The proof that she's right lies in the diverse team she's built (four men and six women, including two mothers and two members of the LGBTQIA community) and the "monumental" results she and her team have helped deliver recently. The achievements include 26 clients with retained strategic resources, eight strategic consulting projects won for new clients and eight big pitch wins including two of the largest in the nation (Westpac Banking Group and Toyota Motor Company)—nearly doubling the agency's scale. All of which translated to a substantial increase in billings and margins. At the same time, both client-satisfaction and staff-happiness measures improved.

Importantly, Cherry's vision doesn't end when the pitch concludes. In a myopic industry, she encourages her team to put down the communications toolbox to deliver long-term, solution-agnostic strategies for both new and longtime clients.

A leader who "radiates optimism" (apparently a longstanding trait, as she won a smiling contest at the age of 12), Cherry shows "unwavering dedication to fostering growth in business and in people". This means making herself constantly available to mentor those around her and placing high priority on training and process improvements. For example, she has trained more than 185 people on critical-thinking skills. Simultaneously, she is a "loud supporter" of an integrated life, one which models proper work-life boundaries so that her team and those who follow later will be able to lead rich, balanced lives. 

Cherry's career has included stints at Red Bull (where she played a part in the Red Bull Stratos project), Naked Communications (where she was part of the award-winning 'Overstay' campaign for Art Series hotels), Imagination, Dentsu (where she helped the federal government create behaviour change with campaigns such as ‘This girl can’) and PHD Melbourne (where she built the strategy offering and took client referral scores to new heights).

Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry


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