THE TEAM

Dato Sri’ Idris Jala

Chairman

What does blues music have in common with consulting? In Idris’ case, quite a lot, actually. Over the course of his illustrious career, he has made a name for himself as a turnaround guru turning business and socio-economic blues into opportunities for transformation. 

His most notable achievements were his record turnaround for Shell in Malaysia and Sri Lanka, as well as during his tenure as CEO of Malaysia Airlines, where he introduced “Malaysian Hospitality” as the airline’s positioning. He is also recognised globally for his socio-economic work for the governments of Malaysia, Oman and Tanzania, which placed him in Bloomberg’s 2014 Top 50 Most Influential list. 

Armed with his unwavering ethos of “Big Fast Results”, he brings a wealth of strategic and operational expertise to the work for our clients as Chairman of COMMUNICATE.

Alex Iskandar Liew

Managing Director

Alex identifies himself as a communication activist, committed to generating bold-yet-relatable ideas as the foundation of his storytelling discipline. With a career of almost three decades in media publishing, broadcasting, and brand marketing, he leverages his quick thinking and insightful experience to identify unique points and quirks of a brand to build compelling narratives for clients, both in the public and private sector.

Prior to joining PEMANDU in 2010, Alex has held leadership roles with regional publishing and broadcast companies such as The Star, NST, Astro, ntv7 and TV3, and international broadcast stints with ABC in New York, DIRECTV in California, as well as Singapore Press Holdings, Mediacorp Singapore and Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation.

Shifting gears to a more formal environment, Alex has provided global governments advisory and delivery on public sector strategic communications. He was also instrumental in designing the Global Transformation Forum (GTF) in 2015 & 2017.

Today, he serves as COMMUNICATE’s Managing Director, guiding the young and vibrant team to transform brief-hitting brand concepts for clients that are not just meant to be heard or seen, but also to deliver business results.

He also sits on PEMANDU Associates leadership team as an Executive Vice President & Partner.

Leon Jala

Vice President (Creative Strategy)

Growing up with tales of how his tribal ancestors severed peoples’ heads, Leon is taking the storytelling tradition from the jungles of Borneo to the wonderful world of communications (minus the head-chopping).

Leon has over 8 years of experience as a creative strategist in advertising and marketing and has served clients in the private and public sector in areas related to oil & gas, education, energy, education and socio-economic transformation.

His expertise in brand strategy, copywriting and content development have served in award-winning brand campaigns for PETRONAS and Tenaga Nasional Berhad during his 4-year tenure at Leo Burnett, Malaysia.

Now, as a Vice President at COMMUNICATE, he is bent on serving his clients by telling real stories that yield real results.

Andrea Dennis

Vice President
(Business Development)

A love for people and a penchant for order has helped Andrea turn meaningful stories to cohesive brand strategies for her clients over her 10-year career in Advertising, Marketing and Communications.

One of her most memorable working experiences was her transition from the globally renowned Leo Burnett to Mad Squared, a local start-up agency whose clients were predominantly non-profits and social enterprises. This move taught her that every company, whether big or small, has a story to tell.

The diversity of sectors she has served makes her a nimble Vice President and Business Director at COMMUNICATE.

Jerome Jambu

Creative Director

With over 19 years of experience in the advertising industry, Jerome has worked with major international ad agencies developing integrated marketing campaigns and building brands such as PETRONAS, Celcom, Honda and Panasonic.

His experience in brand communication and production makes him proficient in visual identity systems, particularly when matters of functionality and utility are an issue.

Notable work includes developing brand logos and guidelines for companies such as Proton, TNB, HDC (Halal Industry Development Corporation), and various Astro sub-brands.

A problem solver at heart, he strives to deliver the most effective solutions at the highest of standards.

Today, Jerome works with his dedicated and exciting team of colleagues at COMMUNICATE producing work that captures the imagination and stirs the heart.

Seemun Pon

Associate Vice President

After realising that being a celebrity chef was somehow out of reach, Seemun spent over 7 years in advertising and brand building with clients in both the private and public sector.

Her passion for cooking and experimenting with recipes has led to her ‘keep-trying’ attitude and as a result, her penchant for persistent problem-solving.

Prior to joining COMMUNICATE, she has worked in leading advertising agencies and has served a diverse range of clients from different industries, offering her expertise in advertising, strategic marketing communications, content marketing and corporate branding.

Yana Rizal

Associate Vice President

Yana thrives on the unorthodox. Her decade-long career spans corporate strategy, entrepreneurship, human rights advocacy, cultural research and think tank events management.

Yana has served with companies and clients such as Sime Darby Berhad, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Kroll Associates Singapore, PUSAKA and the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI). She specialises in project management, having led numerous projects and events involving local and international partners across sectors.

With COMMUNICATE, Yana’s mission is to help clients realise their goals through this ethos: Compelling narratives move people, and shape the world.

Maryam Eleena

Senior Manager

As a marketeer with 7-years of experience in campaign management and analytics, Maryam is fascinated by the possibilities of amalgamating language and data. Today, she uses these skills to ensure that the stories she creates serve a bigger purpose for audiences big and small.

Past working experiences include her time at Celcom Axiata Berhad, having being one of the employees handpicked to be part of an elite project that has now grown to become 11street.my.

Prior to COMMUNICATE, she was Marketing Lead at Kidxy.com, where developed strategies to double year-on-year B2C revenue.

Nadine Defensor

Senior Associate

An advocate for captivating stories while having an eye for design, Nadine is a creative hybrid who lives and breathes in the ever-evolving world of advertising.

This tiny visual storyteller blends her love for writing and passion in art and design to craft inspiring content and strategic visual solutions for brands that want tell their story – in a rich and meaningful way.

A fearless go-getter, Nadine has worked in various industries such as medicine, publishing and advertising, while offering her expertise in editorial design, features writing, art direction and brand identity.

Nadine joins the team at COMMUNICATE, to help transform the way brands communicate with audiences through the different platforms of creative storytelling.

Melissa Wong

Senior Associate

Realising that a dream to become Malaysia’s version of Hayao Miyazaki would mean giving up an equally strong interest in the social sciences, Melissa has since pursued an interest in political science and a curiosity about what makes people (and countries) tick.

With a flair for both critical analysis and creative writing, Melissa has a background in politics, history and international relations. She has worked with think tanks and civil society before ultimately deciding to return to her more creative roots and try her hands at communications and story-telling.

Prior to joining COMMUNICATE, she was a senior policy and research analyst at the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute, examining public policy in Malaysia and developing an insight into the types of issues, stories and concerns faced by Malaysians every day.

Ellisha Rosli

Senior Associate

Fun fact about Ellisha: She grew up competing in story-telling competitions at a national-level!

Now, she is a writer, content creator, and multimedia communicator aiming to share powerful stories. Representation matters deeply to Ellisha as she brings her background in communications, international relations, and gender, women and sexuality studies, to the discussion table.

As an ambitious woman who’s always seeking exciting opportunities, she has done substantive work in the fashion, journalism, food & beverage, non-profit, publishing, and e-commerce industry for clients such as Alaska Airlines, The Daily UW, AIESEC Seattle, storyfrontier, and Inmagine Group.

Ellisha is a passionate traveler and adventure enthusiast exploring foreign territories underwater, on land, and way beyond the clouds. Throughout her past journeys, she enjoys taking photos and sharing them on her social media and website. The experiences that she’s gained abroad has shaped her thought process and the conversations that she holds with her surroundings at a more meaningful level.

Lim Chun Yuan

Digital Designer

A man of few words but many ideas, Lim realised early on in his illustrious career in advertising that his true north was to create beautiful and memorable ads. Not one to be a blabbermouth, he chooses instead to quietly observe human behavior, which has in turn given him a knack for identifying key insights to develop beautiful work that is relatable. Prior to joining COMMUNICATE, Lim was putting his insightful designs to work with BBDO/Proximity Malaysia and Naga DDB on a slew of 360 campaigns for brands like Hong Leong Bank, Panasonic, U-Mobile, Tesco and Heineken Malaysia.

Joanne Ng

Senior Producer

“En garde! Prêtes? Allez!” 

Competitive fencing taught Joanne many lessons – most notably to never turn your back on a fight.

As a multilingual production management graduate with seven years of experience in multiple industries; including media, theatre, art, and education, this fighting spirit has remained a constant thread. Today, she channels that towards creative approaches to problem solving and communicating social changes through honest storytelling and creative production.

In her eclectic mix of interests, from music and travel to quirkier hobbies such as leathercrafting, mechanical keyboards, and spending nights in playing board games, she finds brief respite from her full-speed-ahead approach to work as a Senior Producer at COMMUNICATE.