Panel of Judges

Fiona Curtin


Fiona Curtin is a highly accomplished senior executive with excellent professional track record in strategic positions in marketing, business development and innovation roles across HEINEKEN, C&C, AIB and Pernod Ricard.

She is currently Global Comms and Planning Director for Jameson at Pernod Ricard.

As Head of Innovation at HEINEKEN Ireland, she spearheaded the successful launch of Orchard Thieves which won the AdFx Grand Prix in 2016 and went on to join the Heineken Global Team as Marketing Director, leading the development of the Strongbow Cider brand and taking Orchard Thieves global to over 20 new countries.

Fiona was an ASAI Board Member and previous President of the Advertising Association of Ireland. She also previously served on the Marketing Society Committee and is currently on the Board of the Festival of Curiosity.

A graduate of UCC and UCD, she holds a BA (Hons), MSc in Technology Management and Innovation and an MBA. She is a qualified Business Coach and Chartered Director.




Ian McColl

Ian has been creating customer-winning and award-winning promotional, experiential and direct marketing campaigns for over 30 years.

He managed creative departments in agencies such as Marketing Network, Ogilvy and BBDO Dublin, working closely with clients and cultivating long-lasting relationships based on the consistent delivery of highly effective creative work.

Since 2012 he has been managing therefour, a successful creative co-operative, producing distinctive and memorable brand communication for Bank of Ireland, Vodafone and Smyths Toys, among many others.

Ian is a big fan of great ideas beautifully executed, irrespective of the communication channel.

With this year’s APMC Star Awards he’ll be looking out for a lot of creative magic with positive results.

Valerie Rice

Valerie Rice is Managing Director of Valerie Rice & Associates, which is strategic commercial & brand partner to blue chip clients, both international & domestic, across a broad range of sectors. Valerie founded her company in 2008 following a successful career in the food, drinks and retail sector. With Board level experience as Commercial Marketing Director with Superquinn until 2008, she has worked for leading domestic and international organisations across senior commercial, marketing and retail roles including Diageo, Grand Metropolitan, Guinness Ireland and Castle Brands Spirits. Valerie is passionate about brands and the impact that they can make on customers and consumers as well as adding value to organisations. With clients across food, drinks, healthcare, retail, energy, semi-state companies, telecos and B2B she works with leadership teams to define a strategy, understand customer/consumer insights through research and lead commercial marketing teams to implement an appropriate strategic plan.

Valerie is passionate about Ireland’s food industry and has been a mentor for Bord Bia for small food companies as well as a partner trainer for Origin Green, Bord Bia’s sustainability programme.

She is a Graduate of The Marketing Institute of Ireland (MMII) and has a Diploma in Languages & Business from Dublin Business School. She is a member of The Institute of Directors and a member of the Irish Management Institute guest lecture programme for Strategic Marketing.

Sharon Yourell Lawlor

With over 20 years’ experience working in the food/drinks industry, Sharon Yourell Lawlor was named one of Checkout’s ‘Top Power 100 Marketers’.  

Passionate about driving an effective shopper-centric approach within businesses, Sharon set up Think Plan Do Consulting in 2016, taking her experience in Consumer/Shopper marketing to help companies turn insights into solutions that deliver category growth. Working with clients across a number of different industry sectors including FMCG, IT, Public Sector, Entertainment, Retail and Charity Sector she also chairs ‘Today’s Women In Grocery’, a sub-committee of the Irish Grocers’ Benevolent Fund.  Sharon also trains and lectures on Category & Shopper Marketing.