The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber annually celebrates the Top 40 Under 40, young business leaders and achievers who have made their mark on commerce in the Bay. One of Boomtown's most talented designers, Lara-Anne Derbyshire has been awarded this accolade in the prestigious list for 2015.
Self-professed 'imagineer', Lara-Anne (28), says she has always been curious and as a result sees herself as a creative problem-solver.
"My time in the ad industry has offered the opportunity to become more in tune with consumers, clients, colleagues and the community." Lara-Anne adds "The more we understand human behaviour, the more we are able to find a solution that creates change that is accountable and impacts positively."
This is something Boomtown creative director Andrew MacKenzie admires in Lara-Anne: "She is forever questioning the status quo, always asking why, and looking for an innovative solution. Lara-Anne is highly aware of the advertising industry's ability to influence perceptions and takes this responsibility very seriously."
Outside of her role at Boomtown, Lara-Anne is the brains behind Begging for Books; an initiative that began when the agency asked its team to find ways to give back to the community. "Highlighting how privileged we are to be able to read, while thousands of youth in our city do not have access to books, the team wore t-shirts asking 'can you read this?' and handed out leaflets at robots to encourage people to donate unwanted books. The books were then given to crèches and schools in Walmer township, so their pupils can develop such a simple and vital skill." Said Lara-Anne.
"Your only role is to be the catalyst that creates the framework for innovation and change."
Lara-Anne has recently been appointed as a team leader where she will guide and mentor future creative thinkers within Boomtown.