For many of us the pandemic of the past year has forced us to take stock and reflect on how we want to live out our futures. For some, this may lead to changes in our professional lives. This is the case for Irina Patrascu-Grant, ERTICO’s Communication and Partnership Development Director. Today, the ERTICO management team announces that she will leave the organisation to embrace a new future in the United States. This week, Lisa Boch-Andersen, experienced Communication and Brand strategist becomes ERTICO’s new Director of Communication and Events. ERTICO catches up with them both to look back and towards the future.
Irina remembers ‘When I first arrived four years ago at ERTICO-ITS Europe, I don’t know if I fully understood the power and the importance of a public-private partnership in facilitating progress. My time working for ERTICO has showed me how much we can achieve when we work together. The smart mobility eco-system is a complicated network of cities, public authorities, vehicle manufacturers, telecom and service providers, suppliers, academics, start-ups and SME’s. All these different stakeholders play such a vital role in developing smart mobility and the ERTICO Partnership is the platform that brings them all together, acting as a catalyst for innovation. It is rewarding to me, for example, that just by introducing a city to a certain SME at one of our network events can start a dynamic that leads to change.’
‘During my time at ERTICO, I am proud that I have managed to create a new membership fee structure that is adapted to all the voices that exist in the eco-system. I believe that now every actor in the smart mobility sector has the possibility to be part of the ERTICO Partnership or engage with our activities and projects. I am happy too to leave the legacy of a renewed ERTICO brand. I believe our logo, our visual identity has evolved into something far more appropriate to what we represent as innovators, thought leaders for the industry, not only for Europe but setting a trend for mobility across the world.’
Irina continues, ‘Being part of shaping the mobility of the future and improving everyone’s quality of life has been a huge motivation for me and a real privilege. I am also delighted and proud at how the Communications and Partnership team has come together and what we have achieved for ERTICO. However at a certain point, I realise that 2020 and this enduring pandemic has made me reflect on the importance of human interaction and relationships. I have taken the very personal decision to focus on my family and in consequence move to the United States. I am excited for this new chapter, with a very new life and culture. My passion, however, for smart transport remains and I will continue to ensure that I wave a banner for other women to follow in the transport industry. I am also delighted that Lisa Boch Andersen has agreed to join the ERTICO Management team in the new role. I have full confidence in her ability to continue what I started and bring it to new heights.’
Lisa says ‘In my previous role as Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the 5G Automotive Association, I also dealt with 5G, a very exciting element of smart mobility. This experience was one of the motivators to join ERTICO, to be part of the bigger picture of how mobility is moving forward. I believe ERTICO offers me that possibility, but that I can also offer ERTICO a range of experience to deliver the organisation’s ambitions. ‘
‘I am Danish, but have been in Brussels for close to 25 years, delivering international strategic communications, reputation management and public affairs, working across all sectors: in trade associations, but also EU institutions and large corporations such as Microsoft, and ExxonMobil. This experience means I am able to identify with our Partners to understand what is important, to have a 360 approach, already gauging the various perspectives to a solution.’
ERTICO-ITS Europe is bringing together two different departments: Communication and ITS Congresses, so Lisa’s new title will be Director of Communications and Events. She continues, ‘In every position I have ever held my ambition is to work in an integrated fashion, and to create synergies and deliver greater impact. I believe that bringing Communications and Events together in one department is a great step forward. I want to provide a fresh pair of eyes for ERTICO, building on what Irina has achieved and putting ERTICO in an even stronger position to drive change through common ground and tighter collaboration with our Partners. I hope that I can create increased differentiation. For example, is ERTICO effectively reaching out to all levels of industry? Are we positioning ourselves effectively to all our key audiences? How can we improve our own voice in a way that our target audiences understand? It is early days, but I am super excited to get started.’
Lisa laughs, ‘It is no surprise that having worked for Microsoft I am also very keen on digital communication! I really embrace the new ‘normal’ and the innovations of a virtual world. I want to push that further in the marketing and communication that ERTICO delivers, positioning ourselves more effectively and reaching out using a host of modern techniques. Despite this interest in virtual interaction, I do have a very human approach – it is very strange to be meeting my new team face to face on a screen rather than in real life! I am looking forward to just being together in the same space for the very first time!’