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9 November, 2022

Speakers

Hear engaging and inspiring stories from first class speakers who have succeeded in business.

MC - Nadine Higgins

Head of Brand, Comms + Content – enableMe and Freelance Journalist

Speaking from 9:30am – 9:40am

Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy – BusinessNZ

Speaking from 9:40am – 9:45am

Hon Stuart Nash

Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Forestry, Small Business and Tourism – NZ Government

Speaking from 9:45am – 10:10am

Daniel Houzet

Chief Financial Officer – Fuel50

Speaking from 10:10am – 11:00am

Carmen Vicelich

Founder & Chair – Data Insight and Valocity Global

Speaking from 10:10am – 11:00am

Pip Gilbert

NZ Strategy and Operations – Amazon Web Services New Zealand

Speaking from 10:10am – 11:00am

Charles Finny

Policy & Advocacy Advisor – New Zealand Cargo Owners Council & Port Industry Association

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Selina Deadman

Vice President Commercial – DHL

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Harriet Shelton

Supply Chain Strategy Manager – Ministry of Transport

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

David Ross

Chief Executive – Kotahi

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Alex Larsen

Acting GM – Air New Zealand Cargo

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Keynote Speaker


Brianne West

Founder & CEO – Ethique

Speaking from 12:10pm – 12:40pm

Grant Straker

CEO – Straker Group

Speaking from 1:40pm – 2:15pm

Graham Grant

CEO – Seequent

Speaking from 1:40pm – 2:15pm

Neil Hinton

CEO – Natural Pet Food Group (K9)

Speaking from 1:40pm – 2:15pm

David Downs

CEO – NZ Story

Speaking from 2:15pm – 2:40pm

Alex Jones

Customer Strategy Director – One Picture

Speaking from 2:15pm – 2:40pm

Charlie Gao

Director – North Asia CAPE

Speaking from 2:40pm – 3:00pm

Dr Antje Fiedler

Senior Lecturer – University of Auckland Business School

Speaking from 2:40pm – 3:00pm

Alex Worker

Managing Director – Highground Brands

Speaking from 2:40pm – 3:00pm

Haylon Smith

LA – Trade Commissioner – NZTE

Speaking from 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Maggie Christie

Singapore – Trade Commissioner – NZTE

Speaking from 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Phil Walters

Owner Founder – Metalbird

Speaking from 4:00pm – 4:25pm

Jason Neely

CEO – Moa Holdings

Speaking from 4:00pm – 4:25pm

Brett O'Riley

CEO - EMA

Speaking from 4:25pm – 4:35pm

Have a question?

If you have any questions about our event, please reach out. We’ll get back to you within two working days.

MC - Nadine Higgins

Head of Brand, Comms + Content – enableMe and Freelance Journalist

Speaking from 9:30am – 9:40am

Nadine Higgins (nee Chalmers-Ross) is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster whose career has spanned many of New Zealand’s top TV and radio shows, magazines, and newspapers. She’s currently a regular on Discovery’s 7pm TV show ‘The Project’, and a financial commentator on Today FM. She’s also helping change lives as a financial adviser at enable.me – financial strategy & coaching.

Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy – BusinessNZ

Speaking from 9:40am – 9:45am

Catherine Beard is Director, Advocacy for BusinessNZ, New Zealand’s largest business advocacy network, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes.

The BusinessNZ network includes four large regional business associations, EMA, Business Central, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Business South. It also includes the Major Companies Group, ExportNZ, more than 70 affiliated industry associations and Buy NZ Made.

The group’s goal is New Zealand’s prosperity through successful business.

Catherine works with government and other key decision makers on issues of concern to New Zealand business. Catherine has spent the last 30 years as a lobbyist and advocate for a wide range of industries on a wide range of issues, including for exporters and manufacturers, climate change issues for the energy intensive sector, the insurance sector, and the agricultural sector. Catherine has participated in Prime Minister led trade missions to Indonesia and China, led ExportNZ for 10 years and represents BusinessNZ at various international meetings.

Catherine was also a co-founder of a start-up business designing and manufacturing children’s nursery furniture, for which two products won national design awards.

Hon Stuart Nash

Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Forestry, Small Business and Tourism – NZ Government

Speaking from 9:45am – 10:10am

Hon Stuart Nash first entered politics in 2008 as a list MP, and was elected Labour MP for Napier in 2014. In his maiden speech Minister Nash described himself as first and foremost a public servant, employed by the people of New Zealand; and as a social democrat committed to sustainable economic development and growth. In 2017, he was sworn in as Minister of Police, Revenue, Fisheries and for Small Business. In the 2020 Labour Government, he was given a suite of portfolios focused on supporting economic activity in our regions, as Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Tourism Minister, Forestry Minister and Minister for Small Business.

Daniel Houzet

Chief Financial Officer – Fuel50

Speaking from 10:10am – 11:00am

Daniel Houzet is the CFO of Fuel50, leading the finance function. Previously with PwC, Daniel moved inhouse to Fuel50 in January 2020 and has been working with Fuel50 for six years, seeing the growth and launch into new countries as the business has grown substantially over this time, now operating in APAC, North America and Europe.

Carmen Vicelich

Founder & Chair – Data Insight and Valocity Global

Speaking from 10:10am – 11:00am

Carmen Vicelich is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with over 20 years experience developing innovative solutions using technology and data to create value . In record time she has created two multi million dollar, global industry leading businesses that do just that.

Valocity has revolutionised the valuation process by digitally connecting lenders, valuers, brokers and customers in One Smart Platform, to streamline the valuation and property decisioning process.

The unique, cloud based platform is used by many of the world’s largest lenders across New Zealand, Australia, India, and Asia. Valocity has been recognised globally including at the prestigious India FinTech Awards 2019 as Fintech Start Up of the Year, Singapore Top 10 Global Fintech 2018, and Microsoft ISV Partner of the Year 2020.

In parallel to Valocity, Carmen developed a second company, Data Insight which helps Australasia’s largest business and government organisations leverage the power of data and advanced analytics, enabling data driven decision making to improve customer experience, efficiency and profitability.

Outside of founding two data and technology businesses, Carmen mentors several students and business founders, is a regular global speaker sharing her story of innovation, serves on several boards including UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) and is a proud mother of four children.

Pip Gilbert

NZ Strategy and Operations – Amazon Web Services New Zealand

Speaking from 10:10am – 11:00am

Pip is an experienced tech executive who knows first hand what it takes to succeed in the largest economy on earth. From EVP Strategy at EROAD, to VP Product at Dexibit, Pip knows what it takes to succeed in the US whether you're big or small. Now leading strategy & operations at Amazon Web Services NZ, Pip brings a breadth of perspective on exporting kiwi innovation.

Charles Finny

Policy & Advocacy Advisor – New Zealand Cargo Owners Council & Port Industry Association

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Charles Finny is a partner at the Wellington Government Relations company Saunders Unsworth. He is heavily involved in international trade and the supply chain. Charles is a former diplomat/trade negotiator and CEO of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce. He recently completed 12 years on the Board of NZTE. He has also served on the Film Commission and VUW Council. His is a former Chair of Education New Zealand.

Selina Deadman

Vice President Commercial – DHL

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Selina Deadman is the Vice President for the Commercial team, responsible for DHL Express in New Zealand since April 2012.

Selina began her career with DHL Express 27 years ago in New Zealand operations. She has since worked with DHL in various commercial capacities throughout the DHL global network.

Selina was based for seven years in the U.S.A as Senior Director, Global Financial & Professional Services Americas, looking after strategic global accounts and managing a team of business development managers across the Americas including Canada and South America.

Prior to working for DHL Express in the USA, Selina was based in Singapore in a regional role managing Global & Multi National Customers throughout Asia Pacific. Before moving to Singapore, Selina was Business Development & Global Account Management in Sydney and Auckland.

With more than 27 years’ experience and industry knowledge, Selina has the ability to provide superior leadership, effectively helping many clients and New Zealand businesses compete successfully on the global stage.

Harriet Shelton

Supply Chain Strategy Manager – Ministry of Transport

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Harriet Shelton has worked in transport planning and policy for almost 25 years, mostly within local government, and recently made the move to central government. Having qualified in Resource and Environmental Planning (Hons) at Massey University she initially worked in regulatory planning before transferring to transport planning while living in the UK.

After a number of council and consultancy roles, Harriet spent 6 years as Principal Planner at Transport for London advising the Mayor of London on the strategic transport implications of major urban development and planning policy proposals. Since returning to New Zealand in 2012, Harriet’s work has focused on strategic policy advice and collaboration in transport, urban planning and infrastructure. Until February 2020 Harriet led a team of 14 advisors and analysts at Greater Wellington Regional Council providing regional leadership, strategic transport advice and analytics.

In her current role at the Ministry of Transport, Harriet leads a policy team focussing on strategic freight and supply chain issues spanning rail, road freight, ports and shipping.

David Ross

Chief Executive – Kotahi

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

David Ross has been Chief Executive at Kotahi for five years. He is focused on accelerating Kotahi’s strategy to drive a resilient and agile, digitally enabled export supply chain for New Zealand’s primary sector. David brings a deep understanding of the benefits that a reliable and efficient end-to-end supply chain brings to export businesses.

Prior to joining Kotahi, David spent almost 20 years working offshore in a number of Fonterra’s operations in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the UK with more than 10 years general management experience. Prior to returning to New Zealand David was Managing Director of Fonterra Brands Malaysia/Singapore.

Alex Larsen

Acting GM – Air New Zealand Cargo

Speaking from 11:30am – 12:10pm

Currently Acting GM of Air Zealand Cargo, Alex also has held the Head of Global Sales for Air New Zealand’s Cargo business and leads a number of regional teams based across Asia, the Americas & Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. Alex has been deeply involved in Air New Zealand’s Cargo response to the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 24 months, including the setup of the original cargo-only operating model in March 2020, which we are still operating under today with support by way of the Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme. Prior to this, Alex led the New Zealand & Pacific Islands region for Air New Zealand Cargo working closely with Freight Forwarders and Exporters alike.

Brianne West

Founder & CEO – Ethique

Speaking from 12:10pm – 12:40pm

Brianne West is a New Zealand entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Ethique, the world’s most sustainable lifestyle and beauty brand. Ethique has, to date, prevented the manufacture and disposal of over 12 million plastic bottles worldwide.

Having previously founded and sold two other companies, Brianne’s passion for environmental conservation, background in cosmetic chemistry and desire to create a business that went beyond just profit led her to establish Ethique with the mission of ridding the world of plastic bottles. Ethique produces a range of solid beauty bars (not soap), wrapped in home-compostable cardboard packaging. After just eight years of trading, Ethique is now distributed in over 16 countries around the globe and is valued in excess of $100 million.

Recognised as one of New Zealand’s most successful social enterprises, Ethique has scaled rapidly without compromising on Brianne’s core mission of purpose over profit. Every bar is still made using only sustainable, certified vegan, cruelty-free and palm oil-free ingredients and wrapped in home-compostable packaging. Ethique is one of New Zealand’s highest ranking BCorp’s, living wage certified, climate positive, plants one tree for every order and donates 2% of annual sales to charity. Ethique’s Super Soap Project has donated 30,000 bars of soap since 21st of April 2020 to vulnerable communities across New Zealand and the South Pacific in response to COVID-19.

Brianne’s success with Ethique has seen her awarded as the EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Stuff NZ Women of Influence (business enterprise) and be named as an Obama Foundation Leader.

Grant Straker

CEO – Straker Group

Speaking from 1:40pm – 2:15pm

New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year (masters) winner with his wife in 2018, a mechanical engineer by trade and former elite paratrooper, Grant is the co-founder (with his wife Merryn) and CEO of Straker, a company that they built from startup to an IPO on the ASX.

Of Māori decent from the Ngāti Raukawa iwi Grant grew up in New Zealand and moved to the UK as a teenager and joined the British Army in the mid 80’s. After leaving the Army in the 90’s he taught himself computer programming and founded Straker as a technology company, eventually using the technology they developed to become leading players in the 50 billion translation industry.

The Straker’s had a vision that they could build a global technology company from New Zealand, and over the past two decades have accomplished this with more than 270 staff, offices in 9 countries and still head quartered in New Zealand where the majority of their R&D takes place.

Graham Grant

CEO – Seequent

Speaking from 1:40pm – 2:15pm

As Seequent’s CEO, Graham is focussed on business growth and performance, driving new business opportunities and a range of core business functions. He brings leadership, commercial and operational experience from multiple geographies, sectors and functions. These include financial services, renewable energy, international charter shipping and forest management, holding roles in Australia, UK and New Zealand. He gained a first-class honours degree in Forestry Science from Canterbury University, MBA and Diploma in Management Consulting from Leeds UK. His connection with Canterbury University continues as Chairman of the MBA board.

Neil Hinton

CEO – Natural Pet Food Group (K9)

Speaking from 1:40pm – 2:15pm

With 25 years experience in the FMCG food and beverage industry, Neil has held senior positions across a variety of functions and organisations in New Zealand, China and Australia.

After a long career at the Lion Group of Companies, Neil returned home to New Zealand in 2015 to head up the Natural Pet Food Group, with a goal to support the recent investor, Pioneer Capital to scale the business up and unlock the huge potential in NZ Export Pet food.

6 Years on, in early 2021, The Natural Pet Food Group has been sold to KKR, one of the World’s largest and best-known global PE funds.

Neil will share his insider’s view of the sale process, and the exciting prospects that come from a global owner with significant ambitions for further growth.

David Downs

CEO – NZ Story

Speaking from 2:15pm – 2:40pm

David has had a successful career in the private and public sector, with senior roles at organisations such as Microsoft, and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. David is a published author on New Zealand Innovation, with two highly successful books – No.8 Re-wired, and No.8 Recharged.

He’s an ex-comedian, TV and Radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, and a genetically modified organism who documented his battle with cancer in his book A Mild Touch of the Cancer.

David co-founded sosbusiness.nz a not-for-profit initiative to help cafes and other small businesses during covid-19. It quickly became a huge hit and to date has sold over $2 million in vouchers for over 2500 small businesses.

David released a new book, Silver Linings in March 2021, and continues to act as a consultant for government and industry, as well as a director on a number of boards, including as chairman of The Icehouse, the Hi-Tech Trust and the Well Foundation.

David is now CEO of The New Zealand Story, an ambitious organisation marketing New Zealand to the world.

Alex Jones

Customer Strategy Director – One Picture

Speaking from 2:15pm – 2:40pm

Alex is a director at One Picture, an independent research and strategy company, where he has built special expertise in destination and country branding. He co-leads the New Zealand Story account, working with them to uncover robust and meaningful insights to foster growth in both the domestic and international markets. His work focuses on finding the essence of place at a B2B and B2C level to share stories that connect New Zealand to its own people and the world.

Charlie Gao

Director – North Asia CAPE

Speaking from 2:40pm – 3:00pm

Charlie Gao is the Director of the North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence. His focus in the role is to improve Aotearoa's well-being, prosperity, and sustainability through enhancing New Zealanders' knowledge of and ability to succeed in Asia.

Charlie brings more than ten years of experience in the private sector, where he led multicultural teams and advised businesses and organisations at a senior level on strategic and commercial matters.

Prior to joining North Asia CAPE, Charlie was the managing partner of a New Zealand-owned, China-focused investment & advisory firm. He led advisory mandates for companies such as Zespri, Weta Workshop, Les Mills International, and Fonterra, and managed assets on behalf of the development finance banks of Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

Charlie has BSc, BA(Hons), and MA(Hons) degrees from the University of Auckland, and speaks English and Mandarin as first languages.

Dr Antje Fiedler

Senior Lecturer – University of Auckland Business School

Speaking from 2:40pm – 3:00pm

Dr Antje Fiedler is a Senior Lecturer specialising in Entrepreneurship and International Business. She is teaching in the MBA and other postgraduate programs, including Executive teaching. Antje has received two Excellence Awards for her Teaching at the University of Auckland Business School.

Antje has undertaken extensive research on the internationalisation of businesses with a particular focus on emerging Asia. She is passionate to conduct research that is relevant for practice. Her research has been published in international journals as well as informed courses at the Business School (University of Auckland) and practitioner workshops around New Zealand. Currently, she is involved in several research projects related to firm growth, including NZ SME internationalisation of technology firms, and EU MNCs operating in China and India.

Alex Worker

Managing Director – Highground Brands

Speaking from 2:40pm – 3:00pm

New Zealander with an international background in food, startups and agriculture. Alex is Managing Director of Highground Brands, an APAC-focused strategic foods agency. He also chairs Future Food Aotearoa, a founders movement driving advancement in New Zealand's foodtech ecosystem, and sits on the Te Hono Steering Committee.

Alex has been working with Impossible Foods across APAC and has over ten years corporate management experience working with New Zealand's largest company, Fonterra. Born in Hong Kong, Alex has lived in Asia for fifteen years, building early stage ventures and advising a number of food companies and e-commerce channels. He is actively involved in two New Zealand food ventures LILO Desserts and NewFish as a growth venture partner.

Alex is a member of Class 15 at THNK School Amsterdam and previously completed an MBA at Tsinghua University-MIT on Rotary Ambassadorial and Chinese Government Scholarship. He helped found the New Zealand Business Roundtable in China, was a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, and mentors at Sprout Accelerator and Asia:NZ Leadership Network.

Haylon Smith

LA – Trade Commissioner – NZTE

Speaking from 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Haylon leads NZTE’s Los Angeles office where he works with a team of Business Development Managers to grow New Zealand companies in the United States. His sector responsibilities include consumer products, agribusiness and sustainability. Before moving to the US in August 2020, Haylon was Trade Commissioner to Africa and prior to that, the Middle East.

Haylon is passionate about growing our businesses in offshore markets, and building Brand New Zealand. His current interests include the impact of COVID-19 on consumer buying behaviour and the digital transformation of traditional business models. Haylon holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Auckland.

Maggie Christie

Singapore – Trade Commissioner – NZTE

Speaking from 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Maggie is New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner to Singapore where she leads NZTE’s trade team in supporting New Zealand companies to grow internationally.

Prior she was the Director of Made With Care, New Zealand’s first global brand Food and Beverage campaign designed to grow awareness, preference and demand for New Zealand’s premium food and beverage products.

Her public sector experience has included her role as Director of Creative Hub, NZTE’s internal marketing agency and Storyteller at NZ Story where she created tools and experiences to tell New Zealand’s story to the world.

Maggie began her career as a Lloyds Insurance Broker in UK and USA before expanding into marketing and advertising. She has played integral roles in success of multiple start-ups including Aim Proximity in Wellington and Rapp Tribal in Auckland. She was also General Manager at Proximity NZ and Colenso BBDO before making her move to the public sector.

Phil Walters

Owner Founder – Metalbird

Speaking from 4:00pm – 4:25pm

Phil is first and foremost an industrial designer. A 25 year career in product design lead to the start of a small local street art project and the founding of Metalbird, now a global enterprise. He's a co-founder of Moa Holdings NZ, a business set up entirely to take Metalbird and other great NZ brands to a global audience with an emphasis on brand building, great story-telling and scalable business design. This journey has lead to building an expert team with an extremely agile 'ready fire aim' culture with a key knowledge of leveraging digital systems into business growth and arguable success.

He'll talk about this journey, the formation of Moa and what they're doing next!

Jason Neely

CEO – Moa Holdings

Speaking from 4:00pm – 4:25pm

Jason is the Co-Founder and CEO of Moa Holdings. He has spent 30 years leading some of Australasia’s leading bricks and mortar and digital retail businesses. Well aware of the challenges New Zealand businesses have selling their products offshore, he set up Moa Holdings in 2019 with Phil Walters with a vision to build a relentlessly simple retail, manufacturing, marketing and distribution platform that brings great New Zealand brands to global markets. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from Otago University and an MBA from UCLA.

Brett O'Riley

CEO – EMA

Speaking from 4:25pm – 4:35pm

Brett O’Riley is the Chief Executive of the EMA, having commenced in that role in January 2019. He is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, with post graduate qualifications from MIT (Boston) and Singularity University (San Jose). Brett returned to New Zealand from Australia in 2009 and has spent the last 10 years dedicated to the goal of growing the New Zealand innovation eco-system, as founding CE of NZICT, founding deputy CE of the Ministry of Science + Innovation, and recently as Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development, Auckland’s economic growth agency until September 2017. Prior to that Brett worked in the telecommunications and IT sectors for 20 years in New Zealand and internationally. Before joining the EMA Brett worked as a Director and Advisor to organisations with a common goal, connecting them with international markets and opportunities.