Our mentors come from all over the world to help us here in Palmerston North. World class expertise in your toolbox!
Mike is a director of Morrison Creed – Business Advisors & Chartered Accountants. His role is that of Business Coach to a range of clients, assisting them to run successful businesses.
Mike is also on the Investment Committee of the Manawatu Investment Group (MIG).
Abby Thompson is the CEO of FoodHQ – where food ideas meet science. FoodHQ is a collaborative initiative that brings together New Zealand’s smartest food science minds to drive innovation in the food industry. Abby is well connected across the wide range of organisations that make up the New Zealand food innovation landscape. Her previous roles included Director of Riddet Innovation (Massey University), where she led commercially-focused research and development work within the food and nutrition area, and Director of FoodPilot (part of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network).
Shane is the Managing Director of Colspec Construction Ltd, involved mainly in financial management and governance roles within the business. Having been involved in the building industry for some 46 years overall, Shane set up the Colspec group 39 years ago and continues to be an integral part of the business today. Careful and considered succession planning has meant that Colspec has remained vibrant, and its business focus has been sharpened by new ideas and technology introduced through that process.
Shane is an active Angel Investor, and is a Board member of two start-up local businesses, involved in the bio-tech space, as well as a Directorship of the over-arching angel investment company. Mentoring, and the passing on of his experience is what keeps Shane young at heart and motivated to keep pushing the envelope, for efficiency and sustainability in each business venture that he is involved in.
Shareena Sandbrook is the co-founder and Managing Director of Frogparking, a Palmerston North-based market leader in innovative parking management solutions whose products and services utilise cutting-edge technology to bring parking management, guidance, and enforcement into the digital age.
Frogparking is the latest in a long list of successful start-up ventures with high growth in the tech sector. Shareena holds a Bachelor of Business Studies in Marketing from Massey University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies, and an Executive MBA from Waikato University. Shareena has business experience in a wide range of industries, including investment banking, HR, retail finance, patents/intellectual property, and aviation.
Rahui is a Chartered Accountant and recently became a partner at Morrison Creed.
Rahui is passionate about the accounting industry and embracing the change brought on by technology.
Rahui is our resident baker randomly arriving at work with morning tea much to the delight of the team.
Rahui enjoys keeping fit and can often be found at the gym, playing netball or chasing after her very active daughter. Rahui likes to spend her free time with family and friends, dining out and generally enjoying life.
Simon is the founder of OBO. Innovation at product and process level, with lashings of good marketing has enabled OBO to lead the world in field hockey goal keeping equipment. 70% of the keepers at the Rio Olympics used OBO.
He has a passion to see innovative local companies thrive, particularly in the international market place and believes Palmy is the perfect home for clever, curious, and globally successful businesses.
Lyn has worked in businesses ranging from small to medium enterprises to corporate multi-national companies and has a genuine understanding and empathy for what it takes to run a successful business.
Since moving to New Zealand in 1995, Lyn has been co-owner of start-up enterprises, worked in economic development, tertiary education and private consulting. She holds tertiary qualifications in science and education and in 2016 completed her Master of Business Studies-Resource Management at Massey University, researching strategic human resource management (SHRM) decisions in Maori Enterprise. In 2017 Lyn commenced her PhD, continuing her studies in SHRM and indigenous enterprise and organizational models. Lyn runs her own consulting and research business.
Chris runs Integration Technologies Limited a Palmerston North based business providing hardware and software solutions to the Oil and Gas industry with a global presence in over 60 countries.
Chris has spent most of his life in Marketing and Brand Development in the global soft drinks industry but taking over ITL bought him closer to home and a move back to Palmy (where he studied at Massey) has ignited his passion for what local innovation when nurtured well can offer on a global stage.
Wayne has been Managing Director for ComputerCare NZ for the past 15 years, an award winning IT support company operating across 3 branches in the Central North Island. He is also a director of Constant Vigil, an electronics start-up and Stopbank Software, a software development company.
Daniel has been the Technical Director at ComputerCare for the past ten years. To remain relevant in business today you need to constantly review and improve your product offerings. In his role, Daniel has continually pushed for change, championing the development of new products and solutions to meet the challenges of the ever changing IT landscape.
Linda is CE of the Central Economic Development Agency aka CEDA; leading a team of enablers, connectors and doers who are serious about delivering great outcomes for businesses across our region.
With a background in sales, business development, head hunting and recruitment while working within family owned businesses, through to some of the largest global companies such as Mars Inc. and Virgin, Linda brings a strong consumer focus, and on delivering outcomes that will create value and make a difference. Linda believes that great ideas can come from anywhere, and has a real a passion for unlocking the potential in people.
The designer dude at WD +, an industrial designer adept in the art of transforming ideas into commercially viable products through his unique skills of melding beauty and creative design with production imperatives. Visualising in all dimensions. Listening in every sense.
A business mentor for BMNZ since 2013, Rob enjoys working with both fledgling and established business people enabling insights into their businesses whilst offering alternate views and injecting enthusiasm when needed.
Hi, I’m Mike West. I work on the More FM Manawatu Morning Show with Gareth Pringle and Johnelle Hosking. I’m passionate about morning radio and have been since I was 8, which is why I have been doing the same show on the same station for just over 28 years. I’m also passionate about promotions, marketing, social media and technology. It’s great to also be a part of the BCC family.
As Communications Senior for the Central Economic Development Agency, Jemma enjoys using her skills as a story teller in her day to day role. Every day allows her to work across the different areas of CEDA which includes; economic and business development, international education and showcasing the region's lifestyle, business, work, study and visitor opportunities.
Jemma has previously worked as a broadcast and online reporter for Radio New Zealand, where she covered regional and rural news. Her next position took her to America where she covered the intersection of fashion, luxury and technology for Digiday in New York City. This wide experience means she's as comfortable talking beef breeds, as she is American beauty brands. A career highlight includes interviewing the Editor in Chief for both Marie Claire and W Magazine, whilst overlooking Manhattan from their high rise offices. Jemma is outcome driven and focused on getting to the core of the information to tell interesting and relevant stories.
Karina's passion is design, and she loves using creativity to add value to business.
Over a decade in the industry has taken her from Palmerston North to Auckland and back again. She has gained extensive experience in marketing and branding, and after being won over by the internet,found herself focussing on digital media campaigns and online marketing for the retail sector. She's since become even more "inspired" as the Design and Brand Manager for Manawatu-based internet service provider Inspire Net.
Karina enjoys challenges that provide opportunities for creative thinking, and taking projects from concept right through to the finished product. Design ideas are everywhere, and she's always on the lookout for inspiration.
Peter is the Innovation Specialist at CEDA (Central Economic Development Agency), delivering the Callaghan Innovation programme for the entire Horizons Region. With a background in scientific research, and over 25 years experience in the sales & marketing of cutting edge scientific equipment, Peter is now delivering the Callaghan Innovation Grant Programme to the Horizons region. This includes working with start-ups, back shed inventors and established high tech companies.
Peter loves living in Manawatu because of the diversity of people and landscapes located within such a small area.
Mike is the owner of The Design School with 3 campuses in the North Island. The Design School helps people harness their talent to achieve formal qualifications and utilise their creativity as a career.
He grew up in Christchurch and after moving to Wellington, completed a Bachelor of Design majoring in Industrial Design. He began teaching full-time at The Design School in 2000, while also operating a freelance design studio and purchased the School in 2005.
For the last few years he has been engaged by NZQA to develop Arts and Design Qualifications for tertiary education and also by the Ministry of Education to develop the NCEA Creative Industries Vocational Pathway Award.
Steve Parsons is a leading Manawatu travel agent and, in 2018, celebrated the 30th anniversary of Stephen Parsons House of Travel. His company is at the forefront of individual, personalised, group, commemorative and space travel. Steve places great emphasis on supporting and mentoring staff, providing employment pathways, ensuring his agents are equipped to create the best holidays possible and designing unique experiences for all his clients. Steve’s regional success is also due to his active participation in the community. He’s a Rotarian, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Marist Rugby Club, a former Regent On Broadway Trust Board representative and an enthusiastic supporter of Arohanui Hospice.
Co-founder and CEO of Beta Solutions, Terry’s expertise lies within product development, project management, business management, business strategy, and electronic design and manufacturing. He has a passion for learning and understanding how things work and enjoys sharing this information.
Outside of work Terry enjoys the outdoors, aviation and table tennis - while his life long interests in space-exploration makes for exciting bedtime stories for his 3 young kids.
Strategy, Finance and Business Operations Professional with 15 years experience with technology companies. Strengths include corporate strategy, finance, and analytics. Harvard MBA.
Toni is a photographer based in the Manawatu (although she’s sometimes found elsewhere) who’s business is mainly focused on weddings, portrait and editorial work. Toni is a graduate of UCOL where she gained a Bachelor of Visual Imaging as an adult student after leaving a corporate career behind. She’s won some awards and been featured in magazines, but what she mostly cares about is the experience her clients have when they work with her.
Toni also works with UCOL 3rd year Bachelor of Creative Media students to connect them with local charities and non-profit organisations giving them valuable creative industry experience prior to graduation.
Selwyn established a career in scientific research, which quickly evolved into the pre-clinical and clinical development, business development and commercialisation of biotech and natural products in both local and international markets. A couple of years ago, Selwyn set up a consultancy to provide business development support for start-up tech companies, Kiwinet and MBIE R&D programs. He is an active Angel Investor and on the MIG Fund 2 Investment Committee. He is on the Board of two start-up companies and is involved in three environment-focussed Societies and Trusts.
Tyson is Ngati Porou and Te Aitanga a Hauiti. His background includes Ministers’ Offices, The Treasury, Building & Housing, UCOL’s senior management, and the Office of the Auditor-General. Tyson takes a design approach to strategy and change, matching this with his policy, economic and financial analysis skills to generate insights.
Peter’s background is in contracted services with over 15 years' in senior management to general manager level, holding a number of directorships. He’s highly experienced in working in competitive markets, understanding the dynamics of creating the necessary business culture and managing resources to achieve both customer value and profitable outcomes.
James’ mission is simple, help to connect people, and make this city we call home, a better place to live.
Since founding Inspire Net in 1998, he’s lived and breathed Inspire, dug holes on hill-tops, maintained our server room, talked to customers during the day and night and supported a whole bunch of different organisations in our community.
When he’s not inspiring the team at work, or spending time with his wife and two boys, he’s off speaking at community meetings about technology options to connect our remote rural areas to the world.
We’re not sure he sleeps.
Brian has leadership and finance experience from his role as an agribusiness regional manager at the BNZ. Specialising in assisting clients to take their business from point a to point b, the key to this is determining what factors are critical to that success. Leadership and helping people grow into the next stage of their lives is another passion. Brian is developing governance experience through 4 years as a board member of a health sector NGO has provided great insights to challenges and pitfalls of governance.
Imagine a world where the spirit of entrepreneurship is embedded into all disciplines and professions.
My mission is to support and grow those at the nexus of research, innovation and education. I bring a broad career experience across industry research, university leadership and spinout companies.
Jason is a Chartered Accountant and Director of Morrison Creed, where your business is our goal. Jason enjoys working with new technology, particularly where it can assist clients to achieve their business and personal goals. Jason grew up on a dairy farm in the Manawatu and outside of the office is a dad, avid sports fan and lover of irony.
Hamish is a Director and General Manager of Colspec Construction Ltd. A qualified Quantity Surveyor by profession, Hamish worked his way through the ranks at Colspec over his 14 years with the company. Whilst the construction sector is a challenging industry with its many facets, the ever changing environment, and conundrums faced, ensures the role Hamish has within the company, is never mundane.
Hamish’s main responsibilities within the business include day-to-day management, Human Resource management, project procurement, work programming and cost management. Hamish has been instrumental in challenging the current thought patterns of many commercial construction companies, by working with Colspec’s clients and consultants, to look for a more sustainable business model. Having honed his leadership skills by working with, and listening to, other respected members of the construction industry, Hamish has worked to build a unique business model that has brought about new successes for the Colspec Group in recent years.
Steve is a Partner with ABC Business Sales and specialises in selling businesses. A former Business Banker, Steve is passionate about all things business and has worked with start ups through to large corporates during his career. Steve’s focus these days is helping business owners ready their business for sale and then facilitating sales within the market. His skills range from financial analysis to sales and marketing with particular emphasis on social media marketing. Steve is a market leader in his field and has won numerous awards.