The Wellington Chamber of Commerce Board is made up of the following people:
Peter Cullen – Cullen Law, President
Peter studied at Victoria University in Wellington where he was President of the Students' Association in the 1970s. He worked at what was then Bell Gully & Co, as a Law Clerk and Office Solicitor, and then worked for the Law Reform Division of the Justice Department.
Following that Peter worked at the employment coalface as an industrial advocate.He returned to the practice of law in 1990. In 1994 Peter established his own firm, Cullen-The Employment Law Firm.
He works for both employers and employees and has built upon his earlier experience gained as an industrial advocate.
Peter convened the Wellington District Law Society Employment Law Committee from its inception until 2004. He is a regular speaker and commentator to the news media on industrial law issues. He has been a columnist for the Dominion and later The Dominion Post for many years.
He uses his legal skills to impart clients with helpful advice upon which to base their decisions. His strengths lie in his in-depth knowledge of New Zealand employment law and his abilities as an advocate.
Karen Cooper - Director and Coach
A scientist-turned-strategist, Dr Karen Cooper's public/private sector career spans more than 40 years in the fields of business, governance, management consultancy, organisational management, regional development, science management, and scientific research. Her sector specialties include the Primary Industries (Horticulture, Wine and Food), Science, Education, Health, SME'S and Not-for-Profit.
Karen holds current directorships of Business Central Inc, Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce Ltd and has previously been a Director or Trustee of the Virtual Group New Zealand Ltd, the New Zealand Institute of Management (Central), as well as several SMEs and Not-for-Profits.
A former CEO of Vision 2020 (Hawkes Bay Regional Economic Development), Karen has also led strategic regional development initiatives. In the adult education sector, she has carried out multiple assignments for the New Zealand public sector and international organisations, regularly undertaking project reviews and evaluations.
Karen owns a consultancy specialising in strategic development and works closely with Not-for-Profit organisations, SMEs and Māori trusts on governance capability, systems and training as well as strategy and risk management. She is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Karen holds PhD, MBA and BSc Hons qualifications and is an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit (ONZM) awarded for services to science. She has also been recognised by several industry sectors for her contributions to science, research and management.
Vaughan Renner - Director
Brent Callaghan – Area Manager, Business Banking, Westpac
Brent is a Senior Commercial Banker at Westpac, with over 15 years in Banking and Finance experience backed with a Banking and Finance Degree from Massey University.
Based in Wellington, Brent has deep understanding of business and industries with Wellington and the Lower North Island and is passionate about Wellington business with a desire to ensure that the Wellington story is one of a strong, vibrant and collaborative business community.
Brent's expertise lies in finance and commerce with strong networks in the business community.
Trevor Goodwin – Managing Consultant
Charles Finny – Saunders Unsworth
Charles performs a mix of consultancy and corporate governance work from New Zealand's pre-eminent Government Relations consultancy Saunders Unsworth Ltd. His clients are mainly from the education, infrastructure and international trade sectors.
Charles Chairs the Board of Education New Zealand and has been on the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Board since 2009.
Charles was CEO of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce from 2005 until it merged with the EMA in 2010. Previously he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington.
Christopher Gosling – Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia Community Polytechnic
Mr Chris Gosling is the Chief Executive of the Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia Community Polytechnic, a position he has held since May 2015. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Whitireia for three years.
Chris worked in the Middle East setting up and operating a polytechnic in the Kingdom of Bahrain and prior to this was the Corporate Services Director at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. This role followed several years in finance and senior management roles in local government in New Zealand.
Whitireia and WelTec have the third largest combined Institute of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) offerings in NZ with total students enrolments of over 15,000 per year. Both are highly successful institutions that have been in partnership since 2012.
Chris has been involved in implementing this strategic partnership, and now as Chief Executive is responsible for moving this alliance forward in a new era of tertiary education provision. He has also led the institutions into a collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington and the Wellington business community to establish an ICT Graduate School for the region to be opened in 2016.
Chris is also leading a major campus development programme across both WelTec and Whitireia which includes a brand new inner city campus centred on the creative technologies and applied arts which will be open in 2018.
Chris is currently the Deputy Chair of New Zealand Institute of Technologies and Polytechnics and is a member of the Metro Group of ITPs.
Justine Martin - Assistant Manager HR and Governance at Toyota