The Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce Board is made up of the following people:
John Milford – President, Kirkcaldie and Stains
Mr Milford took up the position of Managing Director of Kirkaldie and Stains on 3 April 2006. Following 23 years with the Allders Group of department stores in the UK, Mr Milford came to New Zealand in 1994 to take up an executive position with Farmers Trading Company. He was Chief Executive Officer for Pacific Retail Ltd until the sale of that business in 2004 when he became General Manager of Repco Australia, based in Melbourne. He is a former chair of Partnership Wellington Trust (Positively Wellington Tourism) and a Trustee of Scots College Charitable Trust.
Peter Cullen – Vice President, Cullen Law
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.
Simon Arnold – Arnold.co.nz
MD of Arnold and Woodhall Ltd (trading as arnold.co.nz).
Focus is on building physics and engineering technology based businesses including: direct investment, technology commercialisation, science and technology policy and related economic development advice.
Represents the NZ High Temperature Superconducting industry locally and internationally. Part owner and Chair of Puku Ltd, an engineering fastener IP development and exploitation company. Wife, Jane Woodhall, artist, trades through the company.
Life member of WRCC; current member of the Employers Chamber of Commerce Central Knowledge Business Committee; past President and Board member of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce; past Board member of the NZ Chambers of Commerce; past strategy and policy advisor to the PM; past CEO of the New Zealand Manufacturers Federation; 20 years in the public service including as Deputy Government Printer and senior roles in Department of Social Welfare and State Services Commission.
Ian Cassels –The Wellington Company
Glenys Coughlan – Positively Wellington Venues
Glenys Coughlan is one of New Zealand’s most well-regarded tourism and corporate management professionals. In addition to her current role as CEO of Positively Wellington Venues, Glenys holds directorship on the Boards of the Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand, Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Positively Wellington Tourism.
A passionate advocate of the tourism and events industries, Glenys has held high-profile management roles at Republic of Acumen; Saatchi and Saatchi; Air New Zealand; and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand, where she championed the development of a ten-year strategy for the sustainable growth of New Zealand’s tourism industry.
In the past, Glenys has also held a host of key Board directorships, including Te Papa; the Trade Liberalisation Network; Asia 2000; the Aviation, Tourism, Travel Training Organisation; the New Zealand Tourism Strategy Group and the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s International Advisory Council.
John Dow* – Agenda Limited
Director of AGENDA Limited a Wellington Chamber of Commerce member for 27 years.
Have successfully and consistently worked at the highest levels of Central and Local Government, Business, Sport, Arts, Tourism and the Media within Wellington for over 27 years.
Creator and Director of the WELLINGTON GOLD AWARDS in association with The Dominion Post, established in 1999 as the region’s awards for celebrating and acknowledging businesses and business people now in its 14th year.
Secured the A League Licence for Wellington in 2007 and assisted in establishing the Wellington Phoenix Football Club and won the bid for Wellington to host the All Whites versus Bahrain World Cup Qualifier in 2009.
A Director of the annual WELLYS – Wellingtonian of the Year Awards, Project Director in NZ for WORLD PRESS PHOTO EXHIBITION, Marketing Director in 1990 and 1992 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, Event Director Tribute ’08 A Vietnam Commemoration, Project Manager for Major NZ promotional initiatives in San Francisco, Vancouver and Valencia, established the Champion Canterbury Awards in association with The Press ( Canterbury business awards), have successfully created numerous local, regional, national and international events, projects and marketing campaigns.
A strong believer and advocate for the vital role that businesses have in our community and is committed to encouraging and supporting Wellington businesses to thrive and prosper.
*John has stood aside as Board Member while he is candidate for the Wellington City Council
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.
He Chairs the Board of Education New Zealand and is on the Boards of NZTE, the Film Commission and Kawarau Estate Limited. He is a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Council.
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.
Steve Maharey – Massey University
Steve Maharey is the Vice-Chancellor of Massey University. Massey is New Zealand’s national university, teaching 34,000 students on its campuses in Palmerston North, Albany and Wellington as well as through distance learning.
His academic interests include social policy, education policy, cultural studies, media and the role of government. He is currently working on new approaches to government and the public service in the 21st century.
Prior to taking up his appointment at Massey at the end of 2008, he was a Government Minister for nine years holding a wide range of portfolios including Minister of Education, Minister of Social Development and Employment, Minister of Research Science and Technology, Minister of Broadcasting and Minister of Housing. He was the Member of Parliament for Palmerston North from 1990 until 2008.
Before entering Parliament he was a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Massey University. He has also taught as a Junior Lecturer in Business Administration.
He has been an elected City Councillor.
He was awarded the Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2009.
Linda Sissons – CNZM PhD,Chief Executive Officer, Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec)
Linda Sissons is CEO of Wellington Institute of Technology. Prior to that position she has worked in university and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics management roles in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
She represents the New Zealand Government as Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth of Learning, is on the Board of WorldSkills NZ, and is also on the Board of ESITO (Electrical Supply Industry Training Organisation). She has been a member of a number of Government commissions over the years, including Tertiary Education Advisory Commission.
She holds a PhD from London University, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme. She was a member of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce Board from 2001–2008.
Richard Stone – JacksonStone & Partners
During his more than 25 years of experience in the human resources consulting industry, Richard has been a founder, shareholder and senior consultant in several leading industry entities. His primary consulting focus has been on the appointment of Chief Executives and non-executive directors both within the public, private and NGO sectors.
Richard’s comprehensive knowledge of the New Zealand business environment and the challenges which it faces, along with his formidable networks developed over 25 years, allows him the ability to work intimately with clients in meeting their needs.
Richard is a Director of Business Central, Council member of Business New Zealand, Director of Grow Wellington and Workbridge, and a former Chair of Unicef.
Pierre Woolridge – Optimum Websites Ltd
Pierre established Optimum Websites as a website design and web marketing consultancy company in 2001. His firm has a clear focus on helping owners and managers grow their business via the Internet.
Prior to this he worked as business consultant in the field of strategic planning, and business planning. He has also held management roles in both the private and government sectors.
He has been on the Board of the Sales and Marketing Executive Institute (SMEI), and a director of the New Zealand Institute of Management (NZIM) Central, having been voted onto the NZIM Board for two separate terms.