Workshop presenters 2018

Coming soon...

workshop presenters 2017


Patrick rottiers

An internationally experienced management consultant and outspoken keynote
speaker, Patrick is a well-known senior lecturer in business schools and management
development programs in New Zealand and overseas. Patrick is founder & CEO of PROConsulting International Ltd., a management consulting firm specialised in technology commercialisation, with headquarters in New Zealand.

Patrick is an experienced executive coach and sits on various advisory boards. Patrick is also the trade commissioner for the Belgian government in New Zealand, supporting business development and investment  Patrick’s amazing international multi-lingual career spans 25+ years on 4 continents - he has held numerous senior commercial management roles in Europe, Africa and USA, in IT, HR, aviation, international marketing & durable goods.

TOPIC: Business strategy


Mark Godenho has over 17 years’ experience in marketing, brand development and creative thinking. He has worked in advertising and digital marketing both in New Zealand and in the UK. He has worked as both a creative director and strategic marketing manager, dealing with a variety of firms from SMEs right through to local government and corporates.

As well as consulting in the personal-branding space, Mark has also spent considerable time in the start-up arena, particularly in the area of value proposition development and pitching. He is a CDC Amplifier Cluster member, Business Mentor for the Lightning Lab, and Board Member for Actually Useful, the consortium of marketing and branding consultants. He currently runs Simplify & Amplify Ltd; an outsourced marketing and branding company. Simplify & Amplify is also his philosophy for cutting down on jargon, simplifying messaging and delivering superior results. 

TOPIC: Marketing to compete in a digital world


Nigel is a strong advocate of design and innovation in business and has been using the Design Thinking process since 2005 for new product development programmes, with clients including innovation companies Invacare, Qualcomm, Clever Medkits and IkeGPS. 

A Better By Design Coach since 2008, Nigel has coached Trimax, Page Macrae, Besgrow and Airways through successful transformation programmes, helping their executive teams develop a culture of change, sustainable growth strategies, and innovation across processes, products and services. As the owner and design director of InFact, Nigel’s goal is to help New Zealand create a first-world economy based on high-value technology innovation. 

TOPIC: Innovation as a growth factor


John O’Hara has deep experience, in the New Zealand High tech sector growing and taking offshore New Zealand companies with innovative hardware products, software and services. Governance experience, at CEO, Chairman and board level in public and private companies in New Zealand, USA and UK markets and  across businesses ranging from startup to established in the $1-5m, $10-50m and over $200m revenue ranges.

John is an Angel investor in twenty primarily high tech businesses. He is Chairman of SaaS company Ask Nicely, a Director of the government agency ESR which does the Forensic work in NZ for NZ Police and a director of Spidertracks an aircraft tracking  hardware company. He is also an adviser to Airways International for its offshore businesses and software company SnapComms.

TOPIC: Commercialising innovation


Nigel has spent over 30 years solving all kinds of problems as a general manager for multinational and privately owned companies. This experience spans service industries, retail industries and manufacturers. Nigel has grown $1 million companies into $12 million companies and has always tried to do it "with heart". Nigel’s approach is people-focused, but he will also help you master the numbers. He always looks at professional success and personal success together. 

He believes “culture eats strategy for breakfast” meaning that even the smartest business ideas are useless without the right team to pull them off. Financial success is one thing, but an enjoyable workplace is just as important.

Nigel is an experienced business coach and mentor, a Rotarian, a money coach as well as a voluntary budget advisor.

TOPIC: Who do you think you are!


Peter Couchman epitomises the “real world” business experience required under the Dale Carnegie® philosophy, which states that we must earn the right to share our knowledge. Peter’s “real world” traverses government instrumentalities and private sector roles, where he was involved in governance, compliance and performance criteria. As evidence of his business acumen, Peter recently led a team of 11 FMCG sales professional team and was responsible for circa $20 million per annum. 

Peter attributes his success to understanding the importance of self-awareness, having an appreciation of others, and to developing the leadership skills that encourage others to follow. With these beliefs, there was an obvious attraction to Dale Carnegie ® Corporation, where he has excelled as a training facilitator for 15 years, influencing the lives of thousands and the success of hundreds of businesses.

TOPIC: Sales - Bringing in the dollars


David Boyd is an experienced executive and company director with a background in specialised manufacturing, medical devices, and consumer products - all focused on international markets. He has particular expertise in international branding and the wider European markets. 

David is a director of a number of New Zealand-based companies and a past director of Orthopaedic Synergy Inc, a United States-based orthopaedic company which has two subsidiaries – Christchurch-based Enztec Ltd and Omni Life Science Inc. of Raynham, Massachusetts, USA. He is also the founding shareholder of Foot Science International, the producers of Formthotics, and is still actively involved as a Director as well as managing their R&D program. He is currently an NZTE Beachheads advisor.

TOPIC: International markets & distribution channels


Catherine's experience in Human Resources for the past 25 years has spanned both private enterprise government sector, not-for-profit, and multi-national business arenas.

Currently, Director of Thomson-Bush and Associates, Human Resources Consultancy which specializes in business management; coaching and leadership development; workforce planning including performance appraisal and staff development, employment relations and dispute resolution on behalf of my clients. In addition, she has been involved with the CDHB Leadership Programme and a past lecturer in Human Resources Management students at Ara.

She believes human resources should add value to business to assist growth and my role is to assist owners and managers to make sound, practical decisions in the area of people management, to enhance productivity, and minimize risks.

TOPIC: HR People growth & people leadership


Phillip’s area of expertise and interest is in the broader area of business development for both commercial and not for profit enterprise. This covers a number of areas including quality governance and decision making, facilitated strategy and growth planning, business appraisals, advisory boards and general business advice and support.

Phillip is also actively invested with a number of Māori businesses in the Canterbury/West Coast regions through the Māori Business Facilitation Service (MBFS) operated under Te Puni Kōkiri.

In 2003 he received the National Award for the Young Chartered Accountant of the Year awarded by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

TOPIC: Changing gears in your business and getting ready for growth

phil veal

Phil is a business leader and investment fund manager with over 20 years' global experience. He delivers better returns for investors by creating and executing strategies that improve operating performance. He has successfully led transaction-driven transformations, including post-merger integrations, carve-outs, and strategic alliances, for middle market companies and large corporates.

Phil has an international track record, having lived and worked in the United States, the United Kingdom, Asia, and New Zealand. Phil is the Chief Executive of Rangatira, a middle-market investment company based in Wellington, New Zealand. Rangatira aims to deliver superior shareholder returns by taking long-term positions in well-managed businesses with strong growth potential. He is also Chair of Kea New Zealand, a global business network and is currently a director of portfolio companies Tuatara Brewing (Chair) and Hellers.

TOPIC: Capital for growth - financing for growth

Graham Scown 

Graham is currently Programme director for the Return On Science programme a position he has held since 2012. 

Return on Science is a national research commercialization programme, focused on bringing new research to market from universities, research institutions, and private companies.


phillip ridge

Phillip Ridge’s interest in governance and advisory boards stems from his experience at award-winning Connect New Zealand, a bespoke advisory service for early-stage ICT and tech businesses.

In 2008 he was commissioned by the Department of Labour to write a report on Increasing productivity in companies: The effective use of advisory boards. From that report Phillip then developed legal agreement templates and best practice guidelines for establishing advisory boards.

TOPIC: Governance