Overseen by a board of twelve directors who serve two-year terms, our team is made up of passionate individuals with an in-depth understanding of the local business community and first-hand experience across sectors and industries.
Lobbying, Advocacy, Business Strategy & Policy
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Peter is the Chief Executive of the CECC and has been since 1996. He holds several corporate directorships and is the Honorary Consul for Chile for the South Island. Peter received the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the 2014 New Year’s Honours and an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Lincoln University in May 2014.
Peter is involved in a range of community groups and initiatives in the region that are in harmony with the objectives of CECC. He is actively engaged in earthquake recovery issues and as such he was appointed to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Advisory Board on Transition in January 2015.
Peter is supported by his wife Rose and has four sons and three grandchildren that keep him busy (as well as Elsie, the dog!). He enjoys his holidays and boating in Wanaka and tries to get down there as much as possible.
03 353 0309
Leeann is the General Manager of the Chamber. Her role includes providing leadership to the organisation’s 30 staff, managing the internal operation of the organisation and providing support to the Chief Executive on a daily basis.
In addition to her key responsibilities as General Manager, Leeann was also instrumental in establishing and winding down Recover Canterbury (a joint venture with the Canterbury Development Corporation to assist earthquake impacted businesses). She also led the restructuring of the Chamber to respond to the changing business environment post-earthquakes, and regularly reviews core services to ensure they continue to meet members’ needs. More recently she led the project management of the rebuild of the Chamber new offices in Kilmore Street which were completed on-time and on budget in July 2016.
Leeann is also a Director of the Champion Canterbury Business Awards which recognise business excellence, a Director of Canterbury Regional Business Partners Ltd and is on the Board of Trustees at Christchurch Boys High School. Leeann interfaces with the business community at all levels and across all sectors and has many years’ experience in working in partnership with both Local and Central Government.
Leeann is married to Brent and they have three children.
03 353 4167
Claire McOscar is the Executive Office Manager and Personal Assistant to our CEO, Peter Townsend and General Manager, Leeann Watson. In this varied and busy role she also manages the Admin Team, supports the Chamber Board of Directors and manages the facilities at 57 Kilmore Street. In the first instance members are welcome to contact Claire if they have a query or request for either Peter and/or Leeann.
Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Canterbury and in her spare time enjoys pilates, running, reading and spending time with her family.
Employment Law, Employment Relations & Human Resourses
03 353 0312
Melicia provides HR, and employment relations advice, together with HR consultancy services, to help employers navigate anything to do with people in their business. Melicia has many years of experience as an HR professional in NZ and the UK with large companies including retail, manufacturing, education, insurance and the public sector. She has a particular interest in pragmatic solutions, leadership and niche support to small and medium sized local businesses. Melicia has worked alongside business owners, leaders and senior managers delivering practical HR solutions including but not limited to performance management, change management, disciplinary processes, recruitment and retention, engagement of employees and leadership capability.
03 353 0313
Keith has considerable experience in employment relations and HR and has represented and assisted employers in many industries at different levels throughout the past 30 years. It’s a field which brings constant change and challenges which holds Keith’s interest and helping members overcome obstacles and improving the effectiveness of their workplace relationships is particularly rewarding he says.
A life-long passion for aviation (going solo in gliders when he was 17) and an interest in photography sees Keith attending local and international air shows as often as he can, with the alternating biannual displays at Wanaka and Omaka being particularly well regarded.
Health & Safety
03 353 0304
Helen is our health and safety guru. She travels the country running courses, assisting organisations to set up health and safety systems and consulting on anything to do with health and safety. She gets lots of satisfaction from her work, especially the training, and if she had her working life over again she would have chosen teaching.
Helen is the mother of two fantastic daughters (and two corgi dogs – Harry & Jackie) and grandma of Jackson. She is very social and loves to eat out and cook when she has time. She has travelled extensively through Europe and the USA over the last 10 years with her husband Goldie.
Alan has joined the team at CECC having spent almost 30 years in the aviation industry as a propulsion engineer and technical trainer. He left aviation in 2012 to broaden his experience in industry Health and Safety. He has a keen interest in the legislation surrounding Health and Safety, and having spent most of his career around petrochemicals is experienced in chemical handling and storage, spill management and HSNO Approved Handler compliance.
Alan arrived in New Zealand in 2007 with his wife and daughter after having spent 22 years in the Royal Air Force, and loves the Kiwi lifestyle. He still plays football for Waimak United and avidly supports his home team, Manchester City. If you need any help in keeping your workplace as safe as possible, or gain a deeper understanding of the offside rule, give Alan a call.
Business Advice, Import & Export
03 353 0316
Shirley van Waveren
If you are an exporter or interested in exporting then Shirley is the person to contact. With a background in exporting, having previously worked at NZTE and run her own consulting business, Shirley is our Business Adviser with an understanding of all things exporting. She has broad business experience across all sectors after working for Recover Canterbury, and carries out business assessments for companies who are looking to improve their business capability, undergoing rapid growth or just starting-up.
Shirley enjoys walking the Port Hills with her black Labrador and the occasional red wine!
Settlement & Employment Support
03 353 4161
Kelly delivers international talent through our SkillsConnect Canterbury Programme. She assists employers to connect skilled newly-settled newcomers into the work force. She has strong experience in local and international Talent Management. Kelly has a passion for the Christchurch community and helping businesses grow, and matching international talent to their workforce.
Since coming back to her home town, Kelly has loved seeing how diverse our culture is becoming. She spends a large part of her down time with her family, involved in outdoor activities and enjoying what our new city has to offer.
03 353 4166
Lisa's role as SkillsConnect Canterbury Business Advisor at The Chamber involves supporting employers with advice, information and the resources they need to successfully integrate their new migrant employees into the workplace. She also delivers intercultural training and workshops for employers.
Lisa holds a BA Hons (Political Science), and a Diploma in Information and Library Studies. Outside work she enjoys spending time with her family, watching cricket and rugby, enjoying music, good TV, and keeping up with current events and politics.
Sponsorship, Business Partners, Regional & National Relations
03 353 4169
Lydia joined the team in February 2016 after spending three and a half years with the Crusaders and the Canterbury Rugby Football Union as their Brand Manager. Her core role was to oversee their events (including game days) and player promotional programme. Prior to rugby, Lydia spent 5 years working for Virgin Australia (formerly Pacific Blue Airlines) where did a range of marketing roles including overseeing the NZ marketing program and the rebrand to Virgin Australia in her final year there. Lydia is excited to be back into a marketing based role for the Chamber.
Outside of work Lydia enjoys keeping active in the outdoors and is kept busy by her dogs - she has a husky called Belka and border collie called Champ. She loves to travel, particularly to developing countries, and has spent time in Africa volunteering. If you’d like to speak to Lydia to gain a better understanding of how a Chamber membership can benefit you, give her a call or email.
COMMUNICATIONS, ICT, MARKETING
TRAINING, NETWORKING & EVENTS, REGISTRATIONS
03 353 4163
After a number of years bossing around younger brothers and sisters, an unhealthy obsession with lists and a lover of parties – event management was the natural career choice! Holly oversees the CECC’s busy event schedule and coordinates the smooth delivery of events with assistance from the training and events team.
Outside of work Holly tries to keep fit with indoor netball and swimming and attends a weekly art class to de stress and get the creative juices flowing.
Alex joins the events team at CECC, after 4 years living and travelling overseas.
Prior to getting into events, Alex was an accountant, but after volunteering at a number of events, decided that that was more her thing.
Alex keeps busy outside of work playing netball, socialising with friends and family, and also loves to travel.
03 353 0318
Sam joined The Chamber team in May 2016 as the Event and Award Coordinator. Her primary role is to coordinate the Champion Canterbury Business Awards. Sam came to us from SKOPE Industries where she spent three years running an array of events from trade shows overseas to corporate hosting along with supporting the marketing team. Since completing her degree in Hotel Management with a major in Event & Conference Management, Sam has grown a passion for developing and executing professional, innovative and exciting events, she says being a part of a team who can create memorable and innovative events that people walk away from completely happy is very satisfying work.
Sam is our Aussie icon, she enjoys sun, beaches and BBQ and spending time with friends and family. When Sam is not at work she loves being active – running half marathons, playing netball and has a goal to complete a full marathon in the next year. She believes in enjoying life and making the most of the opportunities given to her.
03 353 0306
Mary is part of the Training and Events team. Mainly working with training, her role is to make sure everything is organised and the workshops run smoothly. Mary is passionate about community education and tutors in computing at night’s school.
She enjoys fitness and watching her three children play sport. In her spare time she likes to run, walk, tramp, play netball and loves catching up with friends over a wine and yummy food!
03 353 0303
For the last three years Alexia has worked with the Trainings and Events team ensuring all training seminars and events run smoothly.
Alexia emigrated from England with her family 11 years ago and spends most of her weekend running around after her three boys, mainly on the side-line in the wind and rain! After which she enjoys a well earned glass of chardonnay.
03 353 0302
A business professional with a background in human resources, adult education and corporate training, Kelly puts her expertise to good use as the CECC Business Development Coordinator ensuring members receive comprehensive high quality and relevant developmental resources.
Kelly moved to London in 2002 to expand her horizons working in large multinational corporates (including Credit Suisse, BNP Parabis and Lovells) and pursue her love of travel and good wine. She returned to NZ in 2011 and now enjoys the hustle, bustle and fun of being mum to two beautiful children.
GRANTS AND FUNDING
03 353 0307
Rob joined CECC in 2005 and specialises in assisting companies with government investment funding for research & development. Rob assists Canterbury businesses to engage funding support for product development and global access to technology. He also provides assistance to CECC members in the areas of sustainability, energy, infrastructure, water and the environment.
Emigrating from the USA in 1984, Rob has been active in aquaculture, animal health, conservation/ecotourism, and local government. He was formerly a Malvern Community Board elected representative and the Darfield Township Committee chair.
Rob is a trustee for the Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust (SIFT), Canterbury Tertiary College (CTC) advisory board and a director of his company Birding Tours New Zealand Ltd, an ecotourism/consultancy business in transition to wildlife photography.
03 353 0310
Jessie joined the Chamber in February 2017 as a Business Advisor, specialising in assisting companies with their research and development. Jessie connects businesses engaged in R&D with the right support, government funding, and global access to technology. She also supports CECC members to access local expertise and specialised services, particularly in the areas of technology and business innovation. Feel free to get in touch with Jessie if you are developing a new product, process, or service and want to know more about available support and resources.
Jessie spent several years studying and working in Wellington before returning to her hometown of Christchurch and joining the Chamber. After completing an Honours degree in History and Philosophy, Jessie worked as a Report Writer for the Waitangi Tribunal, where she worked with Tribunal panels to process and communicate the evidence relating to their inquiries. With a background in research and written communication, Jessie loves to work with businesses to access and utilise the specialised knowledge they need to innovate well.
When she’s not working, Jessie likes to spend her time reading in cafes, going to the orchestra or the art gallery, or spending time at home with her husband and her cat – baking bread or watching British comedy panel shows.
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Jason joined the Chamber in 2017 as a Business Advisor covering the Selwyn and Ashburton districts. Jason has a wide range of knowledge and experience in retail and wholesale business management, sales, people and capability development. This enables him to work with you, taking a ‘birds-eye’ view of your business and then connecting you with experts who can help you build capability and establish a strategic growth plan.
FINANCE, MEMBERSHIP SUPPORT, EVENT & TRAINING REGISTRATIONS
03 353 0311
Giles joined the team in February 2017. Prior to this Giles has worked in a number of finance and general management roles across hospitality, IT, advertising and tourism both in New Zealand and the UK.
Outside of work Giles is a keen fisherman in summer and enjoys regular trips to the ski fields during winter.
03 353 0315
Anne is the Accounts Receivable/Payable and Membership Liaison. She is responsible for membership subscriptions and general accounts duties. In her membership role she answers members' queries or refers them on to the appropriate CECC team member. She is often seen at the networking functions.
In her spare time Anne is an avid dressmaker and our very own inhouse tailor! She loves gardening and home decorating. She has 2 children, 2 cats and 2 dogs. No grandchild….yet, but often babysits her daughter’s dogs!
Anne loves dancing, especially rock n roll, and is treasurer of the Southern Rock n Roll Club and on the Santa Parade Trust.
027 548 3551
Linda joined The Chamber in January 2017. With a background in marketing, Linda has years of experience in product and service development. Linda brings this experience to our members as she helps them think about their plans for growth and how The Chamber can help them achieve their goals.
When not at work, Linda can be found out and about on her bike of playing a few rounds of golf.
03 353 0317
Kellee’s role at CECC is membership liaison. It’s her job to keep in touch with our members and make sure that they are aware of the services available, and to help new members come aboard. She enjoys talking to people and finding out what keeps them busy in their professional and personal lives, so her job is always interesting.
Kellee is a busy mother who loves catching up with friends over a wine and is a self-confessed foodie, who loves to share good food with friends and family. She enjoys their family camping holidays and also tortures herself every week at boot-camp.
RECEPTION, CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN
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Rachel began working for CECC in June 2014 as an Executive Administrator supporting the management team, events, training and exporting areas of the business as well as back up for the CEO and GM.
Rachel has extensive experience in senior administration roles in UK, Australia and New Zealand. Her work history includes employment with Impact Project Management Group, Solid Energy’s legal department, the Department of Corrections, Telstra’s National Media office and Kelly Services Recruitment in various Executive and Marketing Assistant roles.
In her other life Rachel has two young daughters and married to Terence who all love laughing, camping and tramping in remote parts of the Abel Tasman and spend lots of time getting back to basics in their converted Bowling Club Bach on the West Coast.
03 366 5096
Monica joined the Chamber in April 2017. Monica brings more than 20 years' experience in the banking industry working for HSBC and ANZ. She has held numerous roles throughout her banking career the last role being a Business Development Analyst at HSBC. She has significant experience in customer service, sales, administration and finance.
When she's not behind the desk here at The Chamber, Monica enjoys running, cycling and generally keeping fit - mainly to keep up with her two active boys. She also attends Toastmasters and is the current club President.
Zoe Fowler is the Export Documentation Advisor at the Chamber, guiding our exporters through the complexity of documentation requirements. Zoe has an eye for detail and a knack for interpreting complicated requirements to filter and pass back to exporters in an easy to understand way.
Zoe joined the Chamber in July 2015. With an eclectic background in industries as varied as the Christchurch rebuild, large UK membership organisations, and music retail, Zoe has the ability to slot into any role and solve any problem big or small. In her spare time Zoe likes to keep active with spin, boxing, tramping and travel.
03 366 5096
Amy began working as an Administrator for the Chamber in August 2016. You will find her at the front reception with Monica, when she is not busy supporting the Training and Events Team in our brand new custom-built training and events spaces on site.
Amy has had previous experience in customer service roles in hospitality and retail, including a 6-month OE experience working at Walt Disney World in Florida, USA.
Outside of the office, Amy loves listening to music, socializing with her friends, and relaxing at home with her partner.