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2017's World Class Speakers

Sir Graham Henry

Graham Henry needs no introduction to kiwis. What he achieved with the All Blacks and in his coaching and management career were all based on Graham’s approach to the people on his teams and the resultant culture he was able to create. The lessons and learning’s from how the All Blacks won the World Cup (and the other successes that Graham achieved) are hugely aligned to how you can run a better business with more engagement from your team and the creation of a fun and accountable culture. Learn the secrets from our nation’s master coach and run a better business and team.

Graham finished his All Blacks career as one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time: he coached the All Blacks to 88 wins in 103 Tests for a winning percentage of 85.4 percent.  As well as winning Rugby World Cup 2011, the All Blacks held the Bledisloe Cup every year from 2003 to 2011, won the Investec Tri Nations five times and achieved three Grand Slams against the Northern Hemisphere Home Unions.


Frances Valintine

Frances Valintine has been an educator for over 20 years, committed to shifting education practice and policy within the technology-driven global environment.  She founded The Mind Lab by Unitec, developed to empower students, teachers and principals with skills for today's world. In 2016 Frances launched Tech Futures Lab to navigate the new world of technology enabled businesses. In the past three years her organisations have taught over 100,000 school students, 2,200 teachers and worked with 250 New Zealand organisations.

Frances was named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year at the 2017 NZ of the Year awards and last year, was named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International, UK and was also awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award. In 2015 Frances was awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education). Hot off the press, in 2017, Frances has just won the Flying Kiwi Award at the Hi-Tech Awards and was inducted into their Hall Of Fame!
Frances sits on the Callaghan Innovation, KEA and Washington based Talentnomics Boards and holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne


Dan Alpe

Fifteen years ago, Entrepreneur Dan Alpe saw a gap in the New Zealand market for good value car rentals aimed at the backpacker market. Together with his brother Tim, he bought 35 cars, leased a garage in Parnell, and started what is now New Zealand’s leading youth tourism brand, JUCY. Today, JUCY has more than 5000 vehicles in New Zealand, Australia, and the US – most notably including their signature range of green and purple campervans that the company still custom-build at their JUCY By Design Helensville factory. Whether it be through acquiring a stake in the disruptive YourDrive (JUCY’s peer-to-peer car sharing business), or launching the JUCY Snooze Pod-hostels chain, innovation is always the focus for JUCY’s passionate crew of 350 staff – with Dan and Tim still sitting at the helm.

Tourism is in Dan’s blood, having spent his childhood weekends cleaning motorhomes for his father’s business, Maui. Despite starting his love affair with New Zealand so young, he can still be found travelling his favourite NZ spots with his wife and two kids. You’ll love Dan’s learning’s and secrets that he shares to help you take on the world!


Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn Wilson has established herself as New Zealand’s premier footwear designer in just over a decade, growing from a fledgling designer to becoming an influential business woman with a brand that is in constantly high demand. Kathryn Wilson has emerged as one of the fastest-growing fashion brands in New Zealand. Stocked in over 100 local boutiques and with an ever-growing online market, the label is on the front foot in the fashion industry. Her acute business acumen has also meant Kathryn is in demand as a leader and brand ambassador, garnering the attention of global brands Volvo, Veuve Clicquot, Samsung, Nespresso, Dermalogica and Vodafone to become long-term supporters of herself and the brand. Awards Kathryn has won include the Newmarket Business Awards Employer of the Year 2016, Next Magazine Woman of the Year Finalist 2015, ANZ Young Business Person of the Year 2015, Metro NZ Best Shoe Shop 2014, Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award 2014 and the Massey University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014. In todays retail and fashion world, Kathryn is doing things very differently and stands out as a true market leader.


Sir John Kirwan

Sir John Kirwan (JK) played for the All Blacks for a decade from 1984 and holds the New Zealand record for most first class rugby tries totalling 199. In 1987 the All Blacks winger was the star of the World Cup campaign, running the length of the field to score against Italy.   

But JK’s story is about so much more than rugby and life as a professional sportsperson. He has opened up to New Zealand and shared his personal story of depression, resilience and hope after struggling with the mental illness as a player. His journey has led him to an active involvement with mental health awareness campaigns in New Zealand where he speaks openly about his battle. He has written two books, All Blacks Don't Cry and Stand by Me. 

JK is an amazing speaker. The feedback from those who attend is incredible and heart-warming. He literally saves lives. He is passionate about putting an end to youth suicide and influences thousands of school students in his role as a Westpac Ambassador. As the first rugby player to openly talk about depression Sir John Kirwan continues to prove himself as a true kiwi icon both on and off the field.


Bernard Powell

Bernard is a kiwi entrepreneur who believes (with a passion) that ALL companies should put culture first!
Premier Group International amazingly won the overall best workplace in NZ 2016 award, the first year they entered! Bernard believes that creating a happy culture is the first step any organisation should take if they want sustained great results and growth! He believes that if you get it right, then everything else will follow! Things like great customer service, creativity, innovation, quality etc etc!!!

Premier Group has achieved very strong growth year on year for the last 6 years and Bernard would like to share as many of his secrets (as time allows) with you all! They recently won GJ Gardner supplier of the year award (NZs biggest home building company) - again thanks to the culture first approach! The company mission is: Deliver happiness, create raving fans, beautify the world!

At a personal level Bernard is very passionate about family, playing the piano and singing and keeping fit and healthy


Chris Quin

Chris Quin is the Chief Executive of Foodstuffs North Island. Foodstuffs North Island is a co-operative representing New Zealand’s most iconic and loved grocery brands (including New World, Pak n Save, Four Square and Liquorland). Their stores serve over 1.5 million New Zealanders every week and are an integral part of New Zealand communities. Prior to this position, he spent twenty-three years at Spark NZ (previously Telecom NZ), serving Kiwi consumers and small businesses through call centres, online and a franchises network of 120 stores and business hubs. Mr Quin became CEO of Telecom retail in 2012, before becoming CEO of Spark Home, Business and Mobile in 2014. He has a strong track record in leadership roles, particularly in the IT, telecommunications and retail sectors.

Chris has some great learning’s for how you can take the best of what large companies do and apply them to your own medium to small business.


Linda Jenkinson

Linda Jenkinson is one of NZ’s most successful business women. She’s a serial entrepreneur who has built three multi-million technology-enabled services companies with successful exits of more than $740 million. Linda is the first New Zealand woman to take a company public on the NASDAQ Exchange. Her career has spanned being Partner in a global strategy consulting practice, a founder of several startups, running companies as CEO, and taking on director roles. Linda is a director Air New Zealand (AIR.NZ).

She has received multiple awards for her entrepreneurial efforts in the United States and New Zealand. Most recently Linda was named one of the most Influential Women in the Bay Area (San Francisco) and in New Zealand (by Westpac), a World Class New Zealander by KEA and Master Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and was the first women to be awarded The Sir Geoffrey Peren Award for most Distinguished Alumni from Massey University in New Zealand.

Linda co-founded WOW for Africa, an innovative business-based approach to SME development. Linda has an MBA from Wharton School. She resides in San Francisco and Wellington with her husband, son and daughter. Linda will be sharing her formula’s to be successful in business.


David Downs

David is the author of “No.8 Rewired – 202 Inventions that changed the world” a book showcasing New Zealand’s inventive past published in 2014 by Penguin Books. With co-author Dr Michelle Dickinson (‘nanogirl’), he’s just putting the finishing touches on a follow up book to highlight the amazing Technology, Science and Innovation happening in Aotearoa at the moment.

David has had a successful career in both the private, and lately the public sector, working for organizations that create, use or promote innovation and inventiveness. David has proven experience in developing, planning and executing business strategies across both multi-national corporations and small & medium business, in developed as well as emerging markets, and in economic development roles.

David has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT industry working for Microsoft in NZ and in Asia, and he is experienced in start-up businesses in a variety of industries. He is also an author, accomplished public speaker and communicator, and an award winning radio and TV actor. He started his early life as a stand-up comedian and helped establish Auckland’s Classic Comedy Club.

David has a strong interest in working with companies that will help propel New Zealand into a position of world-leading innovation and success. In his current role of General Manager at NZ Trade and Enterprise, he is responsible for programmes to help NZ business grow internationally.


Ben Reid

Ben Reid is one of Australasia’s leading brand designers. The biggest and the best companies turn to Ben and his team for guidance on how to make their brands stand out to resonate with customers more. Ben owns Milk, a multi award winning design agency. Ben and his agency have worked with companies like Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sanitarium, Colgate, Fonterra, Air New Zealand, Lion Nathan and Tip Top. Many of the brands that you are familiar with in your day to day life are courtesy of Ben and his design approach.


He has accumulated more than 15 years experience in the creative industries, working with industry leading design houses in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, developing award winning projects for local brands and international clients. Ben specialises in creative problem solving and showing commercially measurable success with creativity. Established in December 2004, Milk has been responsible for many award winning and disruptive category success stories, most notably in retail, identity and packaging design.We cannot wait for Ben to share his knowledge and experience with you.


Scott McLiver

Scott's passion for business, technology and innovation has led him to a unique role. As well as assisting New Zealand business owners to grow their business, manage risk and achieve success in his role as a Partner in the Financial Advisory Services team, Scott has responsibilities for technology and innovation. He was involved in the establishment of the PwC Innovation and Ventures Hub and leads the Cloud for SMEs strategy across New Zealand, which recently launched PwC's Next: a cloud-based platform enabling small businesses to get the whole picture in one spot. The Innovation & Ventures Hub was created solely to focus on positively disrupting PwC from within and unlocking the innovative potential of the firm, so Scott knows the practical challenges of embedding an innovative mindset in a business and has some great insights on how be "disruptive" in a positive way (school teachers, take note). 


Chris Lee

Chris spends much of his day helping SME owners deal with significant transactions (sale and purchase of businesses, commercial contracts and protecting IP), shareholding arrangements and disputes, and complying with directorsí duties. Chris has been practising law since he was a boy, both in-house in NZ and overseas; in London, he was the Director of Legal Services for a large listed multinational. Here's the bit you need to know: Chris' clients love him because his commercial experience assists them to grow profitably from SMEs to large corporates and beyond, through achieving better deals and better managing their legal risk.

Random facts: Chris started his professional life as a tax accountant and, in his younger years, he was a very good cricketer, playing for Auckland and professionally in the UK!


Book now for 2017 before we sell out