Business Mentors New Zealand has appointed a new CEO, as well as two new board members, to ensure the continued implementation and success of its business goals.
Business Mentors NZ is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the success of small businesses in New Zealand by connecting them with the right volunteer mentor. Craig Garner (pictured) has been appointed as the organisation’s new CEO, taking over from current General Manager, Lisa Ford, on June 18th.
Craig has previously held senior management positions, has survived self-employment and volunteered for Business Mentors NZ for eleven years himself. Craig has been the CEO of not-for-profit organisations inclusive of the Chamber of Commerce and held management and board positions with a diverse range of organisations focused on adult education, technology, communications and business development.
Craig says, “I enjoyed being a mentor immensely and want to do more to help support the sustainability and prosperity of small to medium sized businesses in New Zealand. My career spans a wide range of industries, I see this new role as an opportunity to utilise the skills I have built to date to assist those who are making an important contribution to our economy and their communities as mentors and as business owners.”
The two new board members, Deborah Simpson and Leah MacDonell, have been appointed for their collective experience working with a number of high profile businesses and not-for-profits.
Geoff Vazey, Chairman of Business Mentors NZ says, “The changes to Business Mentors NZ’s board, as well as our senior management team, will help in our mission to ensure the success of SMEs across the country. Small businesses are the backbone of the New Zealand economy, and the right guidance is critical to helping them achieve their business objectives.
“Craig brings a genuine understanding of what it takes to be a mentor to his new role as CEO. Both Deborah and Leah have a diverse range of experience, which will bring a fresh perspective about what the future has in store for our organisation.”
Deborah Simpson is a founding Partner of The Purpose Business, a brand agency that aims to align the purpose, culture, brand and business strategy of its clients. Over a 25-year career, Deborah has led the strategic development of brands including ASB, 2degrees, New Zealand Lotteries and Genesis.
Deborah says, “Having worked with public, private and not-for-profit organisations, I really believe in the importance of creativity, customer-centricity and culture to achieve business outcomes. I’m looking forward to applying these beliefs as part of the governing board at Business Mentors NZ.”
Leah MacDonell arrives with both the NGO and commercial experience, having worked with corporates, government organisations, chambers and more. As well as her new position on the board of Business Mentors NZ, she holds the position of Partnerships Manager for the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association.
Leah says, “I live by the idea that people are at the heart and soul of everything we do. Having received mentoring over the years and recognising the value that it has provided, I am committed to helping make this process easier for New Zealand Business owners.