Introducing the Board.

The Taranki Chamber of Commerce and Industry is governed by an eight member Board of senior directors and industry leaders with extensive experience in local, national and global business.

The Board is chaired by Sophie Braggins.


Sophie Braggins

Sophie Braggins

CHAIR

Govett Quilliam – Head of Innovation and Opportunities

I have had the privilege of Chairing the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Board since December 2015.

With 13 years of commercial experience in the fields of strategic business consulting and human resources, I have worked internationally across industries including Legal, Media, Oil & Gas, and Private sector enterprises.

I am currently Head of Innovation and Opportunities at Govett Quilliam The Lawyers, a role which requires a strong understanding of market trends, to explore, inspire and develop the capability of the business to critically innovate and change.

My most recent role was as Managing Director of Strategy Collective, a Chartered Accounting firm with a large and diverse portfolio of local and national clients. I assisted clients, alongside a team of 19 to realise their growth aspirations through innovative advice in the areas of finance, strategy, brand and people.

I take great pride in ensuring the Chamber ‘brand’ is progressive and held in high regard, and that the business community have a resource they are proud of.



 

Heather Lucas

Heather Lucas

DEPUTY CHAIR

Mediaworks Radio Taranaki- General Manager

As Deputy Chair of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce for the last four years, I have worked closely with the Board and Chamber team to develop and support the Chamber strategy of One Voice for the region. I believe the Chamber has made huge gains in this regard and has come to be perceived as a considered and respected advocate and representative for the Business community Taranaki- wide.

I have been on the Taranaki Chamber Board for 6 years and prior to moving to the region, I was one of a small team instrumental in the resurgence of the Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce.

My experience as GM of Mediaworks in Taranaki for the last 8 years has been working with businesses throughout the region to assist them to maximise every opportunity. I see my involvement with the Chamber in a similar light.

I am also a Young Enterprise Scheme mentor, an active Rotarian with the NP North Rotary and married with 2 children. I have a BA Hons (First) in History from Otago University.

Charles Duke

Charles Duke

TSB BANK- Deputy Chief Executive

I have worked for TSB Bank for a little over 11 years and while my background is as a computer technologist (having worked in New Zealand and offshore) the past 6 plus years have been in the Deputy CEO role that provides visibility to and involvement in all aspects of the Banks operation.  A significant part of my role is to represent the bank on a number of national financial and technology industry forums that govern Banking in New Zealand. It is to be expected that I continue maintain an active interest in all aspects of technology. As part of the management team of TSB Bank I am involved in, both directly and indirectly, many of the activities that take place in New Plymouth and thoroughly enjoy the connections and networks within the business community.

I have had a significant number of years in management roles and also have experience on Boards (am currently on the Boards of Payments New Zealand and Taranaki Rugby Football Union). I believe that I have a combination of both management and governance skills that are of assistance to the Chamber. 

Gaylene Findlay

Gaylene Findlay

BDO TARANAKI- Advisory Principal

The past two years has flown by but in reflection many great things have been achieved during this time.  I have been fortunate to have been involved in reviewing the finance function and implementing changes to embrace cloud technology and process efficiency. 

Change is inevitable for all businesses if we are to remain relevant & resilient.  I believe it is important for the Chamber to be leading businesses in this space and I am keen to continue the drive to utilise technology and improve efficiencies internally to better service our members.

From an external  perspective, we also need to be supporting our members to face these challenges head on and provide the direction to do this.  There is no shortage of tools but often it is the networks and connections that we as a Chamber can access that will make the difference. I am always happy to represent business owners and listen carefully to their needs and advocate as required.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a great team of fellow board members and dedicated chamber staff all sharing the same vision and passion in what they do.  We have an excellent foundation to continue driving business vitality into our region and to assist Taranaki businesses and our community reach their potential. 

As one business we can achieve good things, but as a business community and one voice, we can achieve so much more. 

Daniel Fleming

Daniel Fleming

KING AND QUEEN SUITES - General manager
Daniel Fleming has been a board member for 2 years now.

Daniel believes the most valuable aspect of the chamber is the Networking opportunities, there is no other group I know of that offers so much exposure to such a wide range of businesses.

I moved back home in 2013 to open the King & Queen Hotel Suites, New Plymouth’s leading luxury boutique hotel.

I am thrilled to be back in my home town and involved with the Chamber. Increasing vibrancy and the success of this beautiful region has always been important to me.

After attending New Plymouth Boys High School I then went on to study at the Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS).  Since then I have worked in various hotels throughout New Zealand and Australia. 

I am currently on the steering committee for BARA, the Business and Retail Association and I am also part of the CBD Liaison Group.

It is a privilege to be working with such a passionate group of people on the Chamber and I look forward to serving the business community.

Cam Twigley

Cam Twigley

BTW- Director, Manager Planning and Environment 

Cam Twigley has been on the board for 2 years.

He believes the most valuable asset the chamber offers is the network, support and platforms to connect with others in the business community which ultimately assists with business growth and development.

I am a director of BTW Company and head up the Planning and Environment Teams within the business.  I am extremely lucky to manage some amazingly bright, talented and dedicated staff.  I have worked for BTW since 2006 and am proud to be Taranaki born and bred.  I am well connected in the community and know what makes our province tick.  My work encompasses many business sectors including oil and gas, dairy, poultry, mining, retail, aged care and land development.  I have strong relationships with the four Councils and have an excellent understanding of regulatory process and the Councils’ strategic direction.

My wife Tineka is Head of Languages at New Plymouth Boys’ High School and we have two daughters who attend Central School.

I have enjoyed my time on the board to date and am looking forward to continuing to add value for the Chamber

 

Shane Devlin

Shane Devlin

GRAPHIX EXPLOSION- Owner
Shane has been on the board for 2 years – he just started his second term of a further 2 years. 

He believes the most valuable assist to the chamber is the networking opportunities and the business relationships that have been formed from 20 years of Chamber membership and proactive networking has definitely been one of the keys to our businesses success and longevity.

What I can offer the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce:

My wife and I started Graphix Explosion from our home just over 22 years ago. Over the years we have also purchased five other businesses.  Through these experiences I have learnt a great deal about what is needed to grow a successful business. I believe this perspective is a valuable asset to the Board in their support local business.

A strong believer of building relationships in business, I attend as many BA5 events as possible (including BizLink Hawera events).

Both networking and Chamber membership have played key roles in the success of our company.  This led me to be a founding member of Taranaki Network of Trades (NOTs) and also the first Chapter of BNI (Business Networking International) in New Plymouth.

I am passionate about the Taranaki province and see this as an opportunity to give back.

David Leuthart

David Leuthart

TIMBER CO- Owner
David Leuthart has been on the board for 5 years now.

He believes the most valuable aspect of the chamber is connectivity and representation.

I am Taranaki born and bred and along with my wife Cheryl, we own Timber Co here in New Plymouth.

We were judged Supreme Winners of the Westpac Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in 2011.

We are Taranaki’s leading supplier of house frames and trusses in the building industry. We currently employ 17 very talented people that Cheryl and I are very proud of.

I have been self-employed for 28 years and in that I understand the challenges involved in owning and managing a successful business.

I am very passionate about Taranaki and the business community, and I look forward to the exciting and challenging times ahead for us all.

I am a current Board member of Francis Douglas Memorial college. We have two sons, with one son currently playing cricket in England and the other currently studying at Otago University.

In my spare time, I enjoy being with family and friends, spending time at my happy place in a secret part of New Zealand, wake boarding, relaxing, playing average golf and having the odd glass of red wine.

I have been a Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Board member for the past four years and have enjoyed working with the other Board members concerning our business community in Taranaki.

Will Downey

Will Downey

Govett Quiliam- Associate 

Originally from the Waikato, Will graduated from the University of Waikato and made the move to Taranaki to join the team at Govett Quilliam and take advantage of the active coastal lifestyle that Taranaki offers.

Will's expertise is reflected by his conjoint degree of Law and Management Studies. Will has developed a broad range of skills and knowledge necessary to offer clients commercially astute, results focused legal services.

Based out of Origin Energy's New Plymouth office, Will has been acting as Origin Energy’s part-time in-house legal counsel for the past 18 months or so. In his role at both Origin and Govett Quilliam Will has gained experience in the following areas:

  • Oil and Gas Law
  • Corporate/Commercial Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Building/Construction Law

Will is committed to ensuring excellence, creativity, strategic insight and continual learning.

Outside of Govett Quilliam Will has been involved in a number of community based organisations, and has been the honorary solicitor for the Taranaki Mountain Airs Basketball team. In his spare time, will enjoys surfing, playing golf, rugby, music and relaxing with friends and family.

Richard Williams

Richard Williams

Billings Lawyer - Director

I am a Director at Billings Lawyers.  I have 12 years’ experience in international, national and provincial law firms, specialising in commercial and property law.  I work with my clients to achieve their goals by resolving their legal business challenges. 

I am passionate about the province and its people.  Through regular attendance at BA5s and other Chamber events, I have built up a large network throughout Taranaki and have a good appreciation of what makes our business community hum.  

The Chamber has been instrumental in the development of my personal brand and my business over the last 7 years.  I am excited to be able to work with such a dynamic board and feel privileged to able to give something back to the Chamber and the Taranaki business community.

I look forward to helping Taranaki continue to thrive and prosper.