I grew up in Hamilton, but started my professional life in Auckland. Actually, come to think of it I’ve now spent the larger part of my career in various parts of greater China, including Taiwan. I studied Marketing at Auckland university and after a brief stint in a large Australasian media company I left for China to teach Marketing at a university in Yantai.
Why did you leave New Zealand?
I wanted to do the big Kiwi OE, but I also wanted to challenge myself and do something a little different than the typical stint in London. While it’s a little cliché, now, I could also see big and exciting things happening in China. In some ways when I look back, the question I ask myself is “why didn’t I return to New Zealand?”.
Tell us about your role with Crown Relocations.
Crown Relocations has nine offices in Mainland China and I am the regional General Manager for Northern China which means I oversee Crown’s business in Beijing, Tianjin , North East China and the surrounding areas. Day to day I lead an awesome team of individuals, both expats and Chinese relocating families all around the world. A large part of what we do is also helping people who we have moved to China settle and adjust in their new city.
I have also been lucky enough to be involved in the development of our Mongolian operation which is another fast growing and exciting market for us.
Do you leverage your “Kiwiness” in your business?
I’m fortunate to work for a company with very strong roots in New Zealand so I get to meet a wide variety of really interesting and successful Kiwi expats, which is one of my favorite aspects of the job. We regularly relocate everyone from top level executives, hoteliers or engineers to diplomats and entrepreneurs. The relocation business, can also throw up some unique challenges where there may not be an out of the box solution, so a practical, can do attitude can get you a long way in getting things done.
On a personal level, what motivates you?
I really want to give my son a truly international upbringing. I think his generation is going to be more international and more culturally aware than any generation before. Bets are still on as to what his first language will be though! I’m really interested to see how Chinese and Kiwi cultures meld in the future.
If I was to ever do something else it would be something that brings China and New Zealand closer together.