Managing Director, Convene Group
Ally is an experienced marketer and communicator with a passion for commercial development through marketing, event management and sponsorship. From private business ventures to mega events to local government, it is an eclectic mix of skills, challenges and laughs Ally can draw upon from over the last 20 years. An exciting path of senior management experiences has led Ally to her current role of Managing Director of Convene Group a B2B event and marketing company that specialises in strategies for Destination marketing within the Business Event sector.
Director of Global Sponsorship, AIG
Amy McNicol is a sponsorship and marketing specialist. Amy’s work as Director of Global Sponsorship at AIG saw her awarded the NZEA Best Event Sponsorship Professional in 2018.
Sport is a central theme of Amy’s career having spent several years working at Manchester United, as well as time at New Zealand Cricket, Leeds Rugby, Leeds United and Toyota and Lexus negotiating rights deals and activating multimillion-dollar global partnerships.
CEO, ICC WWC
Andrea is CEO of the ICC WWC, the premier event in women’s cricket due be hosted in New Zealand in 2021. Andrea brings significant major event experience to her role, having previously been GM New Zealand for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, and Director of Marketing and Communications for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and having held senior Communications roles with London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Leading advisor, designer, mentor
Andrew O’Loughlin is a Melbourne based Event Advisor, Author, Trainer and co-host of ‘The Event Show’ podcast. Having started his career in Queenstown 25 years ago, Andrew spent the last decade leading international event agency Limelight Sports. With experiences across major events, community festivals, corporate, brand, sport and government related campaigns, Andrew is now leading and facilitating shared learning experiences. Andrew’s ‘Experience Design Playbook’ process uses ‘Experience Design’ methods, to create more influential events, and influential event people.
Arthur Klap, MNZM
Managing Director, Sports Impact Ltd
Arthur is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leaders in sports governance, sports management, major events and event tourism. He has a proven track record of delivering major international events and, since 1994, has delivered twelve World Championships, across eight sports, and twenty three World Cups. Arthur was a founding Board member of the NZ Events Association. In 2018 Arthur stepped down as CEO of the Winter Games NZ and is now focused on governance and advisory work in sport and tourism.
General Manager Operations, New Zealand International Convention Centre
Callum has significant operational, sales, marketing and event experience, and over the last 10 years has held a number of senior oles within SKYCITY Entertainment Group. Callum is now leading the operational team for the New Zealand International Convention Centre, which is due to open mid 2020. The NZICC will have over 30,000 square metres of purpose built conference and exhibition space in the heart of Auckland city.
James is an experienced entrepreneur and technologist with a passion for events and live entertainment. He co-founded Eventfinda in 2006, leading the company to become New Zealand’s largest event discovery platform and fastest-growing ticketing services company.
Managing Director, Brown Bread
For the last 15 years, Jo has been establishing movements around big ideas. She specialises in building communities around great causes, events and projects. In 2015 she founded social change agency Brown Bread, who specialise in partnering with arts organisations to rally supporters. Recently she has helped build giving communities for Christchurch Art Gallery, Objectspace, and M?ia Health Foundation.
Tournament & Commercial Director, Tennis Auckland
Karl is a true international strategic sports administrator who has played a key role building the ASB Classic, WTA, ATP, Australian Open and FIFA brands globally. With a background in revenue generation, Budge has been responsible for generating more than $80million in new commercial revenue across sponsorship, government and broadcast contracts.
Director, Empire PR
Kathy Cunningham, founder of Empire PR, has been creating successful events for 30 years. She is passionate about the impact events have and is currently Chair of Aotearoa Warrior Spirit Trust.
Events include NZ’s first carbon-neutral event (The Auckland Seafood Festival), NZEA Best Partnership (Robert Harris and Anchor Milk for the NZ Barista Awards), a Global Gold MAC – Marketing Achievement in Creativity (IMAX premiere of ‘Everest’), and a Cannes Bronze Lion (Project Managing Star Alliance partnership with APEC).
GM, PR & Major Events, Tourism New Zealand
Lauren has notched up 16 years global experience as a creative, entrepreneurial and award-winning, PR, marketing, content and brand communication professional. A writer at heart, Lauren has a strong track record of delivering highly successful ‘cut-through’ content work for multiple high-profile global brands including Tourism New Zealand, adidas, MINI, Telstra, Volkswagen, icebreaker, Air New Zealand, PlayStation, ANZ, Sony and Vodafone. As a powerful, results-driven storyteller with a proven ability to earn on-message content told through trusted influencers, she’s been the champion and leader of multiple high-impact and award-winning projects around the world, including #getNZonthemap for Tourism New Zealand featuring NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Rhys Darby. With equal parts agency and in-house experience, Lauren has lived and worked around the world including UK, Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand with agency stints including DDB, iris Worldwide, BBDO and TBWA.
Mandy Deans BA, Grad.Dip.Econ.Dev.
Event Manager, Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow
Warbirds Over Wanaka’s International Airshow 2020 will be Mandy’s 12th year with the Charitable Community Trust. With an economic impact of around $20 million each Airshow the event continues to grow and attracts 55,000 people over the three days. Mandy gained her private pilot’s licence many years ago and is still passionate about aviation.
With a background mainly in management of Not-for-Profits and business development eg CEO of Business Porirua (the City’s Economic Development Agency and Chamber of Commerce); and marketing eg National Marketing Manager of Parents Centres NZ Inc. Mandy continues to work with community groups and businesses in Wanaka.
Legal Counsel, New Zealand Rugby
Michelle has been working within the sports industry for over 14 years. A lawyer by trade, she has been involved in both a legal and non-legal capacity across a number of different sporting organisations and events. In addition to inhouse legal roles at New Zealand Rugby, Rugby World Cup 2011 and Australian Rugby, Michelle has been involved with a wide variety of other sports and events including New Zealand Golf Open, FIFA U20 World Cup, ITU World Triathlon Auckland, Queenstown International Marathon and Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race.
Mike Keech Director Relationship Manager - Impact Sponsorship
Mike Keech is a successful sponsorship specialist with a career spanning more than 20 years. Mike has led sponsorship teams across regional, national and international events and was responsible for DHL’s sponsorship activation and experiential of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
As a leading best practice sponsorship professional, Mike is a keynote speaker, panelist and judge at several international events and awards. He is sought after for sponsorship advice for some of New Zealand’s and China’s most influential brands across insurance, education, gaming, fashion, creativity, charities, professional sport and entertainment. Mike was a co-founder of the Sponsorship Professionals Group- NZ and APAC, is a mentor and Manager of ALPGA | World Long Drive professional golfer Phillis Meti.
Mike Wootton was named the inaugural winner of the NZ Sponsorship Professional of the Year Award in 2017. He has worked for leading brands such as ASB and AMP managing a number of prominent sponsorships. He has also worked on some of the world’s largest sporting events through the likes of The Winter Olympics and Rugby World Cup. Having been at the forefront of best practice sponsorship and events marketing in both New Zealand and abroad, Mike has been nominated for a number of New Zealand’s top marketing awards.
Managing Director, Me & YOU Consulting Ltd
Mildie Meyer-Els has been working in the partnership, sponsorship and event space for about 20 years. Some of her recent roles included working for ASB, Starship Foundation and Barfoot & Thompson. She recently started her own consulting business, m.e & YOU Consulting, to help more companies do better with their sponsorships.
Mildie believes in the impact of sponsorship and effective brand activations and events. It is an important part of the marketing mix and the power of making a difference through these tangible and interactive ways should never be underestimated.
She has worked for corporates (big and small), charities, other not-for-profits and with rights-holders in sports, culture and the charitable space.
Norm Thompson - ONZM
CFInstD, Appointed Director
Norm has a distinguished career in New Zealand aviation and tourism, most notably with Air New Zealand where he rose through the ranks and held the role of Deputy CEO prior to his retirement in 2013.
He is now an independent director having served or serving on a number of boards.
In 2017, Norm completed his terms as a Director of Tourism New Zealand and Deputy Chair of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED). This year he completed his term as a Director of Dot Kiwi Ltd.
Former Chairmanships include the Tourism Industry Association , Air New Zealand Environment Trust and Altitude Engineering.
He is currently the Chair of the Young Enterprise Trust, Deputy Chair of Governments Tourism Infrastructure Panel, a Director of Preno Ltd, a Director of Queenstown Airport Corporation where he chairs the Safety and Operational Risk Committee, and is Chair of Destination Auckland committee, a sub- committee of ATEED. He is also a member of the New Zealand Golf Open organising committee.
Managing Director, Fresh Info
Shane Vuletich is the Managing Director of Fresh Info, New Zealand’s leading provider of event research and evaluation services. He has 20 years’ experience building measurement frameworks and using them to assess the impacts of major events. He is an expert in both pre and post-event evaluation, and has measured the impacts of more than 500 hundred events over the past decade.
Partner - Corporate and Commercial, MinterEllisonRuddWatts Lawyers
Richard is a commercial lawyer with particular expertise in technology, media and telecommunications law, intellectual property, commercial contracting and sport.
He advises clients on issues arising at all stages in the product lifecycle and is an expert legal draftsperson and troubleshooter. Richard is sought after to help establish new ventures and to commercialise new technology both in New Zealand and overseas.
As well as his technology practice, with a background in commercial and IP law, Richard is recognised as a leading Sports and Events lawyer by international research directory Chambers Asia-Pacific. He has broad experience working with event hosts, sponsors and stakeholders to deal with issues arising in relation to major events in New Zealand.
CEO, Creative New Zealand
2019 will be the sixth year Stephen has committed to the judging panel and this consistency of observing and reviewing events is critical to the awards success. His role as CEO of Creative NZ has exposed him to a myriad of arts events and understanding the importance art has to our society. Established in 1994 from a range of arts bodies, Creative New Zealand is the national agency for the development of the arts enabling Stephen to work closely with many of this country’s leading arts organisations.