I was born in Auckland, but fortunate to move up here to Whangarei at the tender age of 8. I attended Whau Valley Primary School, Kamo Intermediate, and finally Whangarei Boys High.
I left WBHS having no idea what I wanted to do but knowing that I was done with being in a classroom. Luckily my father, the smart man he is, wasn’t interested in my sitting around the house, and essentially manufactured an interview with the Post Office, with the most perplexing question being, could I start the following Monday?
And thus a career was born. I qualified a skilled lineman (today’s field tech) just as the great public organisation was privatised into Telecom, and from there joined sales. I spent the next 25 years solving the ICT issues for Northland customers, enjoying working and living in the best region in the country (as I made sure I told my colleagues everywhere else at least weekly)
Along the way, I got married and quickly co-owned a hairdressing salon with my then-wife. Sadly we went our separate ways after only a brief time, and I then discovered the challenge of an unplanned exit plan from a business.
Around the turn of the millennium, I had the privilege of meeting Sandy & 3 delightful young boys, and we quickly turned into a family.
I joined the Northland Chamber of Commerce as a board member, a position I have held for over 15 years now, including a stint as president. I am currently vice-president.
Sandy & I purchased the Bernina Northland Sewing Centre back in 2013, and have overseen the business grow into a thriving hub of creativity, with classes, quilting services, and sewing machine sales and service increasing year on year. I finally left Spark Digital (as it is now known) in 2017, and am now fulltime in our business, and whilst professing to know very little about sewing or knitting, I’m loving working with our customers as they discover their creative potential.
My other public service has been as a trustee for 9 years on the BOT at Whangarei Boys High, including 5 years as board chair. During that time we raised student achievement significantly, hired a new principal & had a $50M+ rebuild of the school signed off by central government.
My other public interests/service has been as secretary of the Kai Iwi Lakes Waterski Club, and treasurer of the Auckland Pugdog Club, recognising my love of these interests.