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New CEO for Business Hawkes Bay

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Kate de Lautour


The region’s economic development agency Business Hawke’s Bay has a new CEO.

Former New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) regional manager for Hawke’s Bay/Tairawhiti, Susan White will start in the chief executive’s role from August 12th.

Mrs White has a background in both private and public sectors with a focus on export businesses.

During her time with NZTE, she advised senior executives of high-growth local exporting companies, supporting their strategy development and execution through access to NZTE domestic and international services.

Most recently, Mrs White has held the position of global security manager for Auckland-based Tru-Test Limited, a high growth manufacturer known for its agri-tech products and solutions which are sold across international markets.

She has extensive international marketing management experience covering product development and management, pricing, marketing communications and channel management within successful high-tech manufacturing businesses.

Mrs White said her past experience with businesses to accelerate their growth would fit well with the goals of Business Hawke’s Bay.  

“Many of the principles I have learnt in my previous roles such as designing and implementing partnering programmes and defining and communicating value propositions will be relevant for my role at Business Hawke’s Bay.”

The goals of Business Hawke’s Bay are to provide business development and support, stimulate and support key industry clusters and working groups, and market the region as a great place for business opportunities. 

As CEO, Mrs White will lead the collaborative efforts of the Business Hawke’s Bay Advisory Group, with continued representation from all councils and other organisations with a significant interest in economic development in the region including the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism, Hawke’s Bay Airport, Port of Napier, Ministry of Social Development, EIT and Iwi.

While she lives in Hawke’s Bay, Mrs White has spent the last eight months commuting to Auckland and said she is looking forward to spending more time back in Hawke’s Bay.

“The commuting experience has brought into sharper relief the desirability of living and working in Hawke’s Bay and the need to build sustainable growth businesses in this region.”

Business Hawke’s Bay chairman Stuart McLauchlan welcomed Mrs White to the role of CEO and said her depth of experience would be an asset to the organisation.

“Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and her previous work at NZTE to support regional economic development, such as China Business Training, the establishment of a lean business cluster and leveraging local networks will be invaluable.

“The Business Hawke’s Bay Board are looking forward to working with Susan to make a difference, with programmes designed to create economic growth”