Business Hawke's Bay's new CEO hopes to support business growth in the region and continue to promote Hawke's Bay as a desirable location for new and emerging businesses to establish themselves.
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 12.
Business Hawke's Bay and the Chamber of Commerce has gone through significant change after Murray Douglas quit as CEO of both organisations late last year to concentrate on his growing fig business.
His replacement, Gavin Bush, did not last long, quitting after less than a month. Wayne Walford, the CEO of Waikato Chamber of Commerce, was appointed as his replacement for the chamber role, but not as CEO of Business Hawke's Bay.
The organisation has become a separate legal entity, governed by a private sector board.
Mrs White said even with the recent changes, Business Hawke's Bay and the Chamber of Commerce would have a close working relationship despite the change in roles.
"My role is very much the business development side of things - to support the growth of business in Hawke's Bay and what makes Hawke's Bay a desirable business location.
"There could well be times when we [Wayne Walford] work together but we definitely have a different focus.
"Firstly I want to review the strategy with the board and look at what areas we need to focus and develop a plan of action," she said.
"I hope to make some inroads into the goals we set out once I start and obviously accomplish some of the shorter-term goals."
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, she held the position of global security manager for Auckland-based Tru-Test Limited.
She said her past experience with businesses to accelerate their growth would fit well with the goals of Business Hawke's Bay, such as providing business development and support, stimulate and support key industry clusters and working groups, and market the region as a great place for business opportunities.
"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."
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 including: the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay Airport, Port of Napier, Ministry of Social Development, EIT and local Iwi.
While she lives in Hawke's Bay, Mrs White has spent the past eight months commuting to Auckland and said she was 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 said Mrs White's 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 is looking forward to working with Susan to make a difference, with programmes designed to create economic growth."