Globetrotter lands key role

By Roger Moroney

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Zoe Barnes, back home and in the heart of her new marketing patch. Photo / Duncan Brown
Zoe Barnes, back home and in the heart of her new marketing patch. Photo / Duncan Brown

After more than a decade of working for high-profile companies carrying out "every role under the sun" and travelling the world Napier woman Zoe Barnes is back in town - and ready to put her skills to good use in promoting it.

Ms Barnes is set to take the reins from Meg Rodel as Napier Inner City Marketing manager from the start of next month.

Ms Rodel is leaving the job, which she took on nine years ago, at the end of the month and is moving to Taranaki where her husband will take up a civil engineering position.

She said her time in the role had been one of the highlights of her life.

However, the time was probably right for someone new to "come aboard".

For 31-year-old Ms Barnes the role was a challenge she said she was keen to take on.

"There is a lot of learning to do but I already have a lot of ideas - I'm looking forward to it."

With a smile she said one thing she did not have to convince herself of was how special Napier was, and that made championing it across all fronts a lot easier.

"I know it like the back of my hand and who would have thought it - I'm back here - it's all fallen into place."

She is back after years of work with companies such as 42 Below and The Business Bakery, where she effectively had a hand in all facets of business operation, as well as journeys through Europe, Asia and South America.

"I love travel and I love working with people."

Those experiences, plus her university degrees in science and psychology and business and marketing, had set her up nicely for her new role.

One thing she relished in her previous roles was meeting people and being challenged by the diversity of work.

After many years working in Auckland, and about to turn 30, she said she became a little disillusioned and began asking herself, "What am I going to do?"

What she did was take a backpacking journey through South America for a few months before heading back to Hawke's Bay.

She did some restaurant work before taking on a couple of marketing contracts with private firms, and during one of them met Ms Rodel.

While considering going out on her own at the time she had decided to go through the recruitment process for the job after Ms Rodel mentioned she was leaving. Napier, she said, had a style and a spark that was unique and she relished the opportunity to enhance that.

Her primary focus was on communication.

To that end she will set forth and call on everyone in the retail sector and "see what's out there".

"There is a lot of energy there and it's about harnessing it."

Ms Barnes said one of the first things she would address was the Napier online offering as it was the ever-evolving "way of getting it out there".

"Online marketing can be so effective when it is done properly."

It was a field she had had considerable experience in.

But ultimately it was all about the people.

"I'm open to ideas and I'm approachable - this is a pretty special space and there is so much potential here."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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