GIRLBOSS - Growing Tourism

You tell us about what you do. Girlboss stories will also appear online on NZME's new career hub where you will find more career inspiration, news, advice and job search tools.

Name: Kristin Dunne
Job title: Chief executive
Company: Tourism Bay of Plenty
How long worked here: Since late 2013, chief executive from May 2016

What does your job involve?
I oversee a team of between 15 and 25, which fluctuates depending on the seasons. My role involves sharing my love of the Bay of Plenty and the world, growing the tourism sector to the benefit of the community and supporting my team to flourish.

Why did you get into this profession?
I am motivated by growth and transformation - whether that's my own personal growth or coaching others to develop their capabilities and confidence, through to being a catalyst for growth of business sectors. In my current role I get to combine these passions.


What do you like about your job the most?
The difference we as a team can make to the local economy, local businesses and the community by growing the tourism sector in the Bay of Plenty. It is a business that has a social impact.

What's the most challenging aspect of your role?
Successful tourism isn't possible without the whole community being involved. As a destination we haven't yet mastered collaboration and consequently we haven't seen the benefits that come from working better together. Another challenge is having the revenue or funding we need, to do the job we need to do, on behalf of the industry and the community. As a council-controlled organisation this is always a challenge, and we need to be constantly looking at new ways of ensuring our organisation is sustainable. Also, getting my preschool son and me out of the house on time every morning can be a real challenge!

What's your proudest work moment?
I love discovering talent within my team and helping people to shine. I like to actively mentor, and I feel proud when I know I have had a hand in someone's development and career progression. Some previous employees have gone on to amazing roles in New Zealand and around the world and I am proud to have played a small part in their success.

What training/experience have you had to prepare for your role?
I have a bachelor of business studies majoring in marketing, and I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketers (United Kingdom). In my career, I progressed from marketing roles to being general manager of Vodafone Business and then to chief operating officer of a technology company and now to my current chief executive role. I am still learning every day and I find leading teams and organisations a humbling experience.

What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
That leadership is not a popularity contest. You can be kind and likeable but having your team's respect and confidence is what's most important. Also, to be authentically me and not try to emulate other leaders' styles.

What's the most important thing your current role has taught you?
To play the long game. True transformation is measured in decades not in quarters. I want to stand back in 10 years' time and know that we made a really positive difference to our beautiful region. I am also mastering more balance between work and family and how to juggle the balls with more mindfulness.

Describe your work wardrobe.
Feminine but functional.