With his hair slicked back hair and dressed in a smart blue chequered jacket, Matt Cowley looks the part as he stands in his new office.
It is not yet his first day as chief executive, but he is still greeted with smiles from his newest colleagues at the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.
The 36-year-old is already cracking jokes with some of the team.
Although he has a new title, he is not a newbie here.
Cowley has been involved with the chamber for more than a decade, mostly through its business network of young professionals, Linkt.
He is also not a new face to Tauranga; he served three years as the city's youngest councillor at the time.
Cowley has now been appointed as Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive, taking over from former CEO Stan Gregec.
The former city councillor's first day as chief executive is on Tuesday.
Asked whether he is the right man for the job, Cowley doesn't pause: "Absolutely."
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Cowley said his thoughts aligned with Gregec's.
"The board has done a lot with their strategy and I think they picked a CEO who reflects their new shift," he said.
"They know the chamber needs to be more nimble, more relevant and reconnect with its members."
He has had many meetings with his predecessor to help prep him for the role.
"Stan has been great," he said. "We have met a number of times during lunchtime and after work to provide that continuity. He has given me a really good handover."
Gregec's advice had been clear, Cowley said.
"We have a very wide membership including some big corporates, and one of their big goals is almost philanthropic, giving back and helping small businesses grow," he said.
"Small businesses are looking for guidance around surviving and thriving."
Cowley has a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning from Massey University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Waikato.
Born in New Plymouth, Cowley moved to Tauranga in the early 2000s when he landed a job as an analyst with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
He worked on regional infrastructure funding and strategic planning for just shy of three years before needing a change.
A few of his peers within the young professional's network suggested he run for city council.
"I got in, had three great years but wasn't re-elected," he said.
Cowley was headhunted by fire protection and building compliance company Fire Security Services and took on the role of national sales manager.
"Part of my job when I got pulled into the executive team was to streamline those business processes with all of its complexities and help reengage with those customers," he said.
In March this year, Stan Gregec announced he was moving on from the chamber.
Cowley's peers encouraged him to put his hand up - and he did.
"I thought about it and thought, 'What could I bring to the chamber?'" he said.
Account management experience? Tick. Able to manage multiple stakeholders? Tick.
So he applied.
"Given that I have led a brand refresh for fire security services, a new website, new collateral, new branding, and the way we engaged with the market," he said.
"I thought that will bring a lot to the chamber, with its focus on wanting to refresh its approach and how it connects with modern business."
He could also draw on his former role as city councillor.
"Any CEO in this role will build their own profile. It is more my networks, my ability to knock on councillors doors and go into the council chambers and I have good relationships with the local MPs," he said.
"It is those networks that will be valuable."
Outgoing chief executive Stan Gregec said Cowley was a "great choice".
"I am sure Matt will bring new energy and momentum to the chamber, which will serve the members well."
Six things that we don't know about Matt Cowley
1. Spent six months backpacking Eastern Europe with just a school bag on his own
2. He is the middle child of four sisters
3. He used to paddle 100km a week on kayak for surf club training while living in Whakatāne in 2007/2008
4. Favourite food is Asian fusion
5. How does he have his coffees? Long black with a dash of cream
6. Mazda 626 with roof racks and a kayak on top