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Waikato Business News July/August 2018

Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of co-operation.

Waikato Business News July/August

JULY/AUGUST 2018 VOLUME 26: ISSUE 7 WWW.WBN.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/WAIKATOBUSINESSNEWS Times of change The man who turned around Waikato Chamber of Commerce’s fortunes says goodbye and his successor is welcomed. By GEOFF TAYLOR Wintec’s Atrium was packed on July 26 to farewell William Durning from the Waikato Chamber of Commerce and to welcome his successor Chris Simpson. Speakers included Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett, Waikato board chairman Greenstone Group development manager Ben Jones at Lakewood Cambridge. Terry Wilson and vice-chairman Grant Robson who all paid tribute to William, the departing chief executive. William was always going to be hard to replace but we believe Chris can do it. Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson summed up the feeling when he praised William for the “greatest turnaround of any chamber’s fortunes”. During his four years at the helm William led a radical resurgence in the chamber’s membership and finances and has been widely acclaimed for his enthusiasm and ability to unite. Terry Wilson said William had added “significant credibility to the chamber brand” and admitted board members had been worried about how to Completion of first stage of Lakewood Cambridge celebrated By GEOFF TAYLOR With the opening of its first stage this month the Lakewood Cambridge retail and residential development is truly taking shape. And with the whole western side of the three hectare site bordering lake Te Ko Utu now completed, Outgoing Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive William Durning (left) with his successor Chris Simpson at Wintec’s Atrium. PHOTO: Chris Hillock Photographer. replace him. But Human Resources company, Everest Group recruited it is becoming obvious just what an impact the mixed use development will have on The Town of Trees. Stage 2 of Lakewood Cambridge, featuring a hotel, an entertainment hub, an office block and townhouses will begin shortly and will be finished next year. See page 17 to see how the entire development will look. 40 strong candidates for the job and Chris Simpson stood out from the rest. Terry praised Chris’ passion for Waikato and determination to ensure the chamber provides the best possible support for business and also “for his intelligence, clarity of thought and very engaging leadership style”. “William was always going to be hard to replace but we believe Chris can do it.” Grant Robson described how when William first came to the job the chamber had been without a chief executive for months and there were a number of pressing matters “but William had a plan”. He praised William’s “abundance of energy”, his emphasis on making members realise that as an organisation “we are what we give” and his ability to get things done that add value. These included creation of events such as The Villager to welcome new members, the Women’s Workshops Series and the Red Sofa, panel where members meet highly successful businesspeople. He said William also re-engineered and refocused the Westpac Waikato Business Awards and created the Waikato Business Hall of Fame to recognise outstanding business leaders. Grant also praised William for the way he had planned his exit from the chamber. “Very few organisations have the luxury of such a structured exit through collaboration between the chief executive and the board. It is a fitting tribute to the character, integrity and professionalism of William.” William, who received a Waka Huia as a leaving gift, acknowledged that when he Continued on page 4 Coveted Australasia DEALER OF THE YEAR right here in the Waikato Our winning team has what it takes to satisfy...see the full story in the next issue of WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS. 381 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton Ph (07) 958 1400

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