At the Nelson Regional Development Agency, our people are our most important asset and bring a wide range of skills and capabilities to the organisation.

Our diverse team is made up of individuals from many different countries, speaking many different languages, uniting in their undying passion for our extraordinary region and their dedication to sharing this with current and potential talent, visitors and investors.  

Fiona Wilson - Chief Executive

Fiona Wilson - Chief Executive

Fiona has moved to Whakatū Nelson from Tasmania and has extensive experience in regional, economic and tourism development. Originally from Wales, she has international experience in her field and is passionate about improving the well-being of local communities through economic development. Fiona’s international career in economic development has included a particular interest in strategic development and innovation. 

Fiona is no stranger to New Zealand – bringing a Kiwi husband, four kids and economic development experience in Wellington and Palmerston North.

Contact fiona

Mark Maguire - Manager, Innovation and Business Growth

Mark Maguire - Manager, Innovation and Business Growth

Mark relocated to Nelson Tasman after 13 years in Wellington. His strong commercial background includes 15 years of experience in corporate governance, operational design and strategy, product development, change management and succession planning.

Mark manages the delivery of the Regional Business Partner Programme across the top of the south. The RBP programme is focused on helping businesses to innovate and grow by providing information, independent advice, funding and connections to businesses seeking support in their growth journey.  

Drawing on the resources via MBIE and Callaghan Innovation this covers a range of R&D grants, specialist research & technical expertise, innovation skills-building programmes, management capability funding, access to Business Mentors and connections across the local and national business ecosystem. In 2020 the government increased its support of this programme to enable our team to assist over 1,500 more businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, utilising the resources available via the Regional Business Partner Programme.

contact mark

Toni Power - Finance & Commercial Manager

Toni Power - Finance & Commercial Manager

Meet Toni, a proud Nelsonian and mother of two talented twenty-somethings. After a stint in Australia and Christchurch, she returned to her hometown. Toni brings an extensive finance and commercial background, fuelled by a genuine passion for empowering individuals and businesses to achieve greatness.

At the Nelson Regional Development Agency, Toni assumes the crucial role of managing finance and commercial activities. She supports the team as they work to foster the growth of our region's businesses and people.

When she isn’t working, you will find her hiking, indulging and creating mouth-watering culinary delights, mowing lawns and stacking wood. Above all, she loves to spend time with her family and friends.

contact toni

Gareth Power Gordon - Manager Regional Strategy and Investment

Gareth Power Gordon - Manager Regional Strategy and Investment

Gareth has moved to Nelson Tasman from Wellington, where he studied at Victoria University of Wellington. His career has included Central Government, Parliament, and Local Government, with a focus on strategic policy development. Originally from Taranaki, he is passionate about regional New Zealand and ensuring local communities can thrive.

Gareth leads the Regional Strategy and Investment agenda, supporting and enhancing the activities of the NRDA by leading the regional strategy activity proposition and profiling. Gareth also provides oversight and connection throughout the communications, data and insights, education to employment programme and the regional identity.

 CONTACT Gareth

Melissa Munro - Investment Attraction Projects Lead

Melissa Munro - Investment Attraction Projects Lead

Melissa has an established commercial and investment banking, risk management, and accounting career. She is a qualified CA and human resources specialist, having worked in both New Zealand and the UK. Melissa was born and raised in Nelson and travelled extensively after completing her studies before choosing to return to Te Tauihu with her family.

Her primary role is to lead a programme of business and investment attraction-focused projects to raise the profile and appeal of the Nelson Tasman region as a place to live, work, and invest. 

Contact Melissa

Lesley McQue - Critical Skills Pipeline Project Lead | Strategy Executive

Lesley McQue - Critical Skills Pipeline Project Lead | Strategy Executive

With a background in production management, project management and business process reengineering, Lesley enjoyed a variety of roles before joining the Nelson Regional Development Agency in 2013 to deliver Economic Development projects and Economic insights.

Lesley now has a dual role, firstly to deliver the Critical Skills Pipeline Project and secondly as Strategy Executive supporting the CE with NRDA strategic planning.

contact lesley

Craig Boodee – Visitor Destination Manager

Craig Boodee – Visitor Destination Manager

Craig grew up in Nelson Tasman but left for Lincoln University where he gained a BCom majoring Tourism. His affinity for Tourism runs deep, his experience includes Team Leader in Guest Services at NZSki.com, Hotel Manager in Austria, and tour guiding international students throughout Aotearoa. Previous roles in the region include marketing Marchfest and Nelson Beer Week, and Marketing Manager at NMIT. Craig also spent 3 years as Marketing Coordinator at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.

His passion for kitesurfing led him to teach in Aitutaki and Tahunanui, and when he’s not out on the water (look out for an orange kite) he’s mountain biking, fishing, enjoying the regions many craft breweries, and spending time up in the hills around St Arnaud.

Craig leads the visitor team and destination strategy implementation ensuring the long-term well-being of our region and its residents by placing our environment and our community at the heart of visitor sector planning. Leading industry engagement, driving sustainable growth, product development, and sharing the compelling stories of the region are key parts of his job.

 CONTACt craig

Donna Adlam – International Marketing Lead

Donna Adlam – International Marketing Lead

Originally from Palmerston North, Donna has lived, worked and travelled around New Zealand and other parts of the world, including her big ‘O.E’ to the UK and USA.  Donna’s passion for the tourism industry, particularly in New Zealand, was inspired by her work as a Scuba Diving Instructor at Dive! Tutukaka in Northland.

Donna is our International Marketing Lead, working closely with Tourism New Zealand to promote Nelson Tasman to travel agents and media all around the world, and invests a lot of her time in educating and upskilling travel trade on what is on offer here in the region. Donna also provides business support to Mark Maguire to help deliver the Regional Business Partner Programme, a programme designed to enable local businesses to innovate and grow.  

contact donna

Rebecca Leach - Events Lead

Rebecca Leach - Events Lead

Rebecca completed a BSc and BCapS at Otago University, before beginning her career in Account Management and Space Planning in the FMCG industry whilst studying marketing at Massey University. Rebecca first moved with her family to Nelson Tasman in 2006, but spent 3 years living and working in Abu Dhabi before securing her role as Events Liaison at the Nelson Regional Development Agency.

Rebecca's role includes marketing events through various media channels, co-ordinating the 3 Nelson City Council Event Grant Funds and assisting in the delivery of major events and city activations by connecting people in the events and related industries. This is for the benefit of our communities, increasing social cohesion and bringing positive commercial outcomes for local business.

contact rebecca

Rita Merriman - Business Events Lead & Events Support

Rita Merriman - Business Events Lead & Events Support

Rita, a native of Canada, moved to New Zealand in 2004. For ten years she managed conferences in Canada and New Zealand. She then transitioned to managing sporting events in Nelson for ten years including the South Island Masters Games.

An adventure seeker, she enjoys hiking, skiing, kayaking and anything that gives her an adrenaline rush. She loves exploring other cultures and has visited 58 countries so far.

Rita works as Business Events Lead, positioning Nelson as a desirable place to host conferences and events. She promotes upcoming events through social and print media and administers the It’s On website to maximise exposure for events in the region.

CONTACT RITA

Jason Petterson – Marketing & Communications Lead

Jason Petterson – Marketing & Communications Lead

Jason is a fifth-generation Nelsonian who is passionate about our region. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Canterbury University. After a year working in a Tokyo design agency, he returned to New Zealand and took up a role with renowned Auckland firm Designworks before establishing his own company, Gusto Design. Jason has won multiple awards for corporate identity, graphic and packaging design, marketing innovation and print excellence. In 2010, he returned to Nelson with his family and Gusto Design. 

Jason has gained multi-disciplinary experience spanning a wide range of business sectors and applications. He is passionate about strategy, branding, communication, packaging and events. More recently, he has shifted his expertise to the strategy and marketing side of the industry. Jason joined the NRDA team in July 2023 in a fixed-term role as Marketing and Communications Lead. 

Contact jason

Alex Leal - Marketing & Communications Executive

Alex Leal - Marketing & Communications Executive

Alex is a data-driven digital marketer and passionate about all things digital. She moved to New Zealand ten years ago and has a Bachelor's Honours degree in Graphic and Digital Design. With over 15 years of experience in print and digital media, Alex transitioned to destination marketing in 2019, where she helped deliver strategic-led marketing campaigns for Destination Great Lake Taupō.

Alex joined the NRDA team in August 2023, and when she isn't working, you'll find her mountain biking with her trail dog, Coya.

Contact Alex

Charlotte Lang – Marketing & Communications Lead

Charlotte Lang – Marketing & Communications Lead

A born and bred Nelsonian, Charlotte skipped across the ditch to Melbourne after studying a Bachelor of Design (Hons) at Massey University to kick off her career in Marketing. Working across varying roles in media, events, design and advertising during her 8 years overseas, Charlotte returned home in 2018 for a role as a Marketing Executive at World of WearableArt.

Charlotte joined the NRDA team in 2020 and is responsible for strategically leading and coordinating the Marketing and Communications functions for NRDA to ensure a strategic approach and alignment. Charlotte is currently on maternity leave, returning in January 2024.

Anjali Puri - Business & Project Support

Anjali Puri - Business & Project Support

Originally from New Delhi, Anjali moved with her family to Nelson in 2018. She studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Business at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology before joining their Quality Enhancement team.

Anjali has a long experience in corporate banking and ran her own corporate gifting business for ten years in India, where she also studied for a master’s degree in Commerce.

As Business and Project Support, Anjali provides support to NRDA's Business and Project Leads. She also assists the Chief Executive and the team with internal administrative functions and project coordination.

Contact Anjali

Ange Campbell - Skills and Workforce Projects Lead

Ange Campbell - Skills and Workforce Projects Lead

Ange has travelled extensively in NZ and overseas and after falling in love with the Nelson Tasman region decided to make our region her permanent home in 2016. She has worked in a wide variety of roles and industries over the years and brings strong project coordination, relationship management and organisational skills to the team – she is extremely driven and loves to make stuff happen!

As our Skills and Workforce Projects Lead, Ange's role is to help strengthen connections between local employers, schools, and students to achieve greater engagement in vocational education and employment, with the aim of supporting sustainable careers for youth and regional economic prosperity and establish programmes and systems in order to help retain and attract youth employment in our region. 

CONTACT ANGE

Nelson Tasman Visitor Information Centre Teams

Nelson Tasman Visitor Information Centre Teams

In addition, we are very proud to have dedicated teams at our Visitor Information Centres. 

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