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 wellbeing 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 with her a kiwi husband, four kids and economic development experience in Wellington and Palmerston North.

Contact fiona

Hannah Norton - Regional Development and Attraction Manager

Hannah Norton - Regional Development and Attraction Manager

Hannah moved to the Nelson Tasman region in early 2018 looking to combine her career with an extraordinary lifestyle and has never looked back. She has a diverse background in marketing and business development, initially in the legal and events sectors before moving to Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development where she gained specific experience in destination marketing and management.

Hannah leads the development and execution of Nelson Tasman's regional identity, with a key focus on positioning and promoting the region as a place where talent and business want to be. She also heads up our Skills & Workforce Development team and manages the communication and digital strategies across all of the Nelson Regional Development Agency's activity areas.

contact hannah

Toni Power - Finance & Commercial Lead

Toni Power - Finance & Commercial Lead

After a few years of living in Christchurch working for a global IT company, Toni, a born and bred Nelsonian, decided to return home with her family to more stable ground. Toni has seventeen years’ experience in the finance industry, having first started her accountancy career at West Yates.

Toni manages the finances of the Nelson Regional Development Agency, supporting the team as they deliver on promoting, positioning and connecting the region. Toni is an all-round problem solver, carrying out a range of administration duties including Health, Safety and Wellness, IT solutions, compliance and Human Resources, as well as providing assistance to the i-SITE management team.

contact toni

Lesley McQue - Economic Developments Projects & Insights Programme Manager

Lesley McQue - Economic Developments Projects & Insights Programme Manager

Originally from the UK, Lesley and her husband migrated to Nelson Tasman in 2004. With a background in production management, project management and research work, Lesley enjoyed a variety of roles before joining the Nelson Regional Development Agency in 2013 to deliver Economic Development projects and Economic data and reports.

Lesley has spent the last 18 months helping to develop the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy, an ambitious project led by Wakatū Incorporation in collaboration with NRDA, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and Marlborough District Council.  Lesley’s role at the Nelson Regional Development Agency is now focused on the development of the Project Kōkiri Recovery and Regeneration Plan, a 5 year economic strategy for Nelson Tasman.

 

contact lesley

Mark Maguire - Regional Business Advisor

Mark Maguire - Regional Business Advisor

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 RBPprogramme is focussed 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 NZTE 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

Tracee Neilson – Visitor Destination Manager

Tracee Neilson – Visitor Destination Manager

Tracee grew up in Nelson Tasman but left for Otago University where she gained a BCom and DipCom before her big OE. Tracee's professional career has included brand management and retail marketing for Shell Oil. Returning home in 2004 to be close to family and raise her children, Tracee has been part of the Nelson Regional Development Agency (previously Nelson Tasman Tourism) team for over 10 years predominantly in international marketing – trade and media liaison, and more recently Business Events.

Having been to over 50 countries worldwide, Tracee appreciates the region she lives in and promotes – what with three national parks, coastline, sunshine, arts and artisan and outstanding food and beverage , she’s proud to call Te Tauihu home.

Tracee now leads the visitor destination agenda, to guide the recovery and regeneration of the Nelson Tasman visitor sector. Leading industry engagement, capability building, and product development are key parts of her job, working collaboratively to ensure the visitor sector is well understood and that Nelson Tasman’s destination vision and unique selling proposition are aligned.

contact tracee

Laura Duquemin - Marketing & Digital Executive

Laura Duquemin - Marketing & Digital Executive

Originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, Laura and her family moved to Nelson Tasman in 2003. After spending her gap year travelling, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Management and Marketing here at NMIT, engaging in marketing internships and contract work throughout.

Laura's role involves positioning and promoting the Nelson Tasman region as an extraordinary holiday destination for domestic travellers, with a specific focus on driving visitation during the shoulder seasons. Working closely with partners, influencers and media, this involves overseeing and coordinating all aspects of domestic marketing campaign activity. Laura also manages the content across a range of our digital platforms, including our regional website and social media channels. Laura is currently on maternity leave until June 2022.

contact laura

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 the International Marketing Lead and works closely with Tourism New Zealand to promote Nelson Tasman to travel agents all around the world. 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

Rita Merriman - Business Events Lead & Destination Management Support

Rita Merriman - Business Events Lead & Destination Management Support

Rita, a native of Canada, met her kiwi husband in Whistler and 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 that were hosted in Nelson biannually from 2011 – 2017.

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 & Destination Management Support, positioning Nelson as a desirable place to host conferences and events. The second half of her role is working with Tracee in the visitor sector space with the destination management plan, 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.

CONTACT RITA

Rebecca Leach - Events Liaison

Rebecca Leach - Events Liaison

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 NCC Event Sponsorship Funds and assisting in the smooth 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

Jenelle (Nelly) Strickland – Vocational Coordinator

Jenelle (Nelly) Strickland – Vocational Coordinator

Nelly heralds from the North Island and moved to our extraordinary region in her teenage years. She studied a Bachelor of Business Studies in Sports Management and Sport Coaching at Massey University, before returning to Nelson Tasman to work in Events and Marketing at NMIT. Her love of sport and management led her to the Tasman Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby, and then to a part-time Learning & Development Education Advisor role at New Zealand Rugby while also working part-time for NRDA in Event Sales and Marketing.

Nelly was welcomed back to NRDA in a full-time capacity to join the Skills and Workforce Development team as a Vocational Coordinator, when her contract at New Zealand Rugby was cut short due to COVID-19. The purpose of her new 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. Nelly also leads our Culture and Wellbeing initiatives utilising her skills in leadership and development.

CONTACT Nelly

Charlotte Lang – Communications Coordinator

Charlotte Lang – Communications Coordinator

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 career a in Marketing. Working across varying roles in Media, Event, Design and Advertising during her 8 years overseas, Charlotte returned home in 2018 for a role as a Marketing Executive at World of WearableArt.

In 2020 she joined the team as Communications Coordinator and is responsible for providing support to the management team to help implement and communicate the NRDA and Project Kōkiri communications and engagement strategy. She also coordinates the content development and delivery for all corporate communications across multiple channels, and to numerous audiences.

CONTACT CHARLOTTE

Emma Cracroft-Wilson - i-SITE Manager

Emma Cracroft-Wilson - i-SITE Manager

Emma joined the i-SITE team in 2020, with a passion for travel that has seen most of her career working as a travel agent in both the retail and wholesale sectors.

Emma grew up in Nelson, realising at a young age her love for travel after spending a year as an exchange student in France. At 18, Emma started what became close to a decade of travelling abroad in Australia, followed by London for 5 years, then back to Australia, before finishing up in Canada and returning home to Nelson in 2019.

Emma leads a knowledgeable team at the i - SITE in the centre of Nelson.

Contact EMMA

Michelle Samson - Marketing Executive

Michelle Samson - Marketing Executive

Originally from Hamilton, Michelle completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology and Sociology) at The University of Waikato, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Communications at Massey University. Michelle has a love for travel and has lived in various parts of New Zealand, as well as the United Kingdom and Europe. 

Michelle's role involves positioning and promoting the Nelson Tasman region as an extraordinary holiday destination for domestic travellers. Working closely with partners, influencers and media, this involves overseeing and coordinating all aspects of domestic marketing campaign activity. Michelle also manages the content across a range of our digital platforms, including our regional website and social media channels. 

CONTACT michelle

Urvashi Sharma - Business Support Coordinator & Executive Assistant

Urvashi Sharma - Business Support Coordinator & Executive Assistant

Urvashi brings administration background experience from the Energy sector while based in Australia, UK and USA. Urvashi and her family relocated to New Zealand in 2020 from Texas. Urvashi supports the wider organisation as Business Support Coordinator and Executive Assistant to Fiona Wilson CE, which often sees her problem-solving her way around the office.

CONTACT uRVASHI

Nelson Tasman i-SITE Team

Nelson Tasman i-SITE Team

In addition, we are very proud to have a dedicated seasonal i-SITE team. 

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