Rachel Reese

Nelson City Council, Mayor

Rachel was elected Nelson’s first female Mayor in 2013 and re-elected in 2016. After graduating from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Commerce, she built her first career in Australia and established a successful design and logistics business in the real-estate industry.

Since returning to New Zealand Rachel has built a second and third career. To her role in Local Government she has brought extensive experience and expertise in resource management involving business and the community, including over 15 years’ experience in resource consent and plan change processes for private clients and as a Council decision-maker. She is an accredited Resource Management Commissioner and qualified mediator and arbitrator.

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Chris Rodley

Snap Information Technologies, CEO

Chris is the CEO and co-founder of Snap Information Technologies who design and assemble systems, hardware and AI for computer vision applications. This includes working in the maritime industry installing cameras and satellite tracking systems on fishing vessels around the world.

Snap IT won the Innovative Agritech category of the NZ Hi-Tech awards and the Restorative Innovation award in the NZ sustainability awards.

Chris was a finalist for the 2014 and 2015 New Zealander of the Year - Innovator of the Year awards.

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Kerry Topp

Datacom, Associate Director – Innovation

Kerry is a passionate business transformation & innovation leader who is driven to improve Enterprise Value and connections between people. His focusses are corporate and eco-system innovation, venturing and capability development. 

Having worked within the software, airline, telco, utilities, manufacturing, and internet industries, Kerry has significant cross-sector experience. His role now is to identify, unlock and enable future capability, opportunity and value for corporates. He does this by applying a unique blend of foresight, analysis, network & collaboration skills.

Kerry is experienced in the areas of corporate-level transformation, eco-system innovation and venturing. He is passionate about strategy, talent & capability development, process improvement, and organisational change management. 



Jen Lund

Jen has a deep love for people and uses various tools to help others become focused, creative and resilient. Born in Germany, she studied social law and professional coaching. A sabbatical in 2010 turned into moving to New Zealand and assisting people in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes. Her work history covers government, social welfare, coaching, training, project coordination and recruitment in various countries and industries as well as being branch president of the International Coach Federation.
According to Gallup, her top five strengths are strategic, activator, relator, maximizer and individualization.
In her free time, she loves reading about all things psychology, doing hot yoga, running community meetups, driving around New Zealand in her mobile office van and drinking too much coffee.


Richard Chadderton


Director of Co.Starters (NZ) an entrepreneurial training programme that runs in the US and Australasia.  Owner of The Concept Cube a consultancy business that helps entrepreneurs and business owners raise finance from banks & investors, strengthen their businesses, and develop new concepts. Chad also coaches leadership teams in developing from good to great and has created several communication models that enable diverse teams to collaborate harmoniously.


Matthew Dodd

As the Regional Leader for Datacom in the Top of the South, Matthew enjoys working with a team of IT professionals to design, build and run technology platforms for businesses. Datacom is committed to creating long-term partnerships with clients and Matthew is proud of the relationships he has been able to maintain as well as the value that Datacom has been able to deliver to its clients.

Matthew's specialties are strategic thinking, team building, relationship management, program management, business development, and consulting.

Matthew has an entrepreneurial focus, a collaborative approach and a bias for action. He continues to work with others in the Nelson Tasman region on sustainable economic development.


Rick Kiessig

Rick is a Solutions Architect and Developer. He moved to Nelson from Silicon Valley in 2006. He specializes in designing and building large, complex systems, and has written a book about performance and scalability (“Ultra-Fast ASP.NET”).

In addition to running his own consulting company, Rick has worked with or for more than a dozen start-ups. He has run many Architectural Design Sessions, where he works with clients to develop software architectures that solve immediate, real-world business problems. He also has experience quickly building prototypes and proofs of concept using a wide range of technologies, generally with a focus on risk-reduction.

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Allan Innes-Walker

Allan is a company and creative director for HotHouse Creative – a Nelson-based company providing brand, design and web services to a diverse range of clients. Allan began his career in the 90s as a copywriter for Promotus Advertising in Wellington, at the time New Zealand’s largest independent advertising agency. After a long stint in London’s banking district, Allan returned to Nelson and HotHouse – working with corporates and local government, along with numerous SME clients to grow, manage and leverage their brands in market.

Adam Barnes

Adam is a Software Business Manager in Wellington, New Zealand. He has spent time in Wellington, London and Melbourne building software and drinking coffee. He loves finding simple ways to solve complex problems. Adam believes we are on the precipice of a step change in software development where internet connected devices and cloud computing are revolutionising the way we do business. Adam loves coffee and thinks that this, more than any IDE or Code Repository is the best tool available to software developers.”

Sonny Taite

Sonny is a senior General Manager, and is part of the Senior leadership team, in Datacom’s South Island Business.

He currently leads the Datacom Network and Cybersecurity Practise and is a certified information systems auditor (CISA). 

Sonny’s experience at Datacom spans 17 years, and includes time in the Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch businesses. He has worked within our startup business units, as a technical specialist, in a senior consulting role, and as an entrepreneurial leader. More recently, he has been part of our Auckland senior leadership team and working with customers in areas involving Business Technology Alignment, Service innovation and process improvement, Business consultancy, Audit, Cloud consulting; and National tools and customer portal leadership across the NZ group.

Ben Brett

Datacom South Island Ltd - Senior Project Manager


Paul Keesing

Datacom Systems Auckland - Innovation Lead, Digital, Customers & Collaboration Management

Paul Keesing (he’s usually known as ‘PK’) joined Datacom in February of 2017 in the newly created role of General Manager of Innovation.  -  Paul’s primary challenge is to promote and expand the growth and innovation agenda for Datacom’s own customers and for “NZ Inc.” as a whole.

Previously, Paul held leadership roles with several New Zealand and Australian companies including IAG Insurance, Air NZ and BNZ.

Paul also has a strong background in project delivery across multiple sectors; Energy, Public Sector, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) & manufacturing.

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Justine Kennard

Crowe Horwath - Associate Partner, Business Advisory

Expect more, have a trusted advisor who challenges businesses to reveal new opportunities to build and grow

Justine specialises in strategy & growth, business & share valuations, governance, digital accounting & intelligence. 

She has over twenty years experience in a wide variety of sectors including manufacturing, professional services, retail, hospitality, not for profit, private and family business. She has worked with a full range of clients from those who are small owner-operators through to multi-million dollar operations, including corporates, women in business, and Māori business.

Justine is a member of Chartered Accountant Australia New Zealand, the Institute of Directors, and Venus Network.

She is currently the Deputy Chair of Uniquely Nelson, a board member since 2010.




Emily Wang

Datacom Systems Auckland - Solution Architect

Emily has spent over a decade in IT, designing and building solutions for various industries, some of which you may have used. She has special interest in AI and cybersecurity and wanting to become a cyborg one day, the sooner the better.  

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Jane Treadwell-Hoye