The Hawke’s Bay Tourism Industry Association Board is made up of seven members of the Tourism Industry.
Neil Barber – Chairman – Owner, The Art Deco Masonic Hotel
“I now have thirteen years experience in tourism and hospitality. This commenced when I first moved to Hawke’s Bay at the start of 2002. My first project was the restoration of historic Greenhill and the creation of the luxury accommodation business Greenhill Lodge which continues to operate today. More recently my partner and I took over the operation and management of the Masonic Hotel now rebranded as Art Deco Masonic Hotel. We have embarked on a major restoration programme and successfully turned this business around. We are proud winners of the Hospitality Association of NZ “Best New or Redeveloped Hotel 2014”. Emporium Eatery and Bar was launched in 2012 and in our first year of operation took out the coveted “Outstanding Establishment” at the Hawke’s Bay Hospitality Awards and repeated this again in 2014 and 2015.
I have a passion for tourism in Hawke’s Bay and practical experience to back it up. I am a proud Napier heritage building owner and have demonstrated my dedication. My professional background is in Accounting and Finance which equips me with a useful skill set.”
Michele Cole – General Manager, The Crown Hotel
“With over 24 years in the travel and tourism sectors, in both hotel and airline industry, I am driven, passionate and motivated to make a change and a difference.
I have been operating the Crown Hotel for the past 6 years and have recently made a long term commitment to Hawkes Bay. I am also a Director on the Hawkes Bay Tourism Ltd Board and the Central Park Regional Chairperson for the Tourism Industry Association NZ.”
Megan Harris – Owner, In-House Marketing
I am passionate about Hawke’s Bay as a place to live, to work, and as a fabulous visitor destination. I am committed to seeing us all work together for the greater good of the whole region’s economy and for your business.”
Michael Henley – CEO, Aotearoa Fine Wines & Chairman, Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers
Michael is now a Director of Aotearoa Fine Wines of New Zealand. Previously, Mike was CEO of Trinity Hill. He currently serves as the Chairman for Hawke’s Bay Wine Growers. He is also a member of the Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Marketing committee. Prior to his current role he was with Craggy Range Winery for close to 10 years where he held a number of roles including National Sales Manager, European Market Director based in London and finally the Global Marketing Manager based at the winery in Hawkes Bay.
Diane Ross – Owner, Cottages on St Andrews & The Lodge on St Georges
“John & I moved to Havelock North in 2010 and purchased Cottages On St Andrews. During our four years in the Bay we have transformed the business from a “lifestyle property” to a very successful 5 star accommodator that continually attracts return and word of mouth guests. These include local, domestic and international – and the rapidly growing Asian Market. I am not tertiary qualified, I have learnt by hands on experience, a can do attitude and transferrable business skills and attributes.”
Louise Stobart – Owner, Birdwoods Gallery and Sweet Shop
“My husband, Bruce and I moved from Zimbabwe in 2004 and have since established Birdwoods as a reputable visitor destination just outside of Havelock North. This year we celebrate ten years of Birdwoods New Zealand having achieved it through hard work, dogged determination and the support of a great team of people and the fact we live in just the right place!
We were delighted to have won the Westpac Business Award for Tourism and a finalist in the inaugural HB Tourism awards in 2012.”
John Dick – Owner, Greenhill Lodge
John Dick owns and operates Greenhill Lodge in Raukawa, Hawke’s Bay.
John was born in Calcutta of Scottish parents, educated in Edinburgh and worked for Trust House Forte in several locations throughout the UK before emigrating to New Zealand in 1988.
Most recently John worked with Langham Hotels in Auckland and then moved to the corporate office in Hong Kong as a Vice President of Langham Hospitality Group. Five years ago John & Christine purchased Greenhill Lodge and moved from Auckland to “live the dream in Hawke’s Bay”
Charles Ropotini – Strategic Maori Advisor, Napier City Council
Charles is a local boy of Ngāti Kahungunu descent from Pakipaki. Charles has returned to Hawke’s Bay from Wellington to take up a role as the Strategic Māori Advisor for Napier City Council and advises across MTG Hawke’s Bay and the National Aquarium. Charles has a career in banking and for 10 years was the Māori Advisor for Kiwibank and NZ Post, and towards the end of that time lead the development of NZ Posts Heritage Brand Framework and World War One commemorations. At home, Charles represents his marae and hapū on various committees and is a member of the Ngāti Kahungunu Rūnanga Arts and Culture Board where his passion for Māori arts and heritage can come to the fore. Charles sees the tourism industry as a mechanism to uplift knowledge of our history through the telling of local Māori stories and genealogies. When spare time allows it, Charles enjoys flexing his classically trained voice and spending precious time with his wife and two children.