Chamber CEO keen to champion Southland

Sarah Hannan, Southland Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Hannan, Southland Chamber of Commerce

@devlincolle: The Southland Chamber of Commerce has appointed Sarah Hannan its new chief executive.

It is a part-time position but was previously a fulltime role held by Richard Hay, who was made redundant in October.

The former Southland Girls' High School student moved home three years ago after working with Lincoln University as its marketing director.

Until recently, she had been working as a marketing consultant in the region and has 20 years' experience in marketing and general management across a number of institutions, including the tourism, manufacturing and education sectors.

Southland businesses had so much to offer and her position was a great opportunity to drive and sustain growth required in the regional economy, she said.

"Southland is undeniably a powerhouse of the New Zealand economy.

"There are, however, significant challenges ahead for the regional economy to ensure future stability."

A global approach was vital and her marketing experience would stand her in good stead for the role, she said.

She would take up her role in early February, which would start with a full review of the strategic objectives of the Chamber of Commerce.

The board had identified Invercargill's sister-city relationship with Suqian in China and the inner city as key priorities for 2014, which Ms Hannan said she would help drive.

The chamber was also working with the Southern Institute of Technology and other stakeholders to establish a business incubator to support growth and innovation in the region.

Chamber president Sean Woodward said Ms Hannan was passionate about driving Southland's future prosperity.

The job attracted several excellent candidates but she stood out, Mr Woodward said.

The Southland Times