Southland Regional Development Agency (SRDA) Chairman Ian Collier has announced the appointment of an interim chief executive to lead the newly established Southland regional organisation.
Former Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ann Lockhart will be in the role from the 17 June 2019 until a permanent Chief Executive is recruited.
Mr Collier said he was very pleased to have someone of Mrs Lockhart’s calibre to lead the agency from mid-June.
“With over twenty years’ experience in senior management roles, a proactive and proven approach to growing business, and familiarity of the Southland landscape, Ann is the ideal candidate for the position,” he said.
Alongside her previous CEO role, Lockhart has been involved in a wide range of industry sectors including government relations, business development and tourism, is a current director of Destination Queenstown and trustee of the Wakatipu Community Foundation – a philanthropic trust set up to promote community collaboration.
Mr Collier said this extensive experience means Mrs Lockhart has a comprehensive understanding of economic and tourism development and will be a key driver of the transformational change sought by the Southland Regional Development Strategy.
Gary Tong, chair of the Joint Shareholders Committee (a committee of the SRDA shareholders) and Mayor of Southland District, said the appointment of Lockhart signals another exciting stage in the region’s development.
“We’re delighted with Ann’s appointment and know she will set a strong foundation for the agency moving forward, working alongside the board and shareholders to set a framework to achieving the ambitious goals we have for the Southland region,” Tong said.
Mrs Lockhart will lead Southland’s regional development efforts while a permanent Chief Executive is sought, with applications for the position open until 16 June 2019.
The SRDA board is working with outgoing Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson and the Joint Shareholders Committee to ensure a smooth transition, with the new agency to formally come into effect from 1 July 2019.
“We’re very excited for what the future holds for Southland and are looking forward to working with Ann to help supercharge the region’s ongoing success,” Mr Collier said.
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