Venture Taranaki has pivoted its operations to support the region, remotely.

Over the last two weeks, Venture Taranaki has strengthened and refocused its team to ensure it can continue to deliver ongoing support to the region’s enterprises and advance the strategic projects that will help Taranaki recover from the impacts of COVID-19. 

This includes the addition of two new roles, both onboarded as part of the Trust’s rapid response to the effects of COVID-19 on many enterprises Taranaki-wide. 

The Trust’s enterprise support function is operating at twice the normal level of client engagement, with many enterprises signaling the need for assistance during what can only be described as unprecedented times.

“Our team have recorded close to 600 interactions over the past ten days, up 100% on the number we would normally deliver,” explains Michelle Jordan, Venture Taranaki’s General Manager Enterprise.

“In these challenging times Venture Taranaki’s agile and connected business model has proven critical to our region’s response. Additional funding available to the nation’s Regional Business Partners has enabled us to rapidly bring in new team members to help directly support local enterprises.”

“These roles add to the considerable experience and expertise held by the existing team and allow us to meet the increased demand. We have also redeployed some of the wider Venture Taranaki team to help respond to that demand.”

Leighton Littlewood joins the Enterprise Support team as an Enterprise Advisor, and Rachael Keane as Enterprise Administration Support – a redeployment after her recent addition to the team as Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Justine Gilliland. Both employees are working remotely, as is the rest of the Venture Taranaki team. 

Shaan Davis will also join the Enterprise team, returning to Taranaki from Sydney, to take up a previously advertised role of Enterprise Advisor.

The Regional Strategy and Sectors team welcomes three new members: Regional Strategy Adviser Kirsty Jamieson and Taranaki 2050 and Tapuae Roa Programme Manager Charlotte Littlewood. Kevin O’Reilly joins the team to head the Branching Out programme - an initiative launched by Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor last month which seeks to identify commercially viable opportunities for food and fibre enterprises in the region.  
“I’m delighted to have our new members on board. Each comes with extensive experience and specialist knowledge that will help Venture Taranaki continue to make a positive difference to the regional economy moving forward,” says Anne Probert, General Manager Regional Strategy and Sectors.

The Destination team welcomes new Investment Advisor Stephanie Laird to a critical role as the region looks beyond the current restrictions to rebuild business confidence, increase regional growth opportunities, and position Taranaki as a viable and innovative investment partner.

General Manager Destination Vicki Fairley says “having Stephanie on board rounds out our Destination team and makes available expert investment and advisory support for those who either require investment or need to connect with us on regional investment opportunities.”

“While there remains uncertainty about the duration of the restrictions under COVID-19, there is little doubt that the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt by our region’s enterprises and broader economy for years to come,” explains Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive.

“Venture Taranaki is firmly focused on delivering the immediate support needed by our enterprises to manage the short-term challenges, while also looking forward to what is needed to support a prosperous and sustainable recovery and maintaining momentum on strategic projects that will help our industries and sectors beyond this uncertain time.”
“Strengthening our team is a necessary step to keep both facets of our work in play. We have the region’s back, and we are strongly committed to Taranaki’s future prospects and potential to recover.”

All appointments are now operational and working remotely as Venture Taranaki continues to service the needs of our community, with the exception of Enterprise Advisor Shaan Davis, who will be online and operational in the coming weeks.