Board of Directors

Mark Skelly, President

Owner, Red Hot Business Coaching

Mark passionately believes that the Hutt Valley is an amazing place to grow a thriving business and raise a family. He co-founded Red Hot Business Coaching here in the valley 10 years ago and has had the privilege of helping many individual owners remove the barriers to growth in their businesses over that time. Mark’s career has included a number of senior management roles with nation-wide responsibilities.

Mark and his wife Megan have two children, and he has been on the board of Wa Ora Montessori School for the past 7 years. He is known for making things happen.

Dave Morgan, Vice President

Principal of LINK Business Broking - Wellington

Dave has had a successful career as a business investor, spotting businesses in need of professional management and robust operating systems. He has bought and sold businesses in the tourism sector, retail sector and the service industry and has extensive experience operating multiple franchise outlets.

With considerable experience as a ‘hands off’ operator, Dave focuses more on the importance of strong business systems and quality training. This experience has helped him identify opportunities to develop the maximum return from his operations and extract the best price for his businesses.

As the Principal of the Wellington office of LINK Business Broking, Dave and his team of brokers are at the forefront of helping the baby boomers exit their businesses and extract their capital from their enterprises.

June Ranson

Managing Director of Licensed Immigration Advisors, Woburn International

June has lived and worked in a number of overseas countries in a variety of Industries. June established Woburn International Ltd in 1991, which is based in Lower Hutt.

June’s role in Woburn International as well as Managing director, is primarily immigration but June also plays a major role in the cultural awareness side and over the years has enjoyed helping many families to adjust to their new life and their changed circumstances. June has been appointed Board Vice Chairman to NZ Association for Migration and Investment. With more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, June has worked with hundreds of other career professionals to help them develop and refine their skills, knowledge and expertise across a wide range of disciplines essential for success in our industry.

June is married to Steve and they have a teenage daughter, Zara. June is an early riser and enjoys heading out most mornings for a walk with her lovely dog Mimi. In June’s spare time she enjoys being the pillion passenger on Steve’s Harley Davidson Motor Bike.

Dr Caroline Seelig

Chief Executive at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Limited

Dr Caroline Seelig has lived and worked in the Hutt Valley since 2008.

Caroline has over 25 years’ experience as a senior manager in New Zealand’s tertiary education sector. Since 2009, she has been the Chief Executive of Open Polytechnic, which is proud to be a major employer in the Hutt Valley and a leader in the field of open and distance learning.

Caroline has led institutional strategic and investment planning, and overseen flexible learning, teaching and delivery units, academic portfolio development, quality management and student support. She has also been involved in a wide range of successful collaborative initiatives to drive change and innovation.

Caroline is a Board member of ESA Publications Ltd, Learning Works, and has recently been appointed by MFAT as New Zealand’s representative on the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) Board of Governors. She is a former board member of the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, a previous Chair of Technology Valley, and welcomed the opportunity to be reappointed to the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Board in 2020.

Sarah Wilson

Director, Sarah Wilson Recruitment

Since 2000 Sarah has worked as a recruitment consultant, specialising in the manufacturing and trades sectors. Two years ago, she took the brave step of establishing her own business, helping mid-sized, New Zealand-owned businesses to attract, employ and retain the people they need to succeed.

Rather than following the traditional recruitment model, Sarah works closely with business owners to provide recruitment services at every level of their organisations. This has given her a unique perspective on the challenges and rewards that come with business ownership – and highlighted her clients’ needs for practical, meaningful support.

It was Sarah’s commitment to service excellence and her interest in helping others that led to her involvement with Youth Inspire and the Hutt Valley Education to Employment Coordination Service. She’s now a passionate advocate for young people in the Hutt Valley area and thrives on using her professional skills to support them in search for employment.

Having grown up in the Hutt Valley, Sarah’s determined to help the area to thrive. She’s proud to be associated with the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce – an organisation that supports local businesses with practical and meaningful support.

Tony McKone

Owner of Employee Relations Company, McKone Consultancy

As the owner of a successful small business, I look forward to having the opportunity to connect businesses, people and the truth as a member of the Board for the Chamber.  I bring nine years of governance experience to the Board, as well as knowledge, skills and experience built up over the last 40 years as a business owner, former senior manager in the public sector and as a senior HR practitioner.  I am a Chartered Fellow of the HR Institute, a Certificate Holder of the Association of Workplace Investigators and hold a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies.

Dene Cable

Senior Commercial Broker, Crombie Lockwood

Brought up in Palmerston North, Dene moved to Wellington in 2009 to get into the world of business. After two years in the Banking Sector, he shifted over to start a career in insurance. Dene worked in multiple roles including Claims Handler, Broker Support, Domestic Insurance Broker and now a Senior Commercial Broker in the Lower Hutt region. Dene has a passion to help all business in the Hutt region and bases himself on Market Gove to be easily accessible to those he can assist.

Michael Markham

Director and CEO, Kendons

A Chartered Accountant (CAANZ) with a Public Practice Certificate, and a Registered Qualified Auditor, Michael has been actively involved in the audit and accounting environment for over 15 years.

In addition to his role at accounting and advisory business Kendons, Michael is also a Trustee of the Laura Fergusson Trust Wellington, Christine Taylor Foundation for Mental Health, Vice-President of Barbershop Harmony NZ and Chairman of Young Singers in Harmony Trust NZ. Outside of his governance and professional roles, Michael keeps himself busy heavily involved with his young family and in the barbershop community, both as a singer and performance judge.

Co-opted Members

Vibhuti Chopra

Director, Upper Hutt City Council

Vibhuti is Director of the Strategy, Partnerships and Growth group at Upper Hutt City Council. She has a post graduate degree in Business Management and has also studied strategy at post graduate level at Victoria University in Wellington. She has worked in local government since 2003 and is experienced in direction setting and then resourcing and actioning these to achieve outcomes. She made significant contributions in her last role, at Waitomo District Council, shaping long term strategic and financial directions for the community to enable substantial investments to be made in community assets, thereby enhancing liveability.

Vibhuti is passionate about the economic well being and development of communities. She sees great opportunity in local government working collaboratively with key players like the Chamber and central government in supporting the business sector. This in turn will enhance the economic prosperity of the overall community, regionally as well as nationally.

Mike Gould

Partner of Gibson Sheat Lawyers

Mike has been a Chamber Board member for more than 15 years, and is a past vice-president.

Mike has been a partner in local law firm, Gibson Sheat, since 1987. Gibson Sheat is the largest Wellington regional law practice (outside national firms) and has been proudly Lower Hutt-based since 1923.

Mike has a background in commercial and private client legal work, and currently specialises in employment law. He leads the firm’s Employment Law team. A lot of his work involves advising employers about how best to deal with employees in a range of situations, from disciplinary matters through to the correct process for restructuring and redundancies.

Jo Miller

Hutt City Council CEO

Jo has held one of the most high profile local government roles in the UK and in 2017 the Local Government Chronicle named her the third most influential person in local government there. Jo joined the Hutt City Council as CEO in 2019.

With an outstanding record for motivating people, creating solutions and brokering agreements in major housing, economic regeneration and capital investment schemes, Jo brings a huge amount of experience to the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce board. She has experience working locally, regionally and nationally in the United Kingdom, in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Jo’s vast experience includes holding the role of Chief Executive of the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council since 2012, and has spent close to 20 years working in local and regional government organisations.