Influential line up announced for Eastland Group Speaker Series 2016

Influential line up announced for Eastland Group Speaker Series 2016

Last year, Eastland Group’s Speaker Series brought four influential, thought-provoking guest speakers to Gisborne: Spark’s Simon Moutter, Business Hall of Fame stalwart Dame Wendy Pye, sporting icon and Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, and Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners.

Today Eastland Group and Gisborne Chamber of Commerce announced some of the influential leaders who will be sharing their insights with the local business community in 2016.

The first speaker for the year is Michaela Vodanovich, Regional Manager of The Icehouse. The Icehouse is New Zealand’s leading business incubator, and helps Kiwi start ups and SMEs grow. Michaela is currently seeing some outstanding results in her work with Gisborne businesses.

Also speaking this year is Pania Tyson-Nathan. The chief executive of New Zealand Maori Tourism, Pania has strong ties to the Mahia community.

Another guest speaker will be the Hon Paula Bennett, Minister for Climate Change Issues, Social Housing, State Services, and Associate Minister of Tourism and Finance.

Chamber of Commerce marketing and communications manager Suzanne Winterflood says another two guest speakers are being finalised, and will be announced shortly.

“The broad range of speakers last year attracted a wider range of attendees than ever before, and this year we expect to see even greater interest from all sectors of the business community. These speakers will be offering advice and perspectives that local business owners can apply to their own companies, which can only benefit our entire region.”

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said the Speaker Series was now in its fifth year, and was a sponsorship partnership that reflected the company’s commitment to regional prosperity.

“Eastland Group’s purpose is to support the Gisborne, East Coast and Wairoa region’s to grow and develop. Our businesses – the port, the electricity distribution network and the airport – power the regional economy. With the Speaker Series we hope to generate new conversations about how the region can work together to generate more jobs and a brighter future for everyone who lives here.”


The Icehouse’s Michaela Vodanovich will be sharing her invaluable business insights at a lunchtime session on 19 May, at the Quality Emerald Hotel. Tickets are just $15 + GST for Chamber members and groups of six or more, and $20 + GST for the general public. These can be reserved by contacting