Chamber CEO gets down to business

A month into his role as Gisborne Chamber of Commerce’s first ever chief executive, Terry Sheldrake has hit the ground running.

A month into his role as Gisborne Chamber of Commerce’s first ever chief executive, Terry Sheldrake has hit the ground running.

READY TO HELP: New Gisborne Chamber of Commerce office manager Lena Bevan and chief executive Terry Sheldrake at the chamber's new premises at 157 Grey Street. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell.

PASSION for Gisborne City and the wider region drove Terry Sheldrake, a former council candidate and internationally-recognised name in triathlon circles, to apply for the newly-created role of Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

“My brief in a nutshell is to grow our local chamber business both in profile and membership. Hence, starting from scratch, what is the chamber all about? Who can be a member and, the ultimate question, what’s the value for me and my business in being a member?

“The three pillars underpinning an effective ‘Chamber of Commerce’ across New Zealand and internationally are advocacy, networking and training, all of which are available to members within Tairawhiti either directly via us or within our working relationship with our local strategic partner Activate Tairawhiti.

“Although only a few weeks into this role, I have attended an Activate Tairawhiti workshop and note the value that such participation will bring those who choose to be involved.

“I have also participated in a Young Enterprise Scheme activity with seven of our Gisborne business leaders volunteering their time. This is a national programme where our chamber is committed to working with secondary school educators and students as they promote their business ideas and potential products. More information from me will follow throughout the year regarding the YES programme.”

Mr Sheldrake said benefits of membership were the same for all businesses, irrelevant of size.

“For a nominal membership fee, which is scaled depending on the size of each company — eg from a single owner-operator to a large multinational and all businesses in between — I am very keen to meet with you to discuss our local chamber and activities.”

Maximising business opportunities

Mr Sheldrake will also be looking at how the chamber can better maximise as many business opportunities as possible across the region.

“The question for me around the word ‘value’ is interesting when joining any organisation. As much as the question ‘what is in it for me?’, I like to counter with and consider ‘what can I potentially contribute?’

“This brings me to the organisational structure of the Gisborne chamber, which until now has been predominantly volunteer-driven, collectively contributing significant hours away from personal employment and business commitments.

“Our AGM is set for Wednesday, April 12 and will be held in our relocated offices at 157 Grey Street (front corner of the Cosmopolitan Club building). This is your opportunity to learn more about chamber activities, to ask questions and to mix with other members of our business community — or indeed stand for election.”

Speaking after two days of welcome rain, Mr Sheldrake said things were already looking positive for the region’s business community.

“At present there are five ships either tied up in the harbour or waiting in the Bay. A long line of logging trucks continue to arrive at the port. The GDC building is under way with contractors on site working on foundation profiling. Letters to the editor around subjects such as event tourism, which is something close to my heart, continue to be noted in The Gisborne Herald. People socially continue to talk about the rail line issue — not only down to Wairoa and beyond but closer to the city. Paymark figures reflecting a 7.7 percent rise in spending for January 2017 can be seen as an optimistic start for the year.

“I’m also pleased to report that I have been joined by Lena Bevan at the chamber office as our office manager, so please drop in to say hello. Lena and I look forward to meeting with you and your business.”

PASSION for Gisborne City and the wider region drove Terry Sheldrake, a former council candidate and internationally-recognised name in triathlon circles, to apply for the newly-created role of Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

“My brief in a nutshell is to grow our local chamber business both in profile and membership. Hence, starting from scratch, what is the chamber all about? Who can be a member and, the ultimate question, what’s the value for me and my business in being a member?

“The three pillars underpinning an effective ‘Chamber of Commerce’ across New Zealand and internationally are advocacy, networking and training, all of which are available to members within Tairawhiti either directly via us or within our working relationship with our local strategic partner Activate Tairawhiti.

“Although only a few weeks into this role, I have attended an Activate Tairawhiti workshop and note the value that such participation will bring those who choose to be involved.

“I have also participated in a Young Enterprise Scheme activity with seven of our Gisborne business leaders volunteering their time. This is a national programme where our chamber is committed to working with secondary school educators and students as they promote their business ideas and potential products. More information from me will follow throughout the year regarding the YES programme.”

Mr Sheldrake said benefits of membership were the same for all businesses, irrelevant of size.

“For a nominal membership fee, which is scaled depending on the size of each company — eg from a single owner-operator to a large multinational and all businesses in between — I am very keen to meet with you to discuss our local chamber and activities.”

Maximising business opportunities

Mr Sheldrake will also be looking at how the chamber can better maximise as many business opportunities as possible across the region.

“The question for me around the word ‘value’ is interesting when joining any organisation. As much as the question ‘what is in it for me?’, I like to counter with and consider ‘what can I potentially contribute?’

“This brings me to the organisational structure of the Gisborne chamber, which until now has been predominantly volunteer-driven, collectively contributing significant hours away from personal employment and business commitments.

“Our AGM is set for Wednesday, April 12 and will be held in our relocated offices at 157 Grey Street (front corner of the Cosmopolitan Club building). This is your opportunity to learn more about chamber activities, to ask questions and to mix with other members of our business community — or indeed stand for election.”

Speaking after two days of welcome rain, Mr Sheldrake said things were already looking positive for the region’s business community.

“At present there are five ships either tied up in the harbour or waiting in the Bay. A long line of logging trucks continue to arrive at the port. The GDC building is under way with contractors on site working on foundation profiling. Letters to the editor around subjects such as event tourism, which is something close to my heart, continue to be noted in The Gisborne Herald. People socially continue to talk about the rail line issue — not only down to Wairoa and beyond but closer to the city. Paymark figures reflecting a 7.7 percent rise in spending for January 2017 can be seen as an optimistic start for the year.

“I’m also pleased to report that I have been joined by Lena Bevan at the chamber office as our office manager, so please drop in to say hello. Lena and I look forward to meeting with you and your business.”

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