Cas Carter
Cas Carter Communications

Leigh Catley
GM Communications, Federated Farmers 

Cas Carter is a marketing and public relations consultant with a wealth of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry.  

Cas worked headed corporate communications for Tourism New Zealand, Private Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Marketing and Communications Manager for the inaugural Wellington tourism organisation. 

She is currently Director of Communications Company ‘The Brightside Collective as well as heading her own company ‘Cas Carter Communications.’ Her clients include: Bachcare, Regional Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Export Council New Zealand, Weta Workshop, ESR and The New Zealand Book Council.

Cas has previously held executive positions at Massey University, Callaghan Innovation and Environmental Science Research. 

Last year Cas facilitated a number of workshops around the country for TIA regarding telling the tourism story.

Cas is a regular Radio New Zealand panelist and media columnist.

Wellington-based communications and advocacy specialist Leigh Catley has spent more than 12 years working in the engine room of the New Zealand economy – its primary sector - first with Horticulture New Zealand and more recently with Federated Farmers. Leigh started her career with a decade in journalism, including working for Radio New Zealand, before moving into news media sales, business development and marketing roles with both the New Zealand Press Association and the Australian Associated Press in Sydney.

She has significant experience working for associations, including the Employers Association, and understands the power of communications to engage and grow membership. Her event management experience includes running conferences for Horticulture New Zealand and Federated Farmers, plus the development of the Primary Industries New Zealand Summit in 2019.  She’s also been involved with the development of primary sector industry events including the NZ Primary Industry Communicators Day and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Guild Congress held in New Zealand in 2015. 

Liz Read
Founder, Reputation Matters

Lesley Hamilton
Communications Manager, Seafood New Zealand

Liz is a leading communications expert and one of New Zealand’s most accomplished behaviour change marketing practitioners.

Liz describes herself as an ‘anthropological marketer’. She says if organisations are genuinely ambitious to win hearts and minds (trust), they first have to understand how humans decide what they believe and make decisions, then they have to front up and be straight up.

She founded Reputation Matters because she wanted to help businesses lift performance and achieve goals through a better understanding and management of their reputation. After all, as has been proved time and again, reputation is more valuable than money.

Lesley Hamilton is Communications Manager for Seafood New Zealand, the peak body for New Zealand’s commercial fishing sector. Lesley has been in the position for two years, which was preceded by a decade as press secretary in the National-led government.

Lesley has been at the forefront of the industry’s push to address public perceptions of the industry that are impacting on trust and reputation. This campaign is now in its third year and has been measured yearly by Nielsen Research.

Lee Cowan
Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, DairyNZ

Chris Roberts
Chief Executive, TIA

Lee Cowan is a passionate dairy farmer advocate, hailing from a King Country sheep and beef and dairy farming family. Working for DairyNZ for the last three-years, she supports a workstream to engage the public in all things dairy and build the reputation of the dairy sector and it’s farmers.

Lee started out as an environmental scientist before falling into communications many years ago, loving the dynamic and diverse range of work to get compelling messages to audiences. She has worked at a variety of Councils across the country over the last ten years and in 2017 stepped out of local government and into the adventurous world of DairyNZ.

Chris joined TIA as Chief Executive in July 2014. Previously he was a General Manager at Tourism New Zealand, with responsibility for government and stakeholder relations.

Chris began his working life as a radio journalist. From senior editor roles at Radio New Zealand he moved to Parliament, which included working for the Minister of Tourism. Chris was involved in the development of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, the first attempt to have a collaborative industry strategy.

His time in the Beehive was followed by a decade of senior corporate affairs roles in the energy sector before returning to tourism.

Paul Yandall
Publisher, Tourism Ticker

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Plant & Food Research

Paul Yandall is a journalist with 20 years' experience working in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

He started his career at The New Zealand Herald as a general news and then crime reporter before joining TVNZ as a current affairs and news producer. He was a business and financial journalist based in London for 13 years before returning home to start Tourism Ticker, the country's leading specialist tourism business publication.

Emma Timewell has been in the Communications Team at Plant & Food Research since 2009.

A failed scientist, she has been a science communicator for nearly 20 years, working with organisations to build corporate reputation based on their scientific achievements. Prior to Plant & Food Research, she was Communications Advisor for the Faculties of Medical & Health Sciences and Science at the University of Auckland.

Originally a Brit, she came to New Zealand in 2005 after five years working for life science PR consultancies in London. She is the founder of the Primary Industry Communicators Day, National Convenor for the Association for Women in the Sciences (AWIS) and on the Executive Committee of the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ).

Sue Hoffart
Tourism Storyteller, TIA

Tracy Watkins
Sunday Star-Times

Finding and relaying stories is Sue’s forte and her Tourism Storyteller role neatly brings together her experience as a writer, freelancer and long-time fan of the tourism industry. 

Sue joined the TIA team in autumn 2018 and continually seeks industry stars who have a great story to tell.

Tracy Watkins is editor of the Sunday Star-Times and Sunday News and has been a journalist for more than three decades. 

For more than 20 years she reported on politics from the parliamentary Press Gallery, including nearly 15 years as Political Editor for Stuff and The Dominion Post.

Tracy has covered successive elections not just in New Zealand, but also the USA and Australia, is a regular media commentator on politics, and is a former Jefferson Fellow and industry representative on the New Zealand Media Council.