Our People

​Our Team

With first-hand experience in a diverse range of business sectors, our team assist Chamber members on a day to day basis. Overseen by a board of directors, our small team has a great understanding of the local business community and are always willing to help.

Sheree Carey

Advocacy, business advice, strategy, policy, events, networking and membership

Chief Executive Officer | sheree.carey@commercesouth.com
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Our Team List

Sheree Carey

Chief Executive Officer
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Nikki Watt

Certification of Origin, accounts and reception

Administration | office@commercesouth.com

Miriam Erikson

Membership Manager

Membership Subscription Value, Networking, Events, Strategy Export & Manufacturing | membership@commercesouth.com

Janine Smail

Event and Marketing Manager

Event and Marketing Manager | janine@commercesouth.com

Joanne O’Connor

Young Enterprise Scheme

YES Co-ordinator | yes@commercesouth.com

Our Board

The Southland Chamber of Commerce Board was elected at the AGM on 17 March 2016.

For information about becoming a director of the Chamber please contact us.

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Carla Forbes

Carla Forbes

President BA

Carla owns Market South; Southland’s principal marketing and design agency. As Creative Director she heads up a team of marketing consultants, strategists, copywriters and graphic designers. Carla is actively involved in the wider business community, holding a position on the Southern Institute of Technology Post Graduate Business Diploma advisory committee, past chair of the Glass Elevator professional women’s networking group, is a trustee of the Dog Island Motu Piu Trust and sits on the South Island community panel for NZ Oil and Gas.

Carla Forbes
Carla Forbes
President Read More
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Neil McAra

Neil McAra

Vice President / Secretary BCom, CA

Neil is a Chartered Accountant and is Managing Principal for Crowe Horwath Southland. He has more than 20 years of valuable experience in accounting and advisory services. He provides advice to a number of rural and urban businesses and is a director of Blue River Dairy GP Ltd.

Neil McAra
Neil McAra
Vice President / Secretary Read More
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Sean Woodward

Sean Woodward

Director LLB, Bcom, DipCom, DipGrad

Sean is a partner at Preston Russell Law, specialising in commercial law. Sean is also a board member of the Southland Law Society, a member of the Institute of Directors, director of a number of client companies and actively involved with a number of other trusts and community initiatives.

Sean Woodward
Sean Woodward
Director Read More
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Mark O’Connor

Mark O’Connor

Director BCom, CA

Mark is CEO of Southland’s only NZX listed company, South Port NZ Ltd, which operates the Bluff regional port. Having an accounting background, Mark has worked in the port sector for the past 20 years where his tasks included the management and subsequent realisation of several large rural sector investments. He has been a Chamber board member since 2000, is a director of Invercargill City Properties Ltd and also chairs the virtual organisations Export Southland and Southland Energy Consortium. Mark is also involved in the harness racing industry as a commercial breeder, committee member of Southland Standardbred Breeders and treasurer of Southern Bred-Southern Reared Yearling Sales group.

Mark O’Connor
Mark O’Connor
Director Read More
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Gretta Stephens

Gretta Stephens

Director BSc, BE Hons

Gretta has 22 years’ experience in the aluminium industry and is the General Manager of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited. Originally from Victoria in Australia, Gretta has been employed at three aluminium smelters, for two aluminium companies (Comalco/Rio Tinto Alcan/Pacific Aluminium and Alcoa) and has had broad exposure to a variety of aluminium smelting operations across the world. Gretta has a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Materials Science) and a Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Engineering).

Gretta Stephens
Gretta Stephens
Director Read More
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Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Director
Paul Adams
Paul Adams
Director Read More
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Richard Gray

Richard Gray

Director
Richard Gray
Richard Gray
Director Read More
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Luke Macpherson

Luke Macpherson

Director

Luke is a Senior Partner for BNZ, leading the Commercial and Private Banking team in Southland. Luke comes from an Agribusiness finance background having worked for the 10 years prior as a Senior Agribusiness Partner for BNZ out of the Invercargill office. As a born and bred Southlander Luke has a real passion for the region and sits on the advisory board of several local farming businesses.

Luke Macpherson
Luke Macpherson
Director Read More
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Shaun Drylie

Shaun Drylie

Director

Shaun relocated with his family from Vietnam (where he spent two years transforming a local bank), to Invercargill in July 2016 to take up the role of Group Chief Executive at SBS Bank. Having 13 years’ experience in diverse general management roles, specialising in retail banking, payments and strategy, he is a leader who thrives on developing people and businesses.

He has led teams of 1500 plus people, shaped strategy, successfully managed start-up businesses and been involved in business transformation in developed and developing countries. He also holds a Masters of Management.

Shaun Drylie
Shaun Drylie
Director Read More
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Kirsty McNeill

Kirsty McNeill

Director

Kirsty is a business partner at BNZ, an active board member of the Chamber of Commerce, and the chair of professional women’s networking group Glass Elevator. Professionally she operates as a highly skilled partner for Southland businesses, assisting in their growth, business strategy and financials. Kirsty is active in the local community and passionate about re-energising and connecting businesses to promote growth in Invercargill.

Kirsty McNeill
Kirsty McNeill
Director Read More
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Rod Sinclair

Rod Sinclair

Director

Rod is passionate about business in Southland. Growing up on a sheep farm in Dipton, he has spent his working life in Invercargill, firstly as a Chartered Accountant and then latterly as an IT Consultant.

He founded Focus Technology Group in 1994 from the IT department of what is now Crowe Howarth, and in the ensuing years, that business has grown to a team of 50 located across five branches.

He also has a small farm at Tussock Creek where he lives with his wife and three teenage children.

Rod Sinclair
Rod Sinclair
Director Read More

Executive Committee

Carla Forbes

President | carla@marketsouth.co.nz

Sean Woodward

Director | sean.woodward@prlaw.co.nz

Neil McAra

Vice President / Secretary | neil.mcara@crowehorwath.co.nz

Mark O’Connor

Director | moconnor@southport.co.nz

Luke Macpherson

Director | Luke_Macpherson@bnz.co.nz

Manufacturers Trust Committee

Andrew Leys

Manufacturers Trust Chair

Hospice Southland

Paul Adams

Manufacturers Trust Representative

Stabicraft Marine

Neil Lewis

Manufacturers Trust Representative

Lewis Windows

Doug Rodgers

Manufacturers Trust Representative

Southern Institute of Technology

Derek Manson

Manufacturers Trust Representative

Insol Ltd

Glass Elevator Committee

Kirsty McNeill

Chair

BNZ | kirsty_mcneill@bnz.co.nz

Carla Forbes

Immediate Past Chair

Market South Ltd | carla@marketsouth.co.nz

Diane Thornbury

Principal Sponsor Representative

BDO Invercargill

Jane Fisher

Principal Sponsor Representative

BDO Invercargill

Jo Hutton

Sponsor Representative

H&J Smith Ltd

Therese Doyle

Sponsor Representative

Southern Institute of Technology

Anna Elder

Sponsor Representative

Preston Russell Law

Prue Halstead

Invest South Ltd

Export Southland Committee

Graham Dick

McIntyre Dick & Partners

Calvin Claridge

SouthFish

Nigel Gear

South Port NZ

Gareth Lyness

Blue River Dairy LP