10 May 2018

Looking to the Future

It’s with great pleasure that I take up my new role as President of the Southland Chamber of Commerce. Firstly, I would like to thank my predecessor Carla Forbes for all the hard work she has done over her three-year term. Her ability to bring people together and link them, alongside her networking skills has paid off admirably for the Chamber who now have great connections working with businesses and developing opportunities to enhance Southland. She has set the bar and I aim to continue to strive for our vision of establishing a culture of working together, creating opportunities and getting the best out of people.

I’d also like to welcome the newly elected board members Garth Butson and Laura Todd.

Being a Managing Partner of the Crowe Horwath Invercargill office, I am used to looking after the needs of many clients, covering all accounting and business advisory requirements. I also have experience with contributing to many other boards around our region, including Chairman of Real Journeys.

So where will the Chamber head under my tenure? Of course, we will continue to build on the excellent foundations set up over the past years and nurture our relationships with our strategic partners for the benefit of businesses. We have also chosen to name some key focus areas for the coming year. These include innovation, collaboration and strategic planning. They all have the aim of helping to grow and support new and established businesses in Southland as well as looking to entice businesses from other regions to relocate or expand here.

I’m also committed to being a voice for Southland with the Government. Smart thinking and planning are just the first steps in what I see as a valuable collaborative process between the chamber and both local and national interests. Let’s investigate and support innovative revenue streams, encourage thinking outside the box and develop solutions that lead the way. That’s what we Southlanders are renowned for and the chamber will champion.

Neil McAra
Southland Chamber of Commerce