The Tauranga Chamber of Commerce has appointed Matt Cowley as the organisation’s new chief executive officer.
Cowley replaces former CEO Stan Gregec, who recently stepped down after serving for four years, during which he became a well-known and respected figure in the city’s business community.
Chamber president Ron Devlin said the chamber was delighted with the appointment of Cowley, who had previously been national sales manager of Fire Security Services since 2016. Before that he was an elected City Councillor with Tauranga City from 2013- 2016, and an analyst with Bay of Plenty Regional Council from 2006-2013.
“The board has, in consultation with staff, partners and stakeholders, been developing a new strategy to enable the chamber to add greater value to its membership by being more connected to members,” said Devlin.
“We are sure that the opportunity we have been given to appoint Matt will support the chamber in achieving this.”
Cowley told Bay of Plenty Business News he was excited to be part of the chamber’s next chapter.
“The chamber has a long and proud history of helping local businesses to succeed – both locally and further abroad,” he said.
I’ve been involved with the chamber for nearly a decade, mainly through the LINKT Young People in Business network
“I’m looking forward to working with the chamber’s experienced board, which is elected by the membership. My role is simple: implement the board’s strategy.”
Cowley said his time helping Fire Security Services had reinforced for him the challenges facing most businesses. These included forever-increasing costs and shortage of skilled labour. And particularly for the construction and trades sector, an unsustainable race with competitors to the bottom.
‘I’m looking forward to working with our members as closely as possible.”
Cowley said he couldn’t wait to get up to speed on all the hard work that the chamber had put into developing its new strategy so far, but acknowledged he had a lot to learn and catch up on in the next few months.
“I’ve been involved with the chamber for nearly a decade, mainly through the LINKT Young People in Business network,” said Cowley.
“I believe the chamber has a very bright future. Local organisations share a genuine curiosity to know what’s happening in their city. Through its membership, the chamber can open doors and give members exclusive insights that are not readily available to the general public.
“The chamber is one of the few local networks that transcend industries to bring private, public and community organisations together.”