Our People 

Grow Wellington consists of a network of advisors in key business and sector areas.
Our aim is to help businesses in the greater Wellington region grow and become world class.
Please select from the category options below to find key people in your area of interest.

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Business Growth

Geoff Copps

Geoff Copps

Sector Development Manager, Primary

Mobile: +64 21 638 629
Tel: +64 04 382 0099
Geoff works with the grass roots of businesses in the primary sector, listening to business owners in rural and urban environments and helping them work together to identify needs and find solutions. His work helps to ensure that strong value chains are created and maintained in order to benefit the region as a whole and attract new business.

Geoff has an extensive background working for economic development agencies in areas of collaborative business and facilitation. He worked alongside a variety of businesses in areas including olive growing and forestry.

Having lived in several areas of the Wellington region, Geoff now calls the Wairarapa home where he can enjoy a rural lifestyle while still being close to urban culture.
Grant  Lumsden

Grant Lumsden

Sector Development Manager, High Value Manufacturing

Mobile: +64 21 024 07793
Tel: +64 4 382 0075
Grant works with companies involved in high value manufacturing in the Wellington region, developing and implementing strategies that address the common challenges and opportunities faced as companies grow. He manages programmes, projects and events in the sector and works to develop scale and growth around new initiatives to build revenue, investment and employment.

Having worked with both start-up and established companies in consumer product engineering and manufacturing, Grant has gained extensive experience. He spent nearly twenty years in the United Kingdom and has held positions of Technical Director and Chief Engineer, handling projects including the development of electro-mechanical energy storage devices, engine design and development for Audi, Nissan and Ford.

Grant has a broad technical background in thermodynamics, materials science, manufacturing technology and mechatronics. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Melbourne University.

Originally from Australia, Grant moved to Wellington with his family where he can enjoy being close to the sea and sailing, and also have the benefit of the region’s cuisine and arts scene.
Tan Huynh

Tan Huynh

Sector Development Manager, ICT and Digital

Mobile: +64 21 396 393
Tel: +64 4 382 0072
Tan works with companies in the ICT and digital sectors. He develops strategies and implements programmes that continue to grow the Wellington region’s economic performance by enhancing global scale, sector capability and international competitiveness. He attracts offshore businesses and investment into the Wellington region focusing on the technology sector.

Tan has considerable experience in enhancing capability across diverse sectors such as ICT, digital, technology, creative, and education. He has held management positions in product management, marketing and business development in New Zealand and overseas. Tan holds a Master of Business Administration from Victoria University of Wellington.

Born in Vietnam and bred in New Zealand, Tan has travelled extensively but Wellington is very much home. He enjoys Wellington’s ease of doing business, entrepreneurial people, irresistible food and beverage, compactness and closeness to the outdoors.
Aaron Mcleigh

Aaron Mcleigh

Business Growth Manager

Tel: +64 4 382 0099
Aaron works in business growth across the region specialising in food and beverage and manufacturing sectors.

Having had over 20 years’ experience in business including operating his own food and beverage business, Aaron can identify with the needs of business owners and has the knowledge to help them achieve their goals.

Aaron enjoys the outstanding eateries in the greater Wellington region. His goal is to spread the message that Wellington is the best region to live and work in New Zealand.
Allison  Ralph-Smith

Allison Ralph-Smith

Business Growth Manager & Innovation Specialist

Tel: +64 4 382 0099
Allison is part of the Research and Development Investment team helping businesses access R&D funding that best fits their requirements. She also works to facilitate the process of application to make for the best possible outcome.

Allison has an extensive background in commercial sales, account management and key client relationships. She has experience in the commercial furniture industry working for large manufacturing firms through to high-end boutique businesses. Allison also spent two years working in the Wellington film industry.

Living in the Hutt Valley region of Wellington with its close proximity to beaches, rivers and native bush, Allison feels spoilt for choice with ways to enjoy her free time with family.
Claire  Faulk

Claire Faulk

Business Growth Manager

Tel: +64 4 382 0099
Claire actively engages with high growth information and communications technology (ICT) businesses in the Wellington region and those companies with the potential to reach high growth. She is focused on building the capability of her clients, through identifying action plans, recommending appropriate business referrals and identifying pathways to support growth in export and innovation.

Having had experience working for a usability software provider, Claire understands the challenges and opportunities available to local businesses who present themselves to the world via the internet. Claire has extensive experience in business development with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and the former Positively Wellington Business. She is a passionate advocate for cloud based solutions and the Wellington ICT community’s unique entrepreneurial spirit.

Claire has lived in Auckland, London, Singapore, Frankfurt and Florida but loves the vibrancy and big-city feel of Wellington and the varied weekend escapes the region offers her family.
Dorien  Vermaas

Dorien Vermaas

Business Growth Manager

Tel: +64 4 382 0099
Dorien is the Business Growth Manager for the Screen and Digital industry in the greater Wellington region. She works with creative and high tech application developers, as well the film and digital industry and related companies. In her role as Business Growth Manager, she assesses strategic business needs for funding, exports or marketing and helps build capability across this priority industry sector.

Dorien has a broad experience in strategic business planning with a focus on export-marketing and sales through her own wine company. Originally from the Netherlands, she has travelled the world extensively promoting New Zealand and New Zealand products in the US and Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia. Before her career in the wine industry Dorien worked in Europe for ICT companies such as Apple and Philips.

Wellington is in Dorien’s list of ‘Top 3 Coolest Cities’ in the world, along with Amsterdam and San Francisco. She loves everything that Wellington offers in abundance; the sea, food and wine and funky design.
Matthieu Carrere

Matthieu Carrere

Business Growth Manager & Innovation Specialist

Tel: +64 4 382 0099
Focusing on the area of investment into research and development, Matthieu is committed to helping businesses expand in the advancing area of technology. Matthieu helps companies to access Research and Development (R&D) funding and is always on the look-out for innovative organisations developing products or enhancing new ones with a drive to become internationally competitive.

Born and raised in the south of France, Matthieu completed his Masters of Engineering and worked as a project manager in Europe, Asia, and North America. He has a wealth of experience in both technical and business-development roles in India and the Middle East.

Matthieu lives in Wellington with his family and enjoys mountain biking and trips to one of the region’s beaches for a swim in the warmer months.