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18 Dec 2017
Lance Walker has been appointed to take up the reins as the new chief executive of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, WREDA.
Announcing the appointment today, WREDA chair Peter Biggs said he was delighted that someone of the calibre of Mr Walker had been chosen to lead the organisation into an exciting new era.
“The Wellington region is on a roll and has significant opportunities ahead of it – and WREDA has a key role to play in realising those opportunities.
“Given that, the WREDA Board set out to find a CEO who is a proven leader; who has the experience and talent to build and inspire a purpose-driven organisational culture, focused on executing big, transformational initiatives and projects. We also wanted someone who, along with the ability to execute, possesses the necessary empathy and relationship skills to take a complex mix of stakeholders along on the journey.
“In Lance, we have all of that experience and ability in spades. He has demonstrated over a number of senior leadership roles that he has all of the attributes required to build on WREDA’s past success and move the organisation forward dramatically and quickly towards making its vision real – to make Wellington the most prosperous, vibrant and liveable region in Australasia by 2025.”
Mr Walker, who is currently CEO of Cigna Insurance, has a background of specialist experience in marketing and business development. He is the former CEO of Loyalty New Zealand, which operates the Fly Buys loyalty programme and past Chairman of the New Zealand Marketing Association. Earlier this year he was recognised for his leadership by being named Supportive CEO of the Year at the New Zealand Human Resources awards.
Mr Walker says he is very much looking forward to taking up his new role next year.
“As someone who has lived and worked in the Wellington region all my life I’m a huge advocate for this place and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead an organisation which is focussed on helping the region to unlock its human and economic potential.
“The Wellington region has a unique combination of energy, creativity and innovation which sets it apart as a destination for visitors, businesses and events. I want us to set our sights even higher so that we can build on what has already been achieved and make this the globally competitive region it deserves to be.”
Mr Walker is due to take up his new role as chief executive on April 1 2018. Derek Fry will continue as interim CEO until then.