James has recently returned to New Zealand after 13 years in Hong Kong including 10 years at Marriott International where he was Regional VP Hotel Development responsible for new growth across multiple brands in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Vietnam and Thailand. Prior to joining Marriott James practised as a corporate lawyer with Bell Gully in Auckland and Norton Rose in Hong Kong. He is also principal of boutique hospitality consultancy, Fantail Advisory.
As Executive Chair of Scenic Hotel Group, Lani works closely with her extended team to oversee the operation of the company’s 18 hotels throughout New Zealand and the Pacific, and its Corporate Support Office in Christchurch.
Scenic Hotel Group represents New Zealand’s largest privately owned and operated hotel business with a network of hotels in both metropolitan cities and provincial centres, as well as tourist markets in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Lani’s career with Scenic Hotel Group began in 1987 when she was employed as a financial controller. Today she sits at the top table, assisted by the company’s Board of Directors, overseeing the Group’s strategic direction and growth prospects.
Lani is passionate about tourism as well as Scenic Hotel Group’s involvement in local communities and is a very active philanthropist, continuing the legacy established by her late husband Earl Hagaman. Lani is the current chair of the Helen Anderson trust – a centre that provides support for people aged 18 and up with mental and physical disability.
Simon White commenced his career in the hospitality industry in 1989, working his way up through the industry for various hotel chains in Australia before moving to New Zealand in 2001 where he commenced working for Rydges Hotels & Resorts (EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment).
Since this time Simon has held various General Manager and Area General Manager roles and currently holds a senior leadership position with EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment as General Manager Hotel Operations, New Zealand.
The Event Group’s hospitality division operates QT Hotels & Resorts, Rydges Hotels & Resorts, Atura Hotels brands and an independent collection of Hotels through license or franchise agreements.
Michael grew up in the hotel business when his family founded the Commodore in December 1971 when Michael was only 4 years old.
Michael attended St Bede’s College and then Christchurch Polytech before going on to complete a Traineeship with the Tourist Hotel Corporation.
Gaining experience at the Hermitage Mount Cook, Wairakei Resort Taupo and the THC Te Anau, Michael also worked in Australia for Park Royal and Travelodge before returning home in 1994.
After a stint in the UK working at London’s Cumberland Hotel. Michael became General Manager at the Commodore in 1998.
Michael works in partnership with his two brothers Ken and Thomas. The Patterson brothers have a strong commitment to the Hotel Industry and have grown the Commodore to become a 160 Room property. They also entered the Queenstown market four years ago purchasing the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel.
Michael is married to Michelle and they have a busy life with four sons.
Marcus Reinders has recently returned to New Zealand to take up the position of CEO for NZ Hotel Holdings. Marcus has over 30 years’ experience working in hotels. He started his working life as a houseman and bellman at the Sheraton (now the Cordis) in Auckland. Over the past few years, Marcus has worked in area roles for Marriott International, including in Europe where he oversaw 500+ properties. NZ Hotel Holdings is a joint venture between NZ Super Fund, the Russell Group and Lockwood Property Group. Its hotels include Four Points by Sheraton Auckland, Adina Hotel Auckland, BreakFree on Cashel Christchurch, Rydges Rotorua, Sofitel Queenstown, QT Auckland and Rydges Wellington.
Tony Rose has worked as part of the team for Colwall Property Investment group for over 20 years, including the last six years as director. He began as group financial controller. Tony is part of the executive team overseeing eight hotels located throughout New Zealand with seven being managed and one operated directly. Colwall are the owners of the Crowne Plaza Auckland, Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, IBIS Rotorua, Intercontinental Wellington, Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square, IBIS Christchurch, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside and Kamana Lakehouse as well as commercial properties in Auckland and Wellington.
Karl has extensive hotel management and operational expertise. Former Vice President Operations New Zealand MCK and New Zealand Tourism Future’s Taskforce advisor, Karl continually advocates for greater understanding and appreciation of the real value tourism adds to New Zealand’s economic growth, job creation and positive international image.
As Group General Manager SKYCITY Hotels, Brad oversees The Grand and SkyCity, as well as the recently opened Eos by SkyCity in Adelaide, and the soon to be opened Horizon Hotel which is part of the New Zealand International Convention Centre project.
A proud Hotelier and positive advocate for the sector, Brad brings authentic and inspiring leadership, and a focus on looking after “our people” during this challenging period.
Brad strives to ensure key decision makers and the public better understand the value of the hotel sector. He describes this as not just in the commercial sense but through the breadth of magical experiences hotels curate for visitors, the amazing career pathways the sector creates, as well as the overall benefits hotels bring to the communities they operate in.
Brad started his Hotels career with Heritage Hotels more than 20 years ago with various frontline roles in both Auckland and Queenstown. From 2001, Brad worked in senior operational roles for De Vere Hotels in the UK including London, Edinburgh and Newcastle.
When returning to New Zealand in 2005, Brad was part of the pre-opening team at The Grand by SkyCity before moving into the world of revenue management, firstly at SkyCity then with Starwood Hotels for the pre-opening of the Westin Auckland Lighter Quay in 2007.
From 2008, Brad spent four years with the Blackstone Group in Auckland converting residential apartments into short stay Hotel style accommodation. In 2012 Brad returned to SKYCITY Entertainment Group when he took up his current role as GM Hotels.
Brad has played many roles in supporting New Zealand’s Hotel sector and is also a keen supporter of career pathways, including being on the Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS) advisory board since 2015.
Les Morgan is the Chief Operating Officer of Sudima Hotels/Hind Management. The Group has an annual turnover in excess of $60m NZD and is currently is experiencing a significant expansion including several new Hotels under development. Sudima Hotels was awarded New Zealand’s Supreme Tourism accolade in 2019.
His background includes experience in Hotels in both the UK and NZ with several of the world’s leading Hotel brands. Les is a previous winner of the Westpac ‘Excellence in Leadership’, ‘NZ Hotel -Senior Hotel Executive of the year’ and the recipient of Tourism Industry Aoteroa’s, ‘Industry Champion’.
Terry is asset manager for CP Group the largest hotel owner in New Zealand with 21 hotels.
CP Group operates an in-house management company, CPG Hotels which manages 10 hotels in New Zealand . The remaining 11 hotels are managed by Accor New Zealand.
Terry investigates international hotel investment opportunities for CP Group in accordance with an investment strategy and selected criteria, which is currently focussed on visitor destinations in Australia (where CP Group owned 2 hotels), Europe and Asia.
Terry has been asset manager for owners of hotels in New Zealand, French Polynesia, Samoa and Fiji.
He co-owned and operated the Horwath HTL hotel and tourism consulting firm in New Zealand prior to CP Group. Terry has also worked for 2 hotel chains based in Singapore and New Zealand.
Chris Ehmann moved to Queenstown in April 2014 to take up the position of General Manager of Hilton Queenstown and Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown.
A Vancouver native with more than two decades experience in Europe, the Middle East and Australasia, Ehmann has a solid grasp and personal enthusiasm for the tourism industry.
He held in various positions with the InterContinental Hotel Group for six years including Assistant Manager, Acting Director of Human Resources and Front Office Manager. Ehmann first joined Hilton Worldwide as Director of Operations for Hilton Bucharest in Romania in 1998 and held senior positions for the group in Dubai, Cairo, Adeladie, Malaysia and Thailand.
Having served two years on the Board of the Adelaide Convention Bureau, he brings with him experience to support and help position Queenstown to compete on the world stage of meetings and business whilst creating the destination profile to international buyers.
Ehmann graduated with an MBA from Henley Management College in Oxfordshire, England in 2001. He since furthered his studies at the Cornell-Nanyang Institute as well as the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Kevin Gough has 40 years’ experience of working across many sectors of New Zealand tourism. He has a strong career profile in tourism management, leading teams in sales and marketing, with a recent focus on commercial accommodation.
Kevinis passionate about New Zealand tourism and a supporter of Qualmark since its inception in 2017. Prior to that, Kevin spent 20 years as General Manager of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Golden Chain Motels and TOP 10 Holiday Parks – all Qualmark partner chains.
Kevin also held the position of General Manager of Southern World Vacations Asia between 1993 and 1995, as well as Sales and Marketing Manager for attractions company, NZ Experience, between 1995 and 1997.
Prior to that, Kevin worked in a variety of roles for Tourism New Zealand for 16 years including being their first dedicated C&I Manager.