Meet our team

Who we are

We’re super connectors. We’re business advisors. We provide the advice, connection and individual mentoring to produce results, no matter where you are in your growth journey. We support you to build the extraordinary from the ordinary. Why? Because we believe, anything is possible.

Angela Smith

Angela Smith

Co-Working Coordinator

Angela is passionate about creating an outstanding and supportive environment for our community of Soda co-workers.

Anna Devcich

Anna Devcich

Community Coordinator

Anna oversees Soda's programmes and Seed Grants and brings a strong administrative background, supporting new entrepreneurs and business minds.

Erin Wansbrough

Erin Wansbrough

CEO

Erin’s business experience and knowledge of commercialisation stem from a career in business innovation and entrepreneurship.

Niamh Given

Niamh Given

Consultant

Niamh brings strong business and organisational skills to facilitate Soda's range of programmes for start-up and entrepreneurial enterprises.

Kate Wightman

Kate Wightman

Start-Up Consultant

Kate provides support for Soda's Start-Up programme participants, ensuring attendees receive the guidance they need to succeed.

Building the extraordinary

Thanks to a group of ambitious and courageous people just like yourself, Soda Inc. opened in 2009, based on the belief that sound advice and sustained support can effect transformation. With rigour, structure and process, we work to ensure our people and businesses flourish.

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Meet our board

The team at Soda remains instrumental in growing and strengthening businesses throughout New Zealand. That team includes the Soda board, made up of individuals for whom providing rigourous support, structure and processes to businesses and entrepreneurs is part of their DNA.

Andrew West

Andrew West

Chair

Andrew West holds Board positions in a comprehensive list of businesses and has extensive experience in the scientific and high-tech sector.

Kim Hill

Kim Hill

Director

Kim is a top-level business strategist, coach and consultant with a gift for empowerment. She has a particular passion to see Māori succeed.

David Christensen

David Christensen

Director

David is the Chief Executive of Wintec, with proven strengths of economic and strategic thinking. He represents shareholders’ interests on the Soda board.

Rob Heebrink

Rob Heebrink

Director

Rob brings a unique combination of engineering and international business qualifications to Soda from his Research and Development role at Gallagher.

John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson

Director

John has extensive banking knowledge and nearly 40 years’ experience in the banking and business sectors. He is Commercial Manager for ASB, Waikato region.

Business Growth Ecosystem

At Soda Inc., our business growth ecosystem connects entrepreneurs and business owners with advisors and programmes to achieve growth potential. This ecosystem includes some of the best business minds in the Waikato and beyond, business minds who invest their time to share knowledge and encourage New Zealand's up and coming business success.

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structure

process

Introducing Team Soda

Team Soda is our committee tasked with applying their specialised business knowledge and experience towards businesses wanting to enter a SODA programme. We like to think of them as our friendly and approachable 'Dragons Den'. Team SODA are also there to support and guide our founders in their programme while they work to grow and develop their business.

Aubrey Te Kanawa

Aubrey Te Kanawa

Community Coordinator

Aubrey brings experience in finance, banking, HR and business development and leads New Zealand's first indigenous-themed business accelerator.

Dan Moore

Dan Moore

Partner, Norris Ward McKinnon

Dan specialises in Commercial Law and his breadth of experience covers corporate governance, education law, ICT and information handling.

Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson

Partner, Deloitte Private

Doug specialises in accounting and tax compliance in manufacturing, sport, hospitality, and the construction industries.

Geoff Day

Geoff Day

Director, Safety and Apparel

Geoff specialises in implementing marketing and sales strategies for companies throughout New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Lucy Bird

Lucy Bird

Business Manager, ASB

Lucy is a business manager at ASB and is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs as they embark on the world of start-ups and business success.

Nathan Ruffell

Nathan Ruffell

Strategy & Commercial, Dairy Goat Co-operative

Nathan’s expertise includes marketing, sales and strategy where he has extensive knowledge of primary industry.

Richard Wells

Richard Wells

Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Richard is a commercial lawyer specialising in technology, media and telecommunications law, intellectual property and commercial contracting.

Simon Graafhuis

Simon Graafhuis

Chief Financial Officer, Gallagher

Simon has a strong background in finance, systems implementations and organisational change for large New Zealand companies and offshore subsidiaries.

Steve Gow

Steve Gow

Director, Deloittes

Steve has a proven record of assisting businesses to optimise their performance, increase market share and improve profitability.

Shona Foster

Shona Foster

Senior Associate, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Shona is a commercial lawyer with particular expertise in intellectual property. She regularly advises clients on a wide variety of intellectual property matters.

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

GM, Hamilton Central Business Association

Vanessa works with local businesses every day, giving her deep understanding of various industries and the commitment it takes to achieve success.