Dave returned to New Zealand to take up the role as General Manager Business Growth & Innovation at WREDA in early 2016. He brings a depth of experience from his 20-year plus career in both the public and private sector in Europe and New Zealand.
In Wellington, Dave leads the region's economic development activity with the business community, with a particular focus on the tech, screen and creative sectors which are Wellington's greatest strengths.
Dave works closely with Creative HQ, WREDA's subsidiary company who are a market leader in business acceleration and creating market disruption both in New Zealand and offshore.
He is responsible for attracting students, business, investment and talent to Wellington with international campaigns being a major focus. Notably, Wellington has grown ahead of the national average for international student growth on his watch.
Arguably, of even greater significance is the global talent LookSee campaign to attract tech professionals to relocate to Wellington that Dave leads for WREDA. The numbers are startling: 1.8 million people registered on the campaign website; 110,000 applicants started the registration process; and over 48,000 completed an application. With $10 million worth of media coverage, the profile of Wellington has jumped massively on the global stage. The Daily Main questioned "is this the best job interview ever" when running their story on the campaign.
In Auckland, Dave was integral to the City Council's Development With Vision activity to stimulate property development , working to the Auckland Property Enterprise Board. He also led the intervention in the CBD, leading CBD Projects establishment and completion of several landmark projects of the Queen Street upgrade, St Patrick's Square, Aotea Square and bringing shared space to locations like Elliot and Fort Streets. In this, he worked closely with the CBD Board that governed the CBD targeted rate.
Back in the UK, Dave founded the Fusion Go business accelerator programme in 2014, which boosted Cumbria's entrepreneurial profile in the UK. In recognition of this he was included in the prestigious Sunday Times Maserati 100 list in 2016 for his services to entrepreneurship.
Prior to that Dave worked across a broad spectrum of business support, economic development and regeneration activity on a variety of initiatives. This included: Manchester Airport City; Media City Manchester; Greater Manchester Combined Authority City Deal with the UK Government; Britain's Energy Coast intervention in the energy sector; early stage R&D investment funding through the Innovus partnership; and Urban Regeneration Companies across the Midlands and North of England.
Dave strives to keep learning. He has three degrees in Sports Science (BSc), Urban Regeneration (MSc) and Business (MBA). As well as that, he is an ex-Director of the UK Institute of Economic Development and has over 10 years post qualification experience as a Chartered Surveyor of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Always a keen sportsman, Dave keeps his eye in on the hockey field and gets to ski slopes whenever he can.