Thank goodness an academic by the name of Dr De Pool came up with this definition of a communicator: “a rootless cosmopolitan and spreader of alien ideas.” It fits me, my working style and approach to life. It also helps being born an American, having lived in Japan, and now calling New Zealand home.
Prior to embarking on my own working ‘path’ I held a variety of marketing and communication positions in the public and private sectors including:
- Writer for the international marketing division of Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) in Japan;
- Interpreter and writer for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- Senior staff writer and editor for Metro Magazine;
- Marketing manager for the Strathmore Group that saw me involved in international sports & event marketing (including the launch of the Rugby World Cup and the Auckland-based Commonwealth Games), publications and agribusiness.
Since 1986 I have worked as a brand adviser and writer—both in my own business and as a senior consultant for DDB Pinnacle, part of the global Omnicom Group. I have done work in a number of sectors—both locally and internationally—including financial services, professional services, exporting, education, energy/utility management, publishing, aviation, sports, tourism, news & entertainment, logistics management, agribusiness, biotechnology, venture capital, international business and information technology.
I have written and planned for major national and international brands. In addition, I love working with a wide variety of small to medium sized public and private organization helping them define their brand strategy and communication direction.
Over the past couple of years I’ve done more and more work in association with Niki Schuck—a person who I regard most highly as a colleague and friend.
What else you should know about me:
- I’m married to Kaye, have a daughter Holly, and live on 17 acres of farmland in South Auckland where we have sport horses, three dogs and a cat.
- I was dubbed the Hunter S Thompson of the Southern Hemisphere by Metro editor Warwick Roger.
- In a previous life I was a combination samurai and poet and have had the weird sensation of visiting my own grave.
- I have a BA from the University of Auckland, a MA in communication from the University of Hawaii and a diploma in Communication Policy and Planning from the East-West Centre in Honolulu.
- I have a black belt in Aikido and was an instructor for New Zealand Aikikai Federation having trained here, in Honolulu and Japan.
- I’m an avid tennis fan, interclub player and past president of Karaka Tennis Club and Pompallier Lawn Tennis Club.
- I have been a writer and editor for a number of local and international magazines. I co-authored a book with business ‘guru’ Dr Ian Brooks called Reality Is Crazy; I ‘ghost’ wrote a book on corporate governance called The Questions That Matter; and authored a one off book titled The Infinite Possibilities of Being Sir Richard Branson which was presented to the entrepreneur during his 2011 New Zealand visit.
- I’m one of the founders of the Anti-Bullying Centre Line in the Sand initiative and am a regular media commentator on the subject of bullying.
- I was named one of the World’s Top 10 bloggers in an international survey and contributed to commentary about the world’s main communication issues in a variety of forums.
- I love reading, wine and gardening.
- Like Niki I have a fear of deep water…unlike her I’ve done nothing to conquer it.