Meet our Board
LEANNE ELDER – CHAIR
Leanne has a background in Operational Management, diversifying during her career into Digital Enablement and Programme Management.
She has more than 10 years of not-for-profit governance experience and currently serves on three local boards. Leanne’s colleagues say that she brings a unique insight and skill set to the board table.
Leanne has been on the Chamber Board for the last three years, first as a board member, then as Vice-Chair and as Board Chair since 2020.
During her time on the board, she has been instrumental in rewriting the constitution, championing digital enablement projects and landing the strategic plan.
MARK ALLEN – VICE CHAIR
Mark leads the local Corporate Banking Team of the ASB Bank where he works with some of the largest businesses across the wider Bay of Plenty.
Mark has a keen interest in being involved with businesses from a governance perspective and works closely with clients, their Boards, and external advisors in helping set the strategy and capital structure to fund growth capex, mergers and acquisitions.
His experience is across a range of industries, with a particular focus in the Primary sector, Services-to-Primary Sector and Infrastructure. Mark’s experience in banking spans 15 years across Auckland, London and Tauranga.
TOM BESWICK – TREASURER
Tom is a Chartered Accountant and a Director of Ingham Mora, a six-partner, locally owned accounting firm in Tauranga. He leads a team of seven staff and focusses on helping people buy businesses.
Most of his clients are local SMEs, so he has a firm understanding of local businesses. He will contribute drive strategic thinking and the benefit of 17 years accounting experience in New Zealand and abroad.
He has been a Chamber Board member for three years and Treasurer for the last year. He is a Trustee of the Bay of Plenty Education Trust and is Downtown Tauranga’s Treasurer.
Jade is the founder and director of BloomCo’s shared workspace in The Lakes, which opened in early 2020 to provide a base for people and businesses to work, meet and hold events. She’s also a board member (and previous chair) of the Hanmer Clinic in Tauranga.
Previously she ran a successful nationwide wholesale / importing business and held senior executive roles in the professional services sector, including National HR Manager for Chapman Tripp, one of New Zealand’s top law firms.
After University, her career started in executive recruitment and now, with more than 25 years of commercial experience, she’s well positioned to support the Chamber.
James is a Partner at Sharp Tudhope, advising clients on a range of commercial, corporate and project matters.
James’ experience spans many sectors including energy, ports, manufacturing and processing, transport, water, education, corrections and housing.
He regularly assists clients with their business decisions and strategies, and has advised clients on a wide range of complex and high-profile transactions at top tier law firms in New Zealand and internationally during his time at a global law firm in London.
James is a member of the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Finance Professionals, Infrastructure New Zealand and the New Zealand Law Society.
Jess Warn is an Associate at Holland Beckett Law in the corporate/commercial team with strong ties to the Tauranga community.
Jess grew up in Papamoa and returned in 2018 after travelling and working at a start-up in Vancouver, BC. She assists local and national businesses of all sizes and stages as they navigate their individual journeys from growth to succession planning.
She is also passionate about supporting women in business and has enjoyed contributing to the success of influential local business women in recent years.
Originally from Australia, Melanie moved with her family to Tauranga in 2014 and have recently become New Zealand citizens.
Melanie’s current position is at Port of Tauranga as the Corporate Services Manager. Melanie has held this role since August 2020 and it is one of strategic leadership at the Executive Team level.
Her focus includes development and achievement of the strategic people approach to capability building, industrial relations, legislative and legal compliance, policy development, risk planning, and company strategic planning processes.
Prior to this, Melanie held the position of People and Culture General Manger at Trustpower for six years. She is passionate about our region and the potential that exists to be a cornerstone of New Zealand’s growth.