James Bergin, Executive General Manager, Technology Research & Advocacy, Xero

James uses his significant experience in enterprise architecture, software engineering, technical strategy, innovation management and leading high-performing teams to help small businesses thrive. Combining his deep industry and technical expertise with the ability to motivate the team around him James has a strong track record of transforming business models for a digital future.

Fiona Hewitt, Deputy CEO, Stats NZ

Fiona is the Deputy CEO for Stats NZ. With a career spanning over 20 years in senior management, consulting and executive roles working for and with a variety of high-profile New Zealand organisations, she has honed her skills in strategy, business performance, transformation, customer and people experience, supporting her passion in enabling high performance cultures and environments for a fast moving and competitive marketplace. 

 Andrew Barnes, Innovator, Entrepreneur, 4 Day Week Architect, Author, TEDx Speaker, Founder of Perpetual Guardian, former Chair of Regional Facilities Auckland, PaySauce and Realestate.com.au (virtual)  

Roxanne Salton, Chief Digital Officer, Southern Cross Health Society 

Roxanne is a digital and ICT leader with over 20 years’ experience in the telco, energy and banking sectors, and a broad background across sales, product and strategy. 

Angela Henderson, GM Digital, Kiwi Property Group 

Angela leads Kiwi Property’s digital and information technology teams and has overall responsibility for the company’s digital transformation strategy. Angela joined the company in 2021 and prior to this was GM Digital Strategy, and Innovation at Air NZ. She has a wealth of experience leading innovative technology teams, and has held senior digital roles at high profile New Zealand organisations including Westpac and Watercare.

Nakul Gowdra, AI/ML Lead, Google Cloud New Zealand

Nakul is the lead for AI/ML initiatives in New Zealand. He works closely with stakeholders to enable data driven outcomes and help them explore the best ways to innovate, whether via Generative AI models, Recommendation models, research or sustainability.

With over a decade of experience, Nakul facilitates deeper understanding of how Google’s data and AI tools can improve business and personal outcomes while upholding Google’s AI ethical principles.

Kate Kolich, Assistant Governor/General Manager Information, Data and Analytics, Reserve Bank of NZ 

Kate is an industry leader with a demonstrated history of delivering data and analytics capability in the financial services industry and public sector. Kate has over 25 years experience Digital Strategy, Data and Analytics, Enterprise Architecture, Information Management, Data Governance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Integration, Data Architecture and Data Warehousing. Kate is passionate about leading successful teams and creating opportunities for people to thrive and innovate. 

Michelle Hannan-Brown, Senior Executive, Data & Analytics, Air New Zealand 

Michelle has a history of leading projects that straddle the divide between technology and business departments within New Zealand organisations and was involved in one of New Zealands first deployments of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Michelle has helped build the RPA capability within a range of organisations and she currently leads the RPA Centre of Excellence for Air New Zealand. 

Andrew Barnes, Innovator, Entrepreneur, 4 Day Week Architect, Author, TEDx Speaker,

Founder of Perpetual Guardian, former Chair of Regional Facilities Auckland, PaySauce and Realestate.com.au  

Andrew has made a career of leading market-changing innovation and industry digitisation. He founded New Zealand’s largest corporate trustee company, Perpetual Guardian, and spearheaded the company’s efforts to create four-day working weeks that helped spark a global movement. 

Barnes spent 20 years in Australia, floating realestate.com.au on the ASX and held senior roles in Macquarie Bank, Citi, Tower, County Natwest, and was chairman of Australasian Wealth Investments. In 2013, Barnes acquired Perpetual Trust in New Zealand, and purchased Guardian Trust, creating Perpetual Guardian. In April 2015, he acquired e-will platform My Bucket List and Foundation Corporate Trust. In 2018, Barnes announced that Perpetual Guardian would be trialling four day work weeks. The trial sparked widespread international interest, with the World Economic Forum. In 2020, Barnes published, ‘The 4 Day Week” and through this work he is on the advisory board of the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University. 

Angela Nash, General Manager, Data, AA Insurance (CIO of the Year 2023)

Angela is a seasoned career IT professional with broad experience in both the public and private sector, with companies such as IBM, Datacom, Spark & REANNZ. Angela was awarded CIO of the Year in 2023.

Helius Guimaraes, Chief Digital Officer, Fonterra

Helius’ career began in a start-up company driving digital transformation using Computer Aided Design. After graduating as a geologist, he implemented technologies for a state government in Brazil.

With data, digital and transformation roles across South America, South Africa, the UK, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Helius has broad experience with AI techniques and over the years has delivered tangible business value through the use of AI technologies, including supervised and unsupervised learning, machine learning, natural language processing and more recently, is passionate the opportunities of leveraging generative AI.

He joined Fonterra as Chief Data Officer in 2022.

Kari Jones, Chief Data Officer, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand

Kari has led some of the largest data and analytics practices in New Zealand. A highly driven outcome-oriented strategist and leader who is committed to improving the performance of New Zealand organisations through the increased adoption and application of emerging technology, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. A passion for advanced technology matched with experience in business strategy enables Kari to deliver outcomes in challenging environments to deliver on big goals.

Simon Kennedy, Chief Digital Officer, Foodstuffs NI

Simon Kennedy is the chief digital officer at Foodstuffs North Island. A leader with strong values and a clear vision who empowers his team to aim high and deliver the best results for customers.

With a focus on driving strategic change through digital and cultural innovation, Simon is part of the journey at Foodstuffs NI at a critical time with their strong focus on digital customer experiences and online revenue.

Kenny Thein, CIO at Restaurant Brands

Kenny Thein joined Restaurant Brands just prior to Covid in 2019 and helped the organisation mature and operate digitally at scale during turbulent and uncertain times, not just in technology, but in its people & processes. He comes from technical background, with grounding in Management Consulting across multiple verticals.

One of the key deliverables during this time was the introduction of scalable commerce platforms for KFC, PizzaHut and Taco Bell and delivering them at speed, safely into stores. As well as building of a New Enterprise Cloud Data Warehouse.

Last year (FY22) we recorded our biggest sales year of $1.23bn. We have over 11,000 staff and over 350 owned restaurants and 104 franchised, serving over 54 million customers, in 4 divisions globally, for our 4 brands, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell & Carl’s Jr.

New Zealand contributed over $529 million in sales to the group.

In New Zealand Kenny has a multi-disciplined technology team, of Platform Managers, PMO, Store Technology Specialist, Service Desk to support all our New Zealand stores, Cyber Security, Infrastructure and Data & Analytics functions. This team services all technology related to our New Zealand business and also provides some global services.

Kym Niblock, Chief Product and Information Officer, TVNZ

Kym is a seasoned and innovative digital leader with a global outlook and 30+ years of media, IPTV, OTT and digital experience in Australia, the US and the UK. She has played key roles leading, shaping and defining business propositions with large scale and complex dynamics, delivering commercially viable proposals through change management and business transformation. She specialises in digital media and IP video/content led businesses looking for revolutionary change in customer satisfaction and revenue.

Rod Morris, General Manager Business Products and Performance

Rod is an experienced, energetic and results focused leader with strong business acumen and proven ability to drive revenue growth and optimise business performance. Results achieved through smart design and strong execution of commercial and product strategy, business simplification and a focus on building capability within an organisation through collaborative and inclusive engagement.

Kate Kolich, Assistant Governor/ General Manager, Information Data and Analytics, Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua

Kate has extensive experience in digital, data and technology leadership roles across the public and private sectors. Her experience spans almost 20 years in financial services, including at the Bank of New Zealand where she held a number of data leadership roles, including Head of Enterprise Data and Information Services. Prior to joining the RBNZ, Kate led the Evidence, Insights and Innovation group at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Prior to that, she was the Director of Data Systems and Analytics at the Social Wellbeing Agency. Kate is active in promoting women in STEM through her work as a Global Women in Data Science Ambassador where she has been instrumental in bringing the Women in Data Science Conference to New Zealand. She is also a member of the Women in Data Science Worldwide Advisory Council.