Great South’s Board of Directors have appointed Graham Budd as the organisation’s Chief Executive.
Currently Chief Executive for Destination Queenstown, Mr Budd has previously held a number of executive and general manager positions in the agriculture and fast-moving consumer goods sectors and will take up his new position with Great South in early February 2020.
Great South Chairman Ian Collier said the Board is delighted to have someone of Graham’s calibre, experience and passion for destination development leading the organisation moving forward.
“With an outstanding track record for encouraging destination awareness and driving business success, we are looking forward to working with Graham to achieve great things for the Southland region,”
Mr Budd Will replace Ann Lockhart who has been in the role of interim chief executive for the organisation since mid-June.
Mr Collier said Ms Lockhart has made a significant contribution to the organisation, overseeing the establishment of the Southland Regional Development Agency and working with key stakeholders to develop a clear vision for the organisation.
“Ann’s extensive understanding of economic and tourism development enabled Great South to quickly cement its position in the regional development space, setting a strong foundation for Graham to build on moving forward,”
Gary Tong, chair of the Joint Shareholders Committee (a committee of Great South’s shareholders) and Mayor of Southland District, said the appointment of Mr Budd is proof that Southland is an attractive proposition for highly respected professionals.
“Graham’s appointment highlights the potential people see in Southland and we look forward to supporting him and Great South to build on this potential and leverage significant opportunities for the region,” Mayor Tong said.
Great South came into effect on 1 July as Southland’s Regional Development Agency and is committed to encouraging the region’s future growth.