Governance and Leadership

A-Ward’s board provides governance and diversity in professional capabilities to complement the organisations executive.

Our Board

Simon Ward - Managing Director

Simon is lead innovator and co-owner. Numerous award winning innovative designs credited to Simon, and the team, have cemented A-Ward and its place as a significant global business. Intuitive leadership and vision is a hallmark of Simon’s style.

Simon contributes a wealth of practical engineering and theoretical experience across a range of industries. He is hands on in leading product innovation and A-Wards sales team with over 50 dealers worldwide.

“Everything you can imagine, is real” – Pablo Picasso

Deborah Ward – Strategic Director

Deborah is Strategic Director and co-owner. Deborah has been instrumental in the creation and growth of the organization from its establishment in 2000. Her focus on international business management and growth is supported by her portfolio of academic credentials including a Master’s in Business, with a major in International Business.

Along with leading strategic management functions, the drivers of the firm, Deborah also draws on her creativity and experience from building and selling prior business ventures. Deborah provides the detail to activities such as international marketing, legal, and facilitates institutional support.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

George Chavez – Chief Executive Officer

George brings over 20 years’ of valuable experience in senior management roles reinforced by two Masters Degrees, including a Master’s in Business Administration and Strategic Marketing and HR. George has held leading positions with Caterpillar in Mexico and the USA, with proven expertise in employee training, delivery to board and health and safety.

He has also gained credentials and recognition from Caterpillar for his six sigma deployment. Furthermore, George has also overseen complex activities in fabrication factories. These include his manufacturing engineer responsibilities with General Motors, designing high velocity and high efficiency assembly lines for the competitive automotive industry.

Ken Leeming – Chairperson and Board Advisor

Ken has held senior board of management roles across diverse industries in New Zealand and Australia for over 20 years. These include organizations such as Heinz Wattie’s, Goodman Fielder, APN News Media and SEEK NZ. Ken also advises on boards across IT, recruitment, manufacturing, construction and robotic engineering.

With strengths in change management, sales and process development, Ken’s expertise and knowledge guides A-Wards international sales strategies and direction.

“Don’t be the same, be better“

Kevin Drinkwater – Board Advisor

Kevin’s current role is Chief information Officer at the highly successful global organisation Mainfreight. Kevin holds a wealth of broad management experience and knowledge. In particular, he advises A-Ward on international growth strategy, financial and IT development solutions.

Starting at Mainfreight in 1986, Kevin previously held the title of Chief Financial Officer. Mainfrieghts continued growth and success with 250 branches worldwide, and listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, is testament to the commitment and vision of Kevin’s executive contributions.

“A-Ward delivers inspired innovation”

Chip Dawson – Board Advisor

Chip is an experienced executive, director and chairman of numerous New Zealand and global companies in growth mode. Chip has extensive knowledge and experience in strategy, governance, international marketing and sales with large corporates and small businesses. The capabilities Chip brings, enable A-Ward to tap into his global network and expertise.

Chip has been involved with Apple Computer, Telecom NZ, Hitachi Data Systems, and Digital Equipment Corporation as well as over 40 New Zealand independent organizations.

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Katrina Hammond - Board Advisor

Katrina is a corporate and commercial lawyer who advises companies that distribute goods and services through a network or who exploit brands, technology and intellectual property.

Katrina has extensive experience advising New Zealand and Australian manufacturers, wholesalers and retailer as well as international companies operating in the Asia Pacific region.