Key Team Members
Jan is the founder of The Conference Company and a longtime leader and advocate for the Australasian conference industry. She is responsible for budget monitoring, risk assessment, contingency planning and overseeing service delivery for our clients.
Jan is Chair of the Education Taskforce at the UK-based International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, where she served as President from 2016-2018. She teaches throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and is a regular speaker at international conferences.
Stephen has been with us for over 11 years and is one of our senior team, with significant experience managing international meetings in Australasia and the US. With almost 20 years’ experience in the region, he is active in consultancy and leadership within the Asia Pacific industry.
Stephen feels privileged to lead an outstanding team of conference staff delivering superb meetings. He still loves to get hands-on with meeting planning and design, sharing his enthusiasm for technology and the other innovations making today’s conferences more engaging and accessible than ever.
As General Manager, James has a key role in our strategic planning and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. With his strong affinity for technology and systems, James is our in-house technical expert and has recently become immersed in our digital meeting offerings.
Prior to joining us 14 years ago, James spent many years in business process and operations management with multinational investment banks and law firms overseas. He brings a highly valued range of people and project management skills to our team.
Zoe is our finance team lead, overseeing our rigorous financial management, planning and reporting processes. Her training in the Deloitte offices of Wellington, Boston and London has seen her work with international organisations around the world. Zoe has also worked for PwC and various private and government entities in Auckland. Zoe loves the variety of the work she does and the people she meets through The Conference Company. Zoe holds a BCom, DipGrad from the University of Otago and is a Chartered Accountant with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).
With 20 years in meeting planning behind her, Theresa is one of our most highly experienced conference managers. She loves the diverse range of people she meets in her role, the variety packed into every day and the pleasure of creating great memories for participants.
Theresa builds solid relationships with clients and suppliers, who appreciate her attention to detail and her open, honest and responsive communication style. A strong background in hospitality includes roles as General Manager of the prestigious Dunedin Club and Convention Services Manager at Sheraton Auckland.
Ben began his career as a Communications Intern for the Centre for Policy Development. He then spent 5 years at Century Venues where he co-ordinated a myriad of events, including concerts, corporate events, stand-up comedy, live theatre, festivals, film shoots, workshops and expos. Ben joined our Sydney team in 2018 as a Conference Co-ordinator, before moving into the role of Conference Manager.
Ben enjoys taking the lead on furthering our virtual and hybrid meeting solutions and supporting the knowledge and expertise our team has in delivering digital meetings, so that TCC provide the best possible outcomes to our clients and their participants.
Katrina has worked in conferencing for 13 years, nine of them with us, planning and delivering a diverse range of national and international meetings. She enjoys the satisfaction of helping bring a client’s vision to life and delivering beyond their expectations. Our clients love the way she makes the process easy for them, with her proactive, service-focused approach and eye for detail.
Katrina herself has a long-held interest in higher learning, with a history of tertiary teaching and research, and an academic focus on health psychology and business studies.
Hailing from Ireland where she gained her BA in TV, Radio & New Media Broadcasting and PostGrad Diploma in Event Management & PR, Tara brings a wealth of events and conferencing experience to her role with us. Following diverse roles overseas, Tara joined Infrastructure NZ assisting in the delivery of the Building Nations Symposium and facilitating the Emerging Talent & Women’s Infrastructure Networks.
Working through logistical challenges to bring events to life is part of what drives Tara. She also relishes the sense of purpose when those events effect change for the greater good. She has a gift for relationship building and is passionate about sustainability, with an infectiously cheerful demeanour to boot.
A team veteran since 2009, Jo came to TCC after stints organising youth development conferences and as a technical writer, and following her Bachelor of Communication Studies, Majoring in PR.
An integral part of our team who values the friendships gained within the workplace, Jo also enjoys building long-term client relationships as she liaises with speakers year on year. The tangible completion of a project and the pleasure of exceeding clients expectations is a highlight for Jo, whose attention to detail has been likened to "military precision”!
When not excelling at work, Jo can be found in the garden with her dogs or putting some of that precision to the test by building furniture.
Chris first joined us as a Delegate Services and Conference Co-ordinator, before moving into the role of Conference Manager. Originally from the UK, Chris spent several years at AJ Hackett Bungy in Queenstown, managing the company’s onsite venue and growing its conference and incentive business.
Chris has been described as ‘fantastic’ and ‘a huge asset for us’ by clients who appreciate his hard work, high standards and personal approach to service. His good all-round knowledge of various roles and sectors within the industry makes him a huge asset to us, too.
With 13 years in the industry, Jodi has deep expertise in planning and executing a diverse range of events, from association conferences and exhibitions to fundraisers for non-profits. She finds being closely involved with a project from first concept all the way through to delivery extremely satisfying.
Jodi is skilled at building solid, trusted relationships with the broad range of people her role brings her in touch with. Our clients love her friendliness and professionalism, her ability to get the job done, and the willing way she takes a load off their shoulders.
Kim van Duiven
Kim’s wide-ranging career began with 10 years in the international and local financial markets. She then spent more than a decade in the not-for-profit sector, where project and event management and Executive Director roles honed her skill at optimising the bottom line.
Kim brings strong commercial acumen, excellent organisation and great leadership skills to her role. She enjoys building strong relationships with clients, who say it’s a privilege to work with her, and that the job she and her team do is ‘absolutely amazing’. One told us recently, ‘She’s Wonder Woman!’
Clare joined TCC in 2006 whilst on her OE (overseas experience) in New Zealand and hasn’t left TCC or NZ. Over the last 14 years she has been involved across a wide range of our events, conferences and awards. She has worked in varying roles and is currently our Delegate Services & Awards Manager. She has in-depth knowledge of the ‘back of house’ and is adept at taking on roles as needed. She is the in-house consultant for our Event Management Software.
Originally from Ireland, her archaeology background has taught Clare to be infinitely patient, meticulously careful and she brings to the table excellent analytical and IT skills. Clare has a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College, Dublin.
Nihal is a talented sponsorship and exhibition sales and relationship manager who delivers consistently excellent results for our clients. He leads a specialist team with an outstanding reputation in the market for fairness, communication and impeccable service delivery. Many of these satisfied investors return to work with us year after year.
Before joining us, Nihal worked in the competitive events market in Dubai. Our clients benefit from his brilliant negotiating and research skills, and his ability to engage with people from diverse professions and groups.
Sarah has worked with The Conference Company for over 20 years in varying roles with the last 8 years as Sponsorship and Exhibition Co-ordinator.
Sarah’s proficiency and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure all needs are met is highly valued by conference sponsors and exhibitors. She is proud of the strong relationships she has built up over the years and passionate about enabling the sponsors and exhibitors to maximise the return on their investment.
Ani’s career began with sales and marketing in the hospitality industry and she has worked with The Conference Company since 2017. With a degree in Management and a diploma in Event Communications, Ani thrives in the conference environment, always learning and putting new skills into practice.
Now in her role as a Sponsorship & Exhibition Co-ordinator, Ani relishes the opportunity to make projects run as smoothly as possible for our sponsors & exhibitors. Her quick thinking and readiness to roll up her sleeves and solve whatever situation arises puts clients totally at ease.
After 26 years with The Conference Company, Jane is the mainstay of our onsite delivery service. She leads the team who welcome delegates, answer queries and generally take care of guests over the course of the event.
Jane is consistently praised for exemplary customer service – she’s been described by more than a few clients as ‘totally wonderful’ – and trains her team to the same exacting level. She welcomes the fast pace and constant challenges of onsite work. After all these years she still loves her role and the way it continues to change as conferencing itself changes.
With a B.Com finance degree and many years of varied experience in the finance sector under her belt, Candice could be considered an all-rounder in her finance role. Her skills however stretch far beyond finance, from high level floral design to holistic massage and languages, of which Candice is currently studying her fourth - NZ sign language.
Candice values the opportunities that she gets with TCC to continually learn and evolve and the feeling of family that the team brings is something that she holds special. Highly accurate, calm, patient and positive, Candice herself is a special part of the TCC family.
Details are important to Lulu and that’s just a small part of her natural affinity for Accounting. Lulu’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business Analysis major in Accounting and she spent six years in retail and hospitality education accounting before joining our finance team.
Lulu is fascinated with learning about different industries and what makes businesses tick and she gets great satisfaction from making tasks easier for others. The supportive and professional culture at The Conference Company is a perk of the job for Lulu - and we value her contribution to it!
The fast-paced nature of working in the conferencing space suits Lucy down to the ground. Her energy, verve and charisma are balanced with a quick mind and a gift for time management. She loves that no two conferences are ever the same and thrives on working as part of a team while meeting a diverse range of people.
Prior to joining us at TCC, Lucy produced leadership conferences and workshops end-to-end for an Australian events organisation. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History and Anthropology.
Organised and efficient, Sinead's attention to detail is evident whether it's simply responding to queries in a timely manner or facilitating an international event. She gets great satisfaction from seeing a project through, enjoying the administrative aspect of her role just as much as dealing with clients day-to-day and meeting participants at events.
Sinead is skilled at working with abstracts and even-keeled when under pressure. Her qualifications include a BA in Criminology, Media Studies and Cultural Anthropology.
With a career history based in not-for-profits, event management and social media, it’s clear that Shanon is a people person. She’s empathetic and thinks on her feet, which is what drove her to start a sole trading business during COVID lockdown, helping small businesses to manage their events and marketing.
Shanon's strong sense of community and principled ethics are the perfect fit for the conferencing arena. She is always willing to step in to help, adapting easily to situations, and gets great pleasure from working with a company that shares her values. Shanon has a bachelor’s degree in international hospitality management, majoring in Event Management.
Bringing together people with shared interests and purpose is an enriching aspect of conferencing for Victoria. The energy of being onsite helps to fuel her skill for on-the-spot problem solving and she is absolutely willing to go the extra mile to ensure a successful event.
Victoria has an awareness of the environment our Medical Associations clients work in, gained from her Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine and wealth of experience in the sector. In 2017, Victoria was the AUT Paramedic Student Association President and Convenor of the Student Paramedic Conference. Prior roles included volunteer work and student representation at conferences, as well as Surf Lifesaving and Emergency Management.
Emily is a great communicator, which is more than just a skill she has developed for her roles in events and sales; she is fascinated by people, so meeting clients and conference participants is a job highlight.
The process of working on a conference from the administrative background aspects through to the actual go-live gives Emily great satisfaction. Driven by the excitement of working under pressure, she is diligent, organised and solution oriented - and an all-round lovely person.
Emily has a BA from AUT, Major in Event Management, Minor in Public Relations and Human Resources.
Coming from a background as a legal secretary in Family Law, Conveyancing and Immigration, Ann knows a thing or two about problem-solving. She gets great satisfaction from working to find solutions for clients and her peers, collaborating to ensure an excellent outcome from all angles. No problem is beyond Ann's scope!
Valuing excellence at every level is part of what Ann loves about working with TCC. She also gets great satisfaction from hearing the joy in people's voices when she has made their difficulties vanish.
Accreditations & Memberships
We’re one of just a handful of Australasian members of IAPCO, the UK-based International Association of Professional Congress Organisers. This is the global body dedicated to raising standards of service throughout the meetings industry. We first passed IAPCO's membership audit process in 2002, and must continue to pass rigorous annual quality checks to maintain our membership.
We’re an active member of:
- WPCOA (World PCO Alliance)
- ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association)
- PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association)
- BEIA (Business Events Industry Aotearoa) – Gold Member
- Regional convention bureaux in Adelaide, Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch & Dunedin
- Adelaide Convention Bureau - Strategic Partner
Our involvement with these organisations gives us a vast network of colleagues, contacts and sister companies around the globe. That means on-the-ground intel and logistical access to every corner of the world, so we can work wherever our clients need us.
Our company was founded in 1990 by Jan Tonkin, who is still at the helm today. For 30 years we’ve successfully managed hundreds of national and international conferences, exhibitions, events and bids.
Our work is guided at all times by the principles of empathy, integrity and whole-heartedness.
We take the time to listen and understand what you really care about. We fit flexibly around your people’s busy schedules. Our finances and processes are fully transparent, so there are never nasty surprises. And whatever you need from us, we’ll be there and ready to give it everything we’ve got.
Find out what we can do for you.Get in touch
We try to see the world through your eyes, and take on your priorities as our own.
We try to see the world through your eyes, and take on your priorities as our own.