Keynote Luncheon Speaker - Mike Allsop

Airline pilot, Everest mountaineer, adventurer and extreme marathon competitor Mike Allsop is an ordinary family man proving that anybody can accomplish extraordinary things.

Mike Allsop is living proof that his philosophy of ‘if you believe you can, you will’. He has reached every goal in spectacular fashion, including becoming an international airline pilot with Air New Zealand and ascending Everest in an unguided expedition. He has since gone on to conquer numerous other mountains, pitting himself against the limits of human endurance and the unpredictable weather conditions that abound at extreme altitudes. He’s narrowly dodged a fatal avalanche in Peru, risked being shot in Russia and returned a replica of a stolen Yeti hand to a monastery in Nepal.

Mike is also one of a handful of athletes who have ever run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. This raised NZ$75,000 for New Zealand charity KidsCan. Mike has since returned to the Himalayas to run the world’s highest marathon around Everest – a feat never before attempted. Backed only by a Sherpa team, he trekked to 5,630 metres above sea level. There he ran a distance of 42.2 kilometres (22.6 miles) in temperatures of -30 degC (-22degF), setting a new world record. This feat is captured in the documentary ‘Chasing Altitude’ aimed at young people everywhere, showing that they too can achieve their dreams and ambitions overcoming the fear of failure and breaking each goal into a series of smaller steps.

Mike speaks from the heart when he tells his audience about the power of goalsetting to make just about anything possible. Prepare to be ‘inspired’, ‘motivated’ and ‘amazed.’

Francis & Kaiora Tipene - Tipene Funerals

Francis and Kaiora Tipene are company directors of Tipene Funerals. Together they operate two branches in Tāmaki Makaurau serving over 500 loved ones per year. Tipene Funerals was setup primarily to cater to, for and by Māori. However, due to demands of their simple care-manaaki they now provide for all cultures and creeds. Both Francis and Kaiora are qualified Funeral Directors.

The husband and wife duo are stars of TV Doco-Reality program “The Casketeers” which recently won Best Original Reality Series at Huawei NZTV Awards. Their show was picked up by giant international media service provider Netflix, currently screening Season 1 of The Casketeers.

Francis was reluctant at first to agree to filming as producers told the family their personal lives (weight-loss programs, pregnancies and biscuit thefts) would have to be part of the mix – a doco on their work required levity. But was convinced by Kaiora that a straight-up, realistic portrayal of their work could be good for the industry, and help “educate” people about modern-day death in New Zealand, and particularly Māori grief practices: open-caskets, sleeping with the body, and fiery send-offs on marae (tribal meeting grounds).

The couple are recognised for their professional standard and are instrumental to the growing trends in the Funeral Industry.

The Benefits of Tikanga Māori in our Workspace

Francis and Kaiora are Māori proud and enjoy integrating Te Reo Māori and Tikanga practices when caring for grieving families. The couple will help you understand Māori grief practices: open-caskets, sleeping with the body, and fiery send-offs on marae (tribal meeting grounds)


Simon Manning - FDANZ Funeral Disaster Response Team Leader

Simon joined the funeral profession in 1980, he qualified in Embalming and Funeral Directing, in 1989 he set up Harbour City Funeral Home in Wellington. In his career, he has specialised in Disaster Response. With deployments in Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as leading the response in New Zealand for the Christchurch Earthquake and more recently the Christchurch Shootings.

Leadership through Tragedy

When tragedy strikes it occurs when we least expect it.

When tragedies happen in our communities, we do what we do and often don’t think too much about it or do we?

When these events happen, we respond professionally, however it does require planning and flexibility to ensure that our response is caring, professional, and delivers what our communities expect from us.

Leadership Through Tragedy isn’t just about how we respond to our communities; it is also about how we respond internally to our staff and those around us. This will measure and will determine the success of our leadership through tragedy.

In this session we will look at how we respond by providing leadership to our community, our staff, and our profession when tragedy occurs.

Marc Foi - FireHawk Digital CRM, NSW

Marc is a self-confessed geek and technology evangelist. He has been using cloud services in his business for more than a decade and is an early adopter of new tech. The FireHawk team used this knowledge and their passion for the funeral industry to create FireHawk Funerals, the latest in funeral management software. 

Technology, Automation and the Future of Funerals

Technology continues to evolve around us, and Marc will demonstrate a couple of practical methods to easily and cheaply automate processes in your funeral homes using widely available technologies.

Marc will also make recommendations for products and online services that are streamlining business globally and can be easily adopted by the funeral industry.

If you’re a tech enthusiast like Marc, you’ll be sure to get a lot out of the session and if you’re not, you’ll be sure to walk away with cost saving tricks and tips that you can take back to your business and start reaping the rewards that technology brings.

Paul Atkins - CEO Zealandia

Paul is CEO of Zealandia, a world-first fenced urban eco-sanctuary in Wellington, named as one of the world’s 100 greatest places by Time magazine in September 2019. Paul is also Chair of the Board of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a national inter-organisational institute of leading New Zealand materials scientists.  Until recently he also chaired the Board of Directors of Boutiq Science Ltd and Mevo Ltd, and was a Director of Ferronova Pty Ltd.

Previously, Paul was CEO of the National Energy Research Institute, and prior to that was Director of Business Development for Izon Science Ltd, a nanotechnology instrumentation company. During his time as General Manager of International Investments with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Paul established the Foundation’s International Group, negotiating joint research funding agreements with Korea and Japan, as well as research collaborations in the USA and Europe. He was a Director in the British Council for almost 20 years and has worked in over 40 countries around the world.

Paul holds an MSc and has post-graduate qualifications in both business and marketing management. He is a Chartered Physicist and member of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and, until late 2015, was inaugural Chair of the New Zealand Smart Grid Forum and Vice-chair of the IEA’s Demand-side Implementing Agreement.

Leadership of Change

In the current environment of global disruption impacting directly on our local contexts, what does business leadership really mean?  What are we leading towards…and why?  No business can operate in isolation so how do we define and then play an appropriate part in the communities in which we operate?  And in all of this, how do we engage and motivate our people?  This session will explore these questions drawing on the case study of Zealandia – from biodiversity basket case to global best case.

Jennifer Myers - MBA

Jennifer’s mission in life is to positively impact as many people as possible, and she feels truly honoured to be able to live out this mission every day through her work as a Speaker, International Trainer and Business Coach. Over the past 28 years, Jennifer has directly impacted over 6,600 professionals and in recent years has coached or trained over 350 of them reach greater levels of success.  

From earning her master’s degree to managing $1Million dollar marketing budgets to becoming a Certified Leadership and DISC Behavioural Styles consultant to creating the training curriculum content of a national company, Jennifer has a unique blend of business experience that makes her an asset to her clients. Originally from the U.S., she and her small family are now NZ citizens, and she likes to call herself an ‘AmeriKiwi’. 


Keep Your Business from Going 6 Feet Under by Leveraging the Power of YOU

In this value-packed session, Jennifer will bring her very best tips to the table to help us learn how to build a strong presence in our local community by leverage who WE are as the human beings behind our businesses. 

  • She'll help us clarify WHY we do what we do on an individual level 
  • AND help us sort out how to say that in our marketing efforts in a compelling way that helps us stand out
  • Jen will also provide support around how to identify OUR unique 'Marketing Pillars' 
  • AND help us understand how to build strategic alliances with other professionals

All that plus special bonus material will ensure each of us leaves her session energised and with actionable tools we can implement straight away. Oh - and you'll probably have a laugh as well!