Speakers

Conference Speakers in 2022

The Corporate PA Summit attracts a fantastic mix of inspirational speakers, celebrity speakers and leading EAs. The 2022 Summit builds upon this tradition, with an agenda packed full of exceptional presentations.

You can find the photos and bios of confirmed speakers below.

Would you like to be considered as a speaker at future ThinkTank events? You can submit an application here.

Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand

Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand is the First Lady of New Zealand theatre, she’s an actor, director and Te Reo Māori advocate. Over the last 40 years, the award-winning actress has amassed a list of stage and screen performance credits that would make the Encyclopaedia Britannica seem short.

She toured New Zealand and abroad with Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan in music-theatre group The Front Lawn, starred to international acclaim in melodrama film Desperate Remedies and was a core-cast member in high-rating comedy sketch show Full Frontal.

Over the last 20 years, Jennifer has directed film, musical and theatre, as well as working as an intimacy coordinator for screen and stage. Jennifer was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and later was appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her contributions to theatre, film and television.

Despite being non-Māori, Jennifer has dedicated a lot of her time to learning and promoting the importance of Te Reo Māori in New Zealand. This contributed to her being named the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Clarke Gayford

While studying at the NZ Broadcasting School, Clarke Gayford successfully pitched his very first TV project, Cow TV, to Dunedin’s Channel 9. Following this, he worked as a presenter for music channel C4, United Travel Getaway and Extraordinary Kiwis, as well as presenting on a number of radio shows on channels such as More FM and George FM. But it’s no secret Clarke’s life-long passion is fishing, which led him to launch Choice TV show Fish of the Day, which he still currently hosts. When he’s not spearfishing, Clarke has filled in as a host on Seven Sharp and RNZ ’s The Panel. In 2017, Clarke became NZ’s “first-man” when his partner Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister.

Clarke has transferred his great TV presenting skills into MCing and public speaking very successfully. He has MCed all kinds of events, from the Sustainable Coastlines Auction Ball to the infamous Rhythm and Vines music festival. He has the ability to engage and entertain any audience, incorporating his own funloving nature while delivering important messages.

Cassie Roma

Cassie Roma is at the forefront of the rapidly expanding digital revolution. She has been recognised internationally as a leading expert in the field of social media strategy and the influencer economy. Born in San Diego, Cassie has lived in New Zealand for over 17 years, working with some of the biggest corporations in the country, including Air NZ, The Warehouse Group, ANZ Bank and NZME. Now Cassie is a fully-fledged entrepreneur working as both founder and director of CR &Co, a game-changing consultancy and media business built around the impactful areas of brands where creativity, content and coding collide.

As a keynote speaker, Cassie has shared her thoughts and stories of her incredible career at events around the world, from NZ Fashion Week to California’s renowned VidCon conference. Cassie speaks on a range of topics from business and innovation to motivation and advocacy.

By embracing change, actively driving innovation, growing positive community engagement, deepening customer service standards, and streamlining reporting across business units, Cassie has truly cut her teeth on the cutting edge. She’s also one big bundle of positive energy fuelled by the belief that great corporate culture is built on a foundation of kindness.

Outside of the office, one of Cassie’s biggest passions is working on projects that aim to put necessary, powerful and impactful stories into the world – most of which aim to lift others through education, diversity, and action. Her insights and discussions are inspirational, thought-provoking and and utterly fascinating.

Jazz Thornton

Jazz Thornton is an international mental health advocate who Co-Founded Voices of Hope. Following her own battle with mental illness, Jazz has now dedicated her life to speaking hope and creating change in the area of mental health through her organisation Voices of Hope. Her unique experience and practical message has gained worldwide recognition, being shared through media, international speaking engagements and now through a new feature documentary film, “The Girl on The Bridge” that premiered in 2020.

She directed the award-winning series “Jessica’s Tree” and is the author of the best-selling books “Stop Surviving, Start Fighting” and “My Journey Starts Here”.

In 2017 Jazz was named New Zealand’s youngest director to win the annual Doc Edge pitching contest, her series “The Silence Project” aims to shed light to the stories behind New Zealand’s suicide statistics while changing the way we have conversations about it.

In 2021, Jazz was awarded The Point of Light award from Her Majesty the Queen and was named the 2021 Young New Zealander of the Year.

Jazz is a talented speaker, and will show you how to be the change in the world you long to see.

Jess Stuart (masterclass facilitator)

Jess helps busy, high achieving career individuals find more time for them, reprioritise what matters, build resilience, beat the overwhelm and keep calm in the chaos, discover your true self and believe you can.

Jess is an author, coach and international speaker with 15 years in senior HR roles and two decades of coaching. She has featured on TV3, BBC, RNZ, Dominion Post, Stuff, Tiny Buddha, Elephant Journal and NZ Business Magazine.

Jess believes that tapping into your potential doesn’t mean doing more or having to be different. It’s uncovering what’s already there and being enough as you are.

Working closely with charities that empower women and inspire the next generation, social impact is at the heart of what Jess does. She is committed to the value of lift as we climb and collaborating and believes we are more powerful together than we are apart.

Samantha Garrett (masterclass facilitator)

Samantha is a highly experienced and respected technology trainer who works with education, business and government clients across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. She specialises in helping organisations make the most of their cloud collaboration platforms, including Google Workspace (G Suite) and (Microsoft) Office 365.

She is deeply passionate about helping people become more efficient, productive and organised. Samantha is well-known for her signature training style – delivering practical, relevant and easy-to-understand content with energy, enthusiasm and joy. You won’t get bored or lost in her training sessions!

So what does all this mean in practice? That Samantha LOVES helping people clean up their inboxes, organise their files, get in control of their task list and generally become more efficient in using their everyday tools.

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