our people

Every person at Furnware aims to help the children in your classrooms to grow, expand and be their best. We work hard to truly connect with the individual aspirations of your school and then we deliver with quality, timeliness, innovation, reliability, and most importantly, genuine care.

Our sales team is spread throughout Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to connect with our customers around the globe. At our Main Campus in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, you’ll find design, finance, marketing, IT, production, supply chain, and customer services teams working behind the scenes to make sure every interaction you have with Furnware is exceptional.

  • Owner

    When I bought Furnware it was my vision that we could help children the world over to finish their educational life fulfilled and empowered. That was more than 20 years ago and it’s still our focus. Furniture is just one part of a learning experience, but we see it as one of the foundations and believe that with great design, furniture can improve learning outcomes.

    I have an exceptional, passionate team around me and together we develop products that work, products that are born from research and design, we provide the best service before and after our schools have received their solutions and our products stand the test of time. What our approach and partnerships with schools has resulted in, is a network of people who are happy to advocate on our behalf. That's when I know we are getting things right.

  • Group Manager - Operations

    My background is in mechanical engineering and design so I really enjoy having production, supply chain and design under my umbrella. 

    To survive and thrive in the future, our facilities and services need to be world-class. I’m constantly motivated to keep ahead of manufacturing trends and technology advances to ensure efficiencies across the board. Likewise with our design and supply chain teams – we must deliver products that meet the needs of our customers in a timely fashion.

    I am proud to be a part of a company that puts its customers first - it’s at the forefront of everything we do and this approach gives us a solid base to expand globally.

  • Group Manager - Marketing

    We have built Furnware to focus on the experience that our customers have with us at every step of the journey.  I am very proud to lead a team of marketers who lead us in having a 'customers first' attitude; customers for life in fact.  I am also proud to be a part of an organisation that has people all through it who also share those values.

    There are many things that contribute to learners having a fulfilling experience at school, their relationship with their teachers being the primary driver. We sincerely believe that the correct furniture solution, carefully selected to fit the style of teaching at each individual school makes teachers roles so much more enjoyable, through having their learners comfortable and engaged. Its something we strive for every day.

  • Group Manager - Finance

    I have always been passionate about numbers. To me, numbers tell stories – about the past and what is possible in the future. To achieve results you must have clear expectations and measure against those – if you measure it – you can manage it.

    In my role at Furnware I lead the finance and customer services teams. This allows me to be directly involved in helping Furnware achieve its stakeholder goals at both a customer and financial level. Providing world-class customer service and detailed financial analysis enables Furnware to focus on the things that make a real difference to our business; allowing us to continually invest in achieving our true purpose – inspiring young minds the world over. 

  • Group Manager - Information Systems

    Like the education industry, our business requirements change rapidly. I manage our IT systems to ensure they are scalable and agile enough to meet these changing demands.

    It’s exciting being part of a company that both embraces change and is focused on making a positive improvement to the lives of our young people. I enjoy being part of an innovative team, working with people who share the same goals for our business and have a real ‘can do’ attitude.

  • Sales Director - Australia

    I see our role as being a partner to educators and schools. I love that we have the chance to really engage with our customers and seek to understand what value we can bring them – value that can enhance their students’ learning.

    I manage the Furnware Australian team and a big part of that is helping the team to develop and grow. I’m proud to be part of a group that is committed to making a long-term difference for students and teachers. We have the ability to create amazing learning environments and that’s what gets us out of bed every day.

  • Sales Director - New Zealand

    Education has been a theme throughout my career providing me with wonderful opportunities, of which until recently were in the UK. I worked in leadership roles in two companies over 13 years; Capita Group plc, where I discovered my love of sales, working with senior public sector employees in Asia, providing them with best practice in public sector reform training alongside British government officials. And BPP, a global training and education company who run degree programmes and training towards qualifications for individuals and major global companies like Ernst & Young and KPMG.   

    My wife and I wanted to raise our two young children back in my home town of Hawke's Bay and when the position of New Zealand Sales Director for Furnware became available, I knew the time and position was right. In past roles, it was all about passing on knowledge, but here you’ve got something physical, a product you can see. I love being involved with a company that makes a difference by having a positive impact in the educational space and in kid’s lives.

  • Sales Director - International Schools

    When I was a teacher I constantly looked for a better way to do things, from more innovative learning environments to a more engaging curriculum.

    This success in the classroom enabled me as a Principal and school leader to drive this across an array of different classrooms and schools. 

    It was this passion for creative change that led me to become an education consultant, where I had the challenge of implementing new curriculums to schools in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific Rim. My career then progressed into leading educational reform programmes in the Middle East in Qatar and then later for GEMS Education in Abu Dhabi. The programme of reforming countries newly developed educational systems is one that requires tremendous commitment, strong relationships, resilience when faced with adversity and a desire for improved student learning.

    In 2003 we packed up our life in New Zealand and we moved to the Middle East where we raised two children and lived in various places for the next 11 or so years. During this time, I led teams to establish, manage and build many new international schools within both the United Arab Emirates and throughout the Middle East and North African regions. These were some of the most dangerous regions in the world, but being able to deliver such a high level of education to kids who would have otherwise not have had access to it, was worth the risk.

    I’ve always been an advocate for Furnware because I recognised the company’s drive to better the student learning experience based on academic research to deliver improved environments that encourage stronger engagement in the classroom.  Now I’m back in the classroom and excited about working closely with schools to help them design and develop unique learning environments that sets them apart from their competitors.

  • Brand Manager

    What I love most about working at Furnware is how committed we are to building really strong relationships with our customers. We’re in the classroom engaging with educators constantly and it’s these conversations that give us a real insight into their world. We get to know and understand them better and we are able to ensure they enjoy an exceptional customer experience when they deal with Furnware.

    Only by networking and being involved can we facilitate a two-way exchange of information between Furnware and schools. Providing the right products and services and communicating them in the right way is a constant challenge for us in this digital age. With two school age children, nothing is more important to me than their well being – including their relationship to learning. This is why I am passionate about working for a team that is committed to inspiring young minds.

  • Projects and Research

    It’s my job to ensure Furnware’s learning space is second to none and so I am passionate about gathering and sharing information.  From engaging with global experts on a wide variety of subjects around educational and pedagogical developments to managing a multitude of projects at any one time, my job is incredibly diverse and no two days are ever the same. I am currently working closely with New Zealand government entities, Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation, to boost Furnware’s export growth and its research and development capability.

    My background is as varied as my current role: from legal proof reader to IT consultant before moving into a purchasing manager role, I have always had a love of learning and knowledge and am so fortunate to work with Furnware where I get to be inspired every day.

  • Production Optimisation Manager

    My engineering background and interest in materials and science has provided me with the opportunity to travel the world working in a range of industries from automotive to food packaging.  My biggest highlight during this period was securing investment for a large manufacturing plant in Thailand. We managed resources coming from all over the world to commission equipment and had the place up and running within six months of laying the foundations.

     

    I see my role as managing processes, people and equipment to optimise and create manufacturing efficiencies to meet the growth aspirations of the business -  all the while making sure the people are equipped to do what they do, and do it well.

     

    But as well as the drive to create a seamless customer experience, I am also all about creating a bullet proof product that is absolutely perfect, as well as ensuring it is quality standards are maintained. I’m very excited about my role – my love of woodworking and crafting fine furniture has seen me build all my children’s bedroom furniture. It’s a very exciting time to be part of the Furnware team.

  • Logistics Manager

    Managing various areas in the hospitality industry over my professional life has meant I am comfortable having many spinning plates in the air at any given time; and working with hotels, restaurants and events has provided me with a solid background in logistical organisation.

    In my current role at Furnware, I am responsible for parts purchasing, domestic and international deliveries as well as managing relationships with carriers and other third party suppliers. I really enjoy the export process and the challenges delivering to a global market. I’m proud to be part of a growing company committed to the manufacture of high quality products, that stands behind everything it sells.

  • Accountant

    My grandfather worked for Furnware years ago when they were in the business of coffins not classrooms, so I already had a connection with the company before starting my role in Finance in early 2015.

    Our talented team of finance and analytics whizzes are constantly developing processes and implementing efficiencies that utilise technology to scale the business. We work closely with all departments sharing analytics and data - numbers can paint a very good picture of what the business can expect while pointing everyone in the right direction.

    It’s great to work for a company that wants the best for kids by creating better quality learning environments.

  • Account Manager - Asia

    What I have enjoyed the most throughout my 20-year career in Asia and Australia, is interaction with customers and the relationships developed over a long period of time. I love being able provide solutions that will make their lives easier.

    Having recently studied for an Executive MBA, I know the interactions you have with fellow students are just as important as those you have with your teacher. Collaboration and the sharing of information and knowledge, is a key success factor in implementing a flexible learning environment. I have also witnessed first-hand, the positive outcomes of these learning spaces through my children; how much learners appreciate the flexibility of the space and the impact it has on their interaction and learning. 

    A lot of what my past has taught me, is the importance of observation. Listening and looking. I love hearing great ideas from passionate teachers and principals about their positive vision for their school and understanding Furnware’s role in helping to create a comfortable, usable and flexible space to achieve successful learning outcomes.

  • Account Manager - Northland / Auckland

    Northland, Rodney, East, South & Central Auckland

    As a mother, I recognise the importance of ergonomic furniture and its role in the innovative learning environment and I love that Furnware is having such a positive impact on students’ learning across the globe. Having previously worked in the education publishing field, I have a strong connection with educators and I really enjoy assisting so many schools in creating their unique learning spaces.

    Being part of a company who are passionate, progressive and creative thinkers makes me proud. We’re all here to make a difference to students and we are not afraid to take on challenges to create unique learning environments that meet the needs of teachers and students.

     

  • Account Manager - Auckland

    South Auckland

    Much of my working career has seen me either employed within the education sector or around organisations immediately associated with education. I was a teacher for more than 15 years and so I understand the importance of having flexible learning spaces for enquiring young minds.

    I work collaboratively with teachers and students to achieve the desired outcomes for each school and advise on the best Furnware furniture solutions to fit their individual needs. My customers are the most important part of my job. I approach my account management role as a partnership, using a consultative approach listening carefully to what my customers say and delivering a solution that suits their teaching and learning needs. 

  • Account Manager - Auckland

    West Auckland & North Shore

    My background in both primary school teaching and working with textiles and interior design allows me to not only understand current educational pedagogies and the importance of a well-designed physical learning space, but also the skills required to add creative flair to any classroom environment.

    I relish the diversity and creativity I get to experience every day working for Furnware and the wide range of personalities and professions I have the pleasure of collaborating with. The satisfaction I get working for a company that encourages us to take time to listen, to bring solutions, to talk comfort and continue to assist teachers to fine tune their spaces, is immeasurable.

  • Account Manager - Waikato

    Waikato & Bay of Plenty

    When it comes to children and classrooms, it’s definitely not one-size-fits-all. It’s vital that students are sized and fitted correctly and that we understand each school’s unique needs. My background is in sports science and with a young family at home I’m well experienced and passionate about the ergonomics required in furnishing learning spaces.

    I love developing relationships and working as a partner with schools in my region. It’s extremely satisfying to see the amazing spaces we create and being able to share with schools what works most effectively. I also relish the opportunity to challenge our thinking with outside-of-the-box ideas.

  • Account Manager - Lower North Island - West

    Wellington, Wanganui & Taranaki

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 20 years, it’s that a comfortable student is a focused student. Which is why I’m passionate about creating spaces to learn and grow that are filled with Furnware products. Enhancing learning outcomes for students is front of mind when I engage with schools and I pride myself on providing all the facts and information to allow informed decisions with the best outcomes for everyone.

    I love coming up with solutions and opportunities to create a unique learning environment and the most satisfying thing about my job is returning to a newly outfitted classroom and seeing the happy faces of students interacting with their new space. It’s absolutely fantastic to know that what we offer makes a difference to learning.

  • Account Manager - Lower North Island - East

    I believe building strong customer relationships through collaboration and support goes hand-in-hand when creating new and inspiring classroom environments; which is why I enjoy meeting and working with so many new people. I am extremely proud to be part of a team of passionate account managers who aren’t considered sales people, but consultants who provide innovative ideas and solutions to help teachers and principals create a special place for their students to learn and have fun at the same time.

    There are so many enjoyable aspects to my job, especially watching students achieving the best they can while enjoying their time in the classroom. More recently I have been able to tell the Furnware story internationally, collaborating with schools in Hong Kong to develop their 21st Century learning spaces. 

  • Account Manager - Hong Kong

    I believe building strong customer relationships through collaboration and support goes hand-in-hand when creating new and inspiring classroom environments; which is why I enjoy meeting and working with so many new people. I am extremely proud to be part of a team of passionate account managers who aren’t considered sales people, but consultants who provide innovative ideas and solutions to help teachers and principals create a special place for their students to learn and have fun at the same time.

    There are so many enjoyable aspects to my job, especially watching students achieving the best they can while enjoying their time in the classroom. More recently I have been able to tell the Furnware story internationally, collaborating with schools in Hong Kong to develop their 21st Century learning spaces. 

  • Account Manager - Upper South Island

    Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast

    I have always been interested in products that have a strong technical makeup. I’ve been with Furnware for more than ten years and have been privileged to see some exciting technical advances. The research and development of the Bodyfurn® system has given me real insight into classroom ergonomics.

    I love it when I can identify and deliver the perfect solution by listening and understanding a school’s requirements. It’s by getting into the classroom and talking that we can really assist our customers. Furnware has evolved from a traditional furniture manufacturer to a research-based company that involves our customers in product development. That’s what makes us unique.

  • Account Manager - Lower South Island

    Lower South Island

    Meeting people and building positive relationships is something I am passionate about, which is probably why I worked in hospitality for over 14 years managing various businesses in the Bay of Plenty. 

    When my husband and I made the move south to Dunedin with our three boys, my career took a different path and I ventured into sales. I feel completely at ease working in sales and I love the customer-facing aspect of the role. So, when the opportunity to sell Furnware’s award-winning product arose, I jumped at the chance. Furnware’s values are closely aligned with my own and I am dedicated to working with customers to help them optimize learning outcomes.

  • Account Manager - Victoria

    The consultative process is such an important part of what I do. By asking the right asking questions and gathering information, I can discover what’s important to my customers including their teaching preferences, so I can provide a truly tailored response for their needs. It’s about relationship building so I'm the first port of call and become a part of your schools support structure.

    My previous role in educational publishing meant I worked closely with secondary schools aligning our digital content to their curriculum, catering for students with different needs and ensuring teachers were trained in the learning and monitoring of their student’s progress. I am extremely passionate about supporting the teacher to support their students so they are learning to their best potential: it’s exciting to be working with schools to create vibrant and inspiring spaces where children thrive and enjoy their environment.

  • Account Manager - Victoria / Northern Territory

    What I love about Furnware is that we drive product development from the response of our end-users. A huge part of my job is getting feedback from both students and teachers after we install innovative learning space solutions at their schools. I really enjoy hearing first-hand how Furnware has made a difference to their classrooms and learning.

    I get excited when I can tailor product combinations that are entirely specific to the schools in my area. I work hard to understand their unique requirements and am thrilled when I see their designs come to life.

  • Regional Manager - Victoria / South Australia

    Managing the South Australian region for Furnware is a challenge I relish. It’s rewarding meeting principals, business managers and educators and then working collaboratively with them to create innovative and functional classrooms.

    Building meaningful and lasting relationships with our schools is of the utmost importance to me. I’m able to offer a professional consultation and share Furnware’s vision for inspiring children supported by the spaces in which they learn.

    My job is made even more easy by having a great team at all levels and a great product that improves students’ health and learning. I truly believe our genuine approach to creating great learning spaces for children is the reason behind our success.

  • Account Manager - Victoria / Tasmania

    I have always been passionate about education and have been fortunate enough to spend a large part of my career assisting the educational sector with technology sales and support and helping with the implementation of BYOD and the 1:1 computer programme within schools. Observing classroom environments has given me fantastic insight and understanding around what matters most to educators and more importantly, to the students.

    My ground-up knowledge and understanding of how schools operate is critical when meeting with educators who are passionate about providing environments for our future generations to thrive in. I believe the best way to gain understanding and knowledge about the tools required for learning, is to get into the classroom to witness first-hand the patterns and behaviours of the students in their learning environment - they are our true customers.

  • State Sales Manager - New South Wales

    Being involved in the transition away from traditional learning spaces in New South Wales schools is really exciting. I work in a consultative way to understand a school’s vision and needs to help devise the most effective furniture and systems. The end goal is always enhanced student engagement and learning.

    Making the move to an innovative learning environment can be daunting. It’s my aim to make the process smooth, collaborative and exciting for everybody involved. I feel honoured that I get to see first-hand how these changes are improving our education system and student learning overall.

  • Account Manager - New South Wales

    I began my colourful career path as a teacher, my experience as only one of two teachers in a remote NSW school, was almost as interesting as teaching 14 kids remotely via a 2-way radio. This was before the days of the internet and Skype - quite a challenge. Saying ‘over’ at the end of every sentence when calling my mother on the phone, was a habit that was hard to break.

    As much as I loved teaching, travel and adventure was calling and where best to start than working for an actual airline. For the next 12 years, I performed a multitude of roles for Ansett - from tarmac planning, rostering, even bringing in the Concord for British Airways.

    Things got a bit more ‘serious’ when I moved to the corporate side. At one time, American Express had the biggest corporate travel company and it was here that I developed my passion for building meaningful and lasting relationships with clients. I managed a team responsible for looking after the travel needs of huge multinational companies including Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, GM motors and Ford.

    Over the next few years I would work for Citibank looking after all Australian Government travel business, set up a sales team to focus on new corporate business for Qantas and work for a variety of businesses implementing sale strategy’s and ongoing account management.

    The opportunity to work at Furnware came at a time when I was ready for a new challenge and I can’t wait to get back in the classroom to work with teachers and form new relationships with schools all around NSW.

  • Account Manager - Queensland

    Being part of an organisation that’s committed to making a difference to the way our children learn and grow, really resonates with me. I love getting out into the classrooms, meeting principals, teaching staff and most importantly, our children.

    When I meet my clients, I really focus on forming partnerships through collaboration and listening closely to what’s important to them. It then allows me to offer flexible and tailored learning solutions that best meet their schools’ needs. I consider myself extremely fortunate that I have the opportunity to witness firsthand, the enthusiasm and engagement children display in these newly created spaces. It’s exciting and satisfying and I get to experience it on a daily basis.

  • Account Manager - Queensland

    There is something very satisfying about working with the education sector and making a difference in children’s lives. Previously I worked with schools developing and designing their school uniforms, assisting with colours and fabrics occasionally being involved from the ground up, from the hand loom process through to the sample stage. I loved seeing the finished product being worn and how proud and happy the kids were with their new uniforms.

    As a mother of three I felt an instant affinity with Furnware. The fact that there is so much research and development that goes into a Furnware product is something I feel strongly about - there’s a reason behind why these products are being made. What really interests me in my role is I get to bring all of my skills to the table, my design capabilities and knowledge as well as my communication and consultation skills and that’s exciting.