Meet our Business Development & Relationship Manager, Rob Finlayson

Rob Finlayson is the latest addition to the Waikato Chamber of Commerce team. We sat down with him to learn more about his background and to introduce Rob to our members. 

Hey Rob, welcome to the team. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve lived in Hamilton for just over ten years now, originally hailing from Auckland via Tauranga. I am lucky enough to have been married to my lovely wife for nearly 20 years this November. I am the proud father of two kids, my daughter has just started at Victoria University studying a Bachelor of Innovation and Design while my son is in year 12 at St Paul’s Collegiate here in Hamilton. 

Tell us about your work history.

My background is in tourism and I worked in the tourism industry for over 30 years. My last role was as at the Waikato Museum as a Visitors Services Manager. Unfortunately, Covid-19 significantly disrupted the industry and after a restructuring at the Museum I decided to switch back to my key skillset being sales to seek another role. I started as a contractor working with the Chamber, aiding the team in organising the Awards Gala Dinner and Golf Day. I must have done a pretty good job as Don tapped me on the shoulder and offered me a role after Golf Day!

What does your role at the Chamber entail?

Putting it short and blunt, it’s about membership retention and driving new membership. It’s my job to be a point of contact for our members and learn from them, how we can improve the value of their membership. I also will be actively seeking to enhance the presence of our members here in the Waikato. 

From a new member point of view, it’s finding businesses actively looking to connect with the Waikato business community and enabling them on that journey. 

What are your strengths and skills?

I’m a people person. I enjoy engaging with people from all parts of life and connecting to them via a great chat! I love getting to know people personally and learning what motivates and drives them and their business. I have a high level of emotional intelligence and I’m not too shy to put a foot forward and introduce myself to someone new. I can talk to people of all business levels, from CEOs to small business owners. 

What are you looking forward to bringing to the Chamber?

I will be bringing enthusiasm and infectious energy into the role, and I am eager to continue to build on the existing culture here at the Chamber. We have a relatively new team here at the moment and I am really excited to see where we can take the Chamber over the years to come. 

Where is your favourite place in the Waikato?

One of my favourite places is our awa, the river flowing through the city's centre. I enjoy getting out on the water. I have my own jet ski and if I’m not out on the Waikato River you can find me at Waihi Beach relaxing with family and friends.


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