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New assets on board

Geraldine Panapasa And Reporters, Maciu Malo And Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, January 19, 2013

PEOPLE do business with human beings, not companies. And the people are the most valuable asset of a company. Business Editor GERALDINE PANAPASA and reporters, MACIU MALO and REPEKA NASIKO introduce some of those who have taken up new appointments to drive the performance of the companies they work for.

World Bank Group

FRANZ Drees-Gross became country director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands on January 1 this year. Based in Sydney, Mr Drees-Gross managed the World Bank's infrastructure environment and rural/social development portfolio in Indonesia from 2010-2013 including infrastructure projects from large dams and national highways to community health centres and environmental projects from forest protection to coral reefs.

He worked as the bank's sector leader for the same technical areas in various countries of South America prior to Indonesia.

Before joining the bank in 1997, Mr Drees-Gross worked in Africa as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire and as a water supply and sanitation engineer in Peru and Yemen.

He is married and has two children.

Public Service

ILAITIA Navunisaravi has been appointed the new Divisional Surveyor Western replacing Taniela Wacokicoki who retired at the end of last year. With more than 30 years of experience, Mr Navunisaravi said he was looking forward to the new challenge. He said the Western Division had a lot of potential for growth.

"This is my first time to serve here in the west and I am looking forward to the challenge," he said.

"We have the country's two major income earners through sugar and tourism. This shows the potential in the west."

Ministry of Lands permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa said Mr Navunisaravi had vast experience in land administration.

Future Forests (Fiji) Limited (FFF)

THE board of directors announced the appointment of Masum Ali Buksh as the new company secretary for Future Forests (Fiji) Limited. Mr Buksh holds an MBA and a graduate diploma in management from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

With more than 30 years of experience in senior financial management and company administration in Fiji and the Oceania region, Mr Buksh's presence would strengthen the company with his strong commercial acumen and experience in risk management and compliance. He replaces former company secretary, Roderic Evers.

Tourism Fiji

RICK Hamilton has been appointed the new chief executive officer for Tourism Fiji. Tourism Fiji made the announcement this week that Mr Hamilton's appointment was the result of an extensive global search that attracted a number of high calibre candidates.

With more than 17 years of experience in the travel industry, Mr Hamilton joined Tourism Fiji following a five-year stint as managing director of Flight Centre New Zealand.

"I am truly thrilled to be joining the team at Tourism Fiji and I am excited to work with our many business partners, Fiji's tourism operators and Tourism Fiji's new global partners. Fiji is one of the most unique and beautiful countries on earth and I look forward to enhancing world-wide awareness about Fiji, its people and its many amazing attributes," Mr Hamilton said in a statement.

"Tourism is a vital part of the Fijian economy and I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring more people to visit and experience the amazing beauty of Fiji and the warmth and hospitality of the Fijian people."

In welcoming Mr Hamilton to the position, Tourism Fiji chairman Dave Pflieger said his appointment coincided with Tourism Fiji's rebranding and repositioning program destined to take tourism in the country to greater heights.

"Rick's extensive expertise and experience as a results-focused leader is expected to significantly assist us in our goal to increase tourism to Fiji and further grow the economic impact in 2013 by increasing visitor arrivals, spend and average length of stay," Mr Pflieger said.

Mr Hamilton replaced Michael Meade who took on the acting CEO position in December 2011 before resigning in September last year citing personal reasons for his departure.

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