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Business growth drives appointment of inaugural Chief Executive

Business growth drives appointment of inaugural Chief Executive

Business growth has driven the appointment of an inaugural chief executive at engineering, surveying and planning firm, Cheal.

Rebecca (Beck) Hawke has been appointed to take on the leadership role after 14 years with the company.

Starting out as a small Taupo-based consultancy in 1940, Cheal now has six offices across the central north island and more than 80 employees. Company director Phil Rielly says there are no signs of business slowing down.

“We have seen steady growth in our business over the past year and are confident about the next twelve months despite the current economic climate. Land development, particularly with residential sub-divisions, continues to provide us with a steady stream of business, as does the energy sector.

“As Cheal continues to grow, the creation of a chief executive role means our directors can focus more on governance and technical service to staff and clients rather than day-to-day business operations.

“For a long time Cheal has been at the cutting edge of the industry in terms of its technical capabilities. It is now time for us to change our company structure to support our business’ increasing scale and complexity.” 

Beck has spent the last 14 years as Cheal’s business manager and principal. Phil says she was a clear choice for the new position.

“During her tenure with the company, Beck has gained an in-depth knowledge of our industry, company, staff, clients, and markets. She is greatly respected both internally and externally, and continues to show a high level of commitment to the ongoing success of Cheal.

“The Cheal Board of Directors is delighted that Beck has agreed to take on the challenge of leading our company in this new role and we look forward to working closely with her.”

Hawke immigrated to New Zealand from the UK 22 years ago. Her career spans 30 years across the business administration and professional services consultancy sectors. She has also served six years on the board of the Taupo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (now Taupo Business Chamber). She thrives on her relationships with people and brings a personable leadership style to Cheal.

“My vision is to have a cohesive leadership team that together can grow and nurture tomorrow’s Cheal.  We’ve been in this business for 80 years and we are well placed to do another 80!”

Beck says Cheal has the business acumen, systems and technology to compete with larger consulting firms, but is small enough to maintain close relationships with its clients.

“We’re not a big city consulting firm. We want to maintain our regional feel and support the local communities in which we operate.

“As chief executive, I still want to know all our staff by name and have frequent conversations with them. Our smaller team means I’ll be able to make this happen.”

Beck took up the position of chief executive at the beginning of September.  She is based in Taupo where she lives with her husband and two children.