New TEC CEO: Environment, social license among priorities

The environment, social license and corporate social responsibility are among the many issues the new chief of the Tourism Export Council (TEC) is keen to tackle.

Hotel Grand Chancellor’s Judy Chen has been appointed to the role and starts in October.

Judy Chen

Chen, the director of sales and marketing at the hotel group, takes over from Lesley Immink who resigned in May to pursue a career in politics.

Chen told the Ticker her appointment was “an opportunity to contribute to the wider industry and hopefully have a chance to make a difference”.

“Social license, corporate social responsibility, the environment – there will be plenty of issues for me to have a look at and review with the TEC board,” she said. “I come from a hotel chain that is very big on its environmental initiatives and its community efforts and I personally feel very passionate about those.”

Chen joins Wellington-based TEC after a dozen years at Hotel Grand Chancellor.

“I have gained so much from the [Hotel Grand Chancellor] and it has helped make me the person I am today, so it will be a big change,” said Chen.

“But the reason I went for this opportunity was that I thought it too great to pass as I do feel passionately about contributing to the wider industry. This role will give me that opportunity.”

Outgoing TEC chairman Martin Horgan, who announced Chen’s appointment yesterday at the TEC conference in Te Anau, said her hotel industry experience would add a new dimension to the evolution of the council.

Former TEC chief Lesley Immink said she was delighted with Chen’s appointment.

“I applaud the TEC board’s decision and it is a testament to Young TEC the organisation that Judy has come full circle from being a foundation Young TEC Executive member in 2012 to being appointed as the new CEO,” said Immink. “TEC and Young TEC are in good hands and I wish her all the very best.”

Chen, who recently received the Senior Hotel Executive Award at the Hotel Industry Awards, sits on the Tourism Advisory Board at Victoria University. Prior to joining the Hotel Grand Chancellor, she was employed at Tourism New Zealand.

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