A former Hamilton student and honours graduate of University of Waikato, Jen Baird has been announced as Hamilton City Council’s general manager city growth.
Ms Baird replaces Kelvyn Eglinton, who is moving to a role as chief executive for Momentum Waikato.
The council’s chief executive Richard Briggs says Ms Baird was the standout candidate in a strong field of internal applicants.
“Our recruitment process confirmed we have some exceptional leaders within council and have a culture of developing high performance teams. Jen brings a great skillset and outstanding leadership and commercial experience to what is a key role for our city’s development. I am delighted to make this announcement today and I look forward to Jen joining our senior leadership team,” Mr Briggs says.
Ms Baird joined the council in 2017 as communications and marketing unit manager, after almost 10 years with Barfoot & Thompson in Auckland as chief marketing officer. Serving on the executive leadership team, Ms Baird was a key part of the company’s international business development and digital advancement in recent years.
Ms Baird has a First-Class Honours degree from the University of Waikato, majoring in marketing, international management and Chinese.
“I love being back in Hamilton and I am looking forward to being able to contribute to the city,” Ms Baird says.
“Hamilton is a city on the move and there are big things happening. This is a new phase in our city’s development and a chance to make the most of the opportunities of this environment. People want to live in Hamilton and I want to encourage a city that supports growth while retaining the special qualities and environment that make it a great city for the people who live here.
“From Berkley Intermediate and Hillcrest High to a role leading the City Growth team for my city means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ms Baird, who lives in Hamilton with her partner Alan and their dog Max, starts her new role on March 26.