The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board of Directors profiles are provided below. If you are interested in Executive members whose terms have lapsed, click here for a list of previous executive.
Tony is a Solomon Islander with permanent residence in Australia recently moved back to Solomon Islands in October 2009 to accept a new posting as Country Manager Sales Marketing for Daltron SI Ltd. He has had more than 14 years of experience in the field of Information Technology and more than 6 years of experience in Sales and Business Development. Tony has worked in various industries including Superannuation, Banking, Insurance and Manufacturing companies, Consultancy and Training, Telecommunication Industry and Technology Busineses in both Australia and the Solomon Islands.
Tony graduated with a Bachelor of Information technology majoring in Information Systems from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and an Associate Diploma of Technology majoring in Computing from Holmesglen TAFE in Melbourne. Tony's passion is in business development. He believes that Solomon Islands has enormous potential to become a major business hub given its central location through out the Pacific Islands. Ethical business standards and professional business practice needs to be encouraged amongst the business communities if we are to make a meaningful difference to Solomon Islands. There needs to be innovative business solutions to existing challenges and the chambers of commerce plays a crucial role in encouraging this.
Sir Bruce Saunders
BJS Group of Companies
Bruce was born and educated in Australia, but has called the Solomon Islands home for more than 40 years, since 1968. Bruce was educated in South Australia, where he attained his School Leaving Certificate. He went into the Catering Industry where he trained as a Chef and acquired variety of accreditation in the Hospitality Industry. He managed Catering Facilities in Sydney from 1961 to 1966 before marrying his wife, Keithie Blum in 1966. They have two daughters and one adopted Solomon Island daughter
Bruce and Keithie’s time in the Pacific began in May 1966 when they went to Rarotonga Cook Islands. They spent 2 and half years there managing the Hotel Rarotonga. In 1968, and at the sudden passing of Keithie’s father, Alvin Blum, the Saunders arrived in the Solomon Islands. Bruce and Keithie remained in the Solomon Islands and managed the family business of AJ and G Blum from then onwards – at the time operated Blums Hometel (which became Hibiscus Hotel and is now King Solomon Hotel). They made soft drinks, ice cream and operated a trade store and bakery.
In 1970, Bruce began exporting handcraft and registered the company of BJS Agencies Limited in 1980, providing bookkeeping services for local businesses. Today the BJS Group provides a variety of services. In the Solomon Island, Bruce undertook and completed by correspondence, a basic bookkeeping and tourism course under the World Tourism Organization. In the 1980’s Bruce became involved very much in Tourism, operating Keithie Tours and then Hunts of the Pacific Ltd – in bound tourism business, to name a few other activities.
“We have built our business of providing services needed in the community, providing the best service possible – training and appreciating the loyalty, dedication and effort of over 90 employees, many with us for over 20 years” said Mr Saunders.
When asked of his expectations for the Chamber of Commerce, he said “My desire for the Chamber is for it to be an effective voice of the commercial sector, to be a good net-worker with all segments of the community and ensuring there is good opportunity for all – to be of service of the wider community and encourager of local business initiatives.”
Solomon Breweries (Solbrew)
Andy Hewson is the General Manager of Solomon Breweries (Solbrew) and has extensive leadership experience across the Pacific and Asian region. Solbrew is the largest consumer goods manufacturer in the Solomon Islands, producing beer, pre-mixed spirits, and soft drink product and is also one of the larger employers in Solomon’s.
Solbrew is also an emerging exporter to other Pacific countries, giving Andy insight into other Pacific markets as well as Solomon’s.
Andy leads SICCI’s Infrastructure sub-committee which aims to lobby and work collaboratively with our stakeholders for much needed infrastructure improvements on behalf of the SICCI business community.
Chief Executive Officer
ANZ Banking Group, Solomon Islands
Geoffrey has held senior leadership roles in the financial services, commercial, industrial and retail sectors across multiple geographies, primarily with international and listed groups of companies - across the Pacific, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These roles have spanned General Management, Finance & Audit, Governance, Acquisition and Integration, Relationship Management and Risk Management.
Geoffrey is currently CEO, ANZ Bank Solomon Islands. He was previously a member of the leadership team of another global bank which included subsidiary board appointments. He is a specialist in emerging markets where he has a track record of developing existing and growing new businesses. This included CEO roles of subsidiary and branch operations in Mauritius and Jordan, CFO and Finance roles in Zimbabwe and London, and corporate banking roles across Asia based in Singapore, and across the Middle East whilst based in UAE. He has had significant acquisition and integration experience, the most notable of which was his leadership of the successful integration of the USD1,2bn acquisition of a 95 branch Taiwanese bank.
Geoffrey is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and is married with two daughters.
Glenn Bennett has spent the last 22 years working throughout the South Pacific. He began his Pacific career working for Pryda Australia as their Export Sales Manager. From there he went on to establish his own business, which sold and distributed plumbing products across the country.
He then worked for a variety of medium to large-scale businesses across the region, finally landing the job as Managing Director of Silentworld Shipping where he finds himself today. The position oversees the shipping and logistics business as well as the Sasape International Shipyard. Silentworld currently employs approximately 140 people and has 7 ships in its fleet.
But Glenn’s love for the pacific reaches far beyond the boardroom. Through Silentworld’s work in Tulagi, he was instrumental in lobbying Westpac to restore banking services to the town, and amongst other contributions to the community promoted the first woman in the South Pacific to be the General Manager of a Slipway.
He says living and working in the Pacific is a passion.
‘Some of my fondest memories are working with my friend who operated charter boat services in Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.’ He says. ‘It’s a truly beautiful part of the world.’
Glenn says he decided to join SICCI to contribute to the development of the Solomons and help the country attract investment.
‘The Chamber is the perfect vessel for lobbing the government on behalf of all business in Solomon Islands,’ he says. ‘I believe private enterprise will grow this country and provide opportunities for all Solomon Islanders to benefit.’
Hatanga Construction and Hardwoods
Jeremy Bartlett is one of the Managers of Hatanga Construction and Hardwoods Ltd. Having received his Bachelor of Science from James Cook University, Australia in 2006 Jeremy has dedicated his time to working in the Solomon Islands. Jeremy is also a director of Liberty Holdings Ltd and Frangipani Ice – he is the chairman of the Frangipani Ice Board of Directors.
Tropic Glass & AluminiumLtd
Justin is the Managing Director of Tropic Glass and Aluminum Ltd. a company specialized in glass and aluminium constructions. Justin was born and educated in the Solomon Islands. He was brought up in Malaita and attended Aligegeo Provincial Secondary School in Malaita until he left school in 1983. He traveled to Honiara and found employment at the Aluminum Glazing Company; a company owned by businessman John Lee. At this company his interest in glass and aluminum developed and grew as his knowledge and skill in its use grew.
After several years, Justin explored the possibility of starting up his own company. In 1991 he operated as a sole trader, doing small repairs and installations to glass and aluminium building parts. In 1995, Justin transformed the sole proprietor into Tropical Glass & Aluminium and the company grew in staff and its profile. Through persistent hard work and continuous hands-on training, Justin has fashioned himself and his staff to be local experts in the industry. After 15 years, TGA has established itself as a synonym for glass and aluminium construction and manufacturing, putting the company in a prime position within the building construction industry in Solomon Islands. TGA is in every way a business that is centered around his family and people. All of Justin’s adult sons are one way or another associated with the industry. In recent times, the business has expanded not only within the Solomon Islands, but also the region, particularly Papua New Guinea. Justin believes in making a difference to the Solomon Islands through strategic teamwork and collective effort.
Westpac Bank Solomon Islands
Kutila Pinto is a career banker with many years of experience within the banking and finance sector. His experience extend to all areas of banking and finance sector with specialisation in Corporate and Institutional banking. He is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and a graduate in banking and finance with a Masters in Business administration. Kutila has experience working in countries very similar to Solomon Islands and worked in Sri Lanka, U.A.E and Australia. He is passionate working in LDC's and developing countries and see this as an opportunity to develop long lasting banking finance models to deliver sustainable finance "eco systems" which in turn energise the local economies to assist towards a stronger GDP. Kutila holds a commercial pilot license and a very keen flyer.
His personal motto is "Focus on your landing point and do what ever it takes to make it happen".
Currently, Kutila is the General Manager for Westpac Bank Solomon Islands.
After completing a degree in Business management in Dublin city, Niall Downey worked for over ten years in the retail business in Ireland at senior management level. He has worked for both Aldi the largest retailer in Europe and Dunnes Stores the largest supermarket chain in Ireland. In 2008 he left Ireland and joined Flex Pacific which was part of the Digicel group. He started in Fiji as the distribution manager and was promoted to be both the country manager for Vanuatu and PNG for Flex Pacific, overseeing over 100 staff members.
In June 2010 he joined Bemobile in PNG as the sales director. In early 2012 he moved to the Solomon Islands as the country manager to oversee the be mobile operation. Since leaving college, he also has run his own business’s including off licenses and health clubs.
His area of expertise is procurement of new product lines, managing large business teams and launching retail stores.
Roger is West Australian by birth and has a Bachelor of Business (Horticulture) from Curtin University. His first job after gaining his degree was as a copra and cocoa plantation manager on Bougainville, arriving just as the crisis started. Staying for two years until things got a little too hot he was then employed to develop a cut flower farm in the highlands, behind Ipoh, in Malaysia. Returning to West Australia his next challenge was managing a temperate fruit Research Station for the Agricultural Department. This lasted for three years until they decided to close it, and in 1996 he moved to PNG as Training and Development Manager for a Palm oil company. He has remained in this industry, in PNG, until moving to the Solomon Islands in September 2009. He took over from Harry Brock as General Manager in August 2010.
Roger believes that by developing partnerships with the landowners, communities and government, oil palm can continue to expand, and be a sustainable agricultural crop contributing to the economy of the Solomon Islands.
Currently, Rose Isukana is the President of Solomon Islands Women in Business Association. She is also a Director of ProBus Finance, Management & Consultancy Services.
Rose attained her Masters of Professional Accounting from the University of Queensland in Australia. She also holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Rose is an Associate Member of Certified Practicising Accountants Australia. She is also a CPA (Accounting) Solomon Islands Institute of Accountants.
Rose holds board positions in several non-government organizations and also is a director on the Board of Solomon Airlines, a state owned enterprise.
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