The Management Board of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry is elected annually in March at an Annual General Meeting. Board Members are representatives of businesses who are members of the Chamber of Commerce, and each Board Member volunteer their time to contribute to the organization.
The Board holds Board Meetings once a month to discuss progress and development of Chamber activities and programs.
Country Manager (Sales and Marketing)
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.
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.”
Business Service Manager
Goh and Partners
Yolande was born in South Africa and graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Johannesburg. Yolande completed a number of post grad, non diploma courses, mainly in taxation. Although Yolande’s first language is Afrikaans in which she did most of her schooling, she has spent her professional life in the English speaking business world, and is fully bilingual.
Yolande’s first employment was with the South African Revenue Service in Johannesburg where she worked back her study bond for four years. For the last two years at SARS she was promoted to law interpreter which gave her a solid grounding in South African tax law for her future endeavours. Yolande started an accounting/tax business with two partners in 1989 after fulfilling her Government bond. The firm found a niche assisting new business start-ups and also working with a number of smaller audit firms, acting as their tax department.
Early in the year 2000 Yolande decided on a real ‘sea change’ and moved to Solomon Islands, originally working for a dive shop at Maravagi for 2 years. There she met her future husband, Neil, while he was on a diving holiday, and after a 6 month stint back in South Africa, Yolande returned to the Solomons in June 2002 to pursue the relationship (they married in 2008). She was fortunate enough at the time to be introduced to Robert Goh and was employed by Goh and Partners shortly thereafter as Business Services Manager. Having stayed with Goh and Partners for ten years, it is safe to say that Yolande is very happy in her work where she is not only the senior in-country accountant, but where she has also been involved with a number of European Union contracts for technical assistance in financial management.
Outside of normal work commitments Yolande currently maintains the following honorary/volunteer positions:
- Treasurer of Hyperbaric Chamber (since November 2004)
- Senior hyperbaric chamber operator (since June 2006) and joint co-ordinator of chamber operations (since January 2010)
- Treasurer and board member of Emerging Pacific Leaders’ Dialogue (EPLD) SI organising committee (since April 2009)
- Treasurer and board member SI Chamber of Commerce and Industry (since August 2010)
- Trade Dispute Panel member (since November 2010)
- Treasurer and board member Transparency SI (since May 2012)
- During 2006/7 she was also treasurer and board member of Point Cruz Yacht Club
Human Resource Manager
Solomon Islands Tobacco Company Limited
Joseph Sanga worked for the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) for more than 20 years in various roles in the Admin and HR departments and is now HR Manager of Solomon Islands Tobacco Company Limited.
Joseph graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Management Studies from James Cook University, Australia and has a Masters of Management Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. Having only been recently elected into the Chamber of Commerce Board in March 2011, Joseph is new to the Chamber management. He looks forward to seeing the Chamber progress private sector matters effectively in 2011.
Premier Real Estate & Property Management
Julie, as she is commonly known, was born and educated in the Solomon Islands. She attended King George VI Secondary School and went on to do secretarial studies at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education before going on to do training at the University of the South Pacific in Financial Accounting, Communication and Sociology.
In December 2008, she and husband, Alex Haro started Premiere Real Estate & Property Management, a real estate company which she now runs and operates as Managing Director. Previously however, Julie held various positions including Real Estate Manager in BJS Group of Companies (AJ & G Blum Property Development Ltd), Travel and Administration Officer at the Church of Melanesia and Sales and Marketing at the King Solomon Hotel.
As one of only a handful of local Solomon Islands women in businesses, Julie is passionate about her role in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She believes in the value of helping the growth and development of local women in business. As the only female Solomon Islander Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce, Julie holds her responsibility to heart. “My expectation is to see the Chamber own it’s own property within the CBD, purposely to cater for its needs and also provide services which are highly demanded by its members. My strongest desire is to see more women in business become members of the Chamber and to have more women take up leading roles on the Board.
Julie has held a number of leadership responsibilities in various organizations including Vice-President of Honiara Council of Women in 2008 and member of the Supervisory Committee Member (Solomon Islands Women in Business Association) in 2007 and Travel Administrator sector at Gold Ridge Mining Limited from 1998 – 2000. She has also served as a Board Member of Solomon Islands Girl Guides Association, Member of the Honiara Rotary Club and Board Member of Disability Support.
Premiere Real Estate & Property Management & Developers is a newly established family business which prides itself in being 100% locally owned. The company was formed by husband and wife Alex and Julie Haro. Both are current directors and major shareholders as well.
After working in the property and real estate industry for four and half years, Julie was confident of her ability to start a family business; and with her passion for real estate and property development, the industry was an inevitable choice. Julie and Alex Haro have built Premier literally from the ground up, having invested all their savings and help from close friends. The services provided by Premier today include sale and rental of properties both commercial and residential, property management, property valuation and appraisals as well as security services, cleaning services and immigration permit processes.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to see previous members of the Executive whose terms have lapsed.
A prosperous and skilled nation underpinned by sustainable economic growth, leading to better lives for our people.
To make the
Solomon Islands an internationally competitive place for business.