Our Team

We are lucky to have a passionate, diverse team who believes that all young people have the potential to do great things. Our collective experience means we bring together a range of skills from business, local politics and education in order to identify and connect talent with further study and employment opportunities.

 
 
 
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MARGARET KOUVELIS

Margaret has a background in education, local government, business and consultancy.

Over 30 years in secondary education as a teacher in science, art and music, she became an advisor to secondary schools and the first CE of NZ Teachers Council.

Margaret has owned and operated award winning “Poppies” an Independent Bookstore in Feilding and Wanganui before being lured into local government where she served for seven years, six as Mayor of Manawatu District.

Her work in championing young people’s education as well as economic development for the Manawatu region led to her establishing Talent Central as a charitable trust in 2016 and became its first chair. Her passion is to ensure that young people today are better equipped to make informed choices as to their possible future employment through meaningful pathways, innovation and leadership opportunities within the region.

In 2018 she became the first CEO of Talent Central.  She is also Chair of the Hilux NZ Rural Games and Chair of Te Manawa Family Services.

 
 
 
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Jeff King

Jeff King works for Talent Central as a Schools Connector and Pathway Advisor. Jeff is the former Deputy Principal at Rangitikei College in Marton and the Assistant Principal of Ruapehu College in Ohakune.

He has worked for 20 years in education in New Zealand, Japan, UK and the UAE. He is the co-founder of the app MyBlueprint which helps young people explore their career pathways and manage their learning.

Jeff works with Talent Central schools to help teachers and students understand and develop programmes around the WorkReady Portfolio as well as promote employment opportunities within the region.

 

 
 
 
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Ron Armstrong

Ron works for Talent Central as an Industry Connector. Ron has over 40 years experience in the Transports and Logistics sector, working in transport and rail sectors, and over 20 years in Sales and Marketing experience.

Ron was instrumental in establishing the first Bulk Milk trains for Fonterra, overseeing the transfer of 750 million litres per annum. He also worked extensively in establishing the first logging hubs in the Lower North Island.

With his wealth and depth of experience in many different sectors, Ron is well placed to help connect Talent Central and youth to industry.

 

 
 
 
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Sonia Griffin

Sonia works for Talent Central as an Administrator and Coordinator of WorkEx our work experience programme for all students . Her background is a multi-layered mural of work in multiple different industries, giving her a broad horizon of different employment sectors. Her work with Talent Central allows her to put to use these skills and she is passionate about helping connect youth and industry.

 
 
 
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Anita Weber

Anita works for Talent Central as our liaison for special projects. Her background includes 25 years in education, including teaching, programme & qualification development, strategic governance and academic advisory with one of New Zealand's largest Private Training Enterprises (PTEs).  Most recently Anita has assisted Talent Central with a number of special projects being highly motivated by contexts which elevate youth to reach their full potential.