REINZ appoints new chief executive

by Roxanne Libatique21 Apr 2021

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has named Jen Baird as its new chief executive.

Before joining REINZ, Baird served as the general manager for city growth for Hamilton City Council for three years. In her role, she was responsible for planning for the long-term future of a metropolitan scale city, including growth funding and delivering new growth cells; leading the council’s regulatory responsibilities for land use, resource, and building consents; economic development; customer experience; and city safety.

Baird also focused on stakeholder engagement and risk management and led the council’s civil defence and crisis management during the alert level 4 lockdown last year. She also served as the manager for communications and marketing at the Hamilton City Council. Previously, she was the chief marketing officer at Barfoot & Thompson for nearly 10 years and spent two years as the manager for communication and brand at Radius Health Group.

REINZ chair Bridget Coates commented that Baird’s experience across diverse teams and dealing with stakeholders would be an asset to the organisation.

“Jen is a strong, strategic thinker with exceptional people management capabilities, and she is used to leading teams through challenging transformative environments,” Coates said. “We look forward to welcoming her to the team later in the year.

“Our acting chief executive, Wendy Alexander, will continue on in her ‘caretaker’ capacity until Jen joins the team.”

Commenting on her appointment, Baird said: “I’ve spent nearly 10 years working in the real estate profession, and like many Kiwis have a love of property; so, getting the role at REINZ is like coming home.

“I’m really excited to join REINZ at a time when the industry is rapidly changing and where the importance of data and digital transformation will be so important in the profession’s future. Additionally, there are significant changes from a regulatory perspective which will require real leadership from the industry body, so I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity of being involved in everything that lies ahead.”

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