Southern Travel Holdings is a group of companies which provides specialist services in the travel and tourism sectors.

Board of Directors

The Directors' primary objective is to increase Shareholder value within an appropriate framework of governance and management.

There are five directors on the Southern Board. Southern’s constitution provides for a maximum of six Directors. The present Directors anticipate that over time the number of Directors and composition of the Board will be altered as appropriate to maintain the best possible Board for the nature of the activities of Southern.

Jacqui Walshe, Managing Director

Jacqui was appointed to the role of Managing Director in March 2013. Jacqui has been the Chief Executive of the Group since 2008, following 12 years as Managing Director of the Walshe Group which became a part of the Southern Travel Holdings group in 2007. Jacqui is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Group, for setting strategy and growing the business. Jacqui obtained a Degree in Business Studies at Massey University, and an MBA from Auckland University in New Zealand, and is also a director of Liontamer Investment Management Pty Limited. She is a member of the CEO Institute, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN).

Jacqui has worked within the Walshe Group for over 25 years and is based in the Sydney office of the Group.

Rodney Walshe ONZM, Deputy Chairman

Rodney Walshe has been actively involved in tourism since 1970 during which time he has made a significant contribution to the New Zealand industry as well as establishing the Walshe Group, which today forms the outbound division of Southern Travel Holdings Limited.

Rodney is a past president and life member of the Tourism Industry Federation (now TIANZ), past president of TAANZ, life member of the NZ Institute of Travel, and former Chairman of the NZ Tourism Council and Tourism Auckland. He is an ex-officio trustee of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust and also the Honorary Consul General of Ireland in New Zealand, an appointment he has held since 1976. Rodney is also Chairman of chocolatier, Bennetts of Mangawhai Limited, and a director of New Zealand Experience Limited and Rainbow’s End Theme Park Limited.

In 2007 he received the Sir Jack Newman Tourism Award, the highest award granted to an individual within the New Zealand tourism industry. In the year 2000 Honours list, Rodney was appointed an Honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his outstanding contribution to New Zealand Tourism and the community. In 2013 Rodney received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for his services to Ireland and the Irish Community abroad. This is Ireland’s highest honour.

Kiyomi Gunji, Director

Kiyomi Gunji was one of the original founders of Silver Fern Holidays Limited in 1978, the predecessor to the Southern Travel Holdings inbound operating division. Kiyomi held the position of managing director of the Group until March 2008 and has over thirty-six years of experience in the tourism industry. Kiyomi is the author of the first New Zealand travel guide book in Japanese published in 1975, and is a former board member of the Inbound Tour Operators Council of New Zealand Incorporated (ITOC) and previous president of the Japanese Society of Auckland Incorporated. In 2008, he received the Horwath Sir Jack Newman Award at the New Zealand Tourism industry awards.

Mark Taylor, Director

Mark holds a Masters of Business in Management from the University of Otago where he was also a Teaching Fellow. He developed his managerial experience while working overseas, primarily in the Technology sector. Having grown and sold Technology businesses in both the UK and NZ, Mark now lives in Auckland and is an Executive Director at Intellium Technology, an IT & Telecommunications service provider. Mark is also passionate about his voluntary work as Board Secretary for Pillars, a children’s charity.