Council Members

The council sets the Association’s strategic objectives, manages and controls the Association’s affairs, and is elected by members at the Annual General Meeting.

Below are the Executive Committee Members of the Council which provide the Governance role for the organisation.

Marcel van den Assum – Chairman

Marcel van den Assum

Marcel van den Assum is a Professional Director and Independent Advisor. His roles include Chairman IInterGrid (GreenButton) Ltd, Chairman Voco Ltd, Director Simpl Group Ltd, Director Yonix Ltd, Director AngelHQ, Partner in Lush Design Gallery, and Advisory Board positions with private and public sector entities including New Zealand Inland Revenue.

His focus is on innovative entrepreneurial companies or larger organizations driving inspirational transformation.

Prior to his governance career, Marcel was CIO of New Zealand’s largest company Fonterra for 5 years, and previous to that Managing Principal of Unisys New Zealand. He has worked across many industries and government entities, in most geographies.

He is member of Angel HQ, Ice Angels, Institute of Directors and Business for Social Responsibility.

Alongside family and friends, art, music, mountain biking and snowboarding, food and travel are Marcel’s interests.


Dean Tilyard – Treasurer

Dean Tilyard

Dean Tilyard is Chief Executive Officer of The Bio Commerce Centre in Palmerston North. Dean works primarily in investment for early-stage technology businesses and commercialisation from science institutions. He led the successful formation of angel investment group MIG (Manawatu Investment Group), whose 30 members are active in early-stage investing.

In the past two years, Dean has raised $10m+ for technology companies. He is a board-level advisor with two high-growth technology companies, a founding council member of the NZ Angel Capital Association and an external reviewer for Massey University and AgResearch’s Pre-Seed funds. Dean holds a first class honours degree in political geography.


Suse Reynolds – Executive Director

Suze Reynolds

Suse Reynolds is the founder of Angel HQ, the Wellington region’s angel network. She currently sits on the Board of Angel HQ and is an enthusiastic believer in the ability of angel investment to make the world a better place. Suse was formerly the Chief Operating Officer and GM Investment at Grow Wellington.

Prior to that she was the Executive Director of the business lobby group, The Trade Liberalisation Network. This followed a ten year career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which included working for the Foreign Minister and a posting in London representing New Zealand’s trade and economic interests.

Ben Reid


Ben Reid is an experienced technology strategist with a deep industry background in software development and ICT architecture. Ben acts as an advisor to a wide range of organizations spanning multinational software companies, government and startups.

Ben is active in promoting innovation and collaboration across the New Zealand technology industry and public sector. He has been a longstanding committee member and former Chairman of the Canterbury Software Cluster, the regional software industry body and is also the Chairman of Canterbury Angel Investors Inc., the regional Angel Investment network. Ben is a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Bridget Unsworth

Bridget is an Investment Director for NZVIF’s Seed Co-Investment Fund. Over the last 10 years she has worked in the venture capital, private equity and angel investment sectors in London and New Zealand.

Bridget graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education from Otago University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Victoria University, before taking a consultant role at Infinity Solutions within the Business Consulting team focusing on knowledge management and business development, based in Wellington. In 2007, Bridget worked as an investment analyst for London based placement agents MVision Private Equity Advisors, working on the investment fundraising team for many Private Equity Funds across the UK, Europe and South Africa. Bridget returned to New Zealand in 2009, and joined NZVIF in 2010.

Greg Sitters

Greg Sitters

Greg is an experienced IT professional and executive with more than 25 years working in NZ, Australia, Asia and the US. He was involved in setting up Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics in NZ, and has worked for these companies in NZ and overseas in executive management and international forums.

He has founded three consulting companies primarily active in the IT sector across Australasia with clients including government departments and Top 10 listed companies.

Greg, based in Auckland, heads up the investment committee for Sparkbox and provides expertise in sales, marketing, operations management and company strategy to portfolio companies.