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Angel Association of New Zealand Appoints New Chair of the Board

Angel Association of New Zealand (AANZ) is pleased to announce the appointment of David Flacks as the new non-executive Chair of the Executive Committee, effective 1 April 2024. David brings a wealth of experience and leadership to AANZ.

As an angel investor for a number of years with Flying Kiwi Angels, and with a portfolio of startup investments through IceHouse Ventures and others, David has a deep understanding of angel investing. With David’s three years on the board of NZ Venture Investment Fund, the predecessor to the NZ Growth Capital Fund, he also has a valuable ecosystem perspective.

David’s current governance roles include Chair of the Suncorp NZ group of companies and listed company, AFT Pharmaceuticals. David was also a director of start up Harmoney Corp and took it to ASX listing as Chair. He was a founding partner of Flacks & Wong and partner at Bell Gully.

In addition to welcoming David, AANZ Chief Executive, Bridget Unsworth, extended the organisation’s gratitude to outgoing Executive Chair Suse Reynolds for her leadership and dedication to the early stage investment space during her tenure as Executive Chair for the last four years and as Executive Director for the previous eight years.

Unsworth noted that under Reynolds’ guidance, AANZ achieved numerous milestones including growing the number of angels the organisation represents from 200 investors to nearly 1000, for growing the AANZ membership base to over 50 members, bringing the Abroad wellbeing programme to New Zealand and enthusiastically championing startup investment to anyone who would listen, including government, media, corporate New Zealand, research and tertiary organisations and internationally.

“The reason we have such a thriving early stage ecosystem is because of Suse’s deep passion, desire and determination to see a hugely vibrant early stage ecosystem” said Unsworth. “Suse has been an invaluable asset to our space, with her unwavering commitment to our mission she has left an indelible mark on AANZ and beyond, and we extend our deepest appreciation for her service.”

AANZ also welcomes Michelle Cole to the organisation who took on the role of Chief Operating Officer on 1 April. Michelle brings 28 years experience as an active owner, investor, advisor and has held commercial roles in corporate, government, SME and NFP organisations. In the previously held roles at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Edmund Hillary Fellowship, Michelle supported New Zealand businesses raise capital to fund growth, promoted foreign investment to New Zealand and facilitated business development globally.