Taking care of business

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Having announced she’s stepping down, Queenstown Chamber CEO Ann Lockhart discusses the highlights of her 10-year reign with Philip Chandler, and discloses what she and Sir John Key joked about on a gondola ride.

She might live in Cardrona, but Ann Lockhart’s undoubtedly Queenstown’s most influential woman in business.

The Queenstown Chamber of Commerce CEO is stepping down late this year after 10 years, having turned the role into one of the resort’s most important through her business acumen, perseverance and charm.

It’s hard to credit, but when she took the job it was only part-time, “and then I had a very part-time girl for half-a-dozen hours a week”.

Echoing the saying, ‘if the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’, Lockhart says: “I knew that I couldn’t go and see everyone and do everything in 20 hours a week, so what I did was just made our events the best events so that people came to us.

“That’s fundamentally how we grew the Chamber membership in the early days.”

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