Richard Thomas

Large activity seat (chair)

Richard was born in Queenstown and lived here most of his life. He has a strong governance background and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

Richard has been heavily involved in the Queenstown Lakes District business community with a deep level of experience in media, marketing, branding and tourism.

He is the former publisher of Mountain Scene newspaper and his previous governance roles include; board member and president of the New Zealand Community Newspapers Association, independent director and chairman of Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, board member, deputy chairman and chairman of Queenstown Chamber of Commerce.

Richard’s current governance roles include; director of Skyline Enterprises and director and chairman of a number of Skyline’s International Luge subsidiaries, director of Totally Tourism, director of Bookme, and appointed board member of Snow Sports New Zealand.

Richard firmly believes good governance forms the foundation of great organisations. He is passionate about the Queenstown Lakes Region.

Matthew Day

General seat

Matthew is an active member of the Queenstown business community and was elected to the Board in September 2018.  He has a diverse commercial background in tourism, airports and consumer businesses and is the General Manager Corporate Affairs at RealNZ.

Trish May

Retail/service/professional seat

Trish has lived in Queenstown for the last nine years and has been connected to the region in other ways including previously managing the New Zealand Ski Tourism Marketing Network, of which Destination Queenstown was a significant contributor, and also working as Marketing Manager for a subsidiary of Shotover Jet Ltd. 

Trish May offers in-depth knowledge of the tourism industry gained during a 25-year-plus career in tourism. Trish is a member of the Institute of Directors, Trustee on the Central Otago Queenstown Trails Network Trust and President of Skal International Queenstown, and has also held management roles in two other RTOs, which provided the foundation of skills in destination management. 

It is a crucial time for Queenstown and Destination Queenstown, as we take this journey of recovery, and we believe she has the skills and aptitude to contribute positively to this journey.

Carlyn Topp

Small accommodation seat

Carlyn’s proven track record lies in communication and working together with work groups, local council and the Chamber of Commerce utilising her skill set of finance (in NZ and UK), design, marketing and tourism.
Carlyn's local tourism business management experience includes GM at Arrowfield Apartments from 2007-2010, GM at Highview Apartments from 2009-present, and GM at Marina Terrace Apartments in Wanaka through 2020,

Carlyn is currently the facilitator of a monthly discussion group within the local accommodation sector, she is the accommodation sector representative for the Central Otago branch of Hospitality New Zealand, and she is also the facilitator of a local network of parents of children with learning disabilities providing guidance and support to gain information, treatment and care for their children. Carlyn is a member of the Tourism Operators Response Group for Queenstown and pre-Covid, Carlyn was a co-opted member of the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Carlyn is passionate about a balanced growth of business in the Whakatipu area where everyone benefits and is supported.

Jim Moore

Large accommodation seat

As the General Manager of Novotel Queenstown for the last 11 and a half years I have been active in the community and within the industry and have a desire to ensure we have a strong tourism industry as well as protecting the beautiful local environment that allows us to work here.
Over this time I have spent nine years on the Chamber of Commerce Board – standing down due to the constitution. I have had a voice on advisory boards for the Queenstown Winter Festival and Queenstown Resort College and an active member of the general manager meetings within Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

My business has been a sponsor of the Jazz Festival, Winter Games, LUMA, Queenstown Winter Festival, Gay Ski Week and Winter Pride, Queenstown Marathon and Motatapu, as well as sponsoring environmental initiatives with Queenstown Primary School and Shotover Primary. For the last 11 years, I have organised an annual fundraising event in town benefiting Cure Kids.
I bring 35 years of hotel experience with 20 of these at general manager level as well as past experience at Tourism Waikato and other advisory board positions.  Having lived in Queenstown twice and marrying my wife here 29 years ago I am passionate about Queenstown and everything it has to offer.

Esther Lynott

Small activity seat

As one of the owners of Hydro Attack and their Marketing Manager, I’ve helped build our small owner-operated business from the ground up. After 16 years in the industry, I have a strong relationship with many local business owners. I also understand the challenges many small tourism operators in Queenstown face and would be proud to be their voice on the board.

Before running a business, I worked in the Consumer Marketing team at Destination Queenstown. I know tourism supports the community, and balancing growth and sustainability is vital for Queenstown.

Taking off my tourism hat, I’m also a passionate advocate for Queenstown and love our amazing community spirit. Every weekend, our family gets out walking or biking on one of the many trails or attends one of the outstanding events we have in our region. Every day, I feel lucky to live in a place with so much to offer and would like to give something back.

Erik Barnes

General seat

Erik founded Auxilium Ltd. in 2014 to help organisations become more successful in dealing with the complexities of our fast-changing world. Erik has extensive experience in operations & infrastructure management/development, strategy & business case development, asset/activity management, facilitation, and learning & development.

He has worked in senior management & governance roles across a range of public & private businesses enabling him to understand the challenges from many different perspectives.