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Tom Laing

Hi, I'm Tom Laing, Secretary at the Willunga Business and Tourism Association

After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at Flinders University in South Australia, Tom started as a Research Officer in community services in local government. A major project was a community needs study. This was followed by period with Ogilvy and Mather Advertising in their Futures Division - a social research unit examining the broad-social, technological, economic and political -trends impacting on consumers and clients' advertising strategies. Tom is enamoured with small business and has followed a familiar pattern in entrepreneurship to many before him. His father was self-employed. He was raised in a community where "Work Hard and You Shall Achieve it" was the mantra of his community. Not surprisingly he formed his own consultancy Business Research and Development and consulted to government departments, local development agencies and private enterprise. Small business i.e. micro enterprise and its development became his focus in the employment, industrial and regional economic development contexts he worked in following Ogilvy and Mather. When he moved to NZ in 1995, he established his own consultancy business, Tom Laing and Associates, and continued to assist small enterprises with marketing and growth strategies. He became the Manager of the East Coast Business Development Board and after that maintained a lengthy involvement in the delivery of the BIZ programme before becoming a lecturer in small business management at the Open Polytechnic in 2002. He moved back to Adelaide in 2008. Involvement with his community is important to Mr. Laing. He is currently a member of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand. He has been involved in his church, credit unions, unions, Rotary, voluntary mentoring and a number of professional organisations

Tom Laing's Background

Tom Laing's Experience

Program Manager - Education and Training at Carers SA

March 2009 - July 2009

Developing and delivering state-wide community support services for family carers that are underpinned by community development and education and training principles and contribute to the strategic objectives of Carers SA.

Owner at Betta 4 U Ltd

2005 - September 2008

Specialising in micro and small business support. Special interests in capabilities and innovation.

Lecturer at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

May 2002 - September 2008

Lecturer specialising in Small Business Management. A member of a small team in the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development teaching and developing open, certificate and Diploma courses in various aspects of business.

Mentor at Business Mentors New Zealand

January 2005 - July 2008

Volunteer Mentor to business people in the areas of Strategic Business Planning, Marketing and Finance

Mentor at MentorsbyNet

January 2006 - June 2008

Volunteer Mentor for Small Business people world wide.

National Treasurer at The Christian Community (NZ)

2004 - 2006

Usual Treasurer type activities - bookkeeping, monitoring and reporting, Committee work, organised annual camp.

Associate Director at Wine Country Credit Union

2000 - 2002

Gave strategic and marketing advice to CEO, participated in Board meetings

Manager at East Coast Business Development Board

October 1996 - October 1998

Position involved administration and marketing of Business Development Grants to micro and small businesses in the East Coast of New Zealand.

CEO at Business Research and Development Pty Ltd

August 1986 - February 1994

Oh what grand plans I had mixing innovators with entrepreneurs to maximise business development. If only I knew then what I know now. BRAD was a vehicle for learning about enterprise - community enterprise, social enterprise, sole proprietorships, economic development, regional development, enterprise development, employment development. Did some interesting things workshops, seminars, NEIS coordination, regional development. In the end I went to Germany, the company was wound up and I ended up in NZ.

Industrial Development Officer at Whyalla Industrial Development Executive

1989 - 1991

Moved the organisation from industrial development to economic and employment development activities.

Manager at Ogilvy and Mather

September 1983 - November 1986

I was manager for The Futures Division in Adelaide. We researched and studied the macro changes occuring in the world (Social, Technological, Economic, Enviromental, Political). A great deal of our work was based on the Austraian Values Study. We liaised with the Account Managers to bring that knowledge to their clients and their communication strategies. As a result, developing more effective advertising and results for campaigns.

Secretary at Willunga Business and Tourism Association

October 2009

Secretary for the Willunga Business and Tourism Association includes meeting preparations, administration, project management. Included a period as Coordinator for Willunga Down Under 2011.

Principal at Tom Laing and Associates

September 2008

Small business support specialist - mentoring, coaching, advising and consulting

Tom Laing's Education

Flinders University

1971 – 1979

Bachelor of Arts

Concentration: Sociology

Activities: Flinders University Union Board

Tom Laing's Interests & Activities

Voluntary work, community organisation, caring

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