Trevor GardinerTrevor is the CEO of thoughtplanters. He has over 30 years experience in the arboriculture and horticulture industry, including 16 years with Asplundh in New Zealand, 10 years as the Manager of their New Zealand operations
Trevor has a wealth of knowledge gained from working at all levels of the arboricultural industry. I literally began my career in arboriculture working on the ground and left Asplundh with over two hundred staff working under me.
thoughtplanters is a very exciting opportunity for me. At many levels the education industry is very similar to every other, but at other levels it is completely different.
Leadership training is also a passion for me. There are many people out there that have the energy but don’t seem to be able to direct it where it is needed.
Trevor is a Past President of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association and is currently actively involved in the Utility Arborist Association.
Mark RobertsMark is the Academic Manager at thoughtplanters. He is the clever one who writes and formats the bulk of the training resources. He also makes sure our processes meet the requirements of the various standard setting bodies that govern the quality of teaching in New Zealand and the other countries we train in.
I believe in what we do, its all about giving people the why, giving them a reason – once they understand why, the what and how falls into place. Its just about training better thinkers.
Mark became involved in the New Zealand Arboriculture Association and at 33 became their youngest President. He moved his focus to the international arena where he became the youngest Vice President of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Mark remains on the Board of the ISA which means he travels to their head office in the United States several times a year; there is really nothing glamorous about flying to the USA for the weekend, but when you try and tell people that they don’t believe you’.
Mark has over 20 years experience in the arboriculture industry working in England, Australia and New Zealand. He moved back to New Zealand from Australia and lives happily in Dunedin with his wife and two children.
I quite like beer, its taste more so than drinking it in large volumes. I’m always on the lookout for new beers and or limited edition brews.
Richard WanhillRichard is our Business Development Manager. He is the guy who talks to people to find out how thoughtplanters can meet their training needs.
Primarily he talks to them about how we can help. Training staff is so much more than just teaching skills and complying with the latest legislation. Efficiency, safety and improved productivity are almost by-products of quality training – get the training right and the rest will follow.
Richard has 15 years experience in the arboricultural industry, with five years as a branch manager of Treescape Ltd in Wellington.
I really enjoy meeting people. There are some great people in the horticulture industry, which makes my job really interesting. Watching a company grow and develop through training and education is a buzz. I also really enjoy identifying a client's education and training issues, addressing those needs and, at the same time, raising the standards and quality of our industry overall. That way, it's a win-win.
His favourite pastime is surfing. I surf as much as I can when I can. It's about being outdoors and challenging myself physically - particularly now that I spend most of my day in front of a computer screen. I learnt to surf when I was 6 or 7 years old. My Dad surfed, and so do my two older brothers - so it was a family sport.
I travel a lot with my job which has many benefits, like sampling Singapore's chicken rice and Chinese rice porridge.
Alysha McLellanAlysha worked with Horttraining for over two years and now is working in a similar role for thoughtplanters. Alysha has become a valued member of the team.
Her role in the company is to organise training days, results, enrollments and general admin duties.
She has a National Certificate in Business Administration Level 4 and a National Certificate in Business Administration and Computing Level 3.
I especially enjoy working in training when we receive our students' National Certificates and Diplomas. I know that all the guys and girls have put a lot of time and effort into getting their qualifications... so this is a very rewarding part of my job.
Andrew (Andy) NevermanAndy needs little introduction to those in the New Zealand and Singapore arboricultural scene. He is a qualified educator with creditability and we are privileged to have him on board.
Andy says that he loves the challenge of being a climbing arborist and a trainer because every day is different. Like many Kiwis’ Andy spent several years living and working abroad and now that he is back he still gets to work abroad - Andy carries out and / or oversees much of our training in Australia and Singapore.
He is married to Hayley and they have two daughters who enjoy riding horses on the family's small lifestyle block. In his spare time, Andy enjoys surfing, kayak fishing and just being at the beach.
Bryan GouldBryan's is our lead trainer in the Diploma course, but where and when we can we unleash his skills and considerable expertise on other training activities.
He is a qualified educator with extensive experience in private and public sector consultancy, mainly in relation to trees and landscape management.
Bryan comes from England, he spent time in Australia and now calls New Zealand home.
When asked why he enjoys what he does Bryan said, "I am inspired by the natural world and in particular I am a passionate advocate for trees and arboriculture."
Bryan's knowledge, combined with an infectious enthusiasm for discussing arboricultural issues, enables him to combine his personal interests in the environment with professional commitments in teaching and communicating.
In his spare time, Bryan enjoys all outdoor activities - especially mountaineering, kayaking and biking. He is married to his best friend Julie and has two daughters.
Fiona EadieFiona is one of those incredibly busy people who seem to manage more than is possible. When not training for us she is the Head Gardener at New Zealand’s only castle (Larnach Castle) or writing for industry magazines.
She is the author of '100 Best Native Plants for New Zealand gardens' (now in its second edition) and has been in the running for New Zealand’s Top Gardiner.
She says that she loves plants and has worked with them in some way for most of her life. She loves the fact that training people is a double whammy as she can learn from the students' personal experiences as much as they can learn from hers.
Fiona and her partner Mick own a piece of land in Central Otago, which they call ‘The Paddock’ – it’s a place to sit back and indulge in the fine wine and great food the region has to offer.
Kent ThwaitesKent lives in the Far North and brews a fine coffee. He is a keen surfer and believes in making a difference. 'Currently I’m working on the Foundation Certificates, and its great to be able to provide a sense of purpose for many of these trainees, they are just so full of energy and all you have to do is direct it'
Laurence OvertonLaurence's job is working with horticulture trainees and assisting their learning as they work towards qualifications in their chosen career.
"I've had over 30 years experience in the nursery, amenity and production sectors with 13 years as a tutor/trainer."
Laurence is great. When asked why do you do what you do, he said;
"I grew up on a nursery in the UK spending most of my spare time helping to make cuttings, sowing seeds, potting, watering etc. I just loved being around and learning about plants. In more recent years, I've been privileged to be in a position where I can help feed, water and grow others in the industry and the most enjoyable thing I get out of this is seeing the results - whether it be a trainee passing an assessment, completing a qualification, setting up a business or simply seeing their enthusiasm for plants growing."