Monday, April 5, 2010

Qualmark CEO Resigns

We see that Qualmark NZ Ltd Chief Executive, Geoff Penrose is stepping down after 5-years in the role.

Before his appointment to Qualmark, Geoff worked for other publicly funded service institutions including the City Gallery and Auckland City Council.

When Geoff started with Qualmark, there were 1,300 Qualmark licensed businesses and to his credit this increased to 2,300 under his watch.

Geoff will probably be most remembered for being at the helm when Qualmark inserted a fashionable and politically correct environmental criteria into their quality assessment under the maternal eye of the previous government. This means that accommodation businesses are now assessed on their allegiance to environmental and social mantra as part of their quality assessment process.

This embedded criteria means that an accommodation property has the opportunity to maintain or in some circumstances, increase their quality star rating due to their environmental and social efforts.

Extra special properties that demonstrate their environmental and social concerns can be awarded a separate Qualmark Green enviro-rating. To date there have been 400 Enviro awarded businesses that are able to clutter the landscape with additional accreditation branding.

We would respectfully suggest that it is a very good time for a CEO to depart Qualmark.

We wonder what budget restrictions will be forthcoming for Qualmark in the near future as the current government continue to look for efficiencies?

Currently, the New Zealand taxpayer is substantially subsidising the benchmarking of tourism businesses by Qualmark and license fees are well overdue to increase. A fee increase will be a difficult message to sell to license holders that have had the benefit of corporate welfare keeping fees artificially low for many years.

The Automobile Association is a minority shareholder in Qualmark and we wonder if this institution has been assessing its role and ROI recently?

The talk-fest of the Service and Self Contained criteria review committee has spent over 3-years of procrastination. This has become an embarrassment - What will it take to galvanise this important sector that includes motels?

Qualmark have been accused of abandoning its original brief of delivering an efficient quality benchmarking service to tourism businesses by being sidetracked with environmental evangelism. 

The incoming Chief Executive will be faced with a few time-bombs and many challenges...we wonder if we should start polishing our CV?

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