Our Stories: Jodi Zervos

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Struggling to make herself understood at the mobile phone shop and stifled by the humidity on the walk there, Jodi Zervos found herself wondering if she’d made the right decision moving to Hong Kong a few years ago. “It was hard at the beginning. It takes time to get to know a place.” But her kiwi determination kicked in, she gave it time and eventually settled in.Jodi Zervos

Jodi has always had a sense of adventure. She moved to Cairns from Auckland when she was 18, where she discovered her passion for diving around the Great Barrier Reef. There, she also started her career in hospitality. It wasn’t what she’d planned, but she’s philosophical about the paths we end up on. “Everything in life is an opportunity put in front of us,” she says. “I always ask myself: Am I learning? Am I growing? And if it feels right, I follow it.”

So when bitten by the travel bug, she started a new adventure in the UK, travelling and exploring for a number of years. She also worked managing catering contracts for the British Museum and the Barbican.

Review: Business Book Club: You're not Listening

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Author: Kate Murphy 

“Listening is the neglected stepchild of communication.”Not listening

Have you ever been bored when someone is speaking to you and counted down the minutes until you could extract yourself? Turns out, part of the problem could be you, or at least your listening skills.

The author of this book, journalist Kate Murphy, shared many examples of how she, and others, have uncovered some wonderful stories or resolved issues that wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t listened well. Murphy suggests we can uncover more interesting stories and information if we give the speaker time to talk, stay curious and ask them questions that delve further into what they’ve already shared.

Our Stories: Emma Keeling

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Ahead of International Women’s Day we caught up with Emma Keeling, who will the MC for our headline event on Monday 8 March.Emma Keeling

Whether it was fighting it out with the boys on the football pitch or fending off nay-sayers as the only woman in the newsroom, Emma Keeling has certainly had her fair share of challenges.

A journalist for 25 years, Emma started in radio and ended up in TV. She worked on a variety of news and current affairs shows in New Zealand before securing the Europe Correspondent role for TVNZ.

“I thought I knew what I was getting myself into but two years of terror attacks and Brexit soon made me realise I didn’t, but I had to just get on with it. Looking back, I feel proud of how I adapted and the stories I told.”

She feels “chuffed” to host the NZBWN International Women’s Day event with this year’s theme ‘Choose to Challenge’. So what has she found most challenging in her life? “To be honest keeping those little voices in my head quiet and getting out of my own way. Although men come a close second,” she says with a grin.

Emma was born in Auckland and grew up in Kerikeri. She wanted to play football but there was no girl’s team, so she played with the boys until her dad pulled her out when she hit puberty. “I was furious, but I ended up on the golf course caddying for him one day when I was bored and that’s when I started playing.”

Our Stories: Libby Gordon

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Libby isn’t one to sit still. She bought a one-way ticket to the UK 15 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. An avid runner and cyclist, she also has a string of voluntary roles on the go, including helping run our Business Book Brunch, and has recently hosted a masterclass to impart some sage advice on coping with change.Libby Gordon

Why does she volunteer so much? “I’ve got time to give and I like giving it. I love meeting people and hearing their stories.” It’s something she’s always done, ever since she was a kid. Her parents were part of Forest & Bird and so she was often out litter picking or planting trees. She’s carried that on into her adult life with a long list of charities and community groups that she supports, both in her local area of Tooting and beyond.

When she started to miss her connection with New Zealand a few years ago she joined her first NZBWN Business Book Brunch, which she now volunteers to help run for the network. “They’re a great learning opportunity. I love that it’s not just about listening to someone else, but getting involved in the discussion and helping myself and others think about how to apply the things we learn.”

“I enjoy talking to people who are interested in more than just what’s in front of them.” She thinks it takes a certain type of person to uproot their lives – leaving behind their family, friends and everything they know that’s familiar. Although not every Kiwi that has done that will have the same outlook, she says there’s a common desire to get up and do something different and she’s interested in speaking to others who share that type of attitude.