Publish date: 10/04/2018

North Canterbury electricity distributor and Enterprise North Canterbury Corporate Sponsor, MainPower, appointed Andy Lester as its new Chief Executive in November last year. Four months on we caught up with Andy to see how things are going in his new role.

What attracted you to the role of MainPower Chief Executive?
“MainPower is an organisation that stands for something meaningful. In addition to providing an essential service to the community, we see ourselves as enablers of economic, social and cultural activities within North Canterbury. With emerging technologies and changes in the way that people use the electricity network, there is so much opportunity out there for MainPower to partner in our customers’ energy future. I think we have a bright future and that’s what really attracted me to the role.”

What roles have you held previously?
“Most recently I’ve been consulting, assisting businesses in the areas of risk management, project management, resilience and emergency management training. Prior to that I spent seven years as Chief Operating Officer at Christchurch International Airport Limited. I’ve also worked in various executive leadership roles at Wrightsons Ltd, General Cable and Caltex Oil.”

What do you consider your biggest achievement in this role so far?
“I’m not sure it’s a personal achievement but I received a really warm welcome from within the business as well as the wider community. It really reinforces to me, the role that MainPower plays in the region.”

When you started you conceded that you knew little about the sector. How would you rate your industry knowledge now, four months on? 
“There is always plenty to learn. I’m fortunate in that I’m surrounded by people who know the industry inside out – the institutional knowledge and technical skill at MainPower is testament to the effort we put into providing a fair and supportive work environment where the highest levels of competency are maintained and personal development encouraged.”  

MainPower is a valued sponsor of Enterprise North Canterbury, having supported ENC since 2002. How do you feel MainPower's sponsorship serves the local business community?
“MainPower actively supports local communities - one way we achieve this is by supporting the growth and diversity of the local economy. Our ongoing partnership with ENC is a tangible example of how we can support a healthy business community and contribute towards regional economic development.”