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VIA’s chief executive calling time

David Vinsen’s position with association to become part-time as he transitions to retirement from role.
Posted on 23 June, 2022
VIA’s chief executive calling time

The chief executive of the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) has announced his transition to retiring from his role.

David Vinsen, who has been involved in the organisation in various guises for decades, is shifting to a 20-hour week from July.

He will remain chief executive of VIA. However, he will be less involved in the organisation operationally.

Then, later in the 2022/23 financial year, Vinsen will further reduce his hours as VIA’s board continues to investigate options for how the organisation will be led in the future. 

The way forward is discussed, in part, in papers released ahead of the association’s annual general meeting in Auckland this afternoon.

In his report to members, Chris Stephenson, chairman of the board, says: “As our industry has grown, changed and matured, so must our association, which is why today we are showing our members the next steps of the VIA revitalisation. 

“Our plan began with the creation of our member tiers and a council. This brought transparency to our funding, clarity to our purpose and a platform for membership engagement. 

“While these changes helped correct our financial position, the association was left with only a thin surplus and an ongoing need to engage and support members in new ways that created value.”

Stephenson adds that the changes being made, which also see the departure of administration manager Bev Purchase, make space in VIA’s budget to take on a new team member.

“This role will be focused squarely on membership engagement and communication,” he explains. “So watch this space, the job description is almost complete and recruitment will begin in July.”

In his annual report to members, Vinsen, pictured, says: “VIA’s core goal is to ‘keep the door open for used imports into NZ’. In order to do so, it needs to be well-resourced and staffed. 

“Although the association has only been operating in its current format for less than two years, it is essential that we be ‘fit for purpose’ to meet the challenges of the future.

“The board has decided to review VIA’s structure and staffing to achieve this. We need research and communications expertise to ensure we are capable of properly representing the vehicle-import sector, as well as engaging better with our members and the industry.

“We have evolved over almost 35 years from a reactive group of used-vehicle importers to become a professional organisation that is taken seriously by successive governments. I believe we need to continue the evolution and development of the association.”

Stephenson says: “This AGM marks 35 years of our industry association, a significant milestone and one that deserves celebration. Many people have contributed to the success of our association and industry over this time, and I’m sure they reflect proudly on what has been achieved. 

“In particular, I would like to acknowledge David for his support over the past two years. Thank you for your dedication, hard work, honesty and professionalism.

“You have given a great deal to our industry and association over many, many years. We undoubtably wouldn’t be where we are today without you and your leadership. 

“David’s transition plan is something that we have crafted collaboratively over the past 12 months, and throughout the process it was always obvious that he put the needs of the association and its members before his own.

“Also today we will be saying farewell to Bev [Purchase], who has served the association for almost 30 years as office manager. Saying goodbye to people we have worked with for so long is always sad and difficult, but it is also a necessary part of change and growth. 

“The board would like to sincerely thank Bev for her many years of hard work, dedication and support, and wish her well as she looks to spend more time with her grandchildren, in her garden and listening to cricket. 

“Last but not least, thank you to the VIA team. Your continued resilience and adaptability in the face of continued change shows the commitment you have to our association.”