James joined ADC's Operation Committee in 2015 as Director of Business Initiatives.
1. What attracted you to getting involved with ADC?
Genevieve Martin asked me. I am interested in microfinance as it:
· Empowers people
· Effectively leverages time and financial resource.
2. What are you looking forward to the most about being part of the ADC operations committee?
Working with a driven and capable team.
3. What do you do for a job?
Aeronautical Engineer. Lead the helicopter team at Airwork NZ, doing design and certification of upgrades and equipment. For example, rescue hoists for the Westpac helicopter or surveillance cameras for the Police helicopters.
4. Tell us a little about any interests/hobbies.
Building things, travelling, learning, wake-skating, waterpolo, economics.
5. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose?
6. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
7. Best Book and why?
The Alchemist. It is succinct, extremely insightful and beautifully written. Read it every couple of years.
8. Best Film and why?
The Bourne Identity. Bourne is exceptionally clever and resourceful. He is always a few steps ahead. A very entertaining story of outsmarting and beating the incumbent. Generally I really don’t like movies/tv at all though.
9 All time hero?
No one specific person. Anyone creative and smart who isn’t too constricted by rules. Kelly Johnston (Aeronautical Engineer), Elon Musk (Entrepreneur/Engineer), Richard Leaper (Chief Engineer at AIM Altitude in Auckland), Chuck Yeager (Test Pilot).
10. Top aim for the next year
I only get one?
Although Sian Suan Cing has only a primary school education, she is a savvy businesswoman with all the knowledge and skill needed to see a small enterprise grow and thrive.
Access to affordable start-up capital has seen her dream become a reality. After acquiring the lease on a roadside tea shop in Kalaymyo, Northwest Myanmar, she took a microfinance loan from the ZMF bank to purchase equipment and supplies.
Sian Suan Cing’s tea shop is popular among locals – especially her Chinese-style fried bread – and she now employs three staff. Her income has continued to grow, allowing her to repay her loan and also to support her two sons to continue their education.
She already has plans to further grow and diversify her business, and is confident of being able to achieve these with access to affordable financial services.
Sian Suan Cing appears on one of two ADC cards that you can use to give the gift of affordable credit this Christmas. For $25, you can make a donation in the name of a friend or loved one and you’ll be able to give them a great card. You can also use the donation to claim an income tax credit.
2015 has been a sensational year for ZMF, ADC’s partner project in Myanmar. After many years of establishing itself, assessing the needs of the local community and piloting financial products, ZMF reached a point around 12 to 18 months ago where it was ready to scale up. This has coincided with ZMF obtaining a permanent license to operate as a microfinance institution, one of only two organisations in the region to do so.
At the end of July 2015 devastating floods swept through the Kalay region, causing serious damage to homes and businesses. Many ZMF clients lost enterprises that they had worked hard to build. These clients have shown incredible determination to rebuild their businesses, and the support they have been shown by the ZMF staff and community has been remarkable.
In spite of this setback, ZMF continues to go from strength to strength. Demand for loans is high, and clients continue to report a huge impact on their livelihoods from being able to access affordable capital for small business.
As the end of 2015 draws near, we are celebrating more than 2,750 loans and almost NZ$ 600,000 disbursed since ZMF began operating in 2008. This has been a truly remarkable journey so far, and it is exciting to think that it might be just the beginning.
December marks the end of a year of changes and challenges for ADC. The Board is in the process of recruiting a paid Executive Director to lead the Operations team next year. At this year’s Annual General Meeting, the Board and Members recognised the need for paid leadership to achieve the organisation’s vision for growth and success. We hope to provide you with more details in the New Year.
We recently welcomed Nadine Hill to the ADC Board. Nadine has a strong finance background and understanding of finance, governance and risk management. She has spent twenty years in Business and Corporate Banking in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and brings valuable experience and insights to the Board.
August 2015 saw the Kalay Township in Myanmar, where ADC’s microfinance operations are based, hit by torrential rain and severe flooding that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Many of ZMF’s clients were affected by these floods. Bank staff worked tirelessly to provide food, clothing and support while assessing the damage. Loan repayment requirements were suspended for some clients for a time, but many have been able to get their businesses up and running with minimal delay. The determination of these clients to empower themselves and their families through microfinance is truly amazing.
2016 looks to be another big year for the ADC team, kicking off with another gala dinner planned for March (details very soon). Until then, don’t forget to check out our beautiful Christmas gift cards. They tell the stories of two courageous women who are running successful businesses with the support of ADC’s partner projects. Empowerment of others through microfinance is a pretty amazing Christmas gift in my opinion!
Happy Christmas to you and your family from the ADC team.
ADC Board Chairperson
In October, the Ops team took the chance to get away for a couple of days and headed north to Whangaparaoa for a weekend retreat. This was a great opportunity for the team to spend some quality time together and also to discuss plans and ideas for ADC in 2016 and beyond. Fuelled by the never ending supply of delicious food organised by Pamela Day, it was both a productive and incredibly enjoyable weekend for the team. Some key take aways from the weekend included:
- Nick Hammond taking out the top score on the pinball machine closely followed by Janet Schofield whose perseverance was noted by all
- Big wins by both the AB's and the mighty Wallabies provided great entertainment
- Epic runs smashed out by both Andrew Colgan and Genevieve Martin in the prep for their marathon successes - Gen making it look perhaps a little easier
- Great competitive spirit and creative resolve demonstrated in the world’s most hilarious game of "Head's Up"
Despite the labyrinth like layout of our accommodation, all team members were present and accounted for on Sunday to unfortunately bring the weekend to an end. On reflection, it was great to walk away with a firmer idea of ADC's mission and plans and there is no doubt there was a great vibe amongst everyone clearly excited about what is coming up.
We would also like to thank our generous hosts for making their property available for the weekend.
Looking for a Christmas idea that endures? Consider the gift of access to affordable capital for a poor entrepreneur in Malawi or Myanmar. A $25 gift card will go a long way as loan capital for someone setting up a sustainable small enterprise in Myanmar, or will provide an aspiring entrepreneur in rural Malawi with 5 days training for the business skills they need to lift their family out of poverty. You will receive a gift card to pass on to your special person informing them of the donation and the impact it will have. ADC will provide you with a donation receipt which can be used to claim a tax credit at the end of the financial year. Please contact Pamela at email@example.com