Auckland Business Coaches & Board Facilitators

Join other business owners like you to take your business to the next level

The Alternative Board Auckland

Provider of business advice, planning and business coaching solutions to owners, CEO’s and managing directors in Auckland.  Our business owner Advisory Boards and Virtual Boards expand your thinking beyond your particular industry providing different perspectives to spur new ways of doing business based on real-world experience.  We encourage and empower our members to achieve their business and personal visions.  We have business mentors and coaches in Auckland North, Auckland Central, Auckland South, Auckland East and Auckland West.

Auckland Business Coaches / Facillitators

Russell Eastwood - Auckland North

Business Coach & Facilitator
Auckland North


From the North Shore to the borders of Northland, Russell supports business owners ‘over the bridge’.  With his extensive coaching and facilitation background he 

Read Russell's Full Bio

helps owners work through the life cycle of their business – change in ownership, succession, restructures, acquisitions, sales systems, work behaviours, innovation and people culture. Russell has trained sales forces from some of New Zealand’s iconic companies and has been building skills and competencies in the business world for the last twenty years through his successful training and coaching company. 

Russell specialises in sales, leadership, coaching and time management and work behaviours and has worked with business owners and management teams across New Zealand and Australia in fields as diverse as technology, education, logistics, manufacturing, finance, construction, and scientific research. He says: “Running a business is hard – we have to ask tough questions and think differently to achieve success. I’ve lived and worked in Auckland North for 30 years and being able to act as a catalyst for change to help businesses is a great privilege. My sole motivation is helping businesses succeed. The Alternative Board is the right place for business owners in Auckland North to source the advice, support and inspiration they need to move forward”.

Scott Morris Auckland East TBO

Business Mentor & Facilitator
Auckland East


Scott brings a passion to his work with business owners and leaders and helps them realise their visions of personal and business success.

Read Scott's Full Bio

His passion is backed by more than 27 years of experience across all areas of business operation and ownership. Working for many years in the New Zealand dairy industry, Scott progressed into international marketing, sales and business development. He gained international experience with 11 years in Asia, the Middle East and Russia and spent two years with Fonterra’s international strategy and mergers and acquisitions team.

Returning to Auckland, Scott led international and domestic marketing strategy for Tenon, with his first taste of business ownership at the marketing consulting group, Traffic. Scott was asked to join the Laser Electrical and Plumbing franchise group as a Director and NZ CEO where he operated successfully for a number of years and

most recently Scott was the owner and Managing Director of Essential Brands Group NZ, an Australasian coffee franchise group growing the business to profitability in a very challenging market before successfully managing the sale of the business. He says: “Business owners face significant challenges every day and working with The Alternative Board helps them meet those challenges and exceed their own expectations. Operating environments are going to get tougher and the support we can provide is invaluable”.

Gordon Stuart - owner of The Alternative Board Auckland Central

Business Coach & Facilitator
Auckland Central


With 28 years of wide-ranging international business experience, Gordon now applies his well-earned wisdom to help business owners in Auckland’s CBD.
Read Gordon's Full Bio

Involved in many of NZ’s largest takeovers, Gordon is well versed in due diligence, valuation, project finance, management and, importantly, the need for good corporate governance.

He says: “All businesses need to recognise and embed the importance of setting milestones and using bench-marking to meet goals, differentiate the best, drive improved understanding and continuous improvement. The Alternative Board provides a structure for business owners to focus this important work”. During his banking career Gordon worked with domestic and large multi-national businesses, gaining stakeholder management expertise and an understanding of value chains across a diverse range of industries including methanol, gold mining, electricity generation and distribution, food and beverage, retail and financial services. Gordon has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and is a member of both the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD).

When he is not working, Gordon can be found coaching and administering rugby at North Shore Rugby Football Club.

Karen Van Eden Auckland West TBO

Business Coach & Facilitator
Auckland West


After 20 years as a Strategic Change Consultant, Karen joined The Alternative Board to work in a more meaningful and collaborative way. The role of a consultant is to offer external expertise; yet after years of success, 


Read Karen's Full Bio

Karen’s style has evolved into coaching business owners to find their own solutions from within.

Karen asks potent questions, provides a strong sounding board, and empowers business owners to uncover, own, and fully implement next steps. With a longstanding passion for organisational culture, Karen knows this truth: if people are happy, energised, and have the tools needed, organisations perform well. Similarly, if organisations perform well, business owners have more time, money, and freedom to live their dreams.

Karen has completed advanced coaching programmes and is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. This enables her to bring a refined ear for deep and intuitive listening to the needs of her clients. Karen also facilitates Business Owner Advisory Board Meetings where business owners offer each other fresh perspectives and new options.

Throughout her life, Karen has chosen to live in ways which reflect her deepest values. To do this, she has walked the path of reinvention so that she works to a meaningful, healthy, and fulfilling rhythm. It is with empathy and enthusiasm that she provides strategic and operational support to business owners, while also challenging them to reach through the short-term pain of being in business to reach the long-term gains of business growth and improvement.


Karen is an outstanding facilitator. I am constantly impressed by her ability to see through what is happening to the issues that need to be addressed.  Her patience and understanding, combined with her intelligence, insight, and substantial skills, produce a powerful and highly effective catalyst for positive change and growth.

Mark van de Water


Being with The Alternative Board has given me a lot more confidence at work and it has greatly improved my knowledge on how to run a business. Knowing you have Karen behind you to help as well as the other committed members of the board makes decisions that much easier. Being a part of The Alternative Board has been even more helpful during these trying times, knowing the support you have is right there if needed. 

Gene Merrylees

Owner, Merrylees Electrical

Today was super cool and very challenging and rigorous. Thanks for all your energy and patience with us, harnessing our different viewpoints and shared values and helping us refine and articulate our vision. No mean feat! I really enjoyed it.

Louise Giles

Director, HUSK

“I have more control over my business and more importantly, I’ve managed to regain a work/life balance. With the professionalism and integrity of the TAB Facilitator and the support of other TAB members, I’d recommend The Alternative Board to any business owner who wants help getting to their goals.It’s not a magic trick, it requires a lot of hard work and commitment. But it works.”

Bryan Hunter

Owner, Western Recycling Ltd

I owned and ran a small electrical contracting business for almost 36 years. It was doing quite well, we were definitely making money.  Just over four years ago I got an invite to attend a trial meeting of The Alternative Board, and I went along.  I was not put off by what I heard at the meeting so I thought that I would give it a go and see what happened.

Barry Martin

Managing Director, Prolectrics Ltd

Read Barry's full testimonial

Four years later I still regularly attend The Alternative Board meetings.  My business has become more profitable and grown. The Alternative Board has helped me keep things on track.  I still find value in the meetings and the one-on-one coaching.

I believe that the value that The Alternative Board brings to my business outweighs the cost and therefore is money well spent.  There are often good ideas that come out of these meetings that are most helpful.

Bruce Roberts Auckland West TBO

Business Coach & Facilitator
Auckland West


With deep executive experience from an array of senior management positions held across a variety of national and multinational companies, within industries ranging from printing and publishing, breweries, FMCG,

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and furniture, Bruce has a fantastic success rate in problem-solving, growing businesses, and improving bottom lines.

Going into business as a coach with The Alternative Board has allowed him to work in a highly collaborative way with his clients. It has also allowed him to live his life based on his core values: embracing and living life fully, challenging himself and others to be their best, choosing to walk his own path and, like nature, evolving and responding to what is.

Bruce feels privileged to leverage his broad business experience to help small and medium-sized business owners improve profitability and positively impact the lives of their staff. In one-on-one coaching sessions, Bruce listens intuitively, sees patterns, and asks questions that bring out innovative ideas, enabling business owners to enact their personal and professional visions. In this role, he offers his voice with detachment while encouraging passionate forward movement.

He also creates and facilitates Business Owner Advisory Board Meetings where owners help each other solve problems and seize opportunities. At any one time, he works closely with up to 30 companies, sparking the flame that enables business and developmental growth.


Initially I didn’t understand how The Alternative Board would add value. It felt like it might be a nice thing to do to bring a little structure to my busy, business-focused life. The reality is Bruce and The Alternative Board has added huge value to our company.

Tim Grainger

Business Development Director, Venerdi

Read Tim's full testimonial

The board offers a space to get feedback, a time to make commitments to yourself, and an opportunity to learn from others. However, there is so much more.  Bruce personally and The Alterative Board have a huge network of good contacts.  Our virtual CFO and CMO are both recommendations from Bruce and they are great.  Our hiring process is so much more robust since we’ve applied psychometric testing and Bruce’s insights. His monthly mentoring helps me cut through the noise and make real progress. He offers insights at the most fundamental level of business where the day to day disappears and real progress happens.

We had needed a reality check and The Alternative Board was a way to get a lot of insights without the cost and stress of consultants or advisory boards. My experience has been that you are always in control.  You can start immediately and while it takes a few months to make wins, as you learn, it’s a lot faster than other options, and the hard work is done for you without the risk.

I recommend The Alternative Board and Bruce, especially for those without enough time or money as these are consequences you might want help to change.

“I went to a sample board meeting and was most impressed with the process.
Not only did we get a personal coach but we got access to all the other wisdom
and experience held by the other Board Members, who are business owners.
Membership fee is structured in a realistic way to the size of our business,
making the coaching relationship more sustainable for the long term. It’s a
growth process and all of us who sit around the Board table get lifted up
knowing it is a safe place to share our challenges with one another and help
out with wise and creative solutions.”

Robyn Lonsdale

Owner, Templewater Technologies Ltd

By attending Board Meetings you learn a lot about your own business.  You also learn a lot about yourself, especially from different perspectives.  When you run your own business, you can get narrow minded and tunnel vision can easily set in, especially as there just aren’t enough of you at that one level.  It is good to have everyone’s opinion.   I’ve resolved several issues while sat at the board table with the other members.

Lee Dewerson

Owner, Safe n Sound Ltd

I have employed you as my coach for 4 years. I have always felt built up as a result of meeting with you one on one or in a group setting. You are very good at establishing and maintaining relationships, by the way you respect and encourage many different types of people. 

Michelle Nunes-Vaz

Owner, Tax and Trust

Read Michelle's full testimonial

You are an understanding listener and a passionate communicator when you coach one on one or when you lead a group. I think this is because of your personal empathy which you show when others share their experiences in business. Over all the times we have met regularly together you have showed reliability to be where you said you would be at the time you said you would be or if you couldn’t you would phone or email with as much notice as possible. This consistency in personal integrity is rare in the business world. You also would arrive organized and ready to delve into what’s happening in my world, trying to push me further on my business journey with both goalsetting and accountability. Your experience in business helped me to take responsible risks and it has particularly helped when the tough days happened, especially last year during my build journey and funding crisis. As I take on more of my own coaching clients and get asked myself more to mentor others, I will be aiming to emulate much of what I learnt from you. I hope you see this transition as a job well done rather than have any sense of incompleteness in our relationship. Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom with me and I will miss you. Feel free to keep in touch with me Bruce as much as you would like to and I will still invite you to events I have on here in my office – that you may be interested in personally or know of someone who could be.

Chris Deere TBO Auckland South

Business Coach & Facilitator
Auckland South


Chris is committed to the South Auckland community, living and working there since 1993, establishing and fostering collaborative partnerships to support others and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Read Chris' Full Bio

He started out as a police officer in South Auckland and his passion for people led him to a variety of community and front-line based roles. He was instrumental in the establishment of a CYFs approved programme requiring a multi-agency approach to cater for male recidivist youth offenders.
Moving into to the commercial world, Chris became CEO of Rainbow’s End Theme Park, where he continued to initiate and support many community initiatives. Under his leadership Rainbow’s End experienced significant growth, developed a strong and effective customer focused, inclusive work culture and received a number of prestigious local and international awards.
Combining his community focus, significant wide-ranging business leadership experience and qualification as a professional level coach through ANZCAL (Australia and New Zealand Coaching Alliance), Chris is very much committed to supporting business owners in South Auckland.
He says: “South Auckland is brimming with innovation, whether that’s in the many manufacturing businesses here, service provision or other enterprises. That means the scope for development and growth is huge and The Alternative Board is the right place for South Auckland business owners to find the support and help they need”.


A chance meeting on Hahei Beach with Chris and Tammy proved to be fortuitous – professionally and personally. We engaged Chris to guide us as we sought to grow our business sustainably. Chris critiqued, advised and set goals to improve our operational processes, sales and marketing.

Richard and Helen Oram

Owners, Peninsula Party Hire Ltd

Read Richard's full testimonial

Marked improvement in turnover, efficiency, delivery and profit resulted. Chris’ experience, advice and ability to view our business from an outside perspective were of great value to us. Topping it all off – he’s one of the ‘good buggers’ in this world – and he makes good coffee!

Chris has helped my business for nearly a year now. His expertise and The Alternative Board system is fantastic to help you observe your business in ways you would normally not be aware of. With Chris’s and the other members’ help, I’ve been able to better scale my business/manage staff and even reduce costs in areas to help improve my bottom line. I like the structure of the TAB system too- everyone gets to talk; everyone gets to offer their advice. Chris has been there done that, in lots of areas which I think is important when growing a business – learning from actual experience, not a ‘textbook’ – so highly recommended.

June 2020

Matt Reid

Director, RazorWeb Ltd

Chris from The Alternative Board is amazing! He is very knowledgeable, encouraging & down to earth. I have found Chris to be a huge asset to myself & my business. He goes above & beyond & continues to expand my ideas around how I can grow my business. I highly recommend Chris to anyone who is needing business advice or guidance. Chris, thank you for all the work you are continuing to do with me on my business! It is very much appreciated!

June 2020

Maria Basevi

Director/Fitness Instructor, Base Six Fitness

I found Chris Deere to be a highly competent and professional advisor, you know that he is there to find solutions that will help your business and it’s very ‘confidence-inspiring’ to have someone like him on your shoulder. It’s been a great experience that will continue for the foreseeable future as he is a real asset to our business.

June 2020

Karel Pavich

Director, Pro Rider Ltd

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“I felt quite lost and drowning in my weekly responsibilities, that is, until I became a member of The Alternative Board”  

Lee Dewerson

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