With a career built in the manufacturing sector, this Kiwi is as passionate about the construction industry as she is about her home country. Having worked in Industrial Gas (BOC), Glass (O-I, now Visy), and Concrete (RamsetReid), Timber was a natural next step for Wendy.
With a CV that zigzags between marketing, sales, productivity (Lean Six Sigma Black Belt), and sustainability, her time spent in the glass industry gave her the opportunity to be part of a mindset change to reducing waste to landfill and thinking about our carbon footprint. Now within the timber industry, Wendy is again able to be part of an industry change in the conversation about building materials and more sustainable choices when people make the biggest investment in their lifetimes – the family home.
“Unlike FMCG brands and products, I like working with ‘the cogs’ that make the overall product – core materials essential to the finished product,” she says. “That’s what I love about timber – it’s the DNA of really smart building solutions.”
Based in Auckland, and pre-COVID travelling to Australia every other week, Wendy’s immediate focus is spearheading market initiatives to ensure Pryda’s offsite business is where it needs to be over the next three-to-five years. Rising on three pillars – fabricators, builders, and industry – Pryda’s strategy aims to boost the profitability and productivity of its partners, as well as give greater voice to the timber industry. The overall mission moves to Pryda’s now-familiar drumbeat: safer, faster smarter, easier.
However, there’s work to do, says Wendy, highlighting a certain conundrum facing timber industry players. “Timber is inherently flexible – there’s so much you can do with it, but that can lead to complexity,” she says. “Building component suppliers such as Pryda must make things simple, providing solutions that match wide-ranging skills onsite and keep everyone on track to work faster, safer and smarter.”
Outside of work Wendy trying to keep up with the 4 men in her life – Mr O’Hearn and the three Master O’Hearn’s, including a 12-year-old aspiring All Black. Unlike most Kiwis (at least the Kiwis on the better side of the Tasman) she also has an emotional stake in AFL, supporting the Geelong Cats (Tom Hawkins’ stray elbows never looked so good) and, in that other code, the Sydney Roosters.
“All Kiwis support the Warriors, but you’re on a hiding to nothing, so my next bet is the Roosters. Don’t mention Sonny Bill Williams,” she says.