InTouch : Saluting Reg Garters

Reg Garters has decided to retire from New Zealand Institute of Management Southern at the end of this year after working for NZIM for 35 years and leading the group as CEO for 28 of those years.
In many ways Garters seems most unusual person to hold the title of CEO of NZIM Southern – he is involved in so many non-management endeavours.
He has successfully staged six one-man shows at the Court Theatre in Christchurch, and the Illot Theatre in Wellington, where he received standing ovations and positive media reviews. Through the shows he raised $12,000 to help eradicate polio through Rotary.
He has performed his well-known Elvis and other impersonations to surprised, appreciative audiences in various places including the Triangle in Paderborn, Germany, and The Wild Foods Festival in Hokitika, and at conferences throughout New Zealand.
He leads services fortnightly at his local Anglican church where he serves as lay minister and carries out various duties in his capacity as lay canon at Christ­church Cathedral, where he preaches several times year.
Garters also serves on several boards and has made an extraordinary contribution to the Rotary Club of Christchurch where he is past president and an enthusiastic member.
As well as this he has run several full and half marathons, and reached the pinnacle of his running ambitions in 2006 when he completed the mighty Coast to Coast with his daughter, Sally.
Garters declares his job as CEO of NZIM Southern has been the greatest in the world. It has been demanding with plenty of long hours at times, but he loved leading his “fantastic group of people and being at the sharp end of new thinking and research in management”.
People often ask how he fits in all the interests he pursues – he reckons he doesn’t work harder than most executives but he manages the resource of time with utter ruthlessness. “I suppose I spend lot more time planning than many,” he says. As might be expected he is looked on as an expert on the subject of time management. His books Time to Manage Time and Managing to Lead have been reprinted many times.
“I was always impressed with the way Churchill kept up balance during the horrific years of the Second World War. As well as being prime minister he wrote books, painted, laid bricks, and was always mixing with good friends with plenty of cheer. He fitted it in. We should be able to,” he says.
Garters will not be resting on his laurels and has busy future planned. “I am looking forward to pursuing many things that needed to be limited in the past: speaking engagements, entertaining, board work, writing, church, golf, fishing and most especially more time for my wonderful wife, Biddy, and five grandsons. I will still be in touch with NZIM. I have been asked to lead several courses for NZIM next year and I will do that with full enthusiasm.”

People will be able to keep up to date with Garters at

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