Meet Our Management Team
The people who drive Greentree have between them accumulated hundreds of years of experience in business and computer technology. They share an obsession with all facets of business processes, and ways to make them function more smoothly, so businesspeople can spend less time pushing paper and more time thinking of ways to become more profitable. These are some of our people, and their stories.
"Technology changes rapidly; dramatically, who knows what it will be like in 10 years' time? But whatever happens, Greentree will be there."
Don Bowman - Founder of CBA & Greentree
(45 years business, 30 years software, a lifetime of tinkering)
In the 1970s Don owned a large electrical contracting business, and got caught up in the first wave of business accounting software. He'd always been fascinated with technology - dreaming up ways it can make businesses work better.
"I realised that I.T. was going to be able to perform so many of those mundane tasks that take up too much of people's time, especially in business processes," he recalls.
CBA, the forerunner of Greentree, was the first flexible integrated accounting system. It was installed in thousands of companies worldwide, has continued to function for a quarter of a century, and is only now in its retirement phase.
Around the start of the millennium, Don decided the business world needed even better tools, and started to create Greentree.
"Everybody told me 'Don't do it!' They said the world was destined to be ruled by giants like Microsoft and Sage.
"I'm glad I ignored them. If you're only impressed by 'big', then Greentree probably isn't for you. Greentree's success proves that biggest isn't best, smartest or most durable!"
Peter Dickinson - CEO
(40 years technology, 35 years business, 30 years business software, 43 years worshipping Jimi)
For Peter, 1970 was a watershed year.
On the negative side, Jimi Hendrix died (Peter is a devotee and insists that Jimi's music will be played at his funeral). On the positive side, Peter was inspired by an enlightened maths teacher who told him that computers were going to change the world.
"He was right. Looking at the evolution of technology and the massive changes it's brought to lives and business, at times it's mind-boggling."
Ever since, computing has been Peter's passion. He's the founding president of the NZ Software Association and his prime focus is on bringing the best software to the mid-level business sector. But perhaps his most enduring inspiration is the picture of his great-grandfather Bob Semple, Minister of Works in the New Zealand government of the 1930s. In 1937, at the commencement of works on Christchurch Airport, Semple drove a bulldozer over a wheelbarrow and a shovel, symbolising new technology's victory over the old.
"Bob believed that man was not born to hang on the end of a shovel," Peter says. "We've got brains, and we should be using them to do things better.
"Technology changes rapidly; dramatically," Peter adds. "Who knows what it will be like in 10 years' time? But whatever happens, Greentree will be there."
Harry Mowat - Managing Director, Greentree UK
(20 years software, 12 years business software, 40 years mad on cars)
Harry's outstanding track record in developing partner networks across Europe, the Middle East and Africa made him the perfect fit when Greentree went looking for someone to run its UK office. The British market is a tough environment, but Harry is quite at home in the Land of the Giants.
"Every partner is different, but having managed relationships with the likes of IBM, down to the smallest of resellers, it all comes down to two things: having a great product to sell and nurturing a close relationship with your partners, based on trust, friendship and team work," he says.
"At last in my career I have found both - A great product in Greentree and some very focused and very successful partners to work with, many of whom I consider to be great friends."
For recreation, Harry turns into a petrol-head. He's nuts about cars and motor racing.
Stephen Sims - Product Director
(30-plus years business & technology, 40 years in the workshop)
Steve is a highly accomplished juggler. His job requires him to give customers what they want now, while anticipating what's around the corner.
"Technology is not a fleeting thing," he says. "You can't afford to let your core business systems be out of date." Steve is a hands-on guy. For fun, he likes building things - out of both wood and metal. And when it comes to developing business software, he wants to achieve that same longevity.
"Our customer feedback is always heartening," he says, "because they tell us the payback from moving to Greentree can be literally measured in months. They put in Greentree to deliver today, and we keep developing it so it will still work for them 10 years from now."
Graham Hill - Channels Director
(20 years business & technology, 25-plus years shooting hoops)
Graham is the vital connection between Greentree's partners and customers. More than 40% of our revenue goes into research and development - on business software tools, not fancy toys. Our reinvestment is huge because the landscape is always changing, and bringing in the revenue to finance that reinvestment is Graham's primary role.
"To be blunt, my job is to feed the machine, grease the wheels, get the money through the door," he says.
When he's not toiling on our behalf, Graham is a keen sportsman - he sits on the board of Auckland Basketball.
His business philosophy is simple: "to have fun engaging with people while shooting the winning baskets".
Cameron Hallmark - Chief Product Officer
(20-plus years in ERP, forever loving the Hawks)
Cameron has worked closely with hundreds of businesses across many different industry sectors in the UK, USA and Australia. He knows what makes them tick well, and brings this deep understanding to ensuring that Greentree's products deliver the best solutions.
He does this by always keeping in the back of his mind three key questions: "Is it a good thing? Are people going to use it? What does it need to do?"
Despite his "galactic" work experience, Cameron is a Melbourne boy from head to toe. His two obsessions outside of work are his home team (Jane, Michael and Lauren) and his Aussie Rules football team, Hawthorn ("'Fan' is not a strong enough term - I'm a fanatic!").
Allistar Melville - Chief Technical Architect
(20 years technology, 15 years an Easy Rider)
As Greentree's Chief Architect, Allistar connects all the technology dots, driving our development team as it strives to make the complex simple.
The software world is an ever-changing minefield, but to Allistar it's more like a playground. He's serious about playing too - often in the saddle of a motorbike.
The technology behind Greentree is complex, but when it reaches the user it is always praised for its simplicity - not just because it eases the burden of difficult or repetitive tasks, but because it is easy to maintain, adapt or expand.
Achieving those goals is Allistar's job. Businesses often demand solutions to intricate problems, so he generally ponders: "How can I build a little engine that will do all those things generically?""My core philosophy is that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right," he says. "Anything less is a disservice to myself personally and to the organisations I provide services to."
Jane Smallfield - Marketing Manager
(25+ years in marketing, sport and cuisine)
She came to Greentree from her role as founder of Proxi, which specialises in developing marketing strategies for growing businesses. She’s also a former President and Executive Board Member of the NZ Software Association, ex-General Manager of IT consulting firm Clarus, and was an account director at SwayTech, a supplier of marketing services to ANZ technology companies.
People who’ve worked with Jane testify to her wide-ranging communication skills, attention to detail and clarity of vision. Suffice to say, Greentree has had its eye on Jane for a while and we’re delighted to have her on board.“Focus local but think global” is Jane’s marketing philosophy. “What attracted me to Greentree was its desire to be different, demanding worldwide attention. It’s prepared to take risks, but also has a strong sense of community
“If Greentree has been based anywhere else in the world, it would be considered a success story, but coming from New Zealand it is truly remarkable, so being part of that is an opportunity you can’t turn down.”
Outside of work, Jane is a sports enthusiast, supporting her three daughters on the sidelines at netball, soccer and water polo. She’s also a netball umpire. She and husband Graeme grow, harvest and bottle olives from trees at home, and both are enthusiastic cooks. They have two grandchildren.
“I’m excited to be leading Greentree's global marketing programme and to be part of such an innovative, creative and talented team,” she says.
Mike Bowman - Non-Executive Director
(30 years in law and commerce, serious time on the ski slopes)
Mike is a specialist in company and commercial law, banking and finance. He’s the former Head of Corporate Finance at Bancorp New Zealand and continues working for Bancorp as a consultant. He’s also an independent investment banking and business advisor, as well as a private investor and company director.
When he’s not in meetings, he indulges his passion for gardening, hiking, mountain-biking and especially, skiing. He and his wife, Kristin, have three sons. Mike is also the eldest son of Don Bowman, Greentree’s late founder, and looks forward to continuing the family connection.
“There’s a real core of innovation in Greentree, which I think goes back to the old man,” Mike says. “I’ve been on the sidelines, watching this cool company grow, and I’m honoured to be taking on a role that puts me close to all the brilliant ideas that are being turned into reality.”
Pacific Marine Batteries decided it needed a new accounting system, as its incumbent system, Platinum, was outdated, had limited support and was a mass of add-ons. Financial controller Kenneth Andersen decided the company needed an integrated solution to simplify the finance team’s job.Read the full story
Greentree's Stephen Sims asks, if a customer fined you for mucking up an order, how would you feel?...Read moreOpinion Pieces
Trish Hall of Star Business Solutions offers the lowdown on job costing and revenue recognition....Read moreOpinion Pieces
Business intelligence is no use if not shared, says Endeavour Solutions' Chris Miller....Read moreOpinion Pieces