Meet The Team
Peruse this slightly off-beat snapshot of the core Avatar team members to get a taste of our diverse backgrounds. Avatar also has a wide range of part-time and contract staff that help bolster the ranks. In addition, we have a number of partner companies and sites that make an important contribution to the Avatar network.
Mark started in the Internet industry in 1994 working with one of Canterbury’s first Internet Service Providers. In 1997 Rocket launched New Zealand Tourism Online and then Avatar Web Promotions in 1998. New Zealand Tourism Online was sold to Telecom Yellow Pages in 2006. Mark enjoys meeting with Avatar’s clients and strategising winning Web solutions. When not at Avatar HQ, Mark’s into playing a good round of tennis, going on family caravan trips and supporting the private space industry.
Steve has an extensive background in the Web industry and has been involved in the interactive and Web design industry for many years. Holding a degree in Interactive Multimedia Technologies, Steve has emerged from behind his computer screen to work closely with Avatar’s exciting client base. In his role he finds tailored Web solutions for clients to ensure they get exactly what they’re after. When Steve isn’t working closely with clients or tapping away furiously at his keyboard, you’re more than likely to find him chasing a little black ball around at his local squash club.
Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her project managing duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.
Angela is our resident numbers girl. She makes sure the Avatar accounts are in order and ensures everything balances. Finding the balance, however between work and family can sometimes be tough for this busy mother, as she’s often rushing to collect her children from school, soccer training or ballet practice. A self proclaimed perfectionist, it’s no surprise that Angela enjoys marching as her chosen sport, where precision is paramount. Her passions (bordering on addictions) include full fat lattes, shopping and more shopping.
Turning visions into Web site realities is what Jason enjoys most about Web design, which is lucky for us as this is exactly what he’s doing. Not content with just one diploma, Jason left Natcoll with three diplomas (Graphic Design, IT and Multimedia) under his belt. After four years of freelancing, we’ve finally wooed this whizzy, flash kid into one of our Web design hot seats. Jason’s a true blue Kiwi designer and when he’s not creating Web magic, he’s on his bike racing down mountains or on his snowboard, er, racing down mountains. Speedy could be, but thankfully isn’t, his middle name.
Richard has a Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology and has been working as a designer and front end developer since 2007. He’s Avatar’s resident WordPress guru and seems to always be able to hack together any random coding requests that’s thrown at him. He enjoys watching and playing a range of sports like cricket and golf (when not injured… but that’s what he gets for playing social netball in an over competitive team).
Phil has been working in the Internet industry since 1999, gaining experience in his home country, England during the .com boom. Over the past decade, Phil has helped clients take their ideas from dreams to fully developed, robust websites. His expertise ranges from design, PHP/ MySQL, WordPress development to SEO and electronic newsletter integration. Whilst not designing or coding, Phil enjoys success at national and international BMX racing, surfing, body boarding and of course like all good Englishmen – drinking tea.
Daniel came to the web while studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 2006, as a poor student and with a band about to tour, he whipped up a site for pointing media enquiries towards. That first site is long gone (thankfully) but Daniel has continued to design and develop sites that engage and connect with their target audience. On the rare occasion he’s not in front of a computer screen, Daniel can be found restoring vintage bicycles and twiddling knobs on analogue synthesisers.
Tanya hails from England and relocated to New Zealand in 2008 to pursue the Kiwi way of life. Having gained an Economics degree in London, she kicked off her Marketing career in 1994 when the commercial Internet was in its infancy, and has been addicted to all things Internet ever since. Never far away from a computer, she spends her spare time blogging and networking on social media sites. Tanya also loves sketching, crafting and comedy. She’s a big Flight of the Conchords fan, which is the only reason we allowed her into the country. Tanya is also a perfectionist, which should suit her role of writing, editing and optimising web content for maximum search engine results.
Stefan is our special ops Web Developer. Starting in 2003 with PHP he has added a number of programming languages to his developer stack. He enjoys long nights of coding delights when he is not relaxing on a beach or otherwise occupied with travelling, his true passion. Living in Vietnam, originally from the United States, Stefan has an outside of the box mentality when it comes to developing quick and elegant solutions for your needs.
Mike is one of our System Administrators and has been working in the IT industry since 2000. His expertise ranges from typical Linux System Administration through to PHP development, allowing him to understand the technical back-end and user front-end of any IT project. Mike has had previous roles in NZ including large ISP’s, regional web service providers, and two years working for Oracle in London. In his spare time Mike enjoys getting outdoors, mountain biking, snowboarding, plus any DIY work around the house or in the shed.
Greg prefers to remain a man of mystery but he’s a key chap that keeps the Avatar Mothership flying and ensures our servers are running at peak performance. Kind of like Scotty on The Enterprise.