Posted by Allan Vester on Jul 10, 2017

Ted van Arkel a prominent business figure in New Zealand and well known to many Rotarians took us on a journey through hs career attesting to the power of a positive attitude and taking the opportunities offered.

Ted had moved as a child with his parents from Utrecht, a University City in the Netherlands to Ohakune. He was unsure why his father, a baker, had made such a move but remembered that his mother did not like the change and within six months they had moved to Auckland. Educated in standard Auckland schools Ted left Mt Albert Grammar after the fifth form and began what was to be a wonderful career in retail at Woolworths.

Taking those opportunities that were available, Ted’s career progressed well. After nearly twenty years he moved from Woolworths to Bing Harris Sargood which morphed into Placemakers and ultimately to Ted taking on a joint venture in the Pakuranga Placemakers store. That ended fairly abruptly and in line with a theme of opportunities taken and serendipity Ted went for a coffee at the Plaza and a chance meeting with some old colleagues.

That resulted in a career with Progressive Enterprises and ultimately the role of CEO where some very significant changes in that company occurred including the acquisition of Woolworths. In 2004 Ted made the decision to leave that role and become a full-time company director. The list of boards that Ted has sat on, in many cases as Chair, is very impressive and includes Unitec, Charlies, Allied Work Force, Abano Health, Health Benefits Limited, The Warehouse and Dansk Mobler.

Ted continues to be a director on a wide range of boards and is Chair of Restaurant Brands a very significant player in the New Zealand fast food industry.