Meet Our Team

Position: Managing Director

Short Bio
Andrew began his telecommunications career with the New Zealand Post Office in 1980, back when operators had to plug cords into holes to connect toll calls. Over the years, he gained extensive knowledge of PABX systems and kept abreast of the technological advancements within the industry.

Privatisation and restructuring within Telecom forced Andrew out into the real world, and he co-founded Phocal Communications in 1997.

Since its humble beginnings 20 years ago, Phocal Communications has grown into one of the leading telecommunications companies in Rotorua. Throughout this time, Andrew has adapted and diversified his skills and expertise. Along with his PABX mastery, he also specialises in video surveillance (CCTV) solutions and data cabling.

When not half-way up a ladder, Andrew can be found watching and playing sport, spending time with his family, or perhaps squeezing in a quick game of squash or poker.

Position: Telecommunications Technician

Short Bio
After graduating from Plymouth University with a Bachelor of Science with honours, Tom spent a number of years back-packing around the world and avoiding work wherever possible. He then slaved away as a primary school teacher for 12 years, integrating technology into classrooms and supporting techno-phobic teachers. In 2014, after becoming an expert at finding faults in the education system, he decided to turn his attention towards telecommunications. He now takes great pleasure in finding PABX faults, setting up VOIP connections and all the other intricacies of this ever-changing industry.

In his free time, Tom enjoys reading, writing and going on adventures with his three young daughters.

Position: Systems Manager

Short Bio
Allen first started fiddling with computers back when a 3 ½ inch floppy was a good thing. His early IT education came via home-schooling, which essentially involved several years of taking computers apart and putting them back together again. Since then he has accrued more than 20 years’ worth of business experience and spare parts. Nowadays, he specialises in most things, but considers computers, networking and Wifi to be towards the top of his skill-set list.

Allen joined Phocal Communications in 2011, bringing with him a vast amount of skills and opinions. His friendly, out-going nature is almost more appealing to our customers than his computer skills.

When he is not on the clock, Allen can usually be found tinkering away in his man-cave; building retro arcade machines, pulling motorbikes apart or concocting home-brew.

Position: Office Administration

Short Bio
Ira is Phocal’s rose amongst the thorns. Her even temperament and sharp wit keep the rest of the team in line and her excellent phone etiquette ensures that people ring Phocal Communications more than once. While only officially in charge of accounts, Ira’s reach extends to virtually all areas of business. Her day-to-day jobs span from trivial chores, such as sending out all invoices and managing customer accounts, all the way up to the absolutely crucial, such as ensuring the coffee machine remains fully stocked. Ira originally trained as a secretary and PA, before spending the last 20 years as Business Manager at Phocal.

When not playing ringmaster in the Phocal Circus, Ira can be found managing her three sons, organising numerous touch rugby teams and tournaments, and shepherding her grandchildren.

Position: Contractor

Short Bio
Dave is an expert at terminating cables. We’ve tried to nick-name him the Terminator, but it hasn’t stuck. Yet. However, he has only been contracting at Phocal for 8 years, so unless his contract gets terminated we’ll try again in another decade.

Dave picked up his telecommunications education in the traditional way, by joining the NZ Post Office as a trainee in the 80s. Once he’d acquired all the tools of the trade he became a renegade, loaning his skills out to the highest bidder. Phocal Communications won the bidding war and are glad to have him. Most days.

While he is a gym-junky and a keen mountain biker, Dave also enjoys concocting homebrew and has been known to taste test it from time-to-time.