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Michelle van Gaalen – Managing Director

Michelle joined Smith&Smith® in April 2018 and has overall responsibility for the growth and development of Smith&Smith® and Laser Plumbing and Electrical in New Zealand.

Michelle has had an extensive career both in New Zealand and offshore, focused primarily in consumer services industries.  This includes working in telecommunications, financial services, insurance and retailing businesses.  Michelle is also currently a member of the board of the NZ Government Superannuation Fund Authority, and an independent director of FlexiGroup (New Zealand) Limited and its associated subsidiaries.

You can contact Michelle at

Andre May – Operations Director

Andre has been working in the vehicle glass repair and replacement industry for over 9 years in Australia, the United Kingdom and now in New Zealand. He joined Smith&Smith® in 2015.

Andre is responsible for the leadership of our Operations and Glass Distribution throughout New Zealand with a focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience.

Before commencing his career in vehicle glass repair and replacement Andre worked Telecommunications for 15 years.

Pati Bloor – People & Leadership Director

Pati is responsible for people and leadership services, policies, technical training and programs for Smith&Smith. Leading the people practices and objectives that will provide an employee-oriented, high performance culture that emphasises quality, productivity and standards, goal attainment that ensures ongoing development of a superior workforce.

Pati has 16 years’ experience in HR having worked with a number of New Zealand companies including Laminex Group NZ and NZ Post. Pati spent the first 10 years of her career in finance and retains her chartered accountant status and membership with NZICA.

Julian Lynch – Commercial Director

Julian has nearly 20 years experience within the Vehicle Glass Industry, starting his career with Autoglass UK in 1998 and moved to Australia with our sister company O’Brien in 2007. Julian then transferred to Smith&Smith® In 2012.

As Commercial Director, Julian is responsible for leading his team in Sales, Pricing and Key Account client relationships.

Simon Whitfield – Finance Director

Simon is a chartered accountant and a member of NZICA with over 20 years of finance experience, having worked at KPMG in New Zealand and England, UBS, Restaurant Brands and Beca before joining Smith&Smith® in 2008.

Simon is responsible for the integrity of financial reporting, compliance, governance, strategic and financial planning and analysis as well as inventory and procurement.

Patrick Kuiper – IT and Digital Director

Patrick has over 15 years experience in large corporate organisations in diverse leadership roles in digital publishing, online media and healthcare in Belgium, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. He has a Bachelor of Industrial Information Science, MBA in Marketing and a Pre-Master in Management Science.

Patrick joined the company in 2016 and is responsible for the leadership and management of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as well as digital technology enablement and transformation within Smith&Smith®