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Our Leadership Team

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Tim Covic, Chief Executive Officer

Leading a team of 2000 people across the entire New Zealand landscape, CEO, Tim Covic aims to deliver market leading, customer led, security services. Differentiation, Customer Experience and Service Excellence.

Tim has worked in numerous industries across the globe, including Telecoms, Consulting, FMCG, Fire & Safety and now Security. Whether start-ups, midsize or global multi-billion-dollar organisations, he has a proven track record of leading business development, transformation and integration in challenging environments.

Tim believes in doing what’s right, doing the hard not the easy. People matter most and everyone can contribute. Ethics, honesty and transparency are the pillars of that drives him both personally and professionally.

His educational background is a Bachelor in Management Studies and Chartered Accountant (CA ANZ).

Steven Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer

Steve is a highly experienced security and business operations leader, with 30 years’ experience in the security industry. He joins us from Australia where, for the past five years he’s been General Manager – Regional Operations for Wilson Security, based in Melbourne.

His career has been focused on leading highly-respected security organisations to improved services, unparalleled customer service and renewed success.

Steve considers himself to be a hands-on change strategist committed to creating long-term transformation in an organisation, be it through process improvements or cultural change.

 

Brian Switalla, GM Strategic Accounts

Brian is an experienced security professional who has worked throughout New Zealand within the security industry since 1982.

Having extensive operational and managerial experience Brian is ideally suited for his role.

Ensuring the delivery of exceptional levels of customer service whilst providing innovative solutions are key deliverables for Brian.

Responsible for the retention and organic growth of our national strategic accounts Brian holds The Professional Security Officers Certificate of Competence issued by The New Zealand Security Association.

Jemima Briggs, GM Sales

Jemima is an innovative problem solver and has been a go-to partner for her customers for nearly 20 years. Most of her career has been spent leading customer-centric sales teams in the consumer goods industry and has built long lasting relationships across multiple B2B customers in UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Jemima is happiest getting out there and getting to know her customers’ businesses and then delivering solutions to better meet their needs and solve their problems.

Nick Gibbs, GM Operational Delivery

Nick has a wealth of experience across all aspects of the security industry, having initially got involved while studying at university in 2000. He has managed numerous key contracts for FIRST Security, and previously as a successful local business owner in Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru.

​Nick holds a Bachelors in Applied Science from Massey University and is currently completing a NZ Diploma in Security to further extend his security knowledge.

Scott LaFranchie, GM Marketing & Product

Scott is a marketer with a passion for innovation and technology. He's spent the last 13 years working in a variety of analyst, marketing, product and leadership roles across a range of industries from Law Enforcement to Telco and more recently Cyber security.

Scott loves being challenged and undertaking initiatives that change the market landscape and create amazing customer experiences.

Joining us right in the midst of Covid-19, Scott is proud to have joined a company providing such an essential service to our country.

Wade Wilson, GM Systems & Technology

Wade has over 15 years’ management experience across several industries in the UK, Australia and NZ. Having led teams in Finance, Operations, Information Technology and Project Management, Wade is a collaborative leader with a passion for the continuous improvement of both people and service.

Wade’s role at FIRST Security is responsible for our systems strategy, technology innovation and project delivery.

Michelle Vincent, GM Human Resources NZ

Michelle’s passion for people has driven her to spend the past 14 years specialising in all aspects of Human Resources.

She has notable experience in strategic human resource planning, performance management, staffing & employment law.

Michelle’s career has been focussed on driving workplace culture through positive, proactive engagementwith employees at all levels of the business.  

Her wide ranging skillset combined with her passion for people ensures the team and employees at First have the right support and advice.

Brett Farrell – GM Northern Region

Brett is an experienced Commercial Manager and joins us with over 15 years’ experience in the energy and services industry.

He brings a wealth of knowledge in Business Strategy, Team Leadership, Stakeholder Management, Agile methodologies, Financial analysis and Project Planning.

Brett feels most at home when he is collaborating with his team to challenge the status quo and deliver customer centric solutions.

Gerhard Venter - Central Regional Manager

Gerhard brings over 25 years’ experience in management roles in the security industry including security systems and controls, fire protection, monitoring, guarding and contact centres.

He is passionate about driving productivity and efficiency, whilst maintaining staff engagement and developing strategies to help customers succeed by having integrated security solutions.

Gerhard also has a successful track record in delivering customer centric growth, acquisitions, SaaS management, third-party venture partner programs, agile and technology implementation strategies. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Management and is a certified Six Sigma Blackbelt.

Chris Harris, GM Southern Region

Chris brings over 25 years’ experience in the security industry and has been with FIRST Security since 2017. In 2021 he was promoted to his current role as Southern Region Manager. He’s based in Christchurch and is responsible for all South Island operations. Chris oversees our South Island branches and directly manages strategic contracts for the region.

Chris is a seasoned security manager, leading teams to ensure an innovative approach to customer solutions and service delivery. This includes collaborating with security partners and emergency services and managed deployments. He has a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

Vaughan Henry – Commercial Manager

Vaughan is an entrepreneurial and passionate Commercial Client Management professional. Over the last 30+ years Vaughan has worked in Telecommunications, Artificial Intelligence and Government industries in Senior Account Management and leadership roles.

Adept at bringing people together to create strong and successful win-win solutions, Vaughan leads teams that set and achieve meaningful goals and outcomes. With extensive commercial, contractual and programme management expertise he looks to build long term value for both client and supplier.

As Commercial Manager at FIRST Security Vaughan manages and advises on a wide range of commercial matters, supplier and client facing.

David Proud – GM Integrated Security

David has nearly 40 years’ experience in the engineering and technology industries, with 23 of those years running his own Security business, specialising in corporate, commercial and industrial security. He has also been a long-standing board member of NZSA.

David brings with him a determination to drive our new business division, integrating disparate electronics technologies to deliver greater value and inter-generational change to our clients, staff and communities.

A people-centric and versatile senior executive with excellent coaching and mentoring skills, David is passionate about creating engaged, empowered and high performing teams, which his direct reports are already reaping the benefits from.