Karen Forsman

Karen Forsman - Buller Accommodation Sector Group Chairperson

After deciding on a ‘midlife’ change of direction in 2016, Karen and her husband Lee, packed their bags, sold their Hamilton home and purchased boutique Omau Settlers Lodge, on the West Coast, South Island.

Prior to motel ownership, Karen was a project manager for DairyNZ, a position she held for four years which drew upon a diverse background in sales & marketing, business development, administration and self-employment. She is also a freelance writer and published author.

Since moving to the South Island, Karen has become an active contributor of Advance Northern West Coast (ANWC), a volunteer group focussed on increasing visitor numbers and promoting the Northern West Coast region. Karen felt that the role of HNZ Accommodation Sector Chair for Buller Branch would be a good fit with the work she does for ANWC and the relationships she has built through both organisations.

Karen feels privileged to call the stunning Buller region her new home. She enjoys meeting interesting and diverse people from all walks of life who stay at the lodge. Karen admits that being new to the industry has meant she’s had a steep learning curve, and is thankful for all the support and resources available through Hospitality NZ. “It’s nice to know that our Regional Manager and the team at HNZ are only a phone call away.”

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