Our People

Find out more about our energetic team of people and how we use our diverse skills and interests to achieve our most important goals. We’re known for our passion, commitment and having lots of fun along the way. We’re always looking for great advisors to join our team. Please contact us to chat about opportunities.

Dr Mike is the Founder and Director of The Breakthrough Company and Author of the book Breakpoints. He is one of New Zealand's leading keynote speakers and business coaches with his unique blend of intelligence, personal experience, and insight. Before buying Breakthrough’s predecessor business in 2003, he was Chief Operating Officer at Southern Cross Healthcare where he was responsible for turning a $42M loss into a $30M profit in two years. Before that he was a partner at Ernst & Young Consulting in Wellington. Mike is married with three children, lives in Auckland, and plays the blues.

Dr Mike Ashby

Founder, Director & Advisor
Ryan has a wealth of corporate and small business experience and has been involved with Dr Mike Ashby for over 11 years, graduating from one of Dr Mike’s entrepreneur programmes in 2006. Since 2005 Ryan has been facilitating business workshops, coaching and chairing advisory boards. He joined The Breakthrough Company as a Director in 2013, and previously worked as an Account Director at Telecom Wholesale (responsible for over $100M of annual revenue), owned a property investment firm, and ran a successful IT business which he sold in 2010. Ryan is a sports nut who now plays hockey at club and representative level, and lives in Auckland with his wife Paula and their two young children.

Ryan Castle

Director & Advisor
Our General Manager Nicky is the company’s international nomad with ties to the UK and South Africa, and having lived and worked in many countries around the world. She is now very proud to call herself a Kiwi. Having carved out a career in the events and hospitality industry over the last 17 years, Nicky has operated her own businesses. She has a very good understanding of business owners' challenges as well as the highs of success. One of her greatest challenges was implementing the Spark Lab initiative which went on to become the core marketing strategy for Spark Business. Nicky is a bit of a fitness junky and can often be found pounding the pavements or giving it her all on a spin bike. Travel is still a big part of her life, although now she has a travelling partner – her 10 year old son Tyler. Both are avid adventure seekers and are always planning their next getaway.

Nicky Luis

General Manager
Wendy is The Breakthrough Company's Mastery Programme Manager. She joined The Breakthrough Company in June 2008, from an extensive background in sales and sales support. Until November 2014 she held the position of Business Manager, overseeing the growing operations of the company. Since relocating to the Bay of Plenty, she has focused her role on all aspects of member involvement with the Mastery Programme. An aspiring painter, Wendy and husband Craig now enjoy a semi-rural lifestyle which they share with their two boys, a dog called Buster and sundry other wildlife.

Wendy Taylor

Mastery Programme Manager
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Our resident Canadian, Milena is our Digital Manager looking after the development of our online product portfolio. With a background in marketing, technology and education, Milena is passionate about creating learning experiences that help people make the changes they want for their businesses and their lives. Milena lives in Auckland with her husband and two young children and a shed full of tasty brews due to their family-owned craft beer business.

Milena Cooper

Digital Manager
Kirsten is our resident bean-counter. Having worked overseas as a Financial Accountant in media and various Accountancy roles here in Auckland, Kirsten now looks after the Accounts Administration and stops Mike and Ryan from spending too much on tech toys. When not counting beans she is wrangling her 2 young daughters. She enjoys long walks beside the ocean and listening to Metallica.

Kirsten Hunt

Accounts Administration
Spanning a 20 year career to date, Ken has held senior executive roles within a number of Australasia's most recognisable organisations such as Heinz Wattie's, Goodman Fielder, APN News Media and SEEK NZ, working across the NZ and Australian markets. Through a combination of directing Sales and Marketing functions through to roles in General Management, Ken has built a wide range of business skills that are critical in delivering breakthroughs in business performance. His clients describe him as inspiring, reassuring and insightful. Ken is an Executive in Residence with The Icehouse, working very closely with start-up and entrepreneurial businesses as they develop ideas into high growth businesses.

Ken Leeming

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Dan is a proven leader with over 20 years experience in Sales and General Management roles within FMCG and Express Freight. Through his experience, he has created environments that consistently deliver against the overriding business objectives. Dan has held senior roles in DB Breweries, SCA Hygiene Australasia, Mainland Products, Post Haste and NZ Couriers. Dan is driven by a curiosity about what makes people think, work, and spend. He incorporates this curiosity into his approach to business to facilitate the creation of successful strategies for his clients.

Dan Meiklejohn

Highly experienced as a trainer and facilitator, Britta is also an award winning NZ business coach with over 17 years experience in helping business owners and their teams ‘get the right stuff done’. Armed with degrees in Business and the Arts, Britta has a broad background in behavioural science, psychology and organizational development as well as a keen interest in neuroscience and what makes people tick. With Viking blood in her DNA it's no surprise that travel is a big part of her life, and a hobby that she and her husband Kevin undertake whenever possible. Their daughter is currently studying at Victoria University leaving the dog walking to her parents- no wait, it's always been that way.

Britta Christiansen

Darryl built a leading advertising agency from the ground up 22 years ago which has been acquired by Australasia’s most successful communications group. Since then he has managed two mergers within the group and grown the company revenue by over 300% before managing his own exit. Darryl is a graduate of Dr Mike's very first entrepreneur programme and credits much of his success and resilience to his time on the course. Darryl is married with three grown up children and a music enthusiast and part time bass player.

Darryl McClay