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About The Breakthrough Company

Since leaving corporate life in 2003, Dr Mike Ashby has created an extraordinary track record in helping business owners grow their lives and businesses to the next level. Now he’s brought all that experience, plus his research on the leading practices for small to medium sized businesses, and put together the world’s most powerful business coaching and development programmes for business owners.

If you want…
  • Better results with less effort
  • More time for yourself, your family and leisure
  • More profits so you can secure your future and your lifestyle
  • A simpler, calmer life where you’re in control
  • Better health and more energy
  • A business that doesn’t depend on you
Then you need a growth vehicle that provides…
  • Ideas that inspire you and change the way you think
  • Accountability for the commitments you make
  • A process to make improvements in your life and business permanent
  • Someone to help you maintain your discipline and focus

The Breakthrough Company programmes are designed to help you succeed in achieving your aspirations. We’ll help you work out where you want to get to. You’ll get the roadmap, the vehicle, the support squad and the navigator for your great adventure.

The Team

Get to know a bit more about our team. Our diversity of skills and interests adds to our dynamic workplace. We’re known for our passion, commitment and authenticity to how we change peoples’ lives for good.

Dr Mike Ashby

Founder, Director, Advisor

Dr Mike 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. He recently published his first book, Breakpoints. Mike is married to Franceska. He has 3 grown children, he lives in a Spanish casa in Auckland, and plays dadrock with his brother in a local pub.

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Ryan Castle

Managing Director and Advisor

Ryan has a wealth of corporate and small business experience and has been involved with Dr Mike Ashby for a long time, 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, in addition to taking on insane cross-fit challenges, also plays hockey at club and representative level, and lives in Auckland with his wife Paula and their two young children.

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Kate Olson

Membership Manager

Kate is our Membership Manager and has a background in event management, working with membership bodies both in New Zealand and the UK. Her focus is on supporting members and offering them opportunities for growth via workshops, events, and other resources. When she isn’t wandering around local green spaces with her partner and daughter, Kate can often be found with her nose in a book.

Wendy Taylor
Wendy Taylor

Business Development Manager

Wendy is The Breakthrough Company’s Business Development 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.  After relocating to the Bay of Plenty, she focused on all aspects of member involvement with the Mastery Programme.  More recently Wendy has stepped into a Business Development role, Sales and Sales support, Partner Coach development and relationships and PA to the Directors.  An aspiring painter and gardener, 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.

Milena Cooper
Milena Cooper

Digital Manager

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 transform people’s businesses and their lives. A proud Canadian, Milena relocated to Auckland with her New Zealand born husband Craig and two young children to live the kiwi dream. Their third child is their business, Bach Brewing, making and selling award-winning craft beer.

Kirsten Hunt
Kirsten Hunt

Accounts Administration

Kirsten worked overseas as a Financial Accountant in media and various Accountancy roles here in Auckland.  She now looks after the Accounts Administration and stops Mike and Ryan from spending too much on tech toys. She and husband Dan have 2 young daughters. She enjoys long walks beside the ocean and listening to Metallica.

Ken Leeming
Ken Leeming

Advisor

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. As well as his experience and wisdom, his clients value his calm demeanor, his experience and his sound judgement.

Dan Meiklejohn
Dan Meiklejohn

Advisor

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.

Britta Christiansen
Britta Christiansen

Advisor

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.

Darryl McClay
Darryl McClay

Advisor

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 business owner programme and credits much of his success and resilience to his time on the course. Darryl is married with three grown up children. He too is a music enthusiast and a rock steady bass player in a band.

Ed Hall

Advisor

Ed is an entrepreneurial strategic thinker with over 15 years’ experience of developing and selling SMEs. Since 2003, Ed has been the Director of several companies involved in consultancy, construction, project management and communications. Ed has recently held leadership positions with community groups, in the NGO health sector and the loyalty rewards industry. One of Ed’s main goals is to help others succeed in business. He also keeps up with his sporty kids by ticking off physical challenges each year which push him well outside of his comfort zone on a personal level.

Contact The Breakthrough Team

Chat to us to find out more about how we can help you and your business