About Us

Michelle Staples – Director of Zestpeople

Motivating, inspiring and insightful, Michelle has extensive consulting experience across a diverse range of industries throughout New Zealand. Specialising in career coaching, career transition, training and facilitation, Michelle positively engages with people at all levels, ages and stages to embrace change and enjoy the challenge of designing future career opportunities.

Michelle has a Degree in Education from the University of Canterbury and is a member of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) and the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ).

Utilising an extensive career in Retention and Development, Career Planning and Team Development, Michelle has the experience to assist organisations, teams and individuals to optimise performance and potential opportunities. Michelle’s qualifications and professional credentials make her an enthusiastic facilitator, coach and trainer.


Jude Mackwell – Director of Zestpeople

Perceptive, engaging and supportive, Jude connects with people of all ages to uncover possibilities and ultimately secure roles where they love what they do. Whether one-on-one coaching, small group or workshop facilitation Jude brings energy and enthusiasm to inspire the audience and encourage meaningful participation.

Jude has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma in Adult Teaching and Learning from the University of Canterbury and is the Treasurer of the local branch of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ).

Drawing on extensive corporate and private enterprise experience, Jude utilises her knowledge of organisational culture and change management to support career exploration, transition and outplacement. Jude’s background in a wide range of roles, professional expertise and approachable manner quickly builds trust and rapport with clients at any career stage.


Jo Coburn – Career Consultant

Positive, caring and intuitive, Jo relates well with people from all walks of life, cultures and ages.

Jo has an extensive background in recruitment, recruiting for a wide range of industries and all levels of staff and has experience across a range of sectors working one on one with clients. Jo has a Degree in Sociology with papers in Psychology and Education and is an advocate of lifelong learning with a passion for Human Development.

Jo’s recruitment and human resources experience offers valuable insight for client’s wanting to improve their interview technique, boosting confidence with her motivating and encouraging manner. Jo enjoys coaching clients facing career transition, developing effective strategies and tailored career steps for active progression. Jo also specialises in our Youth and Graduate programme facilitation, drawing on her expertise to support career decision making, development of a professional brand and the preparation required for today’s job market.


Tracey McDowall

Tracy McDowallEncouraging, empathetic and solutions focused, Tracey enjoys assisting individuals to discover connections between their unique personality and interests and potential career pathways. Tracey has a wide range of experience in people focused roles, including hospitality, recruitment, training, human resources consulting and counselling.

She draws on her exposure to a diverse range of industries and organisations in her career consulting work. Tracey has completed a Diploma in Counselling and a Diploma in Career Guidance alongside a Degree in Hospitality Management (HR Major). She is a member of the Human Resources Institute of NZ (HRNZ) and a Myers Briggs Practitioner.

Tracey uses a practical approach with individuals to ensure all aspects of their life are considered when making career choices. She loves empowering people with the knowledge and resources they need to move forward with confidence in their career.


Georgia Evans

Thoughtful, interested and passionate, Georgia has extensive experience in a variety of roles and sectors. She has been employed and held board membership in the not for profit sector, and has experience in generalist Human Resources in advisory, learning and development, leadership training and coaching areas.

Georgia is an experienced Career Consultant with expertise in leadership coaching, job search support and the delivery of our various Graduate and Youth career coaching programmes.

Georgia completed a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University, with subsequent postgraduate study in career development, and is a qualified CliftonStrengths coach. She is a member of the Human Resources Institute of NZ (HRNZ) and Strengths Network NZ.

Georgia is passionate about seeing individuals reach their potential and loves leadership development and coaching bringing a fresh perspective to clients. She enjoys helping people find their career direction, understand themselves, and prepare fully for new and exciting career opportunities.


With a genuine love of what they do, Michelle, Jude, Jo, Tracey and Georgia bring enthusiasm, energy and expertise in delivering a comprehensive range of career related services.