At first glance, Todd Wakerley’s career trajectory has been all about building and making. He started as a fitter and turner, then went into business with his brothers building motor homes.
“Then I bought a Bobcat and went to play in the dirt for a while,’ he laughs.
Management roles followed, in truck assembly and bus refurbishment.
Look again, and you’ll see that Todd is actually driven, not just by making things, but by helping people. He’s on duty one week in four as a volunteer Coastguard and spent three years as his church’s youth pastor.
“I love getting to know people’s stories and sharing my life with them. Sometimes you’ve got to be a bit vulnerable to get them to open up.”
That focus on connecting with and helping people is what made him such good fit as Sentinel Homes BOP’s new General Manager.
Todd has been working in the business since 2015. He’s been onsite as the company’s project manager, working with clients to make sure every box is ticked, and seeing our team go home safe every day.
“I love working with people. That was the best part of the project management role, I got to hang out with my mates all day.”
Taking over from co-owner and current General Manger, Tony O’Brien, Todd will bring that on-the-ground experience to the role. He has some big ideas for how he can deliver more to the business and to his clients.
“I love what Tony has done with the business, and I’m looking forward to add to that. I can do the things I know will grow the business,” he explains.
“I like taking on the responsibility – it’s worth not sleeping for,” he laughs.
For Todd, it seems that not sleeping is the only way he can fit everything in. His church and faith are a huge part of his life and his Coastguard volunteer work also keeps him busy. The way Tony has been running the company means Todd can respond to coastguard calls when he needs to, even if he’s at work.
“If I get a call, I can generally attend – that’s part of Tony’s gift to the community, my time so I can go and do that”.
If there’s ever time left over, Todd also loves speedway, fishing and working on his project car – a 1965 MK 1 Cortina station wagon.
But fundamentally, for Todd it’s all about family.
One thing that won’t change with Todd at the helm is the family-first culture at Sentinel Home’s BOP.
“I have two kids with a life altering illness and Tony’s always said, ‘You can disappear with your kids when you need to’. That is how I want to continue, even with my subbies. It works on that trust.”
Strengthening families is a thread that runs throughout everything Sentinel Homes does, not just in the Bay of Plenty. We’re long-time, proud supporters of Parenting Place – an organisation that Todd already had a connection to.
“My wife was a toolbox facilitator for Parenting Place. It’s all about strengthening family, which is so important.”
While Todd says he’ll miss the busyness and interaction of being on a build site, he’s excited about this new challenge – and a new way of helping people, whether that’s his team or his clients.
“I really enjoy building relationships and supporting people to grow,” he says. For my clients, we’re literally putting hammer and nail to what is dreamt on a piece of paper. This is major life expense for them and we want to get it right. Seeing that come together and a happy client at the end is our goal.”
Let’s get together for a free, no-pressure meeting with one of our team, at your place or ours.
We can't wait to hear your ideas!