Leading through COVID-19: Interview with Christine Clark, TM Covers


As leaders, the COVID-19 crisis has presented us all with unexpected challenges. Facing these unprecedented circumstances head-on has led to many stories of great leadership across all industries and sectors in Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough.

Our 'Leading Through COVID-19' interview series is designed to inspire and support a sense of togetherness as our region moves through and beyond this challenge.

In this interview, we talk to Christine Clark, Director of Transport & Marine Covers. They've been busy operating as an essential business throughout lockdown, producing thousands of their innovative, reuseable PVC Face Shields.

How has COVID-19 affected your business overall?

At this point, it has been an opportunity for us to innovate and produce a very different product than we normally would. It has brought the team together (whilst being physically separate) to join forces for the future of our company.

As a leader, what has been key in keeping your team engaged?

Lots of communication via text and phone calls.  I see all of them daily whilst dropping off materials to their homes and picking up completed product. I update them every morning via text with where we are at, how amazing I think they are and also daily instructions for each person so they are clear on what they are doing.

Any learnings or advice you can pass on to other leaders? 

Keep it real. Communicate on a platform that your team can relate to. Email is NOT the answer for younger people. Understand what your team actually wants to know – it is often different than what you think.

This has been a great opportunity for collaboration, too. We've reached out to and worked with two other local companies for help in extra resourcing and expanding our Face Shield production capacity.

Have you been able to identify any opportunities for your business as a result? 

Yes – albeit probably a temporary reprieve.

Any thoughts on what will change for your business as a result of this disruptor?

Who knows what is going to happen over the next 18 months.  We just have to keep innovating.  I have the team now that can do that – what happens in the future is anyone’s guess at this point.

Enjoyed this interview? Read more from our Leading Through COVID-19 interview series here.

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