Welcome to Stu

Introducing our new CEO

Box has been designing and building homes since 2008. We survived the early years of growing, schooling and learning the hard way, the teenage years of figuring out our identity and place in the world, and finally reached the point where we feel comfortable in our skin and excited about what the future holds. We thought it time to invest in someone who holds us to account in our mission to “take our customers through what we believe to be an industry-leading, award-winning process: the successful dance of design flair, construction knowledge and value engineering.”

Stu McCallum has been known to us for many years. We wanted him on our team because, first and foremost, he is good at getting the best out of people. And Box is a People business. The better we are at working together as a team and developing relationships with our clients, the more successful we are at designing and building amazing homes.

Stu’s Story

Stu may be a fresh face around the office, but he’s by no means a novice when it comes to our culture and philosophy.  Our new CEO has been a touchstone of business for Box™ since 2008 – at first as a supplier and then as an advisor to the board. Now that he’s officially one of us, we’re delighted to introduce him to you. We know that the breadth and depth of Stu’s experience will steer us through this exciting phase in our evolution.

The fact that he’s ended up here is, we think, no coincidence. As Stu himself says, “I’ve long felt an affinity with the Box™ brand. It’s something intangible I can’t quite explain.”

It could, of course, have a lot to do with his background. It starts with a family history in forestry: generations of McCallums who beat a pioneering path in the industry. “My forebearers owned some of the first mobile timber mills in New Zealand,” he explains.

For this born-and-bred Aucklander however, disappearing under a canopy of pinus radiata for days on end wasn’t a magnetic pull. After graduating from Auckland Grammar School and a short stint at university, he abandoned his studies for the ski slopes of Canada and the States. “I spent way too long as a skier,” he admits ruefully.

By his early 20s, it was time to knuckle down. In quick succession he gained a diploma in marketing from AUT, and a postgraduate qualification in international business strategy from the University of Auckland. A masters’ degree in international business soon followed.

His education may have been globally directed but his focus at the time was very much local. And so, with a gentle steer from his father, he bought a timber-engineering company – Timber Bond – with his brother. So began a 17-year winding journey with “lots of transitions” as Stu implemented a strategy that took a 12-person SME that created garage door lintels and posts to a manufacturer of note in the pioneering field of engineered timber (which is where he first crossed paths with Box™).

When the company merged with another major player in the market to become TimberLab Solutions Ltd, they invested in a large-scale CNC machine that could process 45 metre x 12 metre complex timber structures. “It was a step-change for the industry,” says Stu. “Now designers could do anything they could imagine.”

A change of pace in 2014, saw Stu sell out to his business partner, when his wife had a business opportunity to relocate to London. He took a year off to look after his young daughter after which a role in a product-design company that operated in the dementia space reinforced his belief in the power of design to effect incredible, positive outcomes.

Once the father-of-two was back in Aotearoa, he continued working in the product design and building fields as well as operating as an advisor on several industry boards.  He sees his role at Box™ as one of providing guidance. “It’s my key focus to deliver on strategy and to secure the business plan,” he says.

Looking into 2023, he’s eager to get started despite the potential for a slight downturn in the economic outlook. “Box™ has robust foundations, an incredible brand and an exceptional product where the mash-up of architect plus builder is a point of difference. The company operates in a unique space in that they are positioned as a ‘business-class’ offering and own the whole project, which sets up an intimate relationship with the client from the beginning to handover. There’s so much scope; it’s an exceptional opportunity to be part of it,” he says.

We’d like to welcome Stu to the team. We look forward to a new year filled with clear direction and innovating thinking. We’re sure he will slot into the company ethos seamlessly – now all we need to do is train him on the coffee machine.

By Box

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