Boosting our Communications Capability – Jimmy Sygrove Joins Rationale

Rationale recently welcomed Infrastructure Advisor Jimmy Sygrove to the team, a communications specialist with over a decade’s experience in the private and public sectors.

Bringing more communications ability in house speaks to the importance Rationale puts on the ability to take technical work and present it in a clear and engaging way. It’s also a nod to the increasingly significant role community engagement plays in large projects for both Central and Local Government.

Jimmy joins Senior Infrastructure Advisor and fellow communications specialist Ben Smith at Rationale. The two are working together on a wide range of projects, shaping strategies, programmes and business cases while helping project and government leaders to engage well with their audiences. They’re also trying to break each other on their lunchtime runs down the Arrow River Track, with varying levels of success.

Managing Director Edward Guy sees the communications and engagement development as a natural progression of Rationale’s offering and he’s excited about the value it will add for clients.

“The landscape we operate in has changed immeasurably since Rationale opened its doors in 1999. While technical analysis to inform decision-making is still the core of our work, we’re incredibly focused on getting the story right to showcase the need for change, the vision we are supporting and the process to get it done.”

“This has become particularly important as we’ve moved into the placemaking and masterplanning space. In this area, our in-house communications and engagement skillset is a huge asset, both for Rationale and our clients.”

Jimmy, a Wellington expat and now Arrowtown local, comes to Rationale after over two years at Queenstown Lakes District Council, giving him an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of the Local Government landscape. Prior to moving south Jimmy held a range of communications roles for Central Government in Wellington, including positions for Maritime New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

He’s enjoying sinking his teeth into the new role, “I think the importance of telling a story clearly and in terms people can understand is critical in the work we do. The vast majority of the projects we’re working on are really interesting and if we can explain them the right way, we can make it much easier for our clients to bring the community and investors along for the ride.”

“Being based in Arrowtown is a dream result for my family and I. The mountains are literally out the back door and the rest of the team are enthusiastically adventurous, to put it lightly. In the relatively short time I’ve been here I’ve been on a team night ski and stayed in a lodge up Coronet Peak, I’ve skinned up Coronet before work and have been out running in the hills behind Arrowtown after work. On top of that I’m now signed up as part of the Rationale team competing in the famous Peak to Peak race from the Remarkables to Coronet Peak. Good times!”

Jimmy moved south from Wellington over five years ago and resides in Arrowtown with his wife (Nicky), two-year-old son (Joe), cat (Steve) and dog (Doris). When he’s not at work or at home, he’s happiest when he’s in the hills, whether it’s running, hunting, tramping or skiing.