Member of the month October | Sarah Dillon-McGuinness

Author: Danica Burke

This month we had the pleasure of talking to Sarah Dillon, BDA Creative (a Kiwi owned and operated Creative Agency). General Manager/Executive Producer.

Briefly, what is your role?

My role is wonderfully diverse really.  I oversee all our productions of video content, liaise with clients and work on business development and marketing, brainstorm with the creatives on pitches, or even occasionally step in when we need extras or a voice over!  Some days I’ll be hauling lights on set and others I am tackling Google Analytics or maybe interviewing a CEO or a scientist.

Any advice for doing business in Singapore and/or the region?

I think as a general rule New Zealanders have an ‘anything is possible’, ‘number 8 wired’ attitude so when you get a lot of ‘cannot’ and ‘no’ my advice is to massage the situation rather than to bulldoze or give up.  Learn the cultural ins and outs and go with it, but don’t forget anything is possible.

When did you move to Singapore? Where from?

My then fiancé, now husband, and I moved here 8 years ago from London where we’d been living for 6 years.

Where were you born? What country do you call home?

My father worked in the New Zealand Tourism Department (as was) so I was born in New York, and then actually spent four years living in Singapore when I was a child, but Auckland, NZ is definitely my cultural home, having spent most of my schooling and university years there. 

What do you like most about Singapore?

Well, it used to be the amazing location it is to see the rest of the world but these days it’s more the safety for my kids, the fact that there is a lot of great food, and it’s basically always swim temperature.  Hopefully we can travel somewhat like we did before, but until then I’ll be by the pool.

What do you do to relax?

Do yoga, walk the dog, swim with the kids, drink wine, usually in that order.

What's top of your bucket list?

Somewhere I have been desperate to go and put off before and have regretted since, is Japan.  I cannot wait to eat 6am Sashimi at the Tokyo fish market.  That and maybe walk along a NZ beach in the next decade!

Why did you join the New Zealand Chamber (Singapore) and what do you like most about it?

Covid has made opportunities to meet new people organically almost impossible, so being a part of an active and welcoming community is crucial.  I knew a few members already and am looking forward to widening the network.

Any last words?

In these challenging times being able to connect and collaborate will get us all through.  

I hope we can meet up soon!