When she was a child, Dessi wanted to be either a tornado chaser or a netball historian. Growing up in Taranaki and schooled in Palmerston North, she was saddened to learn that neither role was in high demand. However, a fleeting experience in the NZDF gave rise to her career in intelligence – which admittedly looks way better on her CV anyway.
By profession, Dessi describes herself as the quintessential intelligence analyst, having plied her tradecraft in some of the worlds most testing environments, advising leaders of nations and affecting policy change. Working in operational evironments, Dessi has a strong sense of teamwork and building trust.
She brings with her a comfortability in being in the “grey areas”, knowing her adversaries and thriving under pressure. With qualifications in Intelligence Analysis, Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice (and a wee bit of languages) from a range of Australian universities, Dessi is a staunch advocate of continual learning and development (though she’s less staunch about depleting her bank balance)
Returning to New Zealand in 2017, a happy accident took her to a Coaches presentation delivered by Dr Bobby Willcox (Fun fact: Dessi isn’t, and never has been, a netball coach). The rest, they say, is history.
A design-thinking and strategy exponent, Dessi brings “a bit of everything” to Point 9 Analytics. She’s passionate about making a positive difference, finding solutions in the unknown and uncertain, and synthesising what’s important from what’s not. She believes innovation in thought is just as important as innovation in practice (she did make her career from dealing with curly characters after all) and she hopes Point 9 Analytics can help carve the blueprint for how low-resourced, niche sports can thrive in a congested market.
When asked about the “Death by Numbers” paradigm, Dessi’s eyes twinkle. “The romance we have with netball, any sport, shouldn’t feel threatened by the presence of analytics. Smart operators can see beyond strict numbers. Smart operators can see the potential.”
She hopes Point 9 Analytics can help unlock the potential in this sport.
Dessi remains a Government Intelligence Analyst and together with her two brothers, she co-owns a functional movement gym in Taranaki.