Who am I? If you like labels, here are some that have been applied to me: consultant, chief executive, board member, board chair, philanthropist, volunteer, writer, public speaker, wife and mother. And if you prefer stories, here’s mine:
My path has been a zig-zag one. I was born and raised in beautiful Hawkes Bay, received an English Literature degree from Victoria University and my original ambition was to be a writer. Shortly after leaving university, I changed direction and moved into the IT industry, working as a programmer, business analyst, team leader and project manager in New Zealand and overseas. Then, in 1995 I co-founded one of New Zealand’s first internet development companies, the Web Limited, with Dave Moskovitz. As Managing Director I received the ASB Business Woman of the Year award and a New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and the community, before selling the company to KPMG Consulting in 2002.
I then changed direction again, this time into the world of philanthropy. My interest began with the small philanthropic trust set up by Dave and me after selling our business. This led to my appointment as Executive Director of the Todd Foundation, a role I was privileged to hold from 2005 until 2015. I was also a board member and then Chair of Philanthropy NZ from 2004 until 2016.
I am active in giving in my personal, professional and volunteer life, and I firmly believe that if we are lucky enough to live comfortably we should share some of our good fortune.
What I do now
I am a Philanthropy and Community Advisor – see my consultancy services.
I am also chair of Te Muka Rau (formerly known as Thinktank Charitable Trust), an independent committee member of the Ngāi Tahu Fund , a board member of the Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand, a speaker and a writer.
Outside work there is my wonderful husband Dave and our three sons Jeremy, Ben and Daniel, a dog, a cat and several chickens, learning Te Reo Māori, a large veggie garden, walking, reading and singing.
- ASB Business Woman of the Year 2000
- NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to business and the community, 2000
- Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management, 2001
I have volunteered all my adult life, with roles including Philanthropy NZ, Conscious Consumers, Te Muka Rau Charitable Trust, Refugee Resettlement, Wellington Miscarriage Support Group, Women’s Refuge, Family Planning and Youthline.
- Four steps to good practice family foundation governance – a practical paper on family philanthropy governance drawing from interviews with family foundation trustees and other experts in Aotearoa NZ and overseas
- Building a better ecosystem for supporting our communities and the role of evaluation for Evaluation Matters – He Take Tō Te Aromatawai – the journal of the Aotearoa NZ Evaluation Association.
- On generosity and restraint, my contribution to Inequality: a New Zealand Crisis (edited by Max Rashbrooke and published by Bridget Williams books).
- A warm heart, a cool head and a hard nose – my views on Business Leadership for Management Magazine
- Various children’s stories published in Learning Media and Radio NZ
- Auckland Writers Festival: The Moral Mixing Desk – where does philanthropy end and dirty self promotion begin?
- New Frontiers: Crafting our national identity and how the Treaty of Waitangi helps
- Tonic Nonprofit conference: What makes a good non-profit great?
- Other examples of speaking engagements include the Australian Institute of Grants Management, Aotearoa NZ Evaluation Association conference, Philanthropy NZ conference, Combined Community Trusts Conference, Twicepodcast.