My Dad once told me "If you can shake hands and laugh with the workers and the Mayor in the same day, you will do well in this world." The Waikato's greatest opportunity is leverage and coordinating its many strengths - the economy, environment and most importantly, it's people.
Enabling this opportunity requires brokering the alignment of those strengths to address areas of need. Momentum Waikato is uniquely positioned to play this role, co-ordinating generous donors with transformative projects. I am humbled to have this opportunity to action my Fathers advice and bring people together to make Waikato the most generous region on the planet.
The Waikato Region is my heart and soul having grown up in the regions and settling on the outskirts of the city. I am passionate about building a culture of philanthropy and have always been encouraging of our family members to give back to the communities that have served us well. I see my role at the Momentum Foundation as the perfect complement to these values and are excited to be working for such a forward-thinking organisation.
My whanau and I made a conscious decision to move to the Waikato over six years ago and I want to say thank you by giving back to this amazing place that has given us so much.
Working for the Waikato's Community Foundation is inspiring - getting to meet generous and wise people, seeing the hard work behind the scenes and experiencing kindness every day all just blows me away and I am excited to be a part of it.
They say you’re only as good as the company you keep and at Momentum Waikato you couldn’t be in better hands.
Hamilton is a great 'little big city' that is culturally defined by its creative tension between provincialism and cosmopolitanism, long may we not resolve it! The Waikato keeps us honest, not being in Auckland makes us happy and the jealous hassling we get from the rest of New Zealand continues to be 'water off a duck's back'. Momentum Waikato is just what is needed to move this town to the next level, a place that can take on the world, but you can still know everybody.
Born and bred in the Waikato, our vibrant region has forever been home and I couldn’t imagine living and raising my family anywhere else.
My parents have always modelled kindness and generosity by giving back to their small South Waikato community. It’s a privilege to expand on this model and be a part of something greater, through being involved in a dynamic organisation where generous donors are connected with projects that make a positive difference to our Waikato region.
Neil is a well-known businessman, entrepreneur, mentor and professional director. He is active in both business and community circles locally, nationally and internationally.
He is currently involved with many enterprises in investment and governance capacities, including chair of New Zealand Home Loans, Waikato Aggregates and SmartTrade and is on the board of Quantec Ltd.
Neil is Chair of Child Matters Trust, is a Trustee of Te Awa Trust and has had long-term involvement in the not-for-profit sector. Neil is an Adjunct Professor at the Waikato Management School.
Neil lives in Hamilton and has two adult children.
Dr Joan Forret started at Harkness Henry in 2001 and was appointed a Partner in 2009.
She holds a PhD in law and LLB from Waikato University, along with a Diploma in Teaching. She also holds a BSc in chemistry and a BA in History from Otago University.
Joan advises clients on resource management and planning issues as well as alcohol licensing. She is a Ministerial appointee to the University of Waikato Council and is the Vice President of the Waikato branch of the Property Council. Joan has previously chaired the Waikato branch of the Resource Management Law Association and was previously a Lecturer in Resource Management at the University of Waikato.
Joan lives in Hamilton with her husband, Mike and has two adult children who, like mother, both attended schools in Hamilton.
Rachel Karalus is the chief executive of K’aute Pasifika Trust, a charitable trust providing health, social, education and other wellbeing services to people from all backgrounds using Pacific models of care.
Rachel’s background is in law having practiced as a litigation lawyer for many years in Auckland, Wellington and in the Waikato. She is also presently a member of the board for Child Matters - a charitable trust providing education, advice, support and advocacy for the prevention of child abuse, Hamilton Christian Night Shelter - a charitable trust providing emergency housing for homeless men and women, Pacific Business Trust - an economic development agency supporting Pacific businesses, and St Joseph’s Primary School, Hamilton.
Rachel is of Samoan descent with strong roots in the Waikato and Taranaki. She lives in Hamilton with her husband and her three young boys.
Alan is a well-known local body politician elected to office over 24 years – 18 years at the Waipa District Council, including 12 years as Mayor, and then with the Waikato Regional Council, which he chaired from 2016 to 2019.
He has also held several governance roles including at Sport Waikato, is a Crown appointee to the Waikato River Authority, a member of the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards Trust, a bush covenantor and life member of the QEII National Trust, and a sheep and beef farmer at Te Pahu on the slopes of Mt Pirongia.
Alan and his wife Janet have three adult children and he was awarded the ONZM for services to the community and to sport.
Simon is an experienced executive and director who returned to the Waikato in 2013 following 13 years in Auckland, the United States, and UK.
Simon is the CEO of Holdfast, a Director of Jumping Beans International and a Trustee of the McKenzie Centre, a charitable trust providing early intervention services for children with special needs and their families.
Before this, Simon held several senior leadership roles with Les Mills International including Chief Operating Officer and before that Chief Executive of its US business unit based in San Francisco.
Simon has experience in the education, forestry, dairy, management consulting and health and fitness industries, with a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato. Simon is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Spare time is spent with his family, wife Joanne and two school-aged children.
Pam is a scientist and Hamilton businesswoman who has led start-ups in manufacturing, human resources and dairy technology.
She is co-founder and managing director of Longveld, a business specialising in stainless steel fabrication which was named Waikato Business of the Year in 2009.
Pam is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and previous governance roles include NZ National Fieldays Society, Wintec, and Trust Waikato.
Pam lives in Hamilton with her husband Les, and has three adult children.
Holly Snape is a passionate leader in the not-for-profit sector. She has been involved at both a governance and management level in community and social service organisations for 15 years and has been the Chief Executive of Community Waikato since 2015.
Holly has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Waikato and delivers guest lectures both there and at Wintec.
Holly is currently also on the boards of national peak body Community Networks Aotearoa and local access radio station FreeFM. She continues to be actively engaged in community development at a grassroots level.
Holly is an avid indoor social netballer and dog obedience instructor. She lives with two dogs and two cats.
Ken's passionate about fuelling prosperity in the Waikato.
A partner at KPMG, Ken works with a diverse range of clients and everyday sees first-hand our region's great strength in producing, attracting and encouraging people and organisations with a strong sense of purpose, and who have the ambition and attitude to make good things happen.
Ken's had roles with KMPG in London and the USA, and spent six years in a senior finance role with Fonterra. In 2014 Ken was recognised as a Fellow of Chartered Accountants ANZ. Ken received the 2013 NZICA Leadership Award for Innovation. Ken is a trustee and treasurer of Angel Casts Charitable Trust.
Ken now lives in Hamilton with his wife Cynthia and their three young boys.
Get in touchContact
The purpose of the Board Appointments Panel is to establish the Trust Board’s composition by evaluating the competencies required of prospective trustees (both non-executive and executive), identifying those prospective trustees, establishing their degree of independence and developing succession plans for the Trust Board.
Membership of the Appointments Panel is made up of:
The Chairperson or nominee of the WEL Energy Trust
The Chairperson or nominee of the Board of Momentum Waikato
One representative appointed by the Appointments Panel in consultation with the mayors of Hamilton City, Waikato District and Waipa District Councils
The Chairperson or nominee of the Institute of Directors, Waikato Branch
Three independent members appointed by the Appointments Panel taking into account the skills, knowledge and experience required for the Appointments Panel to function in a balanced and effective manner.