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Meet the panel choosing this year’s award winners

Sarah Haydon, Judging Convenor

BSc FCA CMInstD, Independent Director

Sarah has an extensive background in planning, finance, general management and organisational development and is passionate about bringing out the best in people.
She is the chairman of Cavalier Corporation Limited and New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Inc, a Council member of Unitec and a director of Ports of Auckland Limited, The Co-operative Bank Limited and GNS Science Limited. Sarah is also an Associate of The Boardroom Practice.
Sarah’s most recent executive roles were with OfficeMax Australasia. She is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors and a chartered accountant.

Paul Spoonley

Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University

Paul has been a major contributor to research and public debate on cultural politics and identity in New Zealand and internationally and has been the author or editor of 27 books on topics ranging from immigration and super-diversity to a biography on a prominent Maori activist.
He has been a Programme Leader for MBIE-funded projects on immigration and the changing demography of New Zealand, and is currently a Programme Leader on a project on the impacts of diversity (2014-2020, $5.5 million). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011 and granted the title of Distinguished Professor by Massey University in 2013.

Nathalie Gray

Director and owner of Authent Limited

Nathalie heads her own leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. She has more than 15 years’ experience in organisational development, spanning people strategy, organisational design, culture change, leadership team development, executive coaching and talent management.
She has worked in a number of global leadership and consulting roles within the financial services, manufacturing, FMCG and educational sectors, including most recently Director of Human Capital Consulting at Kerridge and Partners and Global Manager Talent and Organisational Development at Fonterra.

Josh Williams

Chief Executive of the Industry Training Federation (ITF)

Josh heads ITF, the national organisation for the New Zealand’s Industry Training sector and Industry Training Organisations. He has worked in the education sector for 18 years, focussed on skills, qualifications, and quality assurance issues in both the schooling and tertiary sectors.
Prior to rejoining the ITF, he was Senior Policy Manager in Tertiary Policy at the Ministry of Education, leading policy for vocational and foundational education, and secondary-tertiary transitions. Josh was programme manager for the implementation of Youth Guarantee initiatives, and led the development of Vocational Pathways.
He was formerly Principal Policy Advisor at the Industry Training Federation, Senior Policy Analyst at NZQA, and Private Secretary to three Ministers of Education.

John Christie

Director Enterprise Dunedin

John Christie currently heads Enterprise Dunedin, which looks after the marketing, branding and economic development of Dunedin City. Prior to taking up the role with Dunedin City Council, John was Chief Executive of the Otago Chamber of Commerce. He has held governance roles in a number of organisations including Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, Warbirds over Wanaka Ltd, Southern Health Services Ltd, BIZ Networks Ltd, 4Trades Apprenticeship Trust, Southern PHO Community Advisory Board and the Dunedin Shanghai Gardens Trust.

Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie

Chief Executive, Diversity Works New Zealand

Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie has been in the Chief Executive seat at Diversity Works New Zealand (formerly the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust) since 2012 following roles in marketing and relationship management across both private and public sector and a time running her own business.
Past roles include marketing and consultancy for the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network, and Corporate Marketing Manager for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.

Neil Porteous

General Manager – Housing, Tamaki Regeneration Company

Neil initially studied Civil Engineering at University and subsequently worked in the construction industry in New Zealand and overseas prior to joining Vodafone NZ in 1998, where he held a number of roles, culminating in his appointment as Director of Human Resources in 2004.
Since leaving Vodafone in 2008 Neil has worked in senior positions for various NGOs including St. John Ambulance. His current role is General Manager – Housing for the Tamaki Regeneration Company which is charged with leading the social, economic and physical regeneration of the Tamaki area in Auckland. A strong proponent of diversity in the workplace, Neil is also a former trustee of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.

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