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Growing Leaders for a


Growing Leaders


Building A Stronger Region




To build future leaders from all walks of life who can re-imagine a stronger Waikato from a social, environmental, cultural and economic perspective. These leaders take charge of their lives while influencing others positively, resulting in a significant contribution to Waikato communities, society, and New Zealand as a whole.


Our foundation is driven by three key principles:

Harnessing Partnerships

Ensuring our region has healthy connections and increased social capital means we create greater positive impact

Nurturing Diversity & Inclusion

Working with diverse people, backgrounds, experiences, and paradigms creates an environment of learning, understanding and fosters inclusion.

Increasing Regional Prosperity

Increasing leadership capability across business and community creates a stronger economy and improved social health

Leading the Way

The Waikato Story  shares the incredible stories of the Waikato, highlighting, new business, innovation, educators, siginficant economic contributors and community organisations within the WaikatoRead more

A New Chair & New Faces

A new chair and new faces at the Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) board table. Raewyn Jones, CEO WEL Energy Trust, recently took up the role as chair of the Community andRead more


The reasons for CELF Alumni workshops, as visible in the video clip above from the great session with Aiden Holiday & Brenton Bai: Connect with your cohortConnect with other Alumni acrossRead more

Meet this year's Cohort

This week we welcomed this year's cohort to the CELF Elevate Leadership Programme.   The residential programme sets up the journey and  cemenst relationships for the 9months ahead and beyond. Read more

Class of 2019 Graduates

The Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) celebrated the graduation of the Elevate Leadership Class of 2019 at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts On Friday 12 April. JulianRead more


 - Co-Founder & CELF Trustee David Irving, has formulated a series, reflecting on his leadership and experiences.  Look for the golden nuggets - there are  plenty.   The first in the seriesRead more

Save the Date

The world is facing challenges like never before. Globalization, workforce challenge, climate change and depleting natural resources, technology convergence, and need for community citizenship,Read more

A New Standard of Leadership

Bill George wrote in the Harvard Business School article about four titans of leadership,  who defined a new era in business during the past decade.  All of  these leaders have recently finishedRead more

7 Ways to Avoid Self-Sabotage

REPOST:    BY RYAN PENDELL Have you seen The Onion headline "Study: Anxiety Resolved By Thinking About It Real Hard"? If you have multiple Strategic Thinking themes in CliftonStrengthsRead more

“Keeping up with the Kaumatua”

Until I met Rangimahora Reddy, I did not know anything about Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust (Rauawaawa), its location, the depth and breath of services it offers across health and well-being,Read more

Kingsley Fink – Tristam Marine

Waikato Business News talks to Kingsley Fink about Tristram Marine, the journey of the business and of his experience of the CELF programme. Kingsley’s reflected on his learnings and insight gainedRead more

Alumni appointed as new CEO to Xtreme Zero Waste

Congratulations Cheryl, CELFie Alumni 2018 takes the lead at Raglans leading community enterprise Xtreme Zero Waste. Xtreme Chair, Fiona McNabb said, “The stage one focus for Cheryl to undertake isRead more


Vikki Blundell

ex-CEO, Graeme Dingle Foundation

“After completing the course, I now believe that CELF has the potential to significantly support the economic development of the region. Investing in leadership results in investment in teams and organisations. The course is nothing short of transformational – for the individual CELFies, for their organisations both now and in future and for their more connected networks.”

Sean Austin

Commercial Manager, Chiefs

“The greatest thing that CELF has helped me with is the realisation that my role as a leader is to be a servant first to those I lead. The result has been really positive in terms of results and satisfaction for me and for the members of my team, and the organisation.”

Vaas Conradie

Manager  Strategic Group Intiatives, Gallagher

“The most impactful message for me was just how important it is to understand personal and professional purpose in order to be successful. I strongly recommend the CELF Elevate Programme to any Waikato-based company or organisation. My leadership journey will be forever influenced by the experience with CELF, the programme, and my fellow graduates.”

Melissa King-Howell

Services Manager. Department of Conservation

“It is clear that the purpose of CELF which is to increase self-awareness, develop personal leadership potential and make great connections with people across the region, was accomplished. I highly recommend it to anyone in a leadership role that has the opportunity.”

Graeme Geurts

Senior Partner - Agribusiness,BNZ

“I can’t speak highly enough of the programme. It’s been great mixing with the other participants learning a great deal from their own experiences and backgrounds. The quality of the programme overall has been exceptional, great speakers and field visits to places you wouldn’t normally get the privilege of seeing.”

Wayne Naylor

Director of Nursing, Hospice Waikato

“While on the Community Leadership Programme I have heard leadership wisdom from the leaders themselves, and been challenged to explore my own personality and leadership style, and how I have come to be the person I am today. But this is only one side of the programme; the field visits to see and hear about leadership in action have just been brilliant, energising and opened my eyes to the world of leadership beyond the state sector and not for profit and how there is so much we share across all work environments.”


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