Celebrating Leadership in the Waikato
The Alumni Leader of the Year Award recognises the positive impact and contribution a leader and their leadership has had on their own organisation and community, exemplifying the mission and values of CELF.
Being recognised by their alumni this year was Andy Mannering - Kaianga Ora, Brett Maber – Power Farming, Darren Ward Swim Waikato, Dr Jeremy Mayall – Creative Waikato and Mike Rolton – St Vincent de Paul’s.
Susan Trodden, Co-Chair – CELF said when considering The Alumni Leader of the Year 2023, we look at the kind of impact theses leaders and their leadership has been had on the community and how they have drawn on the connections between their CELF experience and their leadership practice.
Andy Mannering - Kaianga Ora (right)
Prior to Andy joining Kainga Ora, Andy’s was at Hamilton City Council (HCC) where he was the core conduit for community connection, ability to navigate systems to best support the community, and an open mind and open ear to the possibilities and potentials that exist. This has continued into his mahi with Kainga Ora navigating the connections and links between providers and community with a vision for doing things in a different way to better support the community and the future.
Andy worked in the community space with the Hamilton City Council when he was on the CELF Programme and is now with Kaianga Ora.
Darren Ward – CEO Swimming Waikato (left above)
Darren has taken an organisation with a focus on competitive swimming and finding Olympians to a community focussed organisation, dedicating time to water safety.
Darren believes you can save people’s lives and win gold medals. Ward said “ I hope I am seen as a servant leader and that my work has a long-lasting community impact. I love what I do and its incredibly rewarding knowing my work alongside my team and partners is having such a positive impact on the wellbeing and safety of young people living in the Waikato. CELF is the gift that keeps on giving!”
Brett Maber – Power Farming
Brett was a finalist for the Alumni Leader of the Year Award in 2022. Susan recalled how Brett was late to a conversation because he had been out on the field, pulling down goal posts after a kid’s rugby practice.
Since completing CELF Brett identified a significant gap that was left by the discontinuation of the Gwynne Shield, a major component of school rugby in the region. His solution was to create a replacement competition that is fit for purpose. The Gwynne Shield is one of the most reputable trophies in Waikato Rugby and it a testimony to Brett that Waikato have gifted it to him to have the Power Farming teams now play for Gwynne Shield.
Over the past two year, over 1000 kids are playing rugby thanks to Brett. Through sport and in this case, rugby, there is so much gained by those who participate, far beyond that of the actual game.
In addition to an amazing competition that has grown the strength of the fabric of our community, Brett has also pursued excellent in furthering his own growth by Studying at Harvard University this year.
Dr Jeremy Mayall - Creative Waikato (left above)
Jeremy is a renowned and accomplished musician, composer, and collaborator. In recent times Jeremy has been spearheading a project that seeks to help artists to turn their art into a viable business, and another that takes the arts into businesses, where a creative experience which is good for well-being is taken into a business environment as a team and wellbeing exercise. Already 150 businesses have shown interest.
Said of Jeremy by an anonymous contributor “As a sideline observer the work that Jeremy has done and continues to do with the Waikato community to amplify all aspects of art culture is aspirational. Jeremy is an amazing advocate for all arts.”
Mike Rolton – St Vincents de Paul (pictured)
Mike is a well-known and respected leader in the Social Services and the Waikato Community. He is a subject matter expert in the Poverty and Homelessness sector and is widely sought for his expertise by Local and Central Government and on Social Sector forums, boards, and advisory groups. Mike embraces innovative ways to impact the lives of the most vulnerable and at risk of our community members and offers support in a holistic and responsive way that links support from the corporate sector to fund services that are agile to community need. Mike also uses his expertise in advisory and governance roles in the social sector.
Said of Mike “Mike is a humble, compassionate, insightful, and innovative individual who is respected by his team for the passion that he brings to all his projects and empathy he shows to all individuals. He also brings his experience in project management and business acumen to every project his leads.”
Congratulations To All Finalists
John Quincy Adams, who was the 6th president of the USA said: "if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.."
Congratuations to this year's Alumni Leader of the Year 2023 finalists who actively demonstrate their commitment to leadership and their communities every day.