CELF Leadership Fund

Champions of the Waikato Join Forces

First Published 15 June by Momentum Waikato.  Two young organisations focused on ensuring a proud and prosperous Waikato forever have come together in a new investment partnership.

The Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation – CELF – was established in 2014 to ‘grow future leaders from all walks of life to build a stronger Waikato’.

The Momentum Waikato Community Foundation was established in 2013 to build a regional endowment fund and drive transformational projects, with the aim of creating ‘a better Waikato for everyone, forever’.

Now CELF has set up the ‘CELF Fund’ at Momentum with an opening deposit of $50,000.

“A highlight of the course is the waka voyage at the end, with the awa as a constant metaphor, one specific to this place called Waikato.

“The students assemble on the banks, they tell each other what it took for them to be there, and then they sort out what they need to do as a group to travel and be safe on the river.

“The double-hulled waka echoes our alliance between business and community, of commerce and cause lashed together, the two parts making it more stable.

“The water is a means of transport, it feeds us, fosters our lives, the students are always aware of that as they journey.

“It is all about engendering the universal leadership traits – self-awareness, empowering others, acknowledging the responsibility to serve a purpose greater than oneself.

“It critical to recognise the difference between managing and leading – how do we challenge the norm, create positive impact that brings everyone along and together,” says Tania.

Peter Sun, a co-founder of CELF and its inaugural Programme Director from 2014, says its vision is based on the premise that responsible leadership goes far beyond the leader’s own organisation, embracing all stakeholders, both within and without, for the common good of all.

“Bringing leaders from all sectors within the community together, to understand each other and see where effective collaborations are possible, raises the capacity of the whole region,” says Peter.

Professor Brad Jackson, CELF’s current Programme Director and MBA Director at the Waikato Management School, says the CELF programme is unique in Aotearoa.

“CELF's strong place-based learning focus has already borne fruit for the Waikato as it tackles the growing array of complex problems faced by the world. The founders are to be commended for their foresight, vision and determination.

“I have been deeply impressed by the calibre and the spirit shown by our recent and past CELF graduates and am honoured, along with my Waikato Management School colleagues, to be working with the incoming 2022 cohort."

Tania says the sustainable income generated by the CELF Fund at Momentum Waikato will go towards resourcing access to the programmes, so that more people and their communities can benefit from this empowering experience.

The CELF Fund welcome donations from anyone keen to build leadership capacity for an even better Waikato – please go to momentumwaikato.nz/donate.  


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