Hawke’s Bay Foundation Welcomes New Chair

  • Kevin Callinicos, Chair

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is delighted to welcome Trustee, Kevin Callinicos to the role of Chair. As the Foundation’s legal advisor, Kevin joined as a trustee in 2019, and being Napier born and raised has always held a strong and loyal connection to the region. With deep family roots to Hawke’s Bay, it seemed a natural progression for Kevin to move home following a working OE with a large law firm in Dublin where he met his Irish wife Claire. Four children later, Claire and Kevin are busy and well respected community advocates, with Claire established as a much-loved midwife and Kevin as a senior partner at Willis Legal in Napier. Actively involved in supporting the Hawke’s Bay community, Kevin chairs two of Napier Boys’ High School charitable trusts and sits on a third. He was the inaugural chair of Napier Inner City Marketing and has been the Honorary Solicitor for the Napier Sailing Club for many years.

Since joining Hawke’s Bay Foundation, Kevin has seen its endowment fund grow from $3M to now well over $10M. With that, comes a great sense of responsibility and excitement.

“I am acutely aware of the groundwork and vision of the previous trustees and donors and the opportunity the Foundation presents for Hawke’s Bay, not just for now but for generations and generations to come.

“I have a very personal connection to Hawke’s Bay. It’s my past, my present, my future; but most importantly it’s the people; my family.

When clients tell me they want to leave some money to a charity – but are not sure which, I ask one simple question: are you connected to Hawke’s Bay?”

Kevin’s connection to his ‘beloved’ community runs deep, first promoting Hawke’s Bay Foundation through his law firm presentations, feeling it presented a real opportunity for Hawke’s Bay with its region-wide focus and long-term focus.

“These aspects really appealed to me. Years ago I was asked to give a speech at a function put on by the Foundation.  I spoke about my links to Hawke’s Bay and what the region meant to me.  In writing that speech, I realised how deeply I am attached to the region, how much it means to me and how the Foundation was a means to give back.  When I was asked to join as a trustee, I readily accepted.”

With 2023 marred by Cyclone Gabrielle, Kevin remains hopeful this year will return to ‘business as usual’.

“Launching last year’s Cyclone Relief Fund was an immense task, but so rewarding.  I am still in awe at how the community came together, and how much people did for each other during this incredibly traumatic event.

“This year, hopefully, we will return to our core business of growing the fund (for future generations) and distributing to ‘on the ground’ charities doing the mahi. I am amazed at how many selfless, far sighted donors (in both monetary terms and in terms of volunteering their time and skills) are in our community, with a real desire to see Hawke’s Bay thrive as a community.

“I look forward to serving as Chair. Am I excited?: yes, I am excited – how could you not be!”