Since the Foundation’s launch in 2012, the Board of Trustees has been hard at work putting in place robust granting, investment and administration systems to ensure Hawke’s Bay Foundation is well equipped to serve our community for  years to come.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Board bring a collective wealth of experience and local knowledge and are passionate about building a well-endowed Foundation capable of delivering real results. All act in a voluntary capacity and have personally committed to the Foundation.

Four of our trustees are nominated by leaders in the Hawke’s Bay community, including one nominated jointly by the mayors of Hastings and Napier; one by the Hawke’s Bay Law Society; one by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and another by the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Our Trustees are available to visit you, your family, your community group or business to talk about how you can get involved and give back to the region you love, in the most effective way.

Giles Pearson


Giles was appointed as a trustee in July 2016.  Giles is a Chartered Accountant and a director and part owner of Accountests Ltd, a start up company specialising in technical competency testing for those looking to hire accountants.  Previously Giles was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Hawke’s Bay for 18 years, a past chairperson of the Napier Intermediate Board of Trustees, and a past trustee on the boards of Napier Central School and the Napier Kindergarten Association.  Giles wants to use his skills to improve quality of life for the residents of Hawke’s Bay, and the Foundation is an ideal way to achieve that.

Jules Nowell-Usticke


Jules Nowell-Usticke was the manager of the Hawke’s Bay Foundation for four years before becoming Chair.  Jules’ professional life was predominantly in the hotel industry, where she was regional Director of Sales & Marketing with two major international hotel groups. She moved to Hawke’s Bay with her family in 1995 and feels strongly about giving back to the Hawke’s Bay community, that she feels very privileged to be a part of and is a passionate and dedicated volunteer.

Kevin Callinicos


Kevin is a partner in the law firm Willis Legal, Napier.  Being born and raised in Hawke’s Bay, Kevin is hugely committed to the region, having supported and championed the Foundation for several years.  He has a strong sense of community, having been a member of the Reignier Catholic School Board of Trustees, being a general committee member of the Napier Sailing Club (and is currently Honorary Solicitor for the Club), and currently chairs the Napier Boys’ High School Charitable Trust and the Percy Storkey V.C. Memorial Trust and is also a Trust Board member of the M. F. Greenwood Education Trust.

Sarah Mulcahy

Deputy Chair

Sarah is an independent consultant working in the health and social sectors. She was brought up in rural Central Hawke’s Bay and is passionate about the potential and prosperity of the region. Professionally Sarah has extensive experience in senior management roles within government and non-government organisations in New Zealand and the UK. Now settled in Hawke’s Bay, she is a board member of Directions Youth Health Service, a member of the Hawke’s Bay Lotteries Committee and has served as an elected member of the NZ Ministry of Health NGO Council. Sarah has travelled extensively and participated in international community development projects.

Craig Hay


After 15 years living and working in London and Auckland, Craig returned to Hawke’s Bay in 2002. Craig’s background is in engineering and marketing, but he entered the hospitality industry by restoring Greenhill, a colonial Hawke’s Bay homestead where he established a luxury lodge. The skills he gained here were later applied to the restoration and operation of the Art Deco Masonic Hotel in Napier. Craig is a founding Patron and Trustee of MTG Foundation.
Craig strongly believes that gifts and future bequests that stay within Hawke’s Bay have a strong connection to the wellbeing of our community.

Kate Tokeley


Kate Tokeley comes to the board of Hawke’s Bay Foundation as an Associate Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. Kate’s area of speciality is consumer law and policy where she has established herself as an internationally published author of several academic articles. Kate also sits as the Deputy Chair of the Consumer NZ Board and is a board member of the Telecommunications Disputes Resolution Council. She is relishing the opportunity to lend her expertise giving back to the community.

Cam McLeay


A long-time yoga and mindfulness practitioner and teacher, Cam and his wife, Kate, manage Cape South – Country Escape & Wellness Retreat, a holistic wellness retreat in Waimarama.
Prior to moving to Hawke’s Bay with their three children nine years ago, Cam and Kate operated a rafting and adventure company in Uganda.
Cam also became one of the first people in the world to discover the longest source of the Nile River in 2005, along with a fellow New Zealander and Briton.

Kara Biggs


Hawke’s Bay born and raised, Kara is an established marketing specialist who works with national and international brands in strategic growth development. Kara has a passion not only for helping grow client’s businesses, she has a genuine passion for helping people.
Kara is proud of the incredible things our region has to offer, but there are many areas for improvement. She looks forward to using her skills and being part of an organisation that is making meaningful change for those who are struggling in our community.

James Wright


James has made Hawke’s Bay his home for the past 25 years, where, with his wife Anna, they have raised and educated their three children.
James has held a number of senior management roles in the agricultural sector over his career.  He moved to Hawke’s Bay originally for a management/governance role with Williams & Kettle Limited and then for the last 15 years in a similar role with Hastings based Rural Equities Limited.
James is passionate about Hawke’s Bay, its people, its amazing climate and facilities.  He sees this role with the Foundation as being able to give something back to the community that has given him and his family so much.

James Williams Hawkes Bay Foundation Ambassador

James Williams

Foundation Ambassador

As a founding member and Trustee of Hawke’s Bay Foundation for seven years, James Williams brings a wealth of mana and regional governance expertise to the table.  As a staunch regional advocate, we are delighted to have him recently step into the role of official Ambassador for the Foundation and know that he will be a friendly, knowledgable and well respected community representative.

James’ ongoing support and guidance as an Ambassador of the Foundation is greatly appreciated.

Brian Martin Hawkes Bay Foundation Ambassador

Brian Martin

Foundation Ambassador

As a founding member of Hawke’s Bay Foundation, Brian’s expertise in governance and strategy has been invaluable. In addition to his vast experience with over 20 companies within the community, he is highly respected for his strong financial leadership, which oversaw the steady growth of our fund in the seven years he spent on the Hawke’s Bay Foundation Board.

Like all of our Ambassadors, the wellbeing of our community is dear to Brian and he continues to endorse the work and development of Hawke’s Bay Foundation.

Andrew Wares Hawkes Bay Foundation

Andrew Wares

Foundation Ambassador

Andrew Wares, Partner at Sainsbury Logan and Williams has provided legal advice, governance and enthusiasm to Hawke’s Bay Foundation since 2011. Along with past Trustees Rebecca Turner, James Williams, Brian Martin and Tim Nowell-Usticke, Andrew was a pivotal figure in helping launch the Foundation, making presentations to community groups and other professional firms.

After serving as a Trustee on the Hawke’s Bay Foundation Board for nine years, Andrew retired in December 2020 and was recently appointed a Foundation Ambassador. Andrew is looking forward to endorsing the Foundation and its work whilst providing a friendly point of contact for anyone wanting to find out more.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation has four part-time staff members, each bringing their own experience, knowledge and skills to the team. Some provide their time as a donation, and wages paid by the Foundation total less than one full-time employee. These costs are met by generous corporate and individual partners.

Amy Bowkett

Executive Officer

Amy spent her formative years in Hawke’s Bay, leaving the nest at 18 to try the rest of the country on for size. Nothing felt the same as it did to crest the hills just past Eskdale to see the white cliffs of Cape Kidnappers shining in the distance. In 2016 she returned to live here for good, with her young family.

Amy has been involved with Community Foundations since 2010, and is a firm believer in the saying that charity starts at home.

When not out and about meeting potential donors, she’s to be found traipsing around the local dog parks with her trusty friend, Decca, the Jack Russell.

Bev Penny

Finance Officer

Bev has lived most of her life in Hawke’s Bay, raising her family and enjoying everything the region has to offer. She has worked mainly in finance and has a Bachelor of Computing Systems, but has a preference for working in the ‘not for profit’ sector.

Bev has been with Hawke’s Bay Foundation for the past five years and is instrumental in the office. She also manages the distribution process alongside the distribution committee.

In her spare time, Bev plays tennis and bridge.

Alisha Neilson HBF Marketing and Communications Officer

Alisha Neilson

Marketing and Communications Officer

Introducing the newest member of the Hawke’s Bay Foundation team – Marketing and Communications Officer Alisha Neilson.

Alisha is a Hawke’s Bay girl with a deep sense of pride and appreciation for the region she grew up in. A career spanning over twenty years as a broadcast journalist, writer, television and radio presenter/producer, public relations, media and marketing manager has left Alisha wanting to ‘give something back’ on a more community based level.

She admits her most rewarding job will always be “being a Mum” but she is relishing her new role with the Hawke’s Bay Foundation helping facilitate positive and quantifiable change for the community.

Vanessa Bousfield

Administration and Distributions Officer

Vanessa relocated to Hawke’s Bay in 2010 and is now well settled into the region with her husband and 3 children. With a varied background having previously run her own event hire business, digital marketing at Weleda and as Brand Manager at Mission Estate Winery, Vanessa is excited about using her skill set to be part of an organisation benefiting so many across our great region.

She feels passionate about helping people and loves the fact she will be helping so many diverse areas of the Hawke’s Bay community in this role.


Finance & Risk Committee

Giles Pearson (Chair)
Bev Penny
Nigel Dawes
Kate Tokeley

Investment Committee

James Wright (Chair)
Giles Pearson
Henry Pennington (External)
Neil Martin (External)
Michael Chamberlain (Consultant)

Distributions Committee

Sarah Mulcahy (Chair)
Gwyn John
Kevin Callinicos
Craig Hay
Trish Giddens
Satyam Saha
Kathryn Young

Marketing Committee 

Kara Biggs (Chair)
Jules Nowell-Usticke
Alisha Neilson
Craig Hay
Cam McLeay