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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lisa Epplett


Proudly Hawke’s Bay born and bred, Leisa is passionate about community development and strategic leadership and eager to contribute to the Foundation’s mission of nurturing thriving communities and a flourishing environment in Hawke’s Bay. In her day job as Strategic Business Partner at Te Whatu Ora, Leisa leverages her skills in leadership, strategic thinking, and expertise in digital technology and healthcare systems.  Prior to this she worked in a large New Zealand corporate for 20+ years. The unique approach of Hawke’s Bay Foundation, rooted in local philanthropy and strategic investment, aligns perfectly with Leisa’s own values. She is excited about the Foundation’s commitment to making impactful investments and distributing grants, driving sustainable community growth.

George Lyons


Local farmer, mediator, and former Hastings District councillor, George Lyons is committed to the Foundation’s vision and mission and feels grateful for the opportunity to play a small part in a highly respected charitable organisation.  Previously a New Zealand School Trustees Association mentor and currently a Family VIP Services board member, George is excited to be able to give back to the community, and help uplift the people and communities of Hawke’s Bay.

Andrew Caseley


Chartered accountant and former Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chief Executive Andrew Caseley joins the Foundation’s Finance and Investment Committee. In his latest role as CEO of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Andrew oversaw the delivery of key Government energy related initiatives including: Warmer Kiwi Homes, the decarbonisation of New Zealand Industry and the implementation of energy efficiency regulations. After various executive roles in other parts of New Zealand, Andrew is keen to deploy his skills and experience for the betterment of his home region. Having followed Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s evolution as it distributes increasing sums for the benefit of the community, Andrew is looking forward to making the maximum difference possible to help alleviate inequality and deprivation in our community.


James Williams


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.

Tim Nowell-Usticke


As a founding Trustee for Hawke’s Bay Foundation, Tim Nowell-Usticke served a total of four years on the Board before stepping away to focus on expanding his food processing plant, WineWorks. Based in Hastings, WineWorks is fast adding value to New Zealand’s winegrowing sector, allowing growers to increase revenues by domestically bottling their product.

Brought up on a hill country sheep farm, Tim has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Hawke’s Bay’s primary producers, also advocating for Kiwi winegrowers as a member of the New Zealand Winegrowers Board.

While Tim no longer works day to day for WineWorks, he remains a director and a majority shareholder in the company he set up in 1995. He and wife Jules remain dedicated philanthropists and enjoy giving back to the community that’s been good to them. The couple, along with their two children Jock and Phoebe, have their own Named Family Fund  and encourage others to take advantage of the ‘give while you live’ tax advantages that donating to Hawke’s Bay Foundation each year can offer.

Jess O’Sullivan


Since being elected to Hawke’s Bay Foundation in 2013, Jess became instrumental in the early days in establishing brand guidelines and marketing strategy and was a stalwart for keeping the Board focussed sharply on its mission.

Jessica not only donated her time, enthusiasm and expertise to this pivotal regional role for 8 and a half years, she and husband Brendan have personally gifted to the Foundation setting up their own Named Fund to support Hawke’s Bay charities in perpetuity.

Her commitment to Hawke’s Bay Foundation has been considerable but Jessica continues to contribute to regional wellbeing through her consultancy work in the health sector and as Trustee of the Royston Health Trust Board.

Brian Martin


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.

Sam Howard


After nine years on the Hawke’s Bay Foundation Board as Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee, Sam Howard left an enduring mark on the region’s Community Foundation. Instrumental in setting up the Foundation’s endowment fund in its infancy, Sam continues to be an integral proponent of Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s work in the region as an official Ambassador.

In his day job as a wealth management adviser with Jarden, Sam helps people invest their money and manages their investment portfolios, enjoying sharing his knowledge about financial markets and the psychology of investing.

Outside of work, Sam sits on the Trustee Board of Hereworth School and is a founder of the Clifton County Cricket Club.Sam is an Authorised Financial Adviser with a BCom from the University of Otago.

Andrew Wares


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.

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 spent 7 years as a trustee for Hawke’s Bay Foundation.

Sarah Mulcahy


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. Sarah was trustee on the Hawke’s Bay Foundation board for 7 years.


Hawke’s Bay Foundation has 3 part-time staff members, each bringing their own experience, knowledge and skills to the team. The costs for wages 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.

Vanessa Bousfield

Marketing 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.

Rachel McIlwaine

Administration Officer

Born and raised in the Hawkes Bay, Rachel has a deep connection to the area and the local community. In her early 20’s, Rachel and her Husband Jimmy were based in Melbourne for a number of years before returning to the Bay to have their first child. Three beautiful children later, they have not looked back.

Although Rachel started her career in corporate roles, it wasn’t until she worked for Plunket that she found her love for the Not for Profit sector. She is passionate about seeing tangible outcomes for our local whānau.

Rachel has directly seen the impact of Hawkes Bay Foundation’s funding across a range of NFP organisations so when a role came up, she jumped at the opportunity to support this amazing kaupapa with whatever skills she can offer.


Finance, Risk & Audit Committee

Cam McLeay (Chair)
Kate Tokeley
Andrew Caseley
Nigel Dawes

Investment Committee

James Wright (Chair)
Andrew Caseley
Henry Pennington
Michael Chamberlain (Consultant)

Distributions Committee

Craig Hay (Chair)
Kevin Callinicos
George Lyons
Gwyn John
Trish Giddens
Kathryn Young

Communications & Engagement Committee 

Kara Biggs (Chair)
Jules Nowell-Usticke
Craig Hay
Cam McLeay
Leisa Epplett