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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sam Howard


Sam is an Investment Advisor with Jarden.  Brought up and educated in Hawke’s Bay, Sam returned home with his family in 2010 to make a life in Hawke’s Bay. He loves the province and wants to see it prosper. For him that means participating in making Hawke’s Bay better and not waiting for others to do it. He also chairs the Clifton County Cricket Club Inc and served as the chair of the CatWalk SCI Trust.

Jessica O’Sullivan


Jessica O’Sullivan is a strategic planning consultant in the health and wider public sector in Hawke’s Bay. Previously a lawyer, Jessica practised in Auckland, London and Beijing before returning to New Zealand to make Napier her adopted home. Twelve years and two small children later, she can’t imagine living anywhere else.  Jessica is also a trustee of the Royston Health Trust Board.

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.

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.

Alison Harper

Administration and Distributions Officer

Alison is a relatively new recruit to Hawke’s Bay, relocating here with her husband and four children, seduced by the sunny climes and a love of everything outdoors.

A lawyer by trade, Alison has spent the past 11 years caring for her family and volunteering across a number of fields. She feels passionately about helping people and loves the fact she will be helping so many diverse areas of the Hawke’s Bay community in this role, and that those benefits endure for many generations to come.


Finance Committee

Giles Pearson (Chair of Finance)
Bev Penny

Investment Committee

Sam Howard (Chair of Investments)
Henry Pennington (Community representative)
Neil Martin (Community representative)
Giles Pearson
Michael Chamberlain (Consultant)

Distributions Committee

Sarah Mulcahy (Chair of Distributions)
Gwyn John (Community representative)
Craig Hay
Jules Nowell-Usticke
Trish Giddens (Community representative)


Amy Bowkett – Executive Officer
Alison Harper – Administration and Distributions Officer
Bev Penny – Finance Officer
Alisha Neilson – Marketing and Communications Officer