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Two appointments made to Dairy Women’s Network Board

18 May 2012

Two appointments made to Dairy Women’s Network Board

The Dairy Women’s Network has appointed two new independent Trustees to join its board – including the first male to join the Board’s ranks since the Network was established in 1998.

The two new voluntary Trustees are Neal Shaw from Ashburton, and Leonie Ward from Wellington.

Mr Shaw is currently the Chief Executive of the Ashburton Trading Society (ATS). He has been with the Society since 1993, holding previous positions as the Retail General Manager and the General Manager of Operations. He is also the Chairman of WaterMetrics NZ Ltd and is a director of ATS Fuel.

Ms Ward is currently the Manager of Animal Welfare Sector Support with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI, previously MAF) in Wellington. Ms Ward is an associate chartered accountant and her experience includes role as the Programme Manager Border Sector at MAF, and Business Development Manager roles at Standards New Zealand and American Express.

The Chair of the Dairy Women’s Network, Michelle Wilson, says the two new trustees take the registered Charitable Trust from a board of eight to ten people, an increase that has been made to provide additional strength to the board and to better serve the needs of its 3000-plus members nationwide.

“The Dairy Women’s Network has become the premier forum for women in the New Zealand dairy industry and it is increasingly seen as an influential group within the industry and across New Zealand agribusiness.

“Our membership includes a diverse range of women from varying backgrounds and different farm operations. It’s critical that our Board represents all parts of New Zealand and all sizes of farms, and that it brings a range of business, commercial and agribusiness experience to the Network’s operation,” says Mrs Wilson.

“We were impressed with the high calibre of applicants for the Board positions, and are delighted to welcome Leonie and Neal to our team. They both bring a wealth of agribusiness and commercial experience to the table and will make a significant contribution to the Network and its members.”

Mr Shaw says he is honoured to be joining the Dairy Women’s Network Board.

“In my role at ATS, we recognise the value of women in the dairy industry partnership that exists today.

“I believe I can add value to the Network by building on the foundations that have already been laid, contributing to the ongoing development of a strong governance model, and progressing the existing strategic plan for this essential part of the industry.

“It is no secret that men and women think differently, but I believe this is a strength in business and in life. My personal view is that the ability to be an effective director is not about gender and in fact many male-dominated boards could probably learn from this.

“The fact that the Network has placed its faith in my ability to add value shows foresight and innovation and I’m looking forward to being involved.”

Ms Ward says she has had the opportunity to interact with the Dairy Women’s Network through her current role at MPI and she has been thoroughly impressed by the passion, commitment and vibrancy of this important group of business women.

“I am excited to have been appointed to the Board, as the dairy sector is of such vital importance to NZ inc.

“The Network has experienced rapid growth in recent times and I am thrilled to be part supporting the formalising of the governance arrangements to ensure the sustainable expansion of the organisation.

“I have a strong affinity with the rural sector and dairy farming, after growing up in rural Hawkes Bay and through my position with MPI.My focus is to contribute to the organisation and support the dairy women of New Zealand to ensure that the best possible tools, resources and network support are available.”

The two new board members will commence their positions with the next Board meeting in June.


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