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New Otago Community Trust Chair Appointed

Otago Community Trust has today announced the appointment of John Wilson as its new chair. John takes over the Trust’s chair role from Ross McRobie effective from 1 June 2020. Ross will remain on the board of Otago Community Trust as a trustee until such time that the Minister of Finance makes the new trustee appointments.

John who was previously an investment advisor with Craigs Investment Partners was appointed as a Trustee in July 2016 and has served as deputy chair since July 2018. Diccon Sim, partner at law firm Gallaway Cook Allan has been appointed to fill the deputy chair role.

Mr McRobie said that he felt very privileged to have served on the Trust for the last nine years and has thoroughly enjoyed his tenure as chairperson since 2015.

“I have always particularly enjoyed visiting various community projects and groups throughout the region and witnessing first-hand the enormous contribution that they make to our communities.”

“I wish John and Diccon all the very best for their new roles. John’s strong investment knowledge and experience will serve the Trust well, during what is a particularly challenging time” said outgoing chair Ross McRobie.

Mr Wilson said that as the newly appointed Trust chair he will be working collaboratively with all trustees, our chief executive, and staff to support our region’s community organisations and communities.

“I believe my 30+ years’ experience in the finance industry as an Authorised Financial Adviser as well as my strong commitment to see the Otago region and its people and communities thrive will be valuable in managing this unprecedented period for the Trust and the communities it supports” said new chair, John Wilson.

Mr Wilson noted that while we enter unprecedented times, the Trust has a good level of accumulated-income reserves in place to support Otago. Our investment portfolio is robust, we have a highly skilled board of trustees, a dedicated team of staff whose collective experience will guide us in managing our way through these uncertain times.

“I would like to personally thank Ross for the tremendous work he has done during his tenure both as a trustee and more recently as chair” Mr Wilson said.

The Trust awarded a total of $76,910 to 12 community organisations in its May board meeting. Friends of the Forrester Gallery Society Inc was the largest beneficiary receiving a $25,000 grant. This will assist the gallery with the cost of purchasing and installing a purpose-built art storage system.

Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust also received funding support via a $12,000 grant which will support with the cost of installing a kitchen and bathroom in the middle floor of the Loan and Mercantile Building.

The Trust continues to approve much needed COVID-19 funding. To date $514,778.36 has been awarded to 41 community organisations since the dedicated COVID-19 Response Fund was opened in early April.

We encourage community organisations to contact the trust if they have any questions around funding support, said Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger.

“We are committed to doing the very best for our communities during this difficult and uncertain time”.

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