September 27, 2021

Meet the Top Diverse Board-Ready Directors 2021: Part 1

The Superdiversity Institute and the Ministry for Ethnic Communities are pleased to announce that the ‘Top Diverse Board-Ready Directors List 2021’ has been decided. Meet the first twenty below!

Jade Tang-Taylor
A designer, dreamer, doer. I’m a purpose-driven, design-led, creative social entrepreneur. Endeavouring to connect across sectors, inter-disciplinary spaces, inter-cultural communities and find ways to collaborate, co-design and co-create positive social impact together. Over the past 10-15+ years my career has been more of a squiggly line than a straight one, moving in & out of being a social entrepreneur to social intrapreneur across various organisations, industries & sectors. From across the design / creative industries, digital / tech sector, not-for-profit / community sector, social enterprise, academia higher education, philanthropy and consulting. However, the common thread through them all is that I’m deeply passionate about design for social innovation, social change & more recently systems change. Over the next 10-15+ years I would like to continue to challenge myself, to keep learning and to develop my leadership experience, particularly in the area of governance. Providing strategic advice & advocating for marginalised communities, ethnic communities with a focus on women, ethnic women, economic empowerment and diversity, equity & inclusion overall. I’m also particularly interested in exploring how we as tangata tiriti can authentically partner with tangata whenua, and how I can personally be a good ally to Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Currently, the main “hat” I wear is the Director of Innovation & Partnerships at Innovation Unit. Alongside this, I serve on a few governance & advisory roles, from a grassroots community level to ministerial level. I am also an Edmund Hillary Fellow, a SheEO activator but most importantly I’m a proud working mum of 1.

Marcia Rohario Murray
Marcia is a natural people leader with a demonstrated history of local and national level governance experience. She is a connector, motivator and an advocate. Marcia brings a strategic and transformational leadership style, strong legal skills and experience in the government legal sector, and authentic knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Arti Chand
Arti is an experienced tax lawyer who set up her sole practice, Arti Chand Tax Law, in 2015 after more than a decade in the private sector working for various accounting firms.

In addition she is:
• Vice President (Wellington) of the New Zealand Law Society;
• an executive Committee member of the New Zealand Fiji Business Council;
• a member of the Pacific Lawyers Association;
• a member of New Zealand Asian Lawyers;
• a member of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network;
• the former chair of the Wellington charity, Parent Help; and
• the former vice president of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Law Society; and
• the 2018 Winner of the Pasifika Woman Business Owner Award (Pasifika Business Network).

Arti is of Fijian descent and grew up in Lautoka, Fiji. As such she is a strong advocate of celebrating the success of Pacific people and businesses in New Zealand.

Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau
Rachel born and raised in Auckland currently lives in Hamilton City. Rachel has a very strong interest in transformational leadership within communities, cities and Nations and is currently involved in Pacific advancement through social and economic development, foreign affairs and bilateral trade between NZ and the Pacific region whilst advocating for the for mental health and well-being of families, women and children. A professional chartered director in NZ and internationally, Rachel governs across spheres of influence to include government, private sector, not-for-profit and the global church. With commercial leadership experience concerning international relations, trade and investment promotion, government, and NGO advisory. Rachel has extensively travelled internationally as a business, community and regional leader representing New Zealand and the South Pacific region on business and trade missions led by the NZ government and on behalf of the global church the World Evangelical Alliance.

Imche Fourie
A future-focused Chief Executive with five years board level experience across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. I can specifically evidence success in venture capital and startup incubation, deep technology commercialisation, and publicly funded research. At board level, some highlights include setting and executing the strategy for the rapid growth and capital raise for a technology incubator, participating in a strategic overhaul for the board of an investment group, and advising one of the country’s largest public science funding bodies on youth engagement. In an executive capacity, I am currently the CEO of Outset Ventures where my primary responsibilities are making investment decisions, executing on strategic projects, hiring and managing a team, and supporting the growth of early-stage science-based ventures. I have a Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology and Postgraduate Diploma in Bioscience Enterprise. I have completed the Governance Essentials and Finance Essentials workshops hosted by the Institute of Directors.

Sachin Sarin
Sachin is a young Kiwi-Indian business owner, executive and entrepreneur with experience in the hospitality and property development industries. Sachin is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Sarin Investments, a family-owned and operated specialist in hotel and conference centre ownership, management and construction. In his role, Sachin is responsible for managing the company’s partnerships with global hotel brands such as Hilton, IHG, and Accor, and leads its portfolio of residential property development projects. Additionally, Sachin is the co-founder and director of Genesis Skin, a hospitality amenities company. Outside of work, Sachin is an involved Big Buddy mentor and has previously been a judge for the Young Enterprise Scheme competition. Sachin holds a BCom (Accounting, Commercial Law) degree from the University of Auckland. Currently, he is also undertaking an Executive MBA at the University of Otago and a Diploma in Quantity Surveying.

Daniel Tulloch
Dr Daniel Tulloch is a member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand and holds multiple Board and governance-level positions, including as Members of both the Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and the Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee. He is an experienced economist and public policy consultant in climate change, market design, consumer protection and economic regulation. His background includes cost benefit analysis, modelling and policy framework design. He completed his postdoc in Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford and holds a PhD in Finance from the University of Otago and a Masters (with distinction) in International Accounting and Financial Management. Daniel is committed to increasing diversity of representation on public sector boards and committees and was recently profiled as an emerging ethnic leader in the 2019 stocktake of Gender, Māori, and Ethnic Diversity on State Sector Boards and Committees, which is published by the Ministry for Women.

Jerry He
Jerry is a Chinese Kiwi Entrepreneur who founded 3 FMCG brands, the company aims to provide 100% NZ-made value add products to children & women around the world. He’s the former Deputy Convenor of The Small Business Development Group which advises the NZ Government on issues affecting Small-to-Medium Enterprises and helps government agencies communicate with them. He’s also the founding Chair of Singapore-based Asia Pacific Micro-Small-to-Medium-Enterprise (MSME) Trade Coalition, a 4000 memberships organisation that was set up to help. Businesses to trade across borders, facilitate internationalization through more permissible trade policies and serve as a data repository for the common challenges faced byAsia MSMEs. Jerry’s passion is future education. After exiting his business in 2019 he was working with ACC in business strategies who conducted a migrant based work and safety awareness campaign that reached 5000 businesses. He currently serves as board member in a number of universities and ITPs in New Zealand and leads the International business development team in University of Auckland.

Khoa Nguyen
Khoa is an Independent Director, Chartered Accountant and Managing Director of Viet River Holdings Limited. Khoa has marketing, tourism, and accounting qualifications, combined with strategic management and governance experience at Board and Executive levels. He brings expertise in trading with the Asian market, especially Vietnam and best commercial practice in a trans-border cultural environment. Khoa has served as a Board member of the Social Workers Registration Board, the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, Barnardos New Zealand, Iwi Board – Tu Mai Ra Investment Limited and has also held several Directorships with not-for-profit organisations and privately owned companies.

Herman Visagie
Herman is a proud “bi-cultural kiwi” and immigrant – born in South Africa to Afrikaans parents, he arrived in New Zealand when hewas nine years old and spent his formative years in rural South  . He is also a member of the rainbow community. Herman has had a varied career in policy, industry advocacy and the private sector, working in Wellington, New Plymouth, and most recently Auckland. He brings strong governance experience, including working as Company Secretary for TSB Bank and currently serves as Vice-President and Chair of the Finance Audit & Risk Committee for the New Zealand Law Society, Board Member & Treasurer for ActionStation Aotearoa, and Board member for the Mentoring Foundation of New Zealand. Herman is passionate about empowering communities and sees good and diverse governance as a key avenue to help work towards a better and more inclusive future for all of Aotearoa.

Ikhlaq Kashkari
Ikhlaq has been helping organisation organisations improve their business performance and governance to realise measurable business benefits for over 30 years. He worked with Board members and Snr. Executives of NZ largest organisations to help align their organisation to industry best practices, this includes reviewing & designing process, policies, technology and better governance. Ikhlaq has passion for helping communities. He holds following community roles:
• President New Zealand Muslim Association
• Council member of the Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ
• Advisory roles for Government and agencies incl. Immigration NZ, NZ Police, RCOI into Christchurch massacre and NZSIS
• Working with various government organisations on community related matters incl. Min of Social Development, Ministry of Ethnic Communities, Dept of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Auckland Council, Dept of Prime Minster and Cabinet
• President Kashmiri Association of NZ
• Interfaith communities to foster greater understanding and tolerance.

Jaya Prasannan
Jaya Prasannan is an experienced executive, non-executive and in-house legal professional based in Auckland demonstrating strong adaptable skills and experience. She has successfully transitioned into a diverse range of industries, allowing her to bring innovative ideas to each role: Digital Technology, Tourism, Automotives, Financial Services, Building Supplies, Food Services, Property, Membership Organisations and Local Authority. Offering strong leadership and a natural ability to pivot, she has also been responsible for a broad range of functional areas of business: Strategy, Governance, Legal, Compliance, Risk, People & Culture, Health & Safety, Insurance, Operations, Business Process Improvement and Change Management. Jaya has strong international experience from working for firms and businesses in New Zealand and the United Kingdom with international clients. She is a clear communicator, enthusiastic and approachable. Jaya has a particular interest in organisations that are proactively managing sustainability related risks, empower and encourage leadership of all staff and drive their futures with purpose and trust.

Mavis Mullins
Mavis Mullins MNZM is a recognised leader in Aotearoa’s food and fibre industry. She is chair of Ātihau Whanganui Inc and a patron of Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT), facilitating leadership and mentoring for rural women. Beginning her career as a fourth-generation shearing contractor, Mavis is a passionate advocate for innovation and mentorship with a sharp focus on equity, economics and environmental issues. She currently holds many roles in governance including Alliance Board for the Manawatu Tararua Highway, UNICEF Aotearoa, Moana NZ, Hawkes Bay Rugby Union, Stock X and Rangitane Iwi. Her contribution to New Zealand’s primary sector has seen her recognised with many honours and awards, including Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZMN) in 2002 for services to the wool industry. In 2017 Mavis was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame and the same year awarded Outstanding Māori Business Leader of the Year from University of Auckland.

Najira Khanam
Najira moved to Tāmaki Makaurau six years ago. She is Bangladeshi British, passionate about social justice and brings a unique worldview and perspective to every role she undertakes. Najira is a member of Auckland Council’s Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel; a Trustee of the Auckland Refugee Family Trust. She is currently working at Belong Aotearoa, a social change and innovation hub. As a Systems Change Activator, Najira works with and for communities from migrant and former refugee backgrounds, for positive social change. Her previous experience includes policy and relationship management at the British Council (the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations), and various cross-sector leadership and communications roles in Aotearoa NZ and internationally. Najira grew up surrounded by a loving family. Strong female role models in her life – her mother and sisters – shaped her values of courage, compassion and togetherness. The wonderful people in her life, inspire her every day.

Mena Antonio
‘Bring your whole self to the table’ underpins my governance approach and one I share with coaching clients. It’s simple yet one that is constantly tested. Good governance is imperfect. Decisions that impact lives and livelihoods are often made with imperfect information, limited time and resources. Before any meeting, I set 2-3 goals only which is a far cry in the my first years of governance where I set out to change the world. My mis-placed & overzealous ideals served only to amuse and annoy my colleagues. Allies around the table is crucial and that’s a surefire way to crush any chance of making any! Nowadays my meeting goals center around the people to whom we’re in service of. I best serve when I’m in alignment with the goals and value of the entity I have the privilege of governing.

Pramjit (Jeet) Suchdev
Jeet Suchdev passionately believes ‘Service to mankind is service to God’. To pursue his passion, he founded Bhartiya Samaj in 1995 which was later registered in 2001 as Charitable Trust with an aim to bring positive change in the lives of Aotearoa’s diverse communities. Since then Bhartiya Samaj has become a centre of hope for the community and has received many accolades and recognition for its work. He holds an honorary position of Justice of the Peace and a recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal for his outstanding contributions and service to the community. In 2018 his leadership was commended with “Kiwi Indian Community Service Excellence Award”. Twice he was invited by Indian Government to represent NZ Indian Diaspora in India twice on a Panel Discussion “Organisations Working for Distressed Indians Abroad”. Jeet has broad international experience working in Australia, India, and Nigeria.

Rachel Stotter
Rachel is a seasoned Executive leader, passionate about people and about taking the richness of Aotearoa to the world. In her current role as Director of International Sales & Marketing for T&G Global, Rachel leads a multi national team who distribute, market and sell fresh fruit & produce in over 40 countries around the world. She has spent many years working with customers and partners in NZ and offshore, having held senior roles at Fonterra and Goodman Fielder with Sales, P&L Management and Transformation responsibilities. Rachel started her working life as a secondary school History & English teacher, which she credits for her people first approach, and the importance she places on diverse social and cultural perspectives. This background allows her to work and think across both the public and private sectors, offering a unique perspective around the table.  As a working parent Rachel is ruthless about role modelling and creating flexible working conditions for anyone who wants to make a contribution, regardless of circumstance. Her background and experience understanding customers , developing offshore markets and building in- market capability is something Rachel believes could be really valuable at Board level for other New Zealand export focussed organisations.

Claire Richardson
Claire Richardson is a dynamic leader and visible champion of diversity and inclusion. Growing up in Aotearoa and Fiji shaped Claire’s desire to seek out and celebrate difference. As a woman, rainbow leader and parent of a young adult with complex disabilities, she is committed to walking the talk when it comes to valuing diversity and building inclusion into the way we work, inspiring people to reach their full potential. Claire draws deep insights from her rich and varied career, which includes senior roles working on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, working with indigenous and migrant communities, on global projects for international NGOs and as an executive leader in the public sector. Claire builds strong partnerships and is a successful influencer who positively engages with business, government, Iwi / Māori and community. As a trusted, commercial leader she brings broad governance and risk management experience. This includes substantial Health, Safety and Wellbeing leadership and experience. Claire holds a Masters of International Affairs from the Australian National University and the International Peace Research Institute, Norway.

Warrick Cleine
Warrick Cleine brings diversity of thought, experience and perspective. He is an Asia-centric business leader, having built an international career at the highest levels of one of the world’s largest professional services firms, from his 20+ year base in emerging Asia. Warrick’s career started as a Chartered Accountant on the West Coast, and he currently serves on the Global Council and Asia Pacific Board of KPMG International, as Chairman and CEO of the 1,800 employee KPMG in Vietnam and Cambodia, which provides audit, tax, legal, strategy, deal advisory and management consulting services. He is also an Adjunct Industry Professor at RMIT University. Warrick is passionate about New Zealand’s role and engagement with Asia, and is a lifelong advocate for inclusive international trade and investment, inclusion and diversity in the workplace, women’s leadership and LGBT inclusion. Warrick is a Chartered Accountant, presently living in Ho Chi Minh City with his very modern family.

Zoe Dryden
I have a combination of practical business experience, as a successful business owner, combined with 15 years of coaching and culture work, an advanced academic knowledge of strategy and business, a personal growth focus and a deep wellbeing interest. I founded a successful charity organisation and have spent 15 years doing development work in Nepal building schools, developing child sponsorship programs and working with indigenous community and women’s groups. I am incredibly purpose driven, with leadership, in the big sense of the word, at the forefront of all my decisions. I take pride in supporting changes that add value to society. I don’t fear a challenge and have the professional experience, ability (and temperament) to work at many levels. I am often described and “too entrepreneurial” for the board room and my background is unusual. but my proven track record is undeniable.