September 28, 2021

Meet the Top Diverse Board-Ready Directors 2021: Part 2

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 next seventeen below!

Debbie Sew Hoy
Debbie is a 5th generation Chinese New Zealander. She worked in marketing roles for a range of companies including Unilever, SC Johnson, Tip Top Ice Cream, Sky City before joining the family apparel business. She has 17 years’ experience building relationships in China and Bangladesh, supplying major NZ retailers such as The Warehouse and Farmers. Having experienced many changes and developments in China during this time, she enjoyed the challenge of this ever-changing environment. Debbie is currently a product manager at New Zealand Post as the Import Specialist. Debbie was an inaugural trustee of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage. Trust. She was a member of the NZAL Advisory Board from 2013 through to 2016 and is currently on the executive committee of New Zealand Chinese Association Auckland. Debbie has recently completed an 18 month position on The Lion Foundation board as part of the Future Director programme. Debbie is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Bobby Shen
Bobby Shen is a Chinese New Zealander, an elected representative of the Puketapapa Local Board of Auckland Council and a green building design professional. He brings a dual culture of growing up in a Kiwi world with Chinese values. Having experienced the obstacles to becoming a leader, he hopes to empower young people to increase youthful diverse leadership across the governance sector, representative of our superdiverse community and activating the voices of diverse and ethnic peoples. With urban environments transforming rapidly, it is important to keep diverse perspectives in the picture. Bobby’s expertise in urban planning and design can help people understand and shape their city, as he had done with Architecture for Humanity. On the Tu Manawa Fund advisory group, he helps make decisions on grants for getting high-deprivation youth and girls to be physically active and was a First Foundation mentor for university students from low-decile schools.

Cathy Parker
Cathy is a business owner and manager, board member, parent, sportswoman and is also a transgender woman. She has had the typically tangled career path of many women, especially those with a diverse background. Starting with an Engineering degree (BE(Mech) Hons), she entered the corporate world as a Management Cadet with Ceramco Ltd and later worked for several corporates in management roles before buying her own business 27 years ago. Adrenalin Publishing has grown from two titles and two staff to nine respected media brands including NZBusiness + Management and employs around 15 staff. Cathy is a council member for SuperDiversity Institute and sits on several other industry and NFP boards. She is a 2018 alumni of the IOD Mentoring for Diversity Program. She also completed the IOD Company Directors Course and Chartered Member assessment in 2018. She has a particular interest around Diversity & Inclusion matters.

Ian Olan
A respected leader in transformation and culture change, Ian believes in creating inclusive, engaged and productive work environments. An exemplary role model, Ian is committed to championing initiatives that harness diversity and foster an inclusive work environment. Ian serves as a Council member and Chair of the Finance Committee for New Zealand Family Planning, Chair of the Counties Manakau Rugby League, and Board member of New Zealand Athletics. He is a member of the CPA Australia not-for-profit committee and is a Director of the NZ Community of Practice for the A4S Accounting for Sustainability Prince of Wales Charitable Fund. Ian’s has published articles in technical journals including the British Journal of Anaesthesia and Mayo Clinic and has spoken at global conferences on finance and business transformation. Experienced in professional soccer, Ian is an aspiring marathon runner and enjoys contemporary Literature. Originally from Mexico, Ian lives in Auckland with his family.

Jimmy Chen
Jimmy Chen he has been elected as the Christchurch City Councillor since October 2010. His portfolio in the Council is the Chair of Council’s Multicultural Committee, Chair of Canterbury Regional Landfill Joint Committee as well as Chair of Canterbury Waste Joint Committee. As Chair of the Council’s Multicultural Committee, he has taking a lead to develop the Christchurch Multicultural Strategy. This strategy is a commitment to support and embrace the identity and the diversity of the cultures for the people in Christchurch. He is currently Board members of Hornby-Halswell-Riccarton Community Board, Riccarton Bush & House Trust, Royal Airforce Museum Trust and HeiHei/Broomfield Community Development Trust. He also was Board members of Canterbury Museum trust, Burnside High School Trust as well as Board Director of Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism. He completed the training of Institute of Directors in NZ. He has governance experiences, skills and commitment to taking a lead to provide the strategic directions to the various organisations and monitor the performances of the organisations over the last 10 years.

Monina Hernandez
Monina is a Filipino-born New Zealander, a global nurse-leader, a COVID-19 infection control specialist, a university lecturer, PhD candidate and a hardworking mother. She is an advocate for patients, health workers, students and vulnerable populations. Monina is currently a board member of the Nursing Council of New Zealand, an elected member of the Leadership Succession Committee of Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing and has served as a director of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. She has been President of the Filipino Nurses’ Association of New Zealand, Inc and the Rotary Club of Hillsborough, Lynfield and Mount Roskill satellite club. She has governance and policy development experience in both public and not-for-profit roles. Monina is passionate about representing the diverse and hard-working ethnic communities. She aspires for a truly inclusive society and her work ethic is driven by the values of compassion, integrity, fairness, connectedness, respect, and excellence.

Amit Prasad
Amit is very passionate about helping contribute towards building a brighter future of our nation and is a keen advocate of diversity and inclusion. Amit is always keen to add diversity of thought, perspective, ethnicity, age and varied experience to the strategy dialogue. He is a Chartered Accountant of Australia and New Zealand and Fellow Certified Practicing Accountant. Amit has broad experience in all aspects of accounting, audit, financial and risk management with more than 20 years of professional work experience in various sectors. He has been involved in various digital transformation programmes through his management roles and large scale projects. Amit has held multiple governance roles over the years and currently involved in roles within the NFP sector, central and local government organisation.

Daniel Wong
Daniel has significant governance experience on a variety of boards, including the NZ Shareholders Association, Inc., the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Kohia Terrace School. Daniel has also recently been accepted into the Institute of Directors’ Mentoring for Diversity programme. Daniel co-founded the specialist corporate law firm, Flacks & Wong, and is independently recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading corporate lawyers by Chambers Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (the two principal global legal directories).

Kennie Tsui
Kennie Tsui is the new Chief Executive Officer for the New Zealand Geothermal Association, commencing in this new role in July. Prior to this, she was the Principal Analyst at the Climate Change Commission, and was heavily involved with developing the recent report “Ināia tonu nei: a low emissions future for Aotearoa” tabled in Parliament in June. She has recently completed the Institute of Director’s 2020 Mentoring for Diversity Programme and won the Engineering New Zealand 2020 President Gold Award for her leadership in the engineering community. She sits on the Boards of Engineering New Zealand, Registration Authority Board for Chartered Professional Engineers, Scots College Parent Association (Incorporated Society) and International Partnership of Geothermal Technologies (Partnership). A Chemical and Process engineer by training and also holding an MBA qualification, Kennie has a wealth of knowledge across the transport and energy sectors. She is based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Nick Siu
Nick is a proud “New New Zealander” – ethnically Chinese born in New Zealand and married to a Japanese. Nick has over 18 years experience in a breadth of business and commercial structures after graduating from Auckland University with a BCom / LLB with the UoA Scholarship Prize in Marketing and starting his career with a national law firm. Nick has significant marketing & media experience as the founder and COO of the Agency 88 – New Zealand’s largest multi-cultural advertising agency with clients across NZ & Australia such as Fonterra, BMW, MINI, IAG, ANZCO Beef & Lamb, Farmers, and Foodstuffs. He is also the cofounder and director of a number of hospitality & FMCG brands with nationwide success in New Zealand but also export success to the USA, Japan & Korea. Nick has asked regularly to commentate in the NZ Herald, NBR, NZ Business Magazine & NZ Marketing Magazine on the topic of commercialising opportunities within the Asian market.

Whaimutu Dewes
“E noho koe ki te ngaki i nga werawera a o matua tipuna mo nga uri whakatipu”. Whaimutu Dewes, of Ngati Porou and Ngati Rangitihi descent, is constantly reminded of the strictures of his elders to realise the aspirations of the people for the generations that follow has an intense interest in the role of economics and governance in New Zealand and Maori economic development. He is Chairman of Ngati Porou Forests and Sealord Group. Previous roles include the Chair of Ngati Porou Seafoods and Aotearoa Fisheries, and directorships of contact Energy, Ngati Porou Holding Company, Housing New Zealand, Television New Zealand and the Advisory Board to the Treasury and to AMP. A strong advocate of the revitalisation of te reo Maori, Whaimutu regards the fact he and his wife Judy have raised their children to be fluent in the Maori and English languages to be one of the highlights.

Karun Shenoy
Karun was born in India and emigrated to New Zealand over thirty years ago, having spent a couple of years in Singapore en route. His professional career has largely been in the tech industry. Karun is currently board chair for English Language Partners (NZ’s largest NGO working with former refugees and migrants as a training establishment). He is also on the board of Wellington Chamber of Commerce/Business Central, NZ Chambers of Commerce and Industry (“the voice of business”) and Angel HQ (investors in early-stage companies). He is fluent in English, Hindi, Konkani and Tamil, with basic skills in several other Indian languages but his attempts to learn Mandarin, Japanese and French have not been particularly successful! Karun has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Computer Science) and a Master’s in Business Administration. He is a fanatical All Blacks supporter now (though he only saw his first game of rugby at 25).

Ben Nettleton
Ben is a director, commercial lawyer and mediator. He graduated from Otago University with a double degree in laws and commerce. Ben worked for a Queens Counsel before joining a Southland law firm and subsequently becoming Barrister in Wellington. Ben’s legal knowledge, mediation experience and understanding of governance mean he knows how to navigate through challenges. A proudly millennial director he enjoys challenging the status quo, encouraging diversity and leading from the front in responding to the major challenges which confront organizations in the 21st Century.

Rob Hennin
Rob Hennin was appointed as a Chief Executive Officer and a Director of nib NZ limited in May 2013. Previously, Rob held senior management positions in financial services in Asia, Europe and South America where he was working within minority cultures. He was CEO American Express Banking Corporation India, New Zealand Country Manager American Express and Vice President for American Express Australia, also holding senior management roles in Asia with Visa International and Unilever. One of Rob’s first initiatives at nib was to implement a structured programme to understand nib’s own diversity as an organisation and explore the diversity of nib’s stakeholders, partners and customers in order to do a better job of meeting their needs. Rob has 10 years non–executive director experience in financial services, health, education, travel and humanitarian aid. He contributes to several not-for-profit organisations, providing advice and training on governance, strategy and leadership.

Lisa Li
Lisa was born in China and obtained a BA in 1992. She moved to New Zealand in 1998 and gained her Master of International Business from University of Auckland. Lisa was headhunted to open the New Zealand overseas branch of CTS in 2000 to handle ground arrangements for Chinese tourists. The company has grown to become one of the premier China specialists. Lisa was recognised by China National Tourism Administration for an “Outstanding Contribution Promoting Tourism Exchange Between New Zealand and China”. And CTS was recognised at the most recent HSBC-NZCTA China Business Awards for Contribution to the growth of Chinese Tourism in New Zealand. She was also a finalist for the TIA Tourism Champion Award in 2017,2018 and 2019. Lisa joined the Institute of Directors as a member and has been awarded the certificate in Company Direction.

Jamie- Lee Tuuta
Jamie-Lee is of Maori and pakeha descent who confidently walks in both worlds. Of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Toa Rangatira and scottish descent, she was raised Otautahi and currently works as a Barrister and an independent consultant. JamieLee has experience working with iwi, the community, in private practice and the public sector. Jamie-Lee is currently is the copresident of the Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa, the Maori Law Society, a council member of the New Zealand Law Society and the inaugural intern governor at St. Andrew’s College. Jamie-Lee has also held various governance roles in the past for community groups and NGOs. Jamie-Lee is looking forward to the next steps in her governance career and serving kaupapa that is centered in progressing and developing our communities in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Ziena Jalil
With a career ranging from diplomat to business leader to entrepreneur across New Zealand and Asia, Ziena draws on a rich experience of many worlds to bring equity and opportunity to those with diverse cultures, abilities and experiences. She has helped some of New Zealand’s largest businesses build their reputation and revenue, advised Ministers, and supported the growth of Māori and Pacific young people in professional careers. Ziena consults on strategy and stakeholder engagement; is a board member of Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec, DNA
Design, and the Cancer Society Auckland Northland; and is a keynote speaker and commentator on diversity and inclusion, Asia business, nation branding, and leadership. A New Zealand Women of Influence awards finalist, she was also recognised by Campaign Asia Pacific as part of its 2020 Women to Watch, a group of 40 outstanding women in the Asia Pacific. Ziena has also received several international awards for her work promoting New Zealand trade and education in Asia, while in the roles of Regional Director (South & South East Asia) for Education New Zealand, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Singapore, and Head of North Asia Marketing and Communications for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.