The team at Momentum Waikato, although sad to see Cheryl go at the end of 2017, are excited about the future and are looking forward to the freshness and vigour a new Chief Executive will bring to the organisation. They all agree Cheryl has positioned Momentum Waikato in an ideal position for the arrival of the new CEO.

Gemma Slack has been with Momentum Waikato for nearly three years and oversees Strategic Initiatives. Gemma was involved in the development of the Vital Impact Programme and has seen Momentum Waikato evolve and grow under Cheryl’s leadership. Gemma is passionate about Momentum Waikato’s vision of building a better future for the region.

“I think Cheryl’s done an incredible job of building Momentum Waikato to where it is now,” says Gemma. “I’ve learnt so much from her leadership and I’m grateful for the mentoring she’s provided for me, as well as her vision for this organisation and how that’s accelerated its growth. She’s set things up in a way which will enable the next CEO to come in and ride the wave of epicness that Cheryl has created with the team.”

“We have a really amazing group of women, which is one of the reasons I work here. It’s a real honour to be able to work beside them every day. I’m really excited about meeting the new leader, learning from them and seeing how they steer the ship.”

Lisa James is co-ordinator of Funding and Development and is currently working on the Waikato Regional Theatre project. She says public interest in the theatre has drawn welcome attention to Momentum Waikato.

“We have a great foundation of respect and people are starting to understand the role a community foundation like Momentum Waikato plays in the region, but the Waikato Regional Theatre project has given visibility on ways that the organisation can work with the community to create a better Waikato, and transform the region.”

Lisa joined Momentum Waikato in February this year but had been following the foundation with interest since its inception. When the opportunity came up to co-ordinate fundraising for the Waikato Regional Theatre project, she jumped at the chance and signed up for the role.

“I’ve been passionate about the Waikato Regional Theatre from day one,” she says. “When Momentum Waikato started talking about doing more than just rebuilding Founders, and started looking for transformational opportunities, it started to get very exciting for the region.”

“There is a great opportunity for a new CEO because Cheryl has set us up and we’re ready to grow and expand to develop the organisation to the next level. We know what the community wants, we know where the gaps are and we’ve got a lot of community support. We’ve got a bedrock of respect and understanding of what we can do.”

Lara Conroy agrees. Lara is the Executive Administrator at Momentum Waikato and is passionate about the role the foundation plays in bringing positive change to the region, aligning with her own values and morals of active support within the community. She says she is looking forward to the next phase of Momentum Waikato under a new CEO.

“For me it will be interesting to see where the foundation will go with the new CEO and how it will evolve, grow and change,” she says. I’m looking forward to that. Cheryl has set such a good foundation and we’ve got things in place, like the Vital Impact Programme, with structures and systems which mean it can be replicated year after year.

Raewyn Kirkman, has been with Momentum Waikato for two years and takes care of Donor and Community Engagement. The highlight of her work she says is working with donors in the community to encourage thoughtful and impactful giving.

“Like the others in the team, I’m excited about the next phase of Momentum Waikato’s development under the new Chief Executive,” says Raewyn. “I’m looking forward to seeing where the foundation might go and what we can do to continue our dream of a better Waikato for everyone, forever.”