AWF Group announces Future Directors appointment

Rachel Hopkins is to sit on the AWF Group board under the Future Directors scheme, an initiative aimed at deepening the talent pool of directors.

Run by the Institute of Directors, the Future Directors programme was founded by Sir Stephen Tindall, Michael Stiassny and Des Hunt in 2013. It provides talented young executives with the opportunity to gain valuable experience by sitting at the board table of a large or listed New Zealand company for one year.

Institute of Directors acting CEO Simon Arcus says, in a media statement, that Future Directors offers real value for both host boards and successful candidates.

“The next generation of directors receive mentoring, advice, and practical insight into the boardroom, while host boards get a new perspective and expertise on emerging issues like sustainability and social media.”

AWF Group chair Ross Keenan agrees, saying that while it was a drive to give back that saw founding director Simon Hull sign AWF up to the scheme, Rachel’s skill and experience would be a real asset to the board.

“Rachel represents the next generation of directors,” says Keenan. “We liked her attitude, unbridled enthusiasm, and well-researched approach. She’s a great fit for AWF and her knowledge of communications and technology will be a valuable addition to our board.”

Rachel is general manager of marketing and communications at industry training organisation Competenz, and has a wealth of experience in executive search, education, and economic development. She says that she is thrilled to be part of a growing group of Future Directors.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for me: to learn from leading directors; to observe boardroom dynamics; and to be mentored by chairman Ross Keenan.”

“AWF Group is a New Zealand success story on a trajectory of growth and it has an exceptional board. My background and experience aligns well with the business and I hope that I can contribute fresh perspectives and value during my year as a Future Director.”

AWF Group worked with executive search firm Hobson Leavy to find the right person for the role, and Keenan says they were delighted with the calibre of the candidates presented.

Now in its third year, Future Directors has over 320 candidates on its database and continues to grow. The Institute of Directors is asking business leaders to support the scheme by becoming host boards.

“Future Directors is a fantastic opportunity to bridge the generation gap in governance,” says AWF Group’s Simon Hull. “We’re very proud to be involved and can’t speak highly enough of the whole process.”

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