SWIFT is a community-owned economic development fund dedicated to the prosperity of the South Waikato.

DOING RIGHT BY OUR COMMUNITY

SWIFT was established in 2014 to independently manage funds generated from the sale of PowerCo shares, that were initially advanced to the South Waikato Council. With decades of business expertise across a range of industries, every SWIFT trustee and management brings invaluable knowledge to decisions that will help create jobs and build stronger communities across the South Waikato.

TRUSTEES

BRUCE SHERMAN

Chairperson
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Bruce has over 25 years experience in the packaging, manufacturing, and beverage sectors. He is the current President of the New Zealand nonalcoholic Beverage Council and works as an independent contractor to several New Zealand based bottled water firms.

A member of the New Zealand Institute of directors, Bruce is also actively involved in South Waikato Community groups having previously volunteered on the Putāruru Moving Forward group and is current Chairperson of the Arapuni Village Community Association.

Bruce was born and raised in Otorohanga and resides in Arapuni with his Wife Erin and their Daughter Ava.

DEAN GITTINGS

Deputy Chairperson
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Dean currently provides management services for two commercial trusts. He has extensive experience in the tertiary education sector having been operations manager for the South Waikato Education Centre a PTE that provided NZQA qualifications across a range of trade training programmes including engineering, carpentry, forestry and horticulture.

A member of the Institute of Directors, he brings thirty years involvement in a range of community organisations.

DEBBIE GISBY

Treasurer (BBus, PGDipAcc, CA)
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Debbie Gisby is a Director at Graham Brown & Co, a local accountancy firm that also provides services to the Trust. Debbie specialises in commercial operations and Charities and is passionate about community development. She sits on several Boards of large not-for-profit entities, and is also a member of the Institute of Directors NZ.

FRANK AERTS

Trustee
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Frank brings extensive experience in running and developing businesses. For 17 years he owned and operated a milk round in Tokoroa. Following the successful sale of this business he returned to work within the engineering industry having completed a 4-year apprenticeship early in his career at Southside Engineering in Putaruru. Frank also worked at Steel and Track Engineering before founding his own business South Waikato Precision Engineering (SWPE) and building capability across management, recruitment and training, business development, marketing and finance. The company achieved a strong and trusted reputation across twenty years and employed up to 36 staff before being sold. Frank was also the spokesperson for South Waikato Trade Training’s engineering module that graduated 30 apprentices.

He was formerly on the Board of the South Waikato Economic Development Trust and is currently an executive on the Rangiura Trust Board, a director of Tokoroa Engineering, on the Tokoroa Business Association committee and the current President of the Lichfield Indoor Bowling Club.

AMANDA HEMA

Trustee
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Amanda is director of The Stakeholder Agency, a company which specialises in helping Waikato organisations build fruitful relationships, proactively collaborate and explore strategic partnerships. With a strong background in public sector management, Amanda is passionate about regional development and community empowerment. Amanda also manages The Waikato Plan, a collective of regional leaders from central and local government, iwi, business and community, who explore avenues to work collectively to respond to local aspirations and regional priorities such as housing, youth and wellbeing.

In a former life, Amanda was the Chief Executive for Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and the Strategic Projects Manager for the South Waikato Economic Development Trust supporting the development of the Waikato River Trail and the Tokoroa Trade Training Centre.

Amanda chairs Creative Waikato and has an enduring interest in the performing arts. She also sits on the board of Skycity Hamilton Trust and Te Waotu School.

HAYDEN DILLON

Trustee
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Hayden is the Managing Partner for Waikato and head of Corporate Agribusiness New Zealand for Crowe Horwath. He holds various leadership roles in one of New Zealand’s largest economic regions being Waikato, and has strong banking, risk management and financial skills. Hayden grew up on his family owned station in Central Otago, and has been involved in agribusiness throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture majoring in Farm Management and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment majoring in Treasury. He is a Fellow of the Financial Securities Institute of Australasia, a member of the IOD, and holds various directorships.

JOHN CRONIN

Trustee
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John is a chartered accountant, accredited fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Commissioner at Resource management hearings.

He is a former senior partner of his Chartered Accounting firm and brings experienced and expertise across local Government having been elected as councillor for the Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council including four terms as chair. He has a strong background in economic development business development, and funds management. He is a former member of many companies including 13 years as a director for the Port of Tauranga. John resides in Tauranga.

RICHARD HESLOP

Trustee
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Richard is a Retired Pharmacist who owned and operated Heslop Pharmacy in Putaruru for 35 years. As well as Pharmacy qualifications he has a NZ Institute of Management Retail Supervision Certificate.

Richard has been involved in many local organisations often at a Governance level. He was the President of the Pharmacy Guild of NZ for 3 years and Chairman of Pharmacy Wholesalers BOP Ltd for 6 years. Richard and his wife Sue have elected to retire in the South Waikato and he has an ongoing passion to see the area thrive and grow.

STEPHEN VEITCH

Trustee
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Stephen is a private consultant trading as Manawa Advisory, specialising in financial structuring, commercial property and primary industry advisory work.

Stephen’s executive management experience has been as CEO of Ata Rangi Pastoral Limited until May 2019 after 4.5 years prior to which he had 16 years commercial banking in various technical and leadership roles covering property finance, corporate commercial and agribusiness. The skills acquired through this period covered cashflow and project financing, building and analysing project feasibilities with project planning and execution.

Stephen remains an active member of New Zealand Institute of Directors and New Zealand Institute of Primary Management.

Stephen grew up in an agricultural service town of Dannevirke, in Southern East Coast of the North Island. Stephen attended Massey University and gained a Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Economics and Diploma Rural Studies majoring in farm management and valuation.

Stephen had personal and family investments in commercial property, Dairy and sheep & beef production. Stephen lives in Hamilton with his wife and three children and enjoys managing his small beef finishing property, water & snow skiing and mountain biking in his spare time.

MAYOR JENNY SHATTOCK

Advisory Trustee
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