Leona comes to RDA with an extensive background in community and charitable organisations.
Leona’s work experience includes working at 10 Downing St for the British Government, and Executive Assistant roles for CEO’s, Directors and the Mayors of both Hamilton and Tauranga. She was the founding Branch Manager for the Bay of Plenty Institute of Directors and has been the HR Manager for the Tauranga Electorate for the last two General Elections and Electoral Official for the last five Local Body Elections for the Hamilton City Council.
Leona was a key member of the “tight six” who delivered the annual Tauranga CIB Police Charity Luncheon, establishing and administering the many processes that resulted in the enormous success of the event which in its 20 year history returned $2.4 million back into the community. She has developed a strong network and credible profile among many of the Bay of Plenty business leaders and organisations through this and other community work she is involved in.
Her first involvement with Tauranga RDA was through the Police Luncheon Trust when they donated major sums of money on two occasions to assist with the development of the indoor riding arena.
Married to Graeme and mother to two teenage daughters, Lana and Elle, she describes her passion for helping others as part of the family way of doing things.
She is a well-known figure in many community activities and fund raising efforts and has contributed to local surf life saving, school support groups and sports teams. She has been on the Board of Trustees of the Mt Maunganui Intermediate and was a mentor for the Foundation for Youth Development Project K program.
An active surf lifeguard with Omanu Surf Life Saving Club, her other interests include travel, health and fitness, stand up paddle boarding, and tramping.
Leona says she is honoured to lead the board of Tauranga RDA as she loves what the organisation is about and what it achieves for so many people who have benefited greatly from their involvement with the horses and staff at the RDA.
She is committed to putting her leadership and organisational skills together with her network of people from the local area to help build on the great success that has already been achieved by her predecessors.
Paul has lived in Papamoa since moving to the Bay from the UK in 2007. He is currently the Senior Quantity Surveyor for the Belvedere Group Limited. Married to Carol, he has two daughters who attend local colleges, and a Weimaraner.
It was through Belvedere that Paul became involved with RDA, as the project surveyor for the build of the indoor arena. At the completion of the arena, and having seen the work done by the RDA team he accepted an invitation to join the Board so that he could give something back to the organisation and local community.
Paul has been involved in a number of voluntary positions in England including the Beaconsfield Town Centre Redevelopment Committee and Chalk Hill Pre-School Board of Trustees.
Family is a high priority for Paul and he spends much of his spare time acting as roadie to his two musician daughters.
Ross has been a long-time Mount resident and is currently the Commercial Manager for ISO Limited. Married to Margaret, they have an adult daughter who currently lives in the UK.
Ross has not had a lot to do with horses but his late son Michael attended RDA in the 90’s when he was a pupil at Kaka Street Special School and Ross was happy to accept the very important Treasure role to give something back to the organisation that Michael had got so much enjoyment from.
During his career Ross has been involved in a number of voluntary positions including; Treasurer Tauranga Chamber of Commerce Inc., Treasurer Triathlon Tauranga, Race Director Bayfair Triathlon and Chairman of the Kaka Street Special School Board of Trustees. He was made a Life Member of Triathlon Tauranga in 2003.
His other interests include surfing, fishing, travel and gardening.
Janine is Marketing and Communications Manager at Sharp Tudhope Lawyers and has more than 20 years’ experience working within the corporate sector. She spent the early years of her career working in Sydney in Executive Assistant roles and has a background in real estate sales and marketing as well as extensive administrative expertise.
Raised in Tauranga and regularly riding horses during school holidays, she has first-hand knowledge of the therapeutic benefits to be gained from the RDA programme. Janine enjoys her downtime with her husband and two young girls and has a keen interest in the outdoors including tramping and boating.
Louise was born on a farm in the sunny BOP and grew up riding ponies, attending pony club, competing at shows and ODE's with her two sisters. She also enjoyed hunting with the BOP and Hawkes Bay Hunt Clubs as a teen.
In 2000 after many moves around the country she moved back to Tauranga with her husband, Mark and their two pre school daughters – now young adults the two girls both attend Otago university.
Louise has been involved with a number of sports clubs and PTA's both as a committee member and chairperson and has also enjoyed being part of teams which have organized a diverse range of events from Art Exhibitions to Half Marathons. Her other interests include boating, fishing, cooking and marathons – (although she has now given up competing in marathons but still enjoys running with friends).
It was her love for horses that brought her to RDA as a volunteer in 2013 and she has been a committed volunteer two days a week ever since. Louise gets huge satisfaction from the gains and achievements that our special riders make each week and enjoys the camaraderie of the volunteer team and strongly believes that each person brings something uniquely valuable to the therapy sessions.
As volunteer representative Louise is happy to discuss matters with other volunteers and be the "voice" for them on the board.
Take a step back, evaluate what is important, and enjoy life - Teri Garr
Shima is a partner at Sharp Tudhope lawyers, having joined the firm on her return from London in 2008.
Shima is a lifelong horse rider, having grown up riding ponies, going to pony club, competing at shows and at one day events. Shima experienced first-hand what horse riding can do for children when working as a camp counsellor teaching horse riding in Texas. When the opportunity came up to be part of the RDA Board she was very happy to get involved.
Shima has previously sat on the Board of other charitable and not-for-profit organisations, and sees being involved as part of her contribution to the community.
When not working, Shima’s priority is spending time with her husband and two young daughters.
Felicity comes from an accountancy and business management background. She is the General Manager & Group Accountant at Tauranga’s leading marketing company, Metro Marketing, where her team comprises a forcefield of specialists in strategy, public relations, design, web and digital areas.
Before beginning her association with Metro Marketing six years ago, she dedicated four years to running her own management accounting and consultancy practice. Earlier in her career she worked in a public practice accounting firm, and also in the insolvency arena (liquidations, receiverships and turnarounds). Characteristic testing (courtesy of Gallup strengths finder) reported my strengths to be: strategic, achiever, responsibility, futuristic, and maximiser. Metro Marketing operates from a strong corporate social responsibility base (this has including volunteering staff time to assisting Tauranga RDA) and this sits well with her personal values base. Felicity's personal philanthropy includes support for the Acorn Foundation’s First 11 Giving Cycle, and a founder of the developing Make One More programme - an initiative to feed hungry school children.
While Felicity's passion is for business growth and management, she currently studying psychology, which is a field she is very interested in personally.
Felicity is a keen horse rider (although this is on hold at present) and have served as an RDA volunteer for a short term. That stint provided the unforgettable opportunity to see first-hand the impact RDA has.
Felicity believes in living a life in which full potential can be realised should be a right for everyone in our community. I recognise that RDA is in the business of striving to achieve exactly that and therefore she is proud to serve as an RDA board member.