Nita primarily focuses on stroke prevention, reducing risks and the impact of stroke among whanau Māori throughout the country. Nita builds relationships with Māori health organisations such as Whānau Ora, GPs and Disability Support Services to support stroke prevention. She has years of experience in public health and over 20 years’ experience in education.
Vacant National Marketing and Fundraising Manager
Nita Brown National Māori Health Advisor
Nicky Mayne Midland Region General Manager
Nicky joined the Stroke Foundation at the start of 2021 as the organisation’s General Manager for the Midland region.
Nicky has a diverse background leading business and not-for-profit organisations, having most recently spent the last four years as General Manager of a disability service provider in Rotorua. Nicky also regularly presents training conferences to support those in the disability sector.
Nicky aims to complete her Bachelor in Business (Management) this year and is keen to bring her knowledge and insight gained through lived experience of disability into the role, in order to help the stroke community receive better outcomes throughout recovery.
Jo Lambert Chief Executive Officer
Jo was appointed as CEO of the Stroke Foundation in May 2021. She has a wealth of leadership experience in both the not-for-profit and private sectors, and joins the organisation from Barnardos, New Zealand’s largest children’s charity, where she was General Manager of Early Learning. Prior to this Jo was CEO of the consulting firm Maven, where she worked primarily with clients across health and disability services.
Jo is inspired to make a difference to the lives of those affected by stroke because her mother experienced a life-changing stoke when Jo was a teenager, and her father passed away from a stroke 30 years later. She initially joined the Stroke Foundation as a Board Member in 2018.
Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies (Hons), majoring in marketing and market research, and a postgraduate qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK).
Don Scandrett Northern Region General Manager
Don has managed the Northern region of the Stroke Foundation for more than six years. He oversees the Stroke Foundation’s team of Community Stroke Advisors in Auckland and Northland. He was previously the Fundraising Manager for St John Northern Region, Marketing & Business Manager for the Coastguard Northern region, and Events & Sponsorship Manager at Harbour Sport.
Paul Rout Southern Region General Manager
Paul manages Stroke Foundation services and staff located in the South Island. Supporting staff to deliver high quality services to stroke survivors and building effective working relationships with DHB stroke services, other community organisations and stroke clubs is a key focus of his role. Paul has a 35 year background in a range of management roles within community mental health and addiction organisations and DHB planning and funding. Establishing and managing the national Alcohol Drug Helpline which has assisted tens of thousands of people over its life has been one of his most satisfying achievements
Keri Morris Programme Manager
Keri joined the Stroke Foundation in 2021 as the Programme Manager. With a background in dispute resolution, project management and governance Keri is responsible for the development of our Consumer Advisory Panel, leading new projects and working with the national leadership team to provide strategic input across the business.
With a genuine approach and a collaborative attitude, Keri is dedicated to achieving better outcomes for New Zealanders.
Donna McMahon National Administration Manager
Donna and her team oversee and support the administration, ICT, HR, asset and financial management of the national office and the regional offices. She is responsible for consistent administrative policies and procedures for the whole organisation and for the systems that support regional administration.
Julia Rout National Health Promotion Manager
Julia and her team work to support an environment where it is easier for New Zealanders to lead a healthy lifestyle. Our goal is to reduce the risk factors, inequity and number of people experiencing stroke especially in high risk communities. Our key initiatives include the Big Blood Pressure Check, Pacific Stroke Prevention Project and FAST campaign.
Dr John Gommans Chairman
Dr John Gommans is a Specialist Physician in both Internal and Geriatric Medicine. His specialty interest is stroke medicine and for over 30 years he has worked with the stroke affected community in a range of settings including stroke prevention, acute treatments and rehabilitation in hospital and the community. He has an active research interest engaged with NZ and international colleagues with over 50 publications and has contributed to the development of guidelines for management of stroke.
His Governance experience includes being the Chief Medical and Dental Officer for the Hawke's Bay District Health Board from 2010 to 2018. He is a Past President and Director of the Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand. He was President of the New Zealand Geriatric Society at the time of its amalgamation with the Australian Society and a past Chair of the NZ Adult Medicine Committee of the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
Derek McCormack Board Member
Derek McCormack is the Vice Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
He began his career as a biochemist at the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic, working in academic roles from 1978 to 1986, when he became the President of the New Zealand Association of Staff in Tertiary Education, a role he held until 1990. The late 1980s was a period of extensive reform of the national tertiary education system along with much else in the state sector, and during it Derek served on numerous government committees and working parties, including the establishment body of the NZ Qualifications Authority. He joined the senior management of Auckland Institute of Technology in 1991 eventually as its General Manager and worked on the re-establishment of the institute as a university, which took effect from 2000.
Derek became AUT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor in 2000 and was appointed as the Vice Chancellor in 2004. He has led the extensive transformation and growth of AUT as a university since then.
Over the years Derek has served as chair for a number of national organisations including the New Zealand Academy of Sport, the New Zealand Stroke Foundation, the New Zealand Vice Chancellors Committee and Universities New Zealand.
Dr Elizabeth Spellacy Board Member
Dr Elizabeth Spellacy is Consultant Physician for Older People at Tauranga Hospital. She has been the Honorary Medical Director for the Stroke Foundation Midland Region for a number of years and has also been a member of the Stroke Foundation National Council.
Stewart Germann Board Member
Stewart is a commercial lawyer and principal of SGL, lawyers at Auckland. Stewart is past Chairman of Cognition Education Limited and a past President of the Rotary Club of Auckland. Stewart, who is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors (CFInstD), has been on the Board of the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand since 2013 and has an active interest in the causes of stroke and its prevention. He really enjoys his role in providing governance, direction and legal guidance to the Board when required. Stewart is married to Janice and has four children, two of who are doctors, in Auckland and Sydney.
Bill Hardie Board Member
Bill Hardie is a chartered accountant and a self-employed business consultant based in Christchurch. He specialises in financial management, systems, analysis and reporting and has a particular interest in (and focus on) the NGO and social business sectors. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA) and holds B Com and MBA degrees from Canterbury University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Development Studies from Massey University.
He was appointed as a director of the Stroke Foundation in 2012, after returning from a VSA assignment in Timor Leste. He is also a trustee of Stepping Stone Trust (a mental health service provider) and is a member of the governance group for the Federation of Workers’ Educational Associations which operates the nationwide Book Discussion Scheme.
Ruth Payne Board Member
Ruth has held general management roles in large NZ organisations, with responsibilities across HR, Planning & Performance, Communications and other corporate functions. She has also led a range of change initiatives, including major restructuring programmes and innovation processes. She applies her wide-ranging experience of corporate management, strategy and organisation development in her work as an independent contractor and in governance roles.
Ruth holds Masters’ degrees in History and Management and has a post-graduate Diploma in Creative Writing. She is a Fellow of HRINZ and a Member of the Institute of Directors.
Ruth joined the Board of the Stroke Foundation in 2018 and is based in Wellington.
Catherine Epps Board Member
Catherine Epps is the General Manager Health and Technical Services at WorkSafe, and before that was Executive Director Allied Health, Scientific and Technical at Capital and Coast District Health Board. She’s held senior leadership roles in public and private healthcare organisations for over a decade.
Mark Ford Board Member
Mark Ford is a chartered accountant and is an executive within Fulton Hogan, based in Christchurch.
His executive experience ranges from New Zealand Chief Financial Officer through to Commercial and operational based roles. Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Canterbury University and is a current member of the Institute of Directors.
He was appointed as a director of the Stroke Foundation in 2021 and has previously held many board positions on Boards in the Construction Sector.
Mark's passion for his involvement in the Stroke Foundation comes from his own lived experience. As a fit and active 41-year-old Mark suffered a stroke in February 2019. This experience allows him to contribute to the Board and see perspectives through a stroke survivor's eyes.
Fuimaono Taulauniu Tuiasau Board Member
Fuimaono has led strategic planning and development for many NFPs and NGOs and has actively participated in government committees and NFP bodies. Fuimaono has enjoys strengthening strategic partnerships between diverse communities, government agencies, businesses and academia that enhances sustainability for positive outcomes.
Fuimaono’s extensive governance experience in national and regional entities include EMBER Services Ltd, the Public Service Open Government Partnerships, Ethics Committee at Auckland University, New Zealand Youth Mentoring Trust, Transparency International NZ, Otara Health Charitable Services and the Great Potentials Foundation. Fuimaono is a qualified lawyer and is a Samoan matai.