Mark joined the Stroke Foundation as CEO in 2006. He has enjoyed a diverse career in what he calls the social profit sector, which includes setting up community development projects, effective treatment programmes for sex offenders and an abuse survivor initiative. Early in his career he ran a night shelter and worked for a disability service while his last position was with a problem gambling treatment service. He holds a master’s degree in social work and an MBA.
Mark Vivian Chief Executive Officer
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.
Robbie Ross National Marketing and Fundraising Manager
Robbie and his team are responsible for the development, implementation and management of the organisation’s fundraising strategy, maintaining and enhancing current fundraising channels and identifying new opportunities. These include direct mail, regular giving, corporate partnerships, event management and bequests. Robbie worked for The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory for 25 years with the last six years holding the appointment of Public Relations Secretary (Head of Fundraising). He then moved to a newly created role of Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Age Concern New Zealand for two years and spent almost four years as Marketing & Fundraising Manager for the Wellington City Mission. Some form of fundraising has been part of his life for the past 30 years.
James Partridge Marketing Strategist
James is an external strategic advisor to the Stroke Foundation’s Marketing and Fundraising and National Leadership teams. His key responsibilities include brand and marketing strategy for the organisation at a national level, and the strategic development of the Stroke Foundation’s national marketing and fundraising campaigns.
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.
Nita Brown National Māori Health Advisor
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.
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.
. Midland Region General Manager
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
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 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 30 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 current Director and Past President 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 its Australian partner and been 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.
JO LAMBERT BOARD MEMBER
Jo has held leadership and general management roles in management consulting, customer service operations, information technology and marketing. Much of Jo’s consulting work over the last ten years has been in the health sector as a facilitator of strategic planning, as well as supporting innovation and change initiatives across digital channels. Jo is an independent consultant and has performed governance roles in health and education.
Jo’s tertiary qualifications include a BA(Hons) in Business Studies, majoring in marketing and market research, and the post graduate Diploma of Marketing from the Chartered institute of Marketing (UK). She is a Member of the Institute of Directors.
Jo joined the Board of the Stroke Foundation in 2018 and is based in Wellington.
JOHN ALLEN BOARD MEMBER
John Allen was appointed the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Racing Board in March 2015, having previously held the role of Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade since July 2009. Prior to joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John was Chief Executive of New Zealand Post. He held a number of senior positions at New Zealand Post before his appointment as its Chief Executive in 2003. A former partner of Rudd Watts & Stone, specialising in commercial and public policy issues, John has also been a visiting Lecturer in Law at Victoria University of Wellington. He is an experienced company director and was co-chair of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum until April 2011. John is Chair of the New Zealand Police Assurance and Risk Committee and Be.Accessible Charitable Trust and a Council Member of the Victoria University of Wellington.