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.
Donna McMahon General Manager – Corporate Services
Julia Rout General Manager - Health Promotion and Advocacy
Julia and her team work to promote an environment where it is easier for everyone across the country to lead a healthy lifestyle. Their goal is to reduce the risk factors, inequity and number of people experiencing stroke especially in high risk communities.
The team oversees the organisation's advocacy to reduce population stroke risk factors and improve services for people and whānau affected by stroke. They operate two mobile services, providing free blood pressure, pulse checks and lifestyle support to at-risk communities. They also work in partnership with communities and Te Whatu Ora to raise awareness of the signs of stroke using the F.A.S.T. message.
Julia holds a Bachelor of Consumer and Applied Science, majoring in human nutrition with a marketing minor. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics and a Diploma in Public Health.
Chris Green National Marketing and Fundraising Manager
Chris is the National Manager - Marketing and Fundraising, heading both teams within the Stroke Foundation which are focused on working with the community to raise the revenue needed to continue the work that is required around the country. The team works in all aspects of fundraising, including events, grants, sponsorships, individual giving and campaigns such as Beanie Up.
Nita Brown General Manager Māori Health
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.
Nicky Mayne General Manager Midland Region
Nicky joined the Stroke Foundation at the start of 2021 as the organisation’s General Manager for the Midland region.
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 General Manager Northern Region
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.
Chris Davis General Manager Southern Region
Chris has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years with roles at World Vision, Science Alive, Ngai Tahu Tourism and the Graeme Dingle Foundation. He is qualified as a primary school teacher and has an honours degree in Social Sciences from Lincoln University and University of California Santa Cruz.
Chris is a keen trail runner, avid reader and loves getting out hiking and running on Banks Peninsula. He is married and he and his wife Maria have three teenage children, Joseph, Marilla and Elsie.
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 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.