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Our Board

Group of people with silver pens talking notes

Independent Living is governed by a Board of Trustees. We are privileged to have the volunteer services of our Trustees who represent a wide talent bank giving greater community perspective and vision for the future.

Independent Living benefits from their generous contribution of time, knowledge and skills. Some of our Trustees have served many years on the Board ensuring stability and an important historical perspective as we move forward.

 

Rick Rainey

Chairperson

Rick is a business consultant with over 30 years of business experience growing and leading high-tech NZ companies. Rick brings a sound strategic and planning focus to the Board of Trustees. Rick currently runs his own business consultancy in the areas of Governance, Strategy, and Technology, for both profit and non-profit organisations.

Rick works across Disability, Mental Health and Addictions, and private companies, and as such, brings strong connections and insights to Independent Living and the board.

Rick is also the Chair of Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre, and engaged as an advisory consultant to a number of other profit and non-profit boards.

 

Caroline Williams

Caroline holds the position of Board Secretary and brings a wealth of legal, commercial and strategy experience to the Board. She has worked in major law firms, both in New Zealand and internationally, as well as holding senior legal and executive roles in a number of iconic New Zealand companies. Her current role is as Group General Manager Legal & Compliance at Bayley Corporation.

Caroline’s previous governance experience includes advising high growth SME boards in the areas of general governance, legal, intellectual property and commercial strategy. Her industry experience spans telecommunications, technology, financial and professional services and property. She is excited about the potential for technology to help all New Zealanders age well and live life to the full.

 

Martine Abel-Williamson

Ms Martine Abel-Williamson QSM has been an advocate, lecturer, policy advisor, and service coordinator for New Zealand’s disability sector for 22 years and has held governance roles on a range of national and international bodies supporting vision impaired persons.

From 2007 until 2018 she worked in various roles for Manukau City Council and then Auckland Council, including as Policy Advisor Disability and Strategic Advisor Disability. She is currently Treasurer at the global level of the World Blind Union. She is Regional UN Advocacy Network Co-ordinator of World Blind Union Asia-Pacific (WBUAP), having previously held positions with WBUAP such as Vice-President and Women’s Committee Chair.

In these roles she has travelled the world to assist building international capacity in disability services in developing countries, as well as liaising in areas of systemic advocacy, specialising in access to the environment and transport. She chairs Auckland Disability Law, the only disability-specific community law centre in New Zealand. Ms Abel-Williamson is currently the Vice-President of Blind Citizens New Zealand.

 

Juanita Neville Te-Rito

An Aussie by birth and Kiwi at heart, Juanita is the founder the retail reinvention consultancy, Retail X where they blend the art and science of retail to help businesses compete in today’s hyper-competitive market.

Juanita has held senior executive positions within several iconic retail businesses on both sides of the Tasman including Woolworths, Pizza Hut, Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationery and more recently as CEO and Retail Strategy Director guiding the brand and retail development for businesses including Unichem and Life Pharmacy, Liquorland, BedsRUs, Freedom Furniture, Countdown and Citta Design.

With a career spanning over twenty-five year in the industry Juanita has covered practically every retail category. Using her experience from travelling the world observing what is happening Juanita is sought after as a consultant and speaker.
She writes for several business publications and judges many retail industry awards on both sides of the Tasman. She lives in Auckland with her husband Mark, their two tweens and much loved puppy Arlo.

 

Carol Gernhoefer

Carol Gernhoefer is a Chartered Accountant and brings her experience of business and accounting to the Board. Carol is a graduate of Auckland University and has worked in New Zealand, America, Japan and Europe. She is an Associate at Lyne Opinion Limited and provides expert financial opinions in the areas of business valuation, litigation and financial dispute resolutions.

Carol has governance experience with not-for-profit organisations and is a former board member of the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Sands Auckland Central. Carol also facilitates the accounting school programmes for the New Zealand Institute of Charted Accountants. Carol is the founder of Auckland For Kids, a website which provides information on events and activities for children, teenagers and families in Auckland. Carol and her husband Glen have two young children.