Donna Provoost – Chair
Donna is an economist with over fifteen years of experience as a researcher, policy analyst and manager. Her professional work has centred on working for better outcomes for disadvantaged groups. She came to New Zealand from Canada over a decade ago, and she has worked in several government agencies in the social sector.
Donna is current the Advocacy Manager for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and lives with her husband and daughter in Wainuiomata. She is active in her local community, including being a member of the school board of trustees.
Chris graduated as an Aeronautical Engineer in the UK and spent the early part of his career working in the aerospace and defence industries in procurement, production planning, and operations management roles.
He and his wife, Meg, fell in love with New Zealand during an all too short holiday in 2000. A year later they emigrated with their two daughters, Fiona and Rebecca. Since arriving he has worked in the healthcare, insurance, and transport industries in various commercial and strategic roles. He was also privileged to be chair of his professional body in NZ (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) for three years, and is currently in a strategic development role at Auckland Transport.
Chris grew up as a “Forces kid” where it was easy to become accustomed to not putting down roots anywhere; to remain only loosely connected to the community. Recent exposure to a community-led initiative in Northland inspired him to ground his passion for New Zealand in the work of Inspiring Communities.
Alison has deep family roots into the Southland community, where she is based. Alison’s involvements include consultancy for community projects across the fields of social services, health initiatives, education, conservation and disability issues. She is also involved in violence prevention education through her role with the Women’s Self Defence Network Wāhine Toa and Girls’ Self Defence Project.
Alison is a trustee of a community based trust focused on biodiversity issues and eradication of wilding pines, a trustee of a local arts foundation, and on the executive of a community education group. She has several years of involvement with community philanthropy, including four years chairing the Community Trust of Southland. Alison is interested in the dynamics of locally-driven community-based initiatives, and their interface with global issues of sustainability, human rights and social justice.
Chris is married to Leanne and they live in Christchurch with their two teenage daughters. He is passionate about strong thriving communities and has worked in NFP governance roles since 1999. Chris has been a Trustee of the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust since 2009, initially in an advisory capacity and latterly as a full Trustee.
Chris has held elected positions on local Christchurch Community Boards as well as other elected and appointed positions across government, commercial, philanthropic and community organisations and networks.
Along with his wife, he founded their own company, Mene Solutions in 2006, to enable people and organisations be the best they can be. This diverse range of experience brings a broad knowledge and awareness of society and complex systems to the board of Inspiring Communities.
Chris is most excited about the potential to transform systems through smart investment in people with vision, intelligence and energy. He is very enthusiastic about growing capability in young people and ensuring families with young people are able to thrive.
Mark is married to Tess Casey and lives in Wellington. Mark is the Principal of Berhampore School, a primary school serving a diverse community. The school’s journey has seen it develop its focus from just being an education institution to a community partner and asset. Berhampore School is widely recognised as an advocate for the inclusion of all children in education and known for its community led focus.
Mark is involved in a wide range of local and national community initiatives. As well as a board member of Inspiring Communities he is a member of the Education for All Forum which is advocating for cross sector partnership between disability and education organisations for better access to education for all children. Recently Mark was one of the NZEI education union’s representatives on the Ministry of Education’s Joint Initiative Working Party on how communities of schools can collaborate.