Board of Directors
Our Board sets the Institute's strategic direction and delegates responsibility for the management of the Institute to the Chief Executive Officer.
Michael Ahie - Chairman (Taranaki, Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui)
Michael Ahie is a business owner and company director based in Wellington. He is a founding partner of leadership and business coaching company AltusQ. He is Pro Chancellor of Massey University, Chairman of the Food Safety Assurance and Advisory Council, Chairman of ComplyWith Limited and a director of a number of companies including Farmers Mutual Group, and BCC Limited.
Mr Ahie received a First Class Honours degree from Massey University and has completed the Executive Development Programme at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His past roles include senior roles with Toyota New Zealand Ltd, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Wrightson Ltd.
Mr Dawson trained as a Veterinarian at Massey University and subsequently at the University of Auckland Graduate School of Business. He currently Chairs the Board of Tiro Lifesciences and is a Director of MARS Bioimaging and Avalia Immunotherapies. Mr Dawson is a former director of the NZX-listed companies BLIS Technologies and Pacific Edge and former Chief Executive of Otago Innovation Ltd, the commercialisation arm of the University of Otago. He is a Chartered Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors and an SEP alumnus of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and is the owner of a Central Otago cherry export company.
Greg Gent, of Kaipara, is a senior commercial director with dairy farming interests in Northland. He has strong governance expertise having spent a decade on the Fonterra Board, and holding other directorships in the dairy, insurance, financial services and banking industries. Mr Gent also served as a Crown appointee on his local District Health Board and has contributed to local government reform.
Professor Juliet Gerrard
Professor Juliet Gerrard trained at Oxford University, where she completed an Honours degree in Chemistry and a DPhil in Biological Chemistry. In 1993, she was appointed as a research scientist at Crop & Food Research, and in 1998 as a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Canterbury, where she was Professor and Director of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre. In 2014 Juliet was appointed Professor in the School of Biological Sciences and School of Chemical Sciences at The University of Auckland. Juliet has over 125 publications, as well as three books. She won a National Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching in 2004 and is an active member of three of New Zealand’s Centres of Research Excellence, as a Principal Investigator in both the MacDiarmid and Riddet Institutes and an Associate Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre. Juliet was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2012; she is also Chair of the RSNZ Marsden Fund Council.
Stana Pezic has held roles as Chief Financial Officer of Stevensons Group and Metrowater, the Auckland City Council’s water retailer and infrastructure manager. Ms Pezic was previously General Manager at Whitcoulls Group Ltd, and has extensive experience in financial management, general management, strategy development and process change.
Her background spans infrastructure, manufacturing and retail, following various roles with Carter Holt Harvey, Whitcoulls Group, The Warehouse and Esso Australia.
Mark Stuart has broad general management and governance expertise combining entrepreneurial and public sector experience and a strong focus on innovation.
Mr Stuart is a Partner in Movac, a leading Venture Capital firm, and has a background in building technology-based businesses including as the Chief Executive of WaikatoLink, the technology transfer company of the University of Waikato.
Mr Stuart has extensive governance experience and is currently also a director of Author-it Holdings, Industrial Tube Manufacturing Company and KiwiNet. He has previously served as a Council member on the New Zealand Angel Association and as a member of the NZBio Advisory Council and is currently on the Council of the New Zealand Venture Capital Association.
Andrew von Dadelszen
Andrew von Dadelszen has held diverse governance and leadership roles, including central and local government and corporate governance, finance and investment advice, large-scale farming, service industries and the not-for-profit sector. Andrew is qualified with an MBA from Henley Management College and Brunel University, London, and brings to Plant & Food Research a clear understanding of the role of governance and the complexities of grappling with strategic and public policy issues.
He has been a member of the Board of the Environmental Protection Authority – a Crown Agency. Andrew is a qualified Resource Management Consent Hearings Commissioner with a Chairs Endorsement, and has been a member of the District Licensing Committee for Tauranga City Council. For six years he was an elected Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor, and has previously been a director of a number of companies, both publically listed and private.