New Board Members Bring Vast Experience

By Jerrie Valli | Posted: Wednesday April 3, 2019

PSS has welcomed several Board Members over the past few months, each bringing with them invaluable experience.

Joc O'Donnell

Background/Career Experience: I have been a director of our family company, HWR, since my father’s death in 2005. I am currently the Executive Director of HWR’s tourism division, overseeing Transport World and its various products. I have recently become involved in some more community-based initiatives having sat on the Southland Regional Development Strategy Forum which led on to chairing the Vibrant Urban Centres team. I sit on the Prime Ministers Business Advisory Council and have just been appointed onto the board of the Southland Regional Development Agency.

On being part of PSS: I am happy to have been asked onto the PSS Trust Board and am looking forward to my involvement in the organisation. PSS sits close to my heart as my mother in law Merle O'Donnell also sat on the Trust Board for many years and was a passionate contributor. I am certainly hoping I can also contribute in a positive way.

Wish for 2019: My wish for 2019, after the terrible tragedy in Christchurch last week, has to be that that everyone must try harder to “do more” to be more inclusive, accepting and kind of others.

Leanne Illingworth

Background/Career Experience: I was a member of the Southland, and then Southern DHB's Planning and Funding team for 12 years, am an Advisory Board member of Eldernet Ltd and am a member of the Institute of Directors. I am currently working in businesses involved with construction, property and hospitality respectively and live in Queenstown as a mum of two school-aged children, Harry (8) and Emmy (5).

On being part of PSS: I consider becoming a Trustee of PSS to be a very special position, and I feel fortunate to be part of an organisation that does so much for the social fabric of the Southland community.

Favourite saying: You live and learn

Murray Acker

Background/Career Experience: I am a born and bred Southlander and have lived my entire life in Invercargill with the exception of an approximate two year period in Dunedin whilst attending Otago University. I schooled in Invercargill at Grasmere Primary School, Rosedale Intermediate School and James Hargest High School. I commenced work as a Trainee Accountant, initially studying at what is now SIT for my B.Com, concluding this in Dunedin. I have worked my entire career as a Chartered Accountant in public practice and currently working with the firm Crowe Horwath (as a Partner of this firm). I have advised a large number of clients operating in a large number of business activities, including numerous charitable entities.

I am married to Dianne and have two adult children and four grandchildren.

On being part of PSS: I’ve followed PSS and its activities for a large number of years, and felt that it was time to contribute as a Board Member.

Favourite song: National Anthem of New Zealand