Our People

Our Board


Sharon Hanna


Sharon Hanna joined the Trust in 2012 and brings with her over thirty years of experience across the education and not for profit sectors. Over this period Sharon’s interest in the well-being of people has lead her into many areas of service. She has held governance, leadership, educational and research roles with organisations in both the public and private sector.

Sharon has significant expertise in developing and implementing projects for organisational development and/or research. Her governance strengths lie in the areas of strategic planning, policy, board development and change management.

She holds qualifications in science and educational leadership (BSc PGDipSci (with credit) DipTching MEdAdmin (Hons)) and is an active member of the Institute of Directors.

She lives in Tauranga with her husband, Nick. Together, they attend South City Baptist Church. In her spare time Sharon loves to spend time with friends and family. She keeps active by rowing on te awa Wairoa and going up Mauao regularly; and in her quieter moments enjoys reading, sudoku and cryptic crosswords.


Carole Gordon

As a Social Scientist Carole has a keen interest in people, research and policy development. Carole has a broad background in education, health, project management, social sector agencies and community development. As a social gerontologist she is actively involved in research and social change leadership to meet the challenges of an ageing population.


Tessa Mackenzie

Tessa Mackenzie joined the Trust in 2013 and brings with her over 17 years experience in the community and social sectors, specialising in collaborative approaches to social change.

Over this period Tessa has worked in grass-roots to governance positions for community organisations and Government agency contracts, including 9 years family driven collaborative case management facilitation for Strengthening Families (MSD). Tessa has also represented community in local and international community and industry forums around topics such as early intervention for under 6’s, youth violence, and social impacts of mining on community.

Tessa holds qualifications in personal and professional development, supervision and complementary health, as well as a BA (Social Policy) and is part way through a Masters in Social Change.

Tessa lives somewhat unconventionally in an off-grid converted shipping container, which reflects her passion for arts, music and permaculture.  She has a partner, 4 adult children and 1 moko.


Mike Mills

Michael Mills has an undergraduate degree in Education and Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Planning Practice (2002) from Auckland University.

He began his professional career as a social worker, extending into community development. Since 2002 he has been actively engaged in crime prevention and community safety activities in two local authorities: commencing in Waitakere for five years and then for nine years as coordinator of Tauranga Moana Safe City: including guiding the district through the process to achieve designation in 2008, and redesignation in 2014 as an International Safe Community.

Michael has four adult children and two delightful grand-daughters. He lives in Hamilton with his wife, Annika Lane.


Sue Furey

Sue is one of the founding Trustees of the Social Sector Innovation Trust. Since arriving in Tauranga Moana she has held a variety of management roles in non-profit organisations and contracted to many non-profits to assist them with their capacity/capability building.

Sue’s is Operations Manager and Yoga Teacher at the Tauranga Yoga Centre. She teaches beginners and advanced classes and also restorative classes to women whose lives have been affected by cancer. Sue also teaches some private classes and workshops.

Sue lives in Mt Maunganui – where she has resided since 1995. She has two adult children and 2 precious grandchildren.


Mary Dillon

Mary has lived in Tauranga in the beautiful Bay of Plenty since 1944 and has six adult children and 13 grandchildren.

Her current chairing roles include, Envirohub Bay of Plenty, the Welcome Bay Community Centre and she also serves on the Bay of Plenty Community Response Forum and the Technical Implementation Group SmartGrowth.

Recently Mary was appointed as a District Licensing Commissioner under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Her previous roles include Board Member of Philanthropy New Zealand, Chair BayTrust, Deputy Chair Tauranga Art Gallery Trust and Chair of the PrimeHealth Trust for Community Development.

Mary served as an elected member of the Tauranga City Council for 21 years, including six years as Deputy Mayor. During that time she developed strong connections with local iwi and she values and respect Maori perspectives.

Mary has a deep interest in the sustainability of our environment and in the development of local strong resilient communities.

Nigel Tutt

Nigel Tutt

Nigel is currently the CEO of Priority One, the economic agency for the Western Bay of Plenty. His background is in digital marketing and media. He has significant commercial experience and knowledge gained from a wide ranging background in small and large companies within the private sector. In his role with Priority One his area of focii are:

– Fostering innovation
– Creating a compelling destination
– A hub for skills & talent
– Connecting & collaborating
– Investment attraction

All key areas for SociaLink – a great alignment.