ABSL BOARD

Dr Denise Atkins, Chairperson, Basketball Auckland Representative

Denise is an experienced Director having been on not-for-profit boards for a number of years, most recently stepping down as Chair of Drowning Prevention Auckland. In her role as a  senior lecturer at AUT University in the School of Sport & Recreation she is an enthusiastic participant who manages to both work and play in this sector. As a Trustee on the Atkive Board, Denise upholds a regional perspective - lifting  participation in physical activity and enhancing wellbeing - across all of Auckland. 

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Georgie Witehira, Counties-Manukau Basketball Association Representative

Georgie is a business owner in the property sector after a lengthy career in Leisure Facility Operations for Manukau/Auckland City Council.  Georgie has been involved with basketball in Counties Manukau for over 40 years in a variety of administrative and in coaching roles. As a player, Georgie represented Auckland, North Harbour and Counties Manukau at senior level and was a national junior captain. She was the assistant coach of the national women’s team in their bid for Olympic representation in 1988, coach of Koru age group teams, and continues to coach provincial junior teams. 

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Rachael Payne, Waitakere-West Auckland Basketball Inc. Representative

Details to come 

Swathy Gudipoodi, Independent Director 

Swathy is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of experience in various finance roles in public practice and large corporates. Swathy is the Group Financial Controller at Northpower and previously worked at Ernst & Young, Vector, Watercare and Broadspectrum.  

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Rebekah Watts, Independent Director

Rebekah was trained as a primary school teacher and started teaching in 2007. Shortly after completing a Bachelor of Business she became a Deputy Principal and then a Principal at a full primary school in Mount Wellington. She is also the Lead Principal for the Maungakiekie Kahui Ako. Rebekah played basketball at high school and college team and coached basketball teams at the intermediate schools she has taught. Rebekah enjoys continuously learning and will be graduating with a Masters of Business Administration in July this year.

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Jon Barrell, Independent Director

Jon is a committed basketball fan, having played through school and then socially after work.  He loves the accessibility of the game and is keen to connect more communities to basketball and help them see the many benefits it brings.  For work, Jon heads up a Sales & Merchandising agency leveraging his broad commercial experience to provide grocery & hardware clients strong representation in store.  He has a teenage family and a very tolerant wife.  Jon's other sporting passion is ocean swimming and can often be found in the sea (in the summer months only).

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Nick Rowland, Independent Director

Nick is a thought-provoking marketing and partnerships sports expert. Born and raised in Taranaki, Nick moved to Auckland in 2013 and now is happily settled on the North Shore. He has two young girls who have become his main motivation over the years as he looks to enable greater engagement in sport for the next generation. Nick established his own consultancy in 2016 and is driven by working with sports, charities and brands to enable increased commercial sustainability in sports - so that the next generation can continue to enjoy sport just as he did. A passionate basketball fan who has always followed the NBA, worked alongside NZ Basketball, Breakers, Taranaki Mountainairs and has assisted Steven Adams in building his brand in the business community and raising funds for his chosen charity.

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Des Brennan, BBNZ Representative (ex-officio)

Des Brennan has enjoyed a wide-ranging business career in leadership positions with prominent New Zealand organisations. These include New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Yachting New Zealand, Montana Wines, Fletcher Building, Television New Zealand, and Anchor Foods. He has served on the boards of South Pacific Pictures, Netball New Zealand, The New Zealand Way, the New Zealand Recreation Association, Snow Sports New Zealand, Basketball New Zealand, Waikato Institute of Technology as well as several trade organisations. Des is a trustee of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust and is Head Category Judge of the Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Awards. He has an MBA (with distinction) from Massey University and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

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