Hamilton City Council’s high profile general manger city growth Kelvyn Eglinton has been appointed as Momentum Waikato’s new chief executive.
Mr Eglinton will take up the role at the community foundation in mid-March. Founding chief executive Cheryl Reynolds has left after four years at the helm to establish a new social enterprise for generosity.
Momentum Waikato chairman Leonard Gardner says he is pleased the foundation’s board has appointed Mr Eglinton. “We are grateful Kelvyn is joining us. He has a very strong background in community engagement and growth and that, combined with his strategic approach, will drive Momentum Waikato through its next important phase.”
Mr Gardner says Mr Eglinton is a strong supporter of the Waikato region, and will be a perfect fit for what is a unique role in New Zealand.
Momentum Waikato Community Foundation is an independent, permanent resource for high-impact philanthropic giving within the Waikato region, linking generous donors to strategic charitable investments targeted at transformational change. Among other things it is currently convening donations to deliver the new Waikato Regional Theatre.
Mr Eglinton, who has held the city growth role at Hamilton City Council for two years, has a strong background in corporate social responsibility in mining in New Zealand and Australasia, and has long-term connections to Waikato.
“The Momentum CEO role was very attractive because my background is in working across communities and within corporate organisations, particularly around corporate social responsibility. Waikato is on the cusp of great things and Momentum Waikato is aligned with many good business people seeking to make the region a better place.”
He plans to build on the work already put in place by Ms Reynolds and the Momentum Waikato team to specialise in brokering deals by connecting donors and projects, and to make Waikato the most generous region in the world.
“We have about 460,000 people across our region, making us the third biggest economy in New Zealand. We have communities wanting to build a sense of place, a strong iwi in Waikato Tainui and solid opportunities to leverage across projects and programmes. So, we’re big enough to trial things but we’re flexible and have great connections, and therefore we can adapt and amend quickly if we need to.”
Mr Eglinton says Momentum Waikato already has the support of many generous individual donors, and he’ll also be looking to work with corporate, iwi and community organisations to benefit the Waikato community. “Corporate social responsibility is still really in its infancy in New Zealand, but we are seeing great changes in many industries. I hope to be able to talk with companies here about providing benefits to communities in such a way that makes good sense to organisations.”