Our Staff

Led by Nathan McLellan, our team is a diverse and creative group of people
committed to serving Venn’s vision and its wider community.

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  • Staff

Our Board

We are governed by a Board who provide a wealth of experience,
ensuring Venn Foundation grows in strength and capacity.

MARK POWELL

CHAIRMAN

Mark is married to Maria and they have two adult daughters. Originally from South Wales in the United Kingdom, he migrated permanently to New Zealand in late 2002. Mark has Bachelor degrees in both Mining Engineering and Theology, Masters degrees in Logistics and Business, and he is presently working on a Masters degree in Apologetics. Mark has been CEO of The Warehouse Group, New Zealand’s largest NZX listed retail group, and is now CEO in Residence at Massey University. He is a qualified Baptist Pastor and speaks regularly in the areas of business, faith, and leadership.

CHARLES BELCHER

DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

Charles is CEO of Starbucks NZ. Charles previously worked as an investment banker for six years, followed by CFO of The Better Bar Company, and then CEO of Maestro Cafes. He brings strengths in finance and strategic thinking to the board, as well as experience gained from four years as a youth pastor. He is an internship alumni and is enthusiastic about the vision and mission of Venn. Charles is married to Emma and they have a daughter, Imogen, and son, Augustine.

JOHN ELLIOTT

John is a seasoned international executive with an extensive leadership record across several industries. He combines global experience in a variety of retail businesses with particular strengths and interest in strategy and planning, corporate governance and change leadership. John is married to Debbie and they have two sons.

GREG FLEMING

Greg played a significant role in founding and leading Venn Foundation as CEO through its foundational years, before becoming CEO of the The Parenting Place in 2015. Through the work of Venn, The Parenting Place, and many other organisations, Greg’s life has been dedicated to seeing New Zealanders flourish in their relationships and vocations. Most importantly, Greg & Kirsty have been married for 20 years and have five children aged 5 to 16.

JEANNIE HAY

Jeannie worked as a nurse before leaving to raise her family. Supporting her husband David as Mayor, Jeannie was Mayoress of Mt Roskill for fifteen years, and Deputy Mayoress of Auckland for 12 years. She has been heavily involved in a number of community initiatives over many years, including founding Christian Love Link. She is a mother to four adult children, and grandmother to four.

EMELINE AFEAKI-MAFILE’O

Emeline is devoted to mentorship, education, and advocacy for Pasifika communities living in New Zealand. She founded the mentoring and education organisation Affirming Works and advocates for the Pacific community on social and economic issues within Government. In 2016, she was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific community. Emeline is married to Alipate and together they are raising three sons, as well as running Tupu’anga Coffee in the Kingdom of Tonga.

THE REVD DR LYNDON DRAKE

Lyndon is Kaiwhakamana Amorangi ki te Pihopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau, and Pirihi Whakahaere mo te Takiwa o Manukau (ministry roles in the New Zealand Anglican Church). He is of Ngai Tahu descent, from Kati Kuri in Kaikoura, and married to Miriam with three sons. Until 2010, Lyndon was a Vice President at Barclays Capital, trading government bonds and interest-rate derivatives. Since then, he has served as pastor of Auckland Baptist Tabernacle, taught theology of work at seminaries, served in regional and international church leadership, and has served in various governance roles, including currently chairing Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri Trust Board and Te Hui Amorangi Ki Te Tai Tokerau Trust Board. Lyndon has degrees in science and commerce (Auckland), a PhD in computer science (York), and two degrees in theology (Oxford). Lyndon is particularly interested in Venn’s work of Christian formation.

REBECCA DOW

Rebecca grew up in Ahipara, in the Far North. Motivated by a desire to help people, Rebecca completed a social work degree at the University of Otago and, through her studies, became increasingly passionate about the role of schools in providing care and opportunities for vulnerable teenagers. She completed a Postgraduate degree in Secondary Teaching, followed by teaching posts in Kaitaia and Queensland, Australia. Rebecca moved to Auckland in 2014 to complete her Masters dissertation on the provision of pastoral care in schools and now works as an Academic Manager at South Auckland Middle School. She serves on the Villa Education Trust Board. Rebecca has been involved in the Venn community for a number of years and has participated in both the Summer Conference and the Venn Vocational Programme, 2017.

THE REVD DR MURRAY RAE

Murray began his working career as an architect in private practice before studying philosophy and theology in New Zealand, Germany, and the UK. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and is currently Professor of Theology at the University of Otago. His varied research interests include the work of Søren Kierkegaard, theological ethics, theology and architecture, the theological interpretation of Scripture, and Māori Engagements with Christianity. His support of the Venn Foundation stems from his interest in helping people to think about the implications of Christian faith across all areas of human life. Murray is married to Jane and they have three adult sons.

Many thanks to all those who generously support our work.