Committee

Neil Woodhams

Neil Woodhams

President

M:  021 531 654   E:  NBW@xtra.co.nz

Neil Woodhams is the Vice-President of Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand and the President Multiple Sclerosis Auckland. Neil has an extensive career in senior healthcare management at a governance and senior management level. He is a former senior executive of the Midland RHA and was Chief Operating Officer of Auckland DHB 2000-2002. He has also held many positions in management and governance in community and not-for-profit organisations, including Māori and Pacific organisations.

Neil has now been appointed as Trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand Research Trust. He is also on the Pharmac Advisory Panel.

Neil’s core interest area is in multiple sclerosis and people with disabilities, both as an advocate and as a carer of his wife, Erin who has MS.

Louise Reed

Louise Reed

Vice President

Louise is a Barrister specialising in family law and has an interest in relationship property, proceedings concerning children’s issues (including adoptions) and proceedings under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (in relation to Powers of Attorney, Property Managers and Welfare Guardians).

Louise is a person living with Multiple Sclerosis and was diagnosed in 2008. She is a member of the Zonta Club of Auckland and has held leadership positions in that organisation.

Louise has completed the Auckland Half Marathon and the 50 km cycle challenge in the annual “Bike the Bridge” event in 2013. She has also completed the 20 km challenge of Bike the Bridge several times. Louise is a regular member of the hydrotherapy group at Diocesan school and has been a volunteer collector for the society for the annual Street Appeal. 

Louise enjoys being part of the Committee and working with people who are aware of the issues concerning people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Peter Wood

Peter Wood

Treasurer

Peter is a Chartered Accountant and a Director in Ingham Mora Ltd, Chartered Accountants in Tauranga.

He is also a Justice of the Peace and a Director of numerous companies and other organisations. He is a respected and trusted advisor to many local business people and is a Trustee of a number of Charitable Trusts.

His wife, Maureen, is a person living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Amit Abhyankar

Amit Abhyankar

Secretary

Amit has been diagnosed with MS since 2008 and has just had the good news of getting disease modifying drugs this month and is looking forward to better days.

He works in the banking industry in Financial crimes and compliance, having worked many years in relationship banking prior.

His hobbies include playing cricket, traveling the world and having good times with his friends. Saying that he plays cricket weekly and captains their team. He has travelled to over 25 countries and aspires to see one country for every year of his life.

He is a new dad and is looking forward to lots of quality time with his family.

Fran Watts

Fran Watts

Fran is from the UK and immigrated to New Zealand in 2001. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis soon after she had settled in New Zealand.

Fran and her husband, John, visited the Gawler Foundation in Melbourne in 2005 and again in 2015, and since then Fran has adopted the lifestyle changes promoted by George Jelinek with great results.

Fran retired from ASB Bank in 2011 due to her condition worsening and is looking forward to doing some voluntary work in the community.

She has two adult children, Matt and Jenny.

Robert Irving

Robert Irving

Robert is Founder and Engineering Manager of Rex Bionics the company who designed the world’s first hands-free, self-supporting, independently controlled robotic walking device, or in other words robotic legs.

The business came about when Robert was first diagnosed with MS ten years ago. He was explaining to a good friend that he had been diagnosed with MS and he suggested they build robotic legs. Now the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has helped over 100 people walk again.

The company won the IPENZ Award for engineering innovation in 2013 and Robert was North and South magazine’s New Zealander of the year (science and technology) in 2011.

Robert is no stranger to Multiple Sclerosis as his mother has had it for over 35 years.

Joan Thomson

Joan Thomson

Joan’s involvement with Multiple Sclerosis Auckland began several years ago after her late husband, Bruce was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and they turned to the Society for guidance and support.

She has been a Committee Member since 2001 and enjoys her involvement with the range of interesting people and projects that it brings.

Joan finds herself in the office quite often, especially when it is mail-out time or visiting our Members in Rest Homes.

Maureen Wood

Maureen Wood

Maureen is a retired Pharmacist with a passion for research into central nervous system diseases.
Before MS she owned and operated two pharmacies, raised four successful children and served on a number of community organisations. Now she just luxuriates and rejuvenates with 11 grandies.
She will always work towards the ‘Cause and Cure of MS ‘believing that the research needs a wider focus to succeed.
Maureen’s husband, Peter is the Treasurer of the Board.

Carolin Perkins

Carolin Perkins

Carolin has 3 close family members with MS - her mother, brother and aunt (on her father's side). She has also been a full time carer for her son, diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 8. Carolin qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1981, working in Rotorua, Tauranga and briefly in London. She has always volunteered with different organisations, offering help in a multitude of ways such as: school reading programmes and PTA equivalents; the Redwood City Police Charity League in California; Charity shop assistant for the Singapore Council of Women's Organisation; the Lindenwood Homeowner's Association, Colorado; and the Dairy Flat Tennis Club. 

Carolin began volunteering regularly in the MS Auckland office in February 2015. She became a part-time employee in the office from September through to February 2016. She continues to volunteer in the office one day a week. Carolin is also one of the main organisers on the 'Life Buoy for MS' fundraising committee. 

Jan Hollway

Jan Hollway

Jan has lived in Howick for nearly 20 years though her working life has been all over NZ, in owning a private training business. Jan has been a director for many years, both in business and the community, a Chartered member of Institute of Directors, and Deputy-Chair of a local arts and culture centre.

Her husband was diagnosed with MS in 2012, and they have been involved with MS Auckland since. Jan volunteered to be on the Committee and support the Society activities to help ensure a sustainable not-for-profit community based service model for members.

Judith Herbert

Judith Herbert

Judith is a Chartered Accountant and ran her practice until recently. She reluctantly retired when she realised her body wasn’t keeping pace with her brain. Now she is involved in a Fleet Management business and continues to do some accounting work from her home office.

Judith has served on committees for several sporting clubs and also the Life Education Trust. She has 2 adult children, who were at primary school when she was diagnosed with MS. The family lived on a lifestyle block and still has a few alpacas.

During the 26 years since her diagnosis Judith has experienced many different perceptions & attitudes, both good & bad. Greater awareness of MS is something she is keen on. She joined the MS Committee in April 2018.

 

Donald Bowie

Donald Bowie

I am married to Penny. We have 2 adult children and have resided in Remuera for 33 years.  I have lived with PPMS for 15 years but was only finally diagnosed 4 years ago.  I joined the MS Society to better understand MS and its place in our community. This was significantly enhanced through support provided by the field worker service.

I retired from my career as a business consultant 3 years ago. My work revolved around leading teams through change. I have been involved in manufacturing, distribution, ICT, education, utilities and professional services industries. With most of my career spent consulting on business strategy, operational practices and systems-related investments, my approach to problem solving was highly structured and very commercial. During my career I held leadership roles with Open Systems Specialists, TVNZ, KPMG, and Coopers & Lybrand before becoming an independent consultant

I am an active MS Society member attending two hydrotherapy sessions per week. As such I am in touch with members weekly and have a good appreciation of their needs and wishes.  I have contributed in small ways to Clash of the Hemisphere and Life Buoy events along with a number of other fund-raising efforts.  I am a member of the St John’s Rotary Club and have used this membership to promote MS and generate funds for the Society.

I thoroughly enjoy being part of the MS community and wish to see it thrive. I accepted nomination to the Committee to contribute to the wellbeing and growth of the MS Society and I look forward to supporting the members, staff and volunteers of the Society

 

MS Auckland Annual General Meeting

We would like to thank the MS Community for a successful AGM meeting held 11th April 2018.

Three members stepped down from the Committee this year – long term members Graham Wear, who was our guest speaker on the night, Michael Cole and Kerri Hoy, our secretary last year, and we welcomed four new people to the Committee. The MS Committee for 2018 is:

Neil Woodhams   President
 Louise Reed  Vice President
 Amit Abhyankar   Secretary
 Peter Wood Treasurer 
 Donald Bowie  Member
 Judith Herbert  Member
 Jan Hollway  Member
 Robert Irving  Member
 Carolin Perkins   Member
 Joan Thomson  Member
 Fran Watts  Member
 Maureen Wood   Member

 


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