Meet the team
We are passionate about young people, and seeing them thrive.
Fay Amaral, Youthtown CEO.
Kia ora, I am Fay Amaral – CEO – Chief Empowerment Officer or more traditionally known as Chief Executive Officer.
I spend my days looking out for the big picture for Youthtown, what are our big goals, how do we fit in, what do we do next, how do we enable more rangatahi and tamariki across Aotearoa? I am passionate about positive transitions for youth from school or education into vocational studies or work.
I am busy with my PhD at AUT, researching how school leavers transition and what the relationships are between mental health, self-efficacy, sense of control and career decision making. I am a double cum laude (with distinction) Masters graduate in Commerce – Business management and Psychology. I have over 20 years of executive leadership experience in multiple sectors, enabling me to build my skills across multiple sectors.
I believe in servant and transformational leadership and draw on inspiration from Nelson Mandela, a true, authentic leader who never stopped serving and lived all his life as a values based, strongly grounded and wise leader. I am married, have three older children and our precious dog, Lila makes sure I exercise every day!
Debbie Nelson - Chief Financial Officer
I have been with Youthtown since 2014 as our CFO. As a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 20 years' experience working in both industry and chartered accountancy firms. I was also a member of the Coeliac NZ Board on their Executive committee.
I enjoy being in a role where the organisation I am working in has a purpose. As a not-for-profit, my role at Youthtown ensures that we are investing as much as possible into our young people and I can see the difference that makes.
Outside of work, I am involved in alpine sports and I'm also currently learning to cross block.
Jannine Mullany - General Manager, People & Performance
I have been with Youthtown for 9 fantastic years, leading our People & Performance team. I began my career as a physiotherapist specialising in the treatment of work-related injuries. I then traversed through Health & Safety into generalist Human Resources where I have worked across a wide variety of industries for over 2 decades.
I am passionate about ensuring that Youthtown is a great place to work and creating an inclusive work environment where diversity is embraced and people are valued and supported to grow to be the best they can be. I am also passionate about youth development, and my role at Youthtown allows me to combine my interest in youth development with my career in Human Resources. I am mum to two wonderful teenage girls – a role which continues to be my greatest youth development challenge! I feel privileged to lead the People & Performance team at Youthtown, knowing that our work contributes to the success of Youthtown to deliver meaningful outcomes to communities throughout New Zealand. Spending time at the beach, friends and family fill my spare time.
Amie Reynolds - Relationship Manager
I joined Youthtown in 2012, after many years experience working in events, project and inventory management. I have held various roles in Youthtown including Gaming Operational Services Manager, and the South Island Territory Manager.
In 2019 I became the Relationship Manager and now my role is to develop and maintain key relationships and partnerships for both the Youthtown Gaming Trust, and Youth Services teams.
I enjoy spending time with my family and during the summer discovering NZ's beautiful camping locations.
Siobhan Clare - Head of Partnerships & Engagement
I joined Youthtown at the beginning of 2021 initially working on our partner relationships and then moving into a marketing and customer experience role.
I have spent much of my career in marketing and sales roles in the publishing industry both here and in the UK, initially in magazines, before moving into book publishing. During this time, I had the privilege to work on some amazing books and with incredible authors, and see the power stories, both real and imagined, can have on people.
My role at Youthtown enables me to tell our story, and those of the young people we work with, it’s fantastic that after ninety years, we are still here making a difference to them each day. From our website, social media channels, booking system and branding, I am responsible getting our message out there and ensuring that when people are dealing with us, they have the best possible experience.
When I’m not at work, I love spending time with my family and starting the day, out walking with our dog Emmie.
Dylan Perfect-Tait - General Manager, Programme Delivery & Community
I hail from the shores of Lake Rotorua, with iwi affiliations to Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Pikiao. I attended Youthtown as a young person playing sport. I moved to Auckland to follow my basketball dream and succeeding in having a 6 year career in the NZ NBL.
It was during my time in the NZBL that I volunteered at Youthtown, coaching youth basketball, which led to a job delivering youth programmes and finding a passion in walking alongside young people to help find their path.
14 years on I am still part of Youthtown, since then having held roles focused on programmefacilitation and design, tamariki and rangatahi mentoring, community engagement, event, facility and team management.
Over the last few years I have led the expansion of Youthtown's programmes reach and impact through the North Island and now live next to the pristine waters of Lake Taupo.
Basketball continues to play a huge part in my life, I coach youth basketball and can still be occasionally persuaded to pull on a singlet and play.
Cath Donald - Growth & Development
Much of my career has been spent in the travel industry, with my most recent experience being in retail and wholesale management. My husband and I have also owned hospitality and retail businesses for the last 16 years.
My role at Youthtown is quite varied, and I’m very lucky I get to work closely with with our programmes team on the growth and development of our programmes, both new and existing, and ensuring much of what we do is sustainable or achieving the right level of impact.
In addition, I also look after property/facilities and key projects. I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling and discovering new cultures and places, keeping fit in the outdoors, and fishing (my happy place).
The best part about working for Youthtown is seeing the amazing work our people do with young people on our programmes, and how passionate they are about their jobs. Given my background from a corporate environment I love that working for a Not For Profit means we can focus on outcomes (while of course ensuring we are sustainable) rather than focusing on profit or return to shareholders.
Chris Davidson - General Manager, Programme Design, Systems & Innovation
We live in a fast changing environment and the needs of our tamariki and rangatahi are constantly evolving. We need to listen to their voices and ensure our programmes and activities reflect that.
My role focuses on working with the Programmes team to develop and innovate, to meet these needs. This includes building effective evaluation tools that support our understanding of what is working, what isn’t working, and how we can do things better. I am passionate about youth and community development and have worked in the sector for over 15 years. I also have qualifications in sociology, accountancy and finance.
Viv Stark - Northern Manager, Programme Delivery & Community
I support our wonderful Northern team working with young people in our communities to be the best they can be. As a mother of two teenagers venturing out into an ever- changing world I'm passionate about the opportunity to be able to work in an organisation committed to this purpose.
Young people have always inspired me and I had a background in Early Childhood Education before moving into Youth development. We have such a great team of committed individuals and I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of Youthtowns 90 year legacy.
Richard Chambers - South Island Manager, Programme Delivery & Community
Coming from a career in education as a teacher and a Primary and Intermediate School Principal followed by time as Chief Executive of Haemophilia Foundation NZ; I joined Youthtown in 2019.
I lead the South Island Programmes team. Originally from Murihiku (Southland) he has lived and worked in Southland, Otago and Canterbury. An avid support of “Te Wai Pounamu”, “the South Island”, “the Mainland” I am not afraid to remind people of the incredible benefits of the southern lifestyle. I enjoy working with an incredible team of people to support young people to be who they are, to provide them with awesome opportunities that empower them and keeps joy and hope alive.
Nicola Goodwin - Health and Safety Advisor
I have been at Youthtown for eight years, starting in 2011, for my university placement, and when that came to an end, I never left. It wasn’t until 2017, after working across Auckland locations and departments, that I left for four years to move to Taupō and to further my health and safety profession by working in Agriculture and Geothermal Energy Services. As much as I enjoyed that time of growth, Youthtown gave me my start in health and safety, and I am grateful and excited to be back working as the Health & Safety Advisor.
The best part of my job is spending time on the front line with our programmes team, sharing in their experiences and exposures. Their involvement in the work I do is constant and, although it’s not a team of health and safety professionals, I never feel like I have “solo projects”.
In my spare time, I have a “small” LEGO collection – some people disagree with my definition of small - and I also enjoy reading/listening to books and playing hockey.
Andrée has worked in public practice for 20+ years, and is now consulting, facilitating and lecturing in accounting, as well as sitting on advisory boards for Auckland businesses. She has been an Associate Principal in a mid-tier accounting firm in Auckland and throughout her career has been involved in Business Advisory, Audit, Due Diligence, and Information Systems, as well as external and internal training. Andrée has presented at many forums including presenting under the Enterprise Training Programme as well as for the Auckland University Business School. She enjoys working with business owners who are passionate about their businesses and who she can help assist in setting their strategic direction and exceeding their goals. Andrée joined the Youthtown Board in 2016 and became the Chair in 2017.
Alan is a Senior Sergeant with the Auckland City Police. He started in the youth field as a Youth Aid Officer at Glen Innes in 1994. Alan has held a variety of family violence and youth related positions across Auckland and Manukau and been an advisor to several youth orientated organisations over that time. Alan is currently Chair of Bluelight New Zealand, a charity that works in partnership with the police to deliver an extensive range of youth programmes and activities. Their goals are to reduce the incidence of young people becoming an offender or victim of crime and to encourage better relations between the police, young people, their parents, and the community. He has been an advisor to numerous youth-oriented organisations such as Tamaki Pathways Trust and Turn Your Life Around (TYLA). Alan is Vice Chair of the Youthtown Board and chairs the Grants Committee. He has been on the Youthtown Board for over 20 years.
Dave is a highly experienced, strategic, and client-centric senior leader, with over 20 years’ experience in leading digital strategy, expanding product and service portfolios and delivering growth to the ICT industry. He has worked across several industries in this capacity and brings a wealth of knowledge and technical understanding to Youthtown. Dave has been on the Youthtown Board since 2012 and is also a member of the Grants Committee and the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.
Ross has over 30 years consulting experience covering organisation design, change management, programme management, performance management, leadership development, and human resource management. He has provided strategic business advice to many different organisations across a range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, public sector, health, communications, and information services. He is now focusing on a portfolio of governance, organisational effectiveness consulting and voluntary work. Ross chairs the Health & Safety Committee and is a member of the Grants Committee. He joined the Youthtown Board in 2014.
Bill was with the New Zealand Treasury from 1985 to 2016. His last role was as COO and Deputy Secretary of Strategy, Performance and Engagement with responsibility for economic and organisational strategy. He is currently chair of six boards - Sport NZ, High Performance Sport NZ, NZ Sports Foundation, Community Trust South, Southern Generation and Chamber Music at The World’s Edge Festival - deputy chair of WorkSafe NZ, and a trustee of the NZSO Foundation, Parliamentary Education Trust, and Whakatipu Community Hub Trust. He is an executive judge for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year and an advisory trustee to Play It Strange. In the 2019 New Year Royal Honours, Bill was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to State, Sport, and Youth. Bill joined the Youthtown Board in 2017 and chairs the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.
Brian is an experienced operator and trusted adviser to many organisations within Auckland’s sport and recreation community. Having worked in the New Zealand Sport and Recreation sector for over fifteen years, he has managed a range of facilities and supported several clubs and societies through challenging times, leading multiple organisational transformations. Brian’s senior executive and consultancy roles have covered not-for-profit asset management, sporting and society strategy development and implementation, organisational planning and delivery, governance, and coaching and mentoring. He has held various board positions in industries such as tourism, events, and community social support. He is currently the Chair of the Wiri Licensing Trust in South Auckland. Brian joined the Youthtown Board in October 2020 and is also a member of the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.
Jason is a highly experienced CEO and leader. He is currently Chief Executive of the NZ Institute of Economic Research and previously was CEO of the New Zealand operation of one of the world’s largest insights and analytics businesses, as well as leading its APAC data analytics practice. In these roles, Jason has led consulting assignments across a diverse range of industries and disciplines in New Zealand and overseas. Earlier in his career, Jason held senior commercial and financial management roles in large corporates in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, as well as roles within an international chartered accounting firm. Jason has governance experience as a Trustee of Aktive and well as previously being Deputy Chair and Chair of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee of Sport New Zealand and a Director of NIWA. Jason graduated from the University of Auckland with an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance. He is also qualified as a Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Directors.
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