Diversity advocate Laurissa Cooney has been recognised as an emerging talent in governance, taking out the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Bay of Plenty Branch Emerging Director Award on the 19 October 2017.
The Chief Financial Officer believes that good governance is about creating trusted relationships through a co-collaborative approach – something that is essential in a post-Treaty environment.
“Women, Māori and younger voices are a minority around board tables,” Cooney said in her application. “I am committed to being that initial person who others can relate to and see themselves in so others are motivated to “show up” in life.”
IoD Bay of Plenty Chair Bev Edlin MInstD says the judges were impressed by Cooney’s professionalism and personality, as well as her ability to present material in a concise and logical manner. “Larissa stood out because she has a number of competencies that would make her suitable as a director. Her presentation shows that she would bring enthusiasm and challenge into the boardroom.”
Cooney is of Te Āti Hau Nui a Pāpā Rangi (Wanganui) descent, and is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi. Her career spans roles in audit and risk for Deloitte in New Zealand and London, and she was one of the founding members of the CAANZ Māori Accountants Network. She serves as an independent director on the boards of Āti Hau Incorporation Limited and Ngā Tāngata Tiaki.
Cooney says, “Many of our Māori trusts and organisations are accountable for a significant value of assets in the post-Treaty environment, which makes it even more important that the governance groups of these entities are equipped with the necessary skills to make sound decisions for the organisation”.
Cooney receives an award package valued at $3,500, of which $2,000 can be used for IoD professional development. The package includes an IoD membership and mentoring with an experienced director for 12 months, and an Emerging Director position with a selected placement board.
The IoD Bay of Plenty Branch Emerging Director Award was established to foster upcoming talent in governance through mentoring, formal training, and access to leading speakers at events across the region.