The Canterbury Branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD) has announced that banking and finance professional Wendy Schmidt is their 2019 First Steps in Governance Awardee.
As part of the award, Wendy will sit on the board of Ronald McDonald House South Island (RMHSI) for two years. She will also receive professional development training with the IoD, a year’s complimentary IoD membership, free attendance to IoD Canterbury Branch functions, and one-on-one mentoring from an experienced director.
A member of the judging panel, Ara Institute of Canterbury board member Jane Cartwright, said Wendy is “bright, enthusiastic and has the competencies the RMHSI board needs and which complement other skills they have on their board.”
According to Wendy, the opportunity to join the RMHSI board will help her gain deeper insights into the workings of a big charitable organisation. “It’s also an opportunity to learn about their challenges and how I can add value in an area I am passionate about,” she added.
Wendy, a mother of two, was recently a commercial manager for ASB in Christchurch. She is no stranger to community work – having set up the charity networking group Connect for Good in Christchurch, which conducted various events for different charities. For this, she was a finalist in the 2014 ASB CEO Awards for individual service.
“Charitable organisations are so important to our communities and they exist to help so many of us, in different ways and at different stages of our lives. We need to ensure these organisations receive the necessary funding and support they depend upon, so they can continue serving our community,” Wendy says.
Wendy’s family have been recipients of support from charitable organisations themselves following the untimely loss of close family members. Her appreciation of the important role of community organisations drives Wendy to participate in community work.
A Cantabrian who returned to Christchurch after the devastating earthquakes, Wendy recently joined the Christchurch Arts Festival Board.
“I am excited about playing my part in the regeneration of the city,” says Wendy. “I see the Arts Festival as a crucial event to bring people together to enjoy culture and inspire passion.”
A Chartered Accountant, Wendy has extensive experience in banking, finance and accountancy having worked in various senior roles both in New Zealand and overseas. She had stints with various firms including PwC, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley in the UK.
IoD chief executive Kirsten Patterson says “the IoD is committed to equipping and inspiring up-and-coming directors. This Canterbury award is one of the ways we prepare these directors for their governance careers and to help them build strong, fair and sustainable organisations and communities.”
Ronald McDonald House South Island is an independent charitable trust established in 1999 to provide free accommodation and support to the families of children who are receiving medical care away from home.