Larry Bilodeau – Chair
Larry Bilodeau took up the role of Chairman at Tauranga Foodbank in 2018 after retiring from his previous role as CEO at Ballance Agri-Nutrients. “ I volunteered because I feel that the Foodbank is a great cause to be part of,” Bilodeau said. “Too many people aren’t able to feed their families, while others have so much. That has always bothered me and is the reason why my support of Foodbank is something I am very happy about”.
Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada Larry’s first work experience involved balancing on a narrow steel beam several stories up as a high rigger on building sites for his father’s construction company. He moved to NZ around 1997 first to New Plymouth managing the Kapuni Urea factory before a move to Tauranga, and to Ballance where he was CEO for 14 years. Tauranga’s golf courses are a huge attraction for him, although anything outdoors – fishing, hunting and tramping pretty much sums up where he likes to spend his time.
Lyn Voyde was born and schooled in Auckland. She studied BCom at Auckland University and for a number of years travelled extensively through North & Central America, Europe, UK and Australia. Lyn has been an accountant, organic orchardist and vegie grower and worked for Auckland City and Auckland Council for 15 years. She is now retired in Tauranga where she enjoys Steampunk, Rotary, dog sitting, helping people and making new friends.
Nikki has lived in Tauranga since she was 12 so it is very much home to her with community being very important. To live in a place where people care about others and are willing to help motivated her to become a Foodbank trustee, as well as being a home tutor for English Language Partners teaching “Kiwi English” to migrant students.
With her husband Markand their two dogs, Nikki loves the lifestyle Tauranga offers with its beautiful beaches and weather and for the simple luxury of living close to work. She sees Foodbank as a true lifesaver for many and loves the positive effect it has on the community, not only for those who receive food parcels but for the volunteers and the donors as well. As a Foodbank trustee she would like to see more collaboration between all charities and support organisations in our area to ensure we are achieving full wrap-around support to those in need.
Philippa de Vere
Philippa de Vere has had an extensive involvement as a volunteer within the not-for-profit sector. She had many years volunteering with the Girl Guides before becoming involved with Tauranga Foodbank more than seven years ago, first as a volunteer packing food parcels and working in the distribution centre and then just over three years ago as a trustee when she joined the board. She finds her trustee role most rewarding. Especially gratifying is the increased level of self sufficiency and sustainability of Foodbank made possible only because of the tremendous support from donors and from the incredible team of volunteers.
Sue Van Os
Sue was born and bred in Tauranga. She left as a teenager to study, work and live overseas and on her return to New Zealand and Tauranga she began her involvement with community volunteering.
Her first connection with Foodbank was as a donor and that led to becoming a volunteer and ultimately a board trustee.
The efficiency and the way the organization operates is something that impresses Sue greatly as does the commitment to connect and collaborate with as many organisations as possible.
“Those who support us can be assured that every food parcel that goes out is going to someone or a family who truly needs it” say Sue.”
Sue can’t speak highly enough about everyone involved with Foodbank, from the trustees to the staff, to the volunteers who really care about the work they are doing. She has a great regard for the wonderful volunteers who have their own challenges in their lives because of their special needs.
Sue’s work for the community goes beyond Foodbank as she is also a trustee for Te Aranui Youth Trust and a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs, her puppies in their red coats being a common sight at the Foodbank.
Laura Mueller has been a trustee of Tauranga Foodbank since 2016. Her association started as a volunteer, a role she found extremely rewarding interacting directly with those who Foodbank is there to help. As a trustee Laura brings skills, acquired through her small business, accounting and governance experience, that assist the board in ensuring the sustainability of what is a vital service to the Tauranga Community.
Laura has a BA in Psychology and a Juris Doctor degree (Law) and since 1999 sits as a Disputes Tribunal Referee at the Tauranga District Court. She was a lay member of the Medical Council of New Zealand from 2009 – 2019 and for the last 5 years the Deputy Chair. Laura is an elected member of the board of Consumer NZ.