Nettie Stow announced as new EO
5 July, 2023

By Dave Ashcroft - Chairman of Top of the South Community Foundation

Top of the South Community Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of Nettie Stow as our new executive officer.

Nettie has, since 2016, been the partnership and funding manager for Whenua Iti, a leading provider of outdoor-based experiential education near Motueka.

Nettie brings a unique skill set and wide community experience to the role, vacated earlier this year by our previous executive officer Gavin Larsen who has been appointed performance director at the Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

We are delighted to welcome Nettie to our team. Together with the board, Gavin set our Foundation on a new trajectory, and we now have $6 million in the bank. Nettie will build on that work as well as helping the Foundation understand the needs within our wider community.

As the next stage in our growth, the Foundation has challenged Nettie to further ‘unlock the philanthropic potential’ of our wider community and we know, with the full support of the board and our partners, that’s something she will achieve.

Nettie says she has no hesitation in inviting people to invest in the Foundation because she has full confidence in the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Craigs Investment Partners who together ensure that gifts will continue to grow and last forever.

As well as attracting new investors to the Foundation, Nettie’s role will include assessing the needs of the community it serves. We want to lift our game to further understand our community. We know there are a lot of organisations doing good, and some are doing good well. We aim to compile a portfolio of groups to present to investors to help them choose to support causes close to their hearts.

Born in Northumberland in England, Nettie first came to New Zealand as an 18-year-old and fell in love with the country and its people during a cycle tour of both islands.

Back in the UK she completed degrees in outdoor education and ecology. For a time, she became a teacher but quickly discovered her real love was the wellbeing of communities with a focus on connection to natural environments. Nettie joined the Wildlife Trusts, part of a movement which recognised that to be successful, conservation projects needed to actively involve people. At that time lottery funding became available and Nettie was able to raise money for a number of projects.

When she returned to New Zealand in 2003 Nettie came with her family, initially settling near Warkworth north of Auckland where her third child was born. Seventeen years ago, the family moved to the Nelson region.
Through her children, Nettie became involved in community groups such as rugby, netball and mountain biking, often helping with funding applications.

In 2014 Nettie joined New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, the Cawthron Institute, and was involved in setting up the Cawthron Foundation. In 2016 she joined Whenua Iti Outdoors.

Nettie says she is excited about her new role with TotSCF and the opportunity to do what she loves best – empowering others to do great things within their communities.

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