Hilary Poole

Independent Chair

Hilary is a marketing strategist with experience in developing organisations and leading positive change. She has 12 years of governance experience across a range of sectors including the food industry, education and sport.

Hilary grew up in rural South Auckland, then attended Otago University graduating in 1988 with degrees in Commerce (marketing and economics) and Physical Education. She worked commercially for 16 years, firstly in marketing and senior management roles in financial services, then in her own consulting business, advising clients across a range of sectors mainly on developing and implementing strategy, marketing and organisation development.

Hilary has spent the past 12 years in high profile leadership and governance roles. She was the inaugural independent director of one of New Zealand's fastest growing privately owned food companies, Prolife Foods, and was the founding executive director of Competitive Auckland (now known as the Committee for Auckland).

As Chair of the Board at Diocesan School for Girls she revitalised the governance processes and helped further enhance the school's reputation for educational excellence. As Chair of First Foundation, she helped the trust grow the number of scholarships awarded to students from low decile schools throughout New Zealand, to assist with tertiary studies.

Hilary then achieved a long-held ambition when she took her commercial and leadership skills into sport and as chief executive led significant positive change at Hockey New Zealand and then Netball New Zealand. This was achieved through developing and implementing whole-of-sport strategies that strengthened the two codes’ organisations and sporting systems.

In 2012 Hilary, was awarded the CK Doig Award for excellence in leadership in sport, and the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) President's Award for international service to hockey. In 2014 she was made an Alumnae Meritae of Diocesan School for Girls. She is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.