Agri-Women's Development Trust

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Our Team

Our Masterton-based management team supports our team of expert facilitators and advisors to deliver our programmes throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

AWDT graduates feature strongly in our team, bringing their own expertise and first-hand understanding of the power of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our programme participants to provide a rich learning experience and ongoing support and connection.



  • Lisa Sims
  • Keri Holmwood
  • Rachel Morgan
  • Jo Kerslake
  • Diane Falconer
  • Daniel Eb
  • Mandy Armstrong
  • Lisa Sims - General Manager

    Lisa has played a key role in shaping our vision through her communication and engagement work with AWDT since 2010. Appointed as General Manager in November 2018, she brings more than 30 years of deep experience in business and community leadership and strategic communication in multiple sectors.

    As an member of our Escalator Alumni and one of our culture keepers, she values positive, longstanding relationships based on trust and mutual understanding.  Lisa is a partner with her husband in their sheep and beef farming business near Eketahuna where they have raised their four adult children.

    lisa@awdt.org.nz 

  • Keri Holmwood - Programme Coordinator

    Keri is your first point of contact for enquiries about all AWDT programmes delivered across New Zealand.

    Keri joined AWDT in October 2018 to support our Programme Manager and facilitation teams with the successful planning and delivery of the RMPP-funded Understanding Your Farming Business, Wāhine Māia Wāhine Whenua and Future Focus programmes, along with handling all programme logistics and supporting communication.

    With an extensive background in customer service and hospitality, Keri relishes the chance to help ensure that our participants receive quality support and deep satisfaction from their time with us.

    keri@awdt.org.nz

  • Rachel Morgan - Finance Manager & Board Secretary

    As a longstanding member of our team since 2012, Rachel has worked in a variety of roles and has rich knowledge of our culture, people, systems and processes.

    Rachel has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Communications Management. She is currently our Finance Manager and Board Secretary and looks after the organisations IT systems and online learning platform.

    rachel@awdt.org.nz 

  • Jo Kerslake - Project Manager

    Jo has worked with us since 2020 in programme management and development and now leads specific projects in our team

    She has an agri-science and business consulting background, from which she has transitioned into business management and governance.

    Jo leads by understanding the opportunity or issues at hand and bringing the right people and skill sets together to deliver effective outcomes. She is very aware of the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent in the rural sector. She believes that people form the foundation of any great business, and actively seeks ways to create high performing environments, which allow businesses to drive innovation forward.

    jo@awdt.org.nz

  • Diane Falconer - Programme Manager

    Di manages delivery of the AWDT programmes after the research, design and development stages.

    Di’s background is in project management and human resources in the agri-business and hospitality sectors. Most recently she managed programmes for the Red Meat Profit Partnership’s capability portfolio with focus on attracting young people to the sector along with developing the capability of farmers and rural professionals.

    Attracted to her role by AWDT’s ethos of standing shoulder to shoulder in giving primary sector people the opportunity to grow and develop, Di values strong relationships and outstanding customer service. 

    diane@awdt.org.nz

  • Daniel Eb - Strategic Marketing & Communications

    Dan started Dirt Road Comms to support those building a more just, regenerative food system in New Zealand. He is a media contributor, industry speaker and the founder of Open Farms - New Zealand’s nationwide, all-sector Open Farm day to reconnect urban Kiwis with our land, food & farmers.

    A Northland farmboy, Dan is happiest on a fence-line, but supports progressive Ag organisations with brand purpose, digital marketing and PR to make positive impact in the sector he loves.

  • Development Manager

    Mandy manages AWDT programme development with a focus on meeting future needs in a sector undergoing significant change. She has a keen interest in initiatives that benefit people, land, business and cultural sustainability. Working with the AWDT team provides a wonderful platform to enable programme participants to bring their own initiatives to life by building skills and networks. 

    Mandy’s background in process engineering and community education has led to a wide range of experiences in agribusiness, food, renewable energy, education, indigenous development, adventure tourism and technology development. Her work in the primary sector has included research, manufacturing, alternative investment models, product commercialisation and new land use opportunities. Some of Mandy’s more unusual experiences have been developing investment protocols for the Bougainville Government, creating a deer milk powder for skin care, and researching dairy proteins for wood treatment!

    mandy@awdt.org.nz

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