Our management team is based at our office in Masterton. We support our team of expert facilitators and advisors to deliver our programmes throughout New Zealand.
AWDT graduates feature strongly in our team. Not only do they bring their own expertise, but having completed one or more of our programmes, they understand, first-hand, the power of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded women to provide a rich learning experience.
Meet our team
We’re here to help – read about each of our roles here. Because we all help each other out in our busy office, when you phone us (06 370 2568) any one of us may answer the phone.
- Lisa Sims
- Keri Holmwood
- Rachel Smith
- Jo Kerslake
- Diane Falconer
- Daniel Eb
- Rebecca Atkinson
Lisa Sims - General Manager
Keri Holmwood - Programme Coordinator
Keri is your first point of contact for enquiries about our RMPP-funded Understanding Your Farming Business, Wāhine Māia Wāhine Whenua and Future Focus 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 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.
Rachel Smith - Finance & Special Projects
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.
She is currently our Financial Administrator and Board Secretary, as well as managing our Sustainable Farming Fund research project which aims to provide new groups of women with new development opportunities.
Rachel has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Communications Management and farms a small herd of bulls with her husband and two children in Bideford near Masterton.
Jo Kerslake - Development Manager
Jo manages development across all our programmes.
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.
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.
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.
Rebecca Atkinson - Marketing & Communications Assistant
Rebecca is passionate about sustainability, innovation and equality in the sector. As the team's Marketing and Communications Assistant, Rebecca has experience in project management, direct marketing, research and analysis and strategic communication. She gets a buzz out of understanding people’s goals and helping find the right programme for their desired development. Growing up on an organic farm in the South Wairarapa, Rebecca is often found with her gumboots on and a grubber in hand.