Since it was founded by Lou Fisher in June 1972, the Spirit of Adventure Trust Board has always comprised of Trustees who bring a wide range of appropriate skills and experience to policy-making. Following Lou’s untimely death in 1977 at age 64, company director Stephen Fisher QSO was appointed as chairman and he continues to lead the Trust.
The current Trust Board includes a master mariner, Captain Mike Austin, chartered accountant Andrew Spencer, lawyer Jeff Morrison, educationalists Sue Blakely and Jerry Norman, company director and Coastguard official Brooke Archbold, deputy chair. Each is a leading practitioner in their field. Stephen, a founding Trustee and writer Tessa Duder and a Trustee since 1993, provide ‘institutional memory.’ Noted yachtswoman Penny Whiting was the first female trustee, appointed in 1980, followed by others from the education sector.
The Trust Board meets in Auckland monthly, and enjoy a close relationship with the CEO Bruce Pilbrow and the senior team, all of whom attend board meetings.
Chairman, QSO, Company Director
Elected as Chairman of the Board in 1977 succeeding his late father, Lou Fisher, Stephen is a well-known business and community leader, with interests in retail, farming, tourism and property as well as the arts, yachting and the environment.
Deputy Chair, Company Director, Marine
Brooke has had a varied career as a businessman with extensive international interests. With a Bachelor of Business Administration from Victoria University in Wellington, he has been involved in senior positions for nearly 30 years in most aspects of New Zealand Coastguard.
Sue is the Principal of Rosehill College in Papakura having previously held the position of Deputy Principal of Auckland's Diocesan School for Girls. A member of the Trust Board since 2008, her interests include all aspects of yachting.
Aaron is a finance and commercial executive, with around 20 years in the financial advisory and commercial management space. Aaron is an avid recreational runner and enjoys being in the outdoors. His involvement stems from a strong desire to give back from opportunities he had growing up, and a strong focus on youth education, growth and development.
Jeff is a lawyer with over 30 years experience, serving as trustee on a number of trusts. He has been on the Spirit Trust Board since 2008. Jeff is also a sometime recreational sailor and keen ‘runabout’ fisherman.
Jerry joined the Trust Board in 2015 and with him brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the education sector. His key role is assisting the Spirit with regard to building its strategy through a cultural lens.
Executive Director of companies in property, medical devices and general investment. He is a mentor to several start-up companies through Find Invest Grow. and is also a keen recreational sailor.
BA/LLB(Hons), Master Mariner
Catherine began her career as a cadet with the Trust then went on to work as a deck officer on container ships and qualify as a master mariner. After coming ashore to start a family, Catherine completed a law degree and was admitted to the New Zealand bar. She is a keen recreational sailor and racer and joined the Trust board in 2018.