Variety in New Zealand is governed by a voluntary Executive Committee (Board of Directors) elected for a three year period from Variety's Gold Heart Membership base. This dedicated group of people bring their time, energy, expertise and passion to the organisation ensuring it continues to provide assistance where it is needed most.

Richard Spilg - President

Originally from South Africa, Richard re-located to Auckland in late 2011. Richard has 30 years' experience in financial services, having worked in senior executive positions in South Africa, Australia and the UK. Richard was actively involved with the Prince's Trust and NSPCC charities in the UK and has joined Variety to continue his efforts to help create brighter futures for disadvantaged children.

Sharon Henderson - Vice President

Sharon is an entrepreneurial businesswoman with over 20 years' of business and marketing experience, including more than 12 years in executive management roles. Sharon  founded her own company Federation, to fulfill a long-standing passion to create a 100% NZ owned communications agency.  Sharon's previous roles with some of NZ's leading agencies include Managing Director of DDB New Zealand and a decade as CEO of Aim Proximity New Zealand. 

Steve Jackson - Treasurer

Originally from the United Kingdom Steve moved to New Zealand with his family in 1998. Steve is a UK Chartered Accountant and holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Leeds. Currently Chief Operating Officer at Madison Recruitment, Steve has previously held Senior Leadership roles at Vodafone and TelstraClear. Steve joined the Variety board in 2013 and is currently Treasurer.

Andrew Webster - Past President

Andrew has been a member of the Variety Board since 2007 and served as President in 2014. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Master of Commercial Law with Honours from the University of Auckland. He is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and is General Counsel of Todd Property Group Limited.

Dr Ian Hassall M.B., Ch.B., F.R.A.C.P., D.C.H

Ian is a paediatrician and children's advocate. He writes a blog discussing children's issues in NZ which you can read here. Ian was New Zealand's first Children's Commissioner (1989 - 94). He has worked as clinician, researcher, strategist and teacher. In 2010 he received UNICEF International's Aldo Farina Award for child rights advocacy. He is at present Research Associate at AUT and is a member of the government's Confidential Listening and Assistance Service. Ian has four children and seven grand-children and lives with his wife Jenny in Epsom. 

Lizzie Marvelly 

Lizzie is a musician, writer, editor, speaker, campaign creator and the founder of Villainesse.com, the youth-orientated media company. Lizzie entered the entertainment industry a decade ago, and was first introduced to Variety – the Children’s Charity when she sang at a Variety event. She became a Variety Ambassador in 2011, and remained active in that capacity until she joined the board in late 2016. Lizzie continues to work in entertainment, digital, social and traditional media; championing children, young people and women through her work across different platforms. 

Pejman Okhovat

Pejman was appointed CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery in 2017 when the two Warehouse Group businesses combined. Starting his retail career with Marks & Spencer in the UK in 1995, Pejman spent the next 10 years working with a variety of retailers in the UK and Iceland. In 2005 Pejman joined The Warehouse as Head of Central Operations before moving to GM Operations & Property for The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery followed by his appointment to CEO Warehouse Stationery in 2013. A year later he added Torpedo7 Group to his stable and after three years he has taken responsibility for The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery.

Daniel Phillips

Daniel is a digital agency leader with over 15 years’ experience. As General Manager: Strategy & Innovation for NZ’s largest digital agency Young & Shand, he has led major digital marketing strategies for some of NZ’s biggest brands/businesses including Lion, 2degrees and NZI along with numerous successful campaigns for Not-for-Profits including Leukaemia & Blood Cancer, NZ Blood Service and Sir Ray Avery’s LifePod.

Emma Priest

Emma is a criminal barrister admitted to the Bar in 1999 with an LLM (first class) and a BA (psyc). She has practised as a criminal prosecutor and for the Public Defence Service. In 2016, Emma re-established Blackstone Chambers, the oldest Barrister’s chambers in New Zealand. Emma has experience in consensus governance through Playcentre. She also is a legal writer, speaker and NZLS representative. Emma brings coal face experience of the intersection of poverty and the criminal justice system.

Megan Tunks 

Megan is an experienced Māori Public Health Strategist, with tribal affiliations to Te Whanau-a-Apanui and Te Whakatohea. Megan has been involved in a range of community networks and activities in Sport, Kapa Haka (Traditional Māori Performing Arts), Health, Education and with Rangatahi (Young People). Megan has an  interest in achieving wellbeing outcomes for families with unwell children, or through socio-economic circumstances do not have access to opportunities.