Offering unique opportunities for Waikato businesses to thrive, while raising community leadership to new heights.

Built with clear purpose

The Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) is working to build future leaders from all walks of life who can re-imagine a stronger Waikato from a social, environmental, cultural and economic perspective.

Designed for Regional Impact

Our foundation is driven by three key principles:

Harnessing Partnerships

Ensuring our region has healthy connections and increased social capital means we create greater positive impact

Nurturing Diversity & Inclusion

Working with diverse people, backgrounds, experiences, and paradigms creates an environment of learning, understanding, and fosters inclusion

Increasing Regional Prosperity

Increasing leadership capability across business and community creates a stronger economy and improved social health


“After completing the course, I now believe that CELF has the potential to significantly support the economic development of the region. Investing in leadership results in investment in teams and organisations. The course is nothing short of transformational – for the individual CELFies, for their organisations both now and in future and for their more connected networks.”

Vikki Blundell ex-CEO, Graeme Dingle Foundation

“The greatest thing that CELF has helped me with is the realisation that my role as a leader is to be a servant first to those I lead. The result has been really positive in terms of results and satisfaction for me and for the members of my team, and the organisation.”

Sean Austin Commercial Manager, Chiefs

“The most impactful message for me was just how important it is to understand personal and professional purpose in order to be successful. I strongly recommend the CELF Elevate Programme to any Waikato-based company or organisation. My leadership journey will be forever influenced by the experience with CELF, the programme, and my fellow graduates.”

Vaas Conradie Manager – Strategic Group Initiatives, Gallagher

“It is clear that the purpose of CELF which is to increase self-awareness, develop personal leadership potential and make great connections with people across the region, was accomplished. I highly recommend it to anyone in a leadership role that has the opportunity.”

Melissa King-Howell Services Manager, Department of Conservation

“I can’t speak highly enough of the programme. It’s been great mixing with the other participants learning a great deal from their own experiences and backgrounds. The quality of the programme overall has been exceptional, great speakers and field visits to places you wouldn’t normally get the privilege of seeing.”

Graeme Geurts Senior Partner – Agribusiness, BNZ

“While on the Community Leadership Programme I have heard leadership wisdom from the leaders themselves, and been challenged to explore my own personality and leadership style, and how I have come to be the person I am today. But this is only one side of the programme; the field visits to see and hear about leadership in action have just been brilliant, energising and opened my eyes to the world of leadership beyond the state sector and not for profit and how there is so much we share across all work environments.”

Wayne Naylor Director of Nursing, Hospice Waikato

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