New foodbank chair­man takes the reins

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Kiri Gille­spie

Larry Bilodeau is used to over­see­ing the large board­rooms of big busi­ness but these days he’s fo­cus­ing on a board­room of an en­tirely dif­fer­ent scale.

In fact, it’s a small six-seater ta­ble in the corner of the of­fice at the Tau­ranga Com­mu­nity Foodbank.

The for­mer

Bal­lance AgriNutri­ents chief ex­ec­u­tive has been ap­pointed the food bank’s new board chair­man. His ap­point­ment is one of three to the board.

Bilodeau, Lyn Voyde and Nikki Find­lay joined Philippa de Vere, Sue van Os and Laura Mueller.

“I signed up be­cause I feel that the food bank is such a good cause to be part of,” Bilodeau said.

“We re­ally think Christ­mas is a big deal and cel­e­brate it with friends and fam­ily and eat and drink more than we should. And some fam­i­lies out there aren’t able to eat enough, let along more than they should. That has al­ways both­ered me. There are so many peo­ple in need.”

Bilodeau paid trib­ute to the “great” food bank staff as well as to the ef­forts of for­mer board mem­bers.

He was chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bal­lance for 14 years be­fore re­tir­ing in 2014. The keen out­doors­man ar­rived from Canada about 1997 and moved to New Ply­mouth to work in the oil and gas in­dus­try be­fore mov­ing to Tau­ranga and dis­cov­er­ing the city’s golf cour­ses.

Tau­ranga Te Papa Ro­tary Club mem­ber and for­mer ac­coun­tant Lyn Voyde said she had al­ready been in­volved with the food bank as a vol­un­teer and fundraiser. Step­ping up to be the food bank’s new trea­surer “made sense”.

Tau­ranga Com­mu­nity Foodbank man­ager Nicki Good­win said it was ex­cit­ing to have such “amaz­ing peo­ple” join the board.

“We are just so lucky with the cal­i­bre of the peo­ple who put them­selves for­ward,” she said.

“I was sad to see Sharon [Hitch­cock], our for­mer chair­per­son, leave. She has done a lot but I’m also ex­cited to work with Larry and the team.”

Larry Bilodeau is the new chair­man of Tau­ranga Com­mu­nity Foodbank.

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