The Hawke’s Bay mother of two has headed her own award-winning public relations company, won accolades as a journalist, is celebrated in the not for profit sector and successfully run major projects for boards and councils. And she’s looking forward to making a difference in her new position which she started on December 1.
“I needed a new challenge,” says Kirkpatrick, who originally hails from Gisborne.“I have done some amazing projects in Gisborne and around the country but was looking for something that had a national focus. I think having looked from the other side as a member and participant in the organisation, I have a better understanding of it all.”
Her 12-year-old daughter Anna is having a brilliant season aboard her pony Phoenician Chit Chat, giving Kirkpatrick an extra incentive within the sport. “This is something I am passionate about.”
What are the challenges facing you in this role? There have been a number of months with no one in this role so there is a backlog of work to catch up on and some systematic issues we need to deal with. Communication with delegates, sponsors and members is really important and something we will be working hard on.
So where will you start? Among my initial priorities are sponsorship, communication and the series points. These are just some of the large number of projects and jobs that need to be done and it will take some time but we will get there. By the time we get to the end of the season we will be in a better space and able to work proactively on adding value to all for the 2015/16 season.
What skills do you bring to the role? I have a background in communications and public relations, event management and more recently in organisational management and systems development. I know that good systems make for happy people inside and outside the organisation and so I will be reviewing the systems Jumping uses and making sure we are operating efficiently.