Our leadership team
Our leadership team run the day-to-day tasks of managing the organisation. Below are each of their bios.
Clive Nelson joined the Heart Foundation as Chief Executive in August 2019.
An experienced leader of people, Clive brings established networks and a track record of partnership, collaboration and innovation to New Zealand’s heart health charity.
Prior to joining the Heart Foundation, Clive was the Chief Executive of the government’s Health Promotion Agency for seven years from its creation in 2012. He has previously held executive and general management roles in the public and private sectors, including positions with Watercare Services Limited, the Auckland Transition Agency and Fairfax New Zealand.
MBA-qualified and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, Clive is married with teenage sons. Outside of work his interests include his family, cooking and travel.
Mark Simpson took over the Heart Foundation finances as Chief Financial Officer in November 2016. With a commercial finance background spanning more than 30 years – including KPMG, Banking and Finance, Human Resources and IT company EROAD – Mark enjoys new challenges and has found the move to a social profit organisation exciting. He particularly enjoys making a difference and adding value.
He and his wife have two daughters, both now in their 20s. Travel and sport are his passion.
With 30 years of brand, marketing and fundraising experience in the commercial and social profit sectors, Alison Wheatley-Mahon began leading the Heart Foundation Fundraising and Marketing team in January 2017. Alison is driven by the desire to achieve social profit success through connecting consumers with their cause that is closest to their hearts. She is passionate about growing and leading a fundraising-centric organisational culture which delivers truly sustainable long-term results for the Heart Foundation.
Alison and her husband have a busy family life with two teenage daughters and fur babies. This sees her combine her key interests - her love of marathon running, travel and shopping by participating in international marathons in major cities like London, Paris and New York.
Dave has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics. He is responsible for overseeing the Foundation's food and nutrition work, including nutrition position statements and also a number of award winning food and nutrition related programmes focused on environmental change.
A father of three he is actively involved in a range of sports including touch rugby and indoor cricket.
Dave has a passion for keeping things real when it comes to food and is keen on developing practical initiatives that support families to make healthier food choices.
Mafi is one of the very few Pacific New Zealand registered dietitians in the country with almost two decades of work experience in public health. She migrated from Tonga to New Zealand to do further studies, later making New Zealand her home which gave her the opportunity to learn of the other Pacific island countries, in the world’s highest Pacific populated city of Auckland. As a fluent speaker of the Tongan language, she recently ventured into clinical dietetics and took up a part-time role with consultations mainly in her first language.
Mafi has a passion for Pacific health. Alongside the Pacific Heartbeat team as the Manager – Pacific Health, she is responsible for the Heart Foundation’s work to improve heart health amongst the Pacific communities across New Zealand. From a personal perspective, it is her role as a mother of five within her wider extended family, her church and school community commitments, that drives her passion to improve Pacific health overall.
Mafi also has considerable governance experience as a current Board member of HPA (Health Promotion Agency), current co-chair to PIFNAG (Pacific Island Food & Nutrition Action Group), the immediate past Chair on the Board for ANA (Activity & Nutrition Aotearoa) and member of her local School Board of Trustees.
Justine began her career as an early childhood educator, working both in New Zealand and the UK.
She subsequently graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and has enjoyed incorporating this alongside her earlier work in the education sector in her role.
Now with her own children in school, Justine has a personal and professional passion for creating education environments which promote healthy eating and physical activity for children, young people and their whānau.
Kathy brings strong organisational development experience along with strategic and operational HR capabilities to her role as HR Manager. She has 20 years' experience in a variety of UK and New Zealand food and beverage companies.
A volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross Refugee Resettlement and the YWCA Youth Mentorship Programme, Kathy is driven to help bring out the best in individuals, teams and organisations through excellence in people practices, capability, culture and values.
Gerry has been Medical Director since 2014. A general and interventional cardiologist at Waikato Hospital, Gerry is also Associate Professor in Medicine, Waikato Clinical School – Auckland University.
He is an accomplished clinical academic cardiologist who is a highly effective regional and national leader in heart health care.
An active researcher, Gerry has over 60 publications to his name. Research interests include: acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, valvular heart disease and systems of care.
Paul Natac is an IT leader with a passion for enabling users with technology to deliver organisational objectives. He has worked and delivered operational excellence in several industries from local government, retail, finance and credit, telecommunication, information technology and direct TV retail. The customer is in the heart of his focus day to day.
Paul balances pursuing an active life in the gym and outdoor workouts to enjoying local events, theatre, travel and trying new eateries.
A Physiotherapist by background Angela has held various clinical roles in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Angela has held senior management, operational and leadership roles within the healthcare sector. Most recently Angela was the National Operations Manager for Rehabilitation for Bupa New Zealand and was tasked with the strategy and development of the service as well as being seconded to Melbourne to head up a new project to deliver Allied Health services to those living with long term chronic conditions and disabilities. Angela is passionate and driven by a “human centred design” approach to addressing health related service delivery and equity challenges while having fun along the way!
Angela enjoys spending time with family and friends, all sports, good company and a good glass of red wine.