Meet the Team

Mary Jensen, Chief Executive

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Mary Jensen has been the Chief Executive of Smart Waikato Trust since its inception in 2009. Mary has a background in regional development, business, education and communications.

Under her leadership the Trust has grown to successfully launch and implement a number of new initiatives including FAN, SSEP, Leadership Summit alongside six annual editions of FutureForce and managing the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme across the region.  Mary is a member of the Waikato Regional Economic Development Strategy’s Labour Market working group. In 2014, Mary was a finalist in the NZ Westpac Women of Influence Awards.

Sally Birch, Communications Manager


Sally Birch has been with Smart Waikato since 2012, managing digital, social and mass media and utilises her journalism background as the editor of FutureForce® Multimedia.

Linda Nelson Caie, HR and Special Projects Manager


Linda Nelson Caie (MA Psych. Hons) is a human resources specialist with a background in broadcasting. Linda has worked for Smart Waikato Trust since 2013 and project manages FAN events and SSEP.

Levinia Paku, Smart Waikato YES Co-ordinator

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Levinia Paku (MSc) has worked for Smart Waikato Trust since 2015 and co-ordinates The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme for Smart Waikato across the Waikato-King Country region.

Tania Jones, Project Co-ordinator

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Tania Jones is a Project Manager for Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) and other Smart Waikato initiatives. She is a marketing specialist with a background in technology and education.

Anna Allison, Project Support and Communications

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Anna Allison has a background in farming and education and was involved with Smart Waikato at its inception.  She has more recently returned in a project support and communications capacity.