Our Board

Lesley Hooper, Chairperson

Lesley is the current Chairperson of the Challenge 2000 board and has been a board member since 2008. Lesley is the Director of Charitable Services for the Archdiocese of Wellington. Lesley believes the team who work for Challenge are inspirational in the way they live the gospel to help bring positive change to so many young people’s lives and feels privileged to be part of Challenge 2000.


Phil McCarthy, Board member

Phil’s background spans over thirty-eight years in the NZ Public service, he spent the last ten years managing New Zealand’s prison system. Phil is currently National Director of PFNZ (Prison Fellowship NZ) and is on the board of the Robson Hanan Trust (rethinking crime and punishment/JustSpeak). Phil has an Economics Degree from Victoria Univeristy.


Jenny Jakobs, Board member

Jenny directed the Social Work Programme at Massey University for ten years and has since retired. Jenny now spends time facilitating Parenting with purpose programmes in prison and continues to be involved with Massey University. Jenny enjoys being able to participate in and contribute to the service that Challenge 2000 provides young people.


Angela Brounts, Board member

Angela has a background in operations management in the Health Sector. Angela joined the board in February 2014. Angela is a registered medical laboratory scientist with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Chemistry and a Masters of Business Administration from Victoria University of Wellington. Angela has experience in human resource and financial management. Angela strong believes in the value of a community working together to support our young people. Angela feels privileged to be involved with Challenge and help give as many young people as possible the opportunity to reach their full potential.

James van Schie, Board member

James van Schie joined the Challenge 2000 Trust Board in March 2017 having previously worked for Challenge as Business Manager from 2010 – 2012. James has held leadership and management positions in commercial, not-for-profit, and Church organisations and is currently the Executive Officer for Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa/The Catholic Bishops of NZ. James has a Bachelor of Business from University of Technology Sydney.

Paul Alsford, Board member

Paul brings a decisive mix of Government and business savvy culminating in 25 years’ experience as a manager, consultant and company director with expertise in relationship management, service delivery, facilitation, training, board governance, negotiating, international marketing and leadership. He is currently a Director of 2 businesses – Natural Exports NZ Limited and Universal Distributors Ltd. He also operates a local residential development company. Paul was a social worker in the 1980s and 1990s with Catholic Social Services and the Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind.

Api PoutasiApi Poutasi, Board member

Api has Samoan heritage, his background is in policy, illness prevention, health promotion and Pasifika. Api is currently the Manager of Minimising Gambling Harm at the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) and has a particular interest in social justice and heath of Pacific peoples. Api is also on the Sub Regional Strategic Pacific Health Group and the HPA’s Pacific Advisory Group. Api is currently studying his Masters of Business Administration at Massey University.