A new general manager of the Acorn Foundation has been announced.

Lori Luke will take over from Nicky Wilkins, Acorn Foundation board chair Glenn Keaney said today.

Luke joins the foundation this week and Keaney said they were delighted with the addition of Luke after a robust appointment process.

"It was really important that we found the right calibre of person to assume the role, which is vital to Acorn's future as we continue to grow and make an impact in our community. Lori was the perfect fit."


Wilkins has been at the helm of Acorn Foundation for the past 12 years.

She said she was confident to be leaving the foundation in a strong position.

"It is wonderful to see that, in the 12 years I have been here, we have built up the community fund to $21 million, and today we have over 300 donors. That is huge growth, and it will be exciting to see it continue to grow."

Keaney said the board was extremely grateful for the expertise and leadership that Wilkins brought to the role during her time.

Luke, originally from the United States, comes to the role with experience in the commercial sector and working with charitable organisations. She has been a board member of the 'Live for More Charitable Trust' and is on the organising committee of TEDxTauranga.

Luke previously served as a PTA volunteer for Otumoetai College and as a Tauranga Intermediate School Math team coach.

Luke said she was looking forward to the new role.

"I can't wait to work with our generous donors to find meaningful community connections that will allow their money to benefit the Western Bay of Plenty - forever."


Before joining the Acorn Foundation, Luke and her husband were running a consultancy business in the Bay of Plenty, providing services to SMEs and charitable organisations that help them to maximise their business potential.

Prior to this time, Luke and her family were owner-operators of Dollar Value (2009) Ltd for eight years. Over the years, she served as the director of marketing, purchasing and operations and was instrumental in starting a Cash for Kids community programme that provided in-store credit for schools and groups.

Luke moved to New Zealand from the States in 2009 and has recently become a dual citizen.