She’s got an MBA, has studied at Harvard and loves nothing better than getting her hands dirty in the garden. And those are just a few of the many relevant qualifications Linda Taylor is bringing to her new role as executive officer at the Garden to Table Trust.
The trust aims to build skills for life through a highly practical hands-on food education programme in primary schools. It not only teaches gardening and cooking skills but also builds awareness of individual and collective responsibility for the environment, healthy eating and community connectedness.
Ms Taylor is a seasoned company director, member of several professional business groups, Harvard student, gardener and mother.
Previously, she was five years with Lifeline Aotearoa, most recently as head of sustainability and development and six years at Seniors Money International Ltd, culminating as Australasian marketing director based in Auckland and Melbourne.
Garden to Table founding trustee Catherine Bell says the charity is delighted Ms Taylor has accepted the position.
“There was a lot of interest in the role and we could not have asked for a more highly qualified applicant than Linda with her background across academia, management and governance, community development and volunteering,” Ms Bell says. As executive officer at Garden to Table, Ms Taylor is responsible for establishing and executing major goals and objectives for the organisation, and building strong relationships with the board, staff, volunteers, supporters and schools.
An experienced company director, she currently volunteers as a board member of the Discovery Foundation Inc and is secretary of the Pinehurst School Board of Governors. She is a member of the Institute of Directors, Chartered Institute of Marketing, Australian Marketing Institute, Fundraising Institute of NZ and Change Management Institute.
Educated at secondary school in Scotland, she graduated with a BA (Hons) from the University of Otago in 1992 before completing a postgraduate diploma in hotel management in 1996. From 2004 to 2008 Ms Taylor studied for her MBA at Henley Management College in the UK.
This year she completed an Executive Education Programme for CEOs and senior managers of Non-profit Organisations at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ms Taylor replaces Anne Barrowclough who has left to pursue other interests.
About the Garden to Table Trust
The Garden to Table Trust was established in 2008 as a registered charity, to facilitate a programme, delivered in New Zealand primary schools, focussed on food education for children aged between 7 and 10. They have the opportunity to participate in practical, hands-on, child centric classes that teach them how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal produce.
The Trust’s curriculum integrated programme educates children about food, horticulture and their natural environment. Students work in small groups under the supervision of specialist staff, community volunteers and their teachers.
Consequently they learn about the environment and sustainability, and enrich their curriculum subjects through hands-on, interactive learning. The programme also has many positive spin-offs for family and community life.
The Trust, co-founded by food writer Catherine Bell, was modelled on Australia’s well documented Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Programme. Seven years on, the Garden to Table programme now supports 34 schools across the country, providing the opportunity for more than 4,000 children every week to engage in this practical programme.