Canterbury woman to head NZYF

by Anonymous Author

A Canterbury woman has become the first female chief executive of New Zealand Young Farmers.

The appointment follows the recent announcement Dunsandel Young Farmers Club member Ash-Leigh Campbell had become the first woman to chair the New Zealand Young Farmers Board in 12 years.

Now Lynda Coppersmith from Christchurch has been named as the first female to take on the role of chief executive at NZYF.

She is currently a senior account manager with accounting software company MYOB — a role she has held for the last six years.

Prior to that she worked for DairyNZ, was a business development manager for the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) and an area manager for Fonterra in Timaru.

“I’m really excited that I’m going to be working in the primary industries again,” Ms Coppersmith said.

“The more CEOs we have who are women the better. Diversity is extremely important, and if the primary industries are to meet growth targets, it needs to do everything it can to connect with young women.

“I’m hoping my appointment and having Ash-Leigh chairing our board will send a positive signal to women about our sector,” she said.

NZ Young Farmers Board chair, Ash-Leigh Campbell, said Lynda has great relationship building skills, excellent business acumen and experience dealing with grass roots farmer issues.

“That will stand her in good stead working with our membership base and the organisation’s other key stakeholders.”

Ms Coppersmith said her daughter Sophie is excited about the new job.

“She goes to Christchurch Girls’ High School and has friends who are in the school’s TeenAg club — which is run by NZ Young Farmers.” She is currently completing a master of business administration through the University of Canterbury and will take up her position as NZYF CEO on October 1.