Pat Peoples - Managing Director, Schick Construction & Cartage Ltd
Waikato businessman Pat Peoples says being a trustee on the University of Waikato Foundation has personal benefits. He gets to work with a diverse and interesting group of people who help broaden his knowledge and exposure to different businesses and industry. At the same time he’s able to contribute to the lifeblood of the University as it strives to improve the services it offers its students and raise its profile on the world stage.
The University of Waikato Foundation - Te Pou Taunaki is an independent charitable trust, formed to support and fund the University of Waikato to help it take New Zealand ideas to the world.
Mr Peoples has been a Foundation trustee since 2008. He is owner and Managing Director of Schick Construction and Cartage. A mainlander by birth, he graduated from the University of Canterbury with a degree in civil engineering and spent time working with Fulton Hogan in Christchurch and the Waikato before establishing his own business.
If his name seems familiar, it may be because Pat Peoples rowed for New Zealand from 1991-1996, including the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. He has four children, still too young to row or attend university, but his wife Michelle has a Graduate Diploma of Teaching from Waikato.
“Not everybody has the chance to go to university but most people can appreciate the value that a quality education can give, to individuals and in turn, the wider community,” says Mr Peoples.
“Yes, the University is government funded, but that only provides the bare bones. For the extras, such as scholarships, improved facilities and new technologies, it becomes necessary to fundraise and that’s what we’re responsible for on the Foundation.”
As a trustee Mr Peoples gets to attend many University functions, and gets a thrill hearing about the achievements of students in New Zealand and overseas. “Some of our alumni are doing some amazing work in a variety of fields. Our new Governor General is an alumnus, Dan Ammann is the new CFO at General Motors; there’s Craig Nevill-Manning who founded Google’s first remote engineering center, and closer to home people like Laura Langman - management student and led New Zealand in the netball test series against England. And that’s just a handful.”
Click here to find out more about the fundraising activities at the University of Waikato.