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Experienced director Tonia Cawood has been announced as the new Chair of the Chiefs Rugby Club Board. Current Chair Dallas Fisher will step down from the role on 16 March.

Cawood is an independent chartered director involved in a wide variety of organisations in the sporting, manufacturing and aged care sectors. A current Chiefs board member, she brings a great breadth of expertise and governance knowledge to the role.

Starting off as a Sports Marketing Executive, Tonia went on to be Sponsorship Manager and then Marketing Manager at adidas New Zealand where she gained valuable knowledge in professional sports and sports marketing. She then started her own business advisory company, Pro-ject Management, which has faithfully served clients locally and nationally over the last sixteen years. She is a Director at several renowned organisations including Rowing NZ, Tidd Ross Todd Limited and Alandale Lifecare Limited.

Tonia spoke about leading the board to continue the immense contribution Dallas had put into the role.

“I look forward to the privilege of working with our quality Board, with the Chief Executive Michael Collins, Chiefs Rugby Club staff, and our many stakeholders to continue our strong progression on the field, within our community, and financially. Dallas has made a monumental contribution as Chairman for the past 15 years, and has navigated the Club through its most significant changes. His passion and commercial nous have built a robust commercial platform and we are grateful to have him remain on the Board as an Independent Director.”

Dallas has been involved with the Chiefs Rugby Club since its inception at the beginning of Super Rugby in 1996. He has been on the Board since 2003.

During this time, Dallas has directed the Chiefs Rugby Club with innovation and boldness. There are many impressive results of his leadership, including appointing Dave Rennie as Head Coach, under whose leadership the team went on to win back to back Investec Super Rugby titles; the historic win over international opponents Wales in 2016; being the first Club to take a home game offshore which saw Fiji as host for two consecutive years; and entering into a unique high performance partnership with the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

Dallas was also involved in negotiating the seven year license granted in 2013 by New Zealand Rugby to run the organization with private investors, combining 50/50 with provincial unions.

Chair of NZ Rugby and past Chiefs board member Brett Impey, said that Dallas’ enthusiasm is infectious and has carried through to the whole Chiefs organisation.

“What impressed me on first meeting Dallas was his drive and energy and plus 100% commitment to the Chiefs”, said Impey.

“He led the transformation of the Chiefs by introducing a range of private investors along with the involvement of the provincial unions. Dallas has managed the transition from provincial union to a mixed ownership model extremely well and the introduction of Taranaki to the consortium has also added huge value to the Chiefs both on and off the field”.

We’re thankful that Dallas will remain on the Board and involved in special projects.

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