Leadership

The Secret to Surviving and Thriving in Business

Having survived twenty five years in the fashion industry, Annah’s leadership journey is a powerful narrative about disruption and continuous reinvention.

From her start-up days as a wholesaler to New Zealand fashion chain stores, to the successful designer, manufacturer and nation-wide retailer that she is today, Annah knows what it takes to survive and grow through all stages of the business cycle. But it didn’t stop there. An entrepreneur well known for both her business acumen and her philanthropic heart, Annah set up her own foundation in 2012 as part of her succession plan. This enabled Annah to identify new challenges and look for new solutions for some of New Zealand’s more pressing social and fiscal problems.

Annah’s widely recognised achievements in the social ventures space once again showcase her ability to connect, lead and empower through new thinking and adaptive processes.

Heart

Generating profit with a purpose -
The Stretton Foundation, RAW and Kia Puāwai.

Right from the beginning, Annah has been an active supporter and contributor to many of New Zealand’s well-loved charities. Back in 2012, however, Annah took her philanthropy to a whole new level with the establishment of the Stretton Foundation as a vehicle to drive social change. It was time to take advantage of all that the fashion industry had taught her to generate real outcomes for some of New Zealand’s largest challenges.

Her first social venture was RAW (Reclaim Another Woman) which is focused on breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage by helping female offenders transition from a life of crime to a life of promise through education, employment and intensive peer support. Her second, Kia Puāwai, is focused on redefining the road to better health and wellbeing in the workplace, and in the community, by introducing simple, seamless and sustainable edits to your lifestyle. Her third, The Good Collective, aims to supercharge the effectiveness, community impact and long-term sustainability of the Waikato charitable sector through the creation of our one-stop-collaboration hub.

Annah's story is one of success and failure, trial and error and disruptive and adaptive leadership, as she challenges the status quo and embraces new normals to drive social change in this country.

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Testimonials

Your bravery absolutely blew me away and the change you have made is such an inspiration for me.

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Everyone thoroughly enjoyed learning about RAW and the amazing support it gives to our disadvantaged and less fortunate young female population.

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You are truly amazing with the work you are doing!

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Annah’s passion for RAW’s vision and participants was absolutely stimulating. The women themselves and their stories, inspirational.

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These stories will have opened the eyes and hearts of many in the room.

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There was barely a dry eye in the house and it’s fair to say that all of us who attended were deeply affected by the women who presented.

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Annah and the women of RAW, who have defied statistics and the low expectations of society, instead have started to fly.

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We’re so impressed with the wonderful outcomes that Annah & the RAW foundation are achieving. It was a pleasure to meet her and to hear the heartfelt stories.

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