You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Mrs Kearney, who is overseas, said in a statement the challenges of governance demanded the best she could give and it was her responsibility to do everything she could to enhance her performance.
She serves as chairwoman of Network Waitaki, is the deputy chairwoman of Sports Otago and is on the board of the Waitaki Community Garden Trust.
Otago-Southland branch chairman Geoff Thomas said he was impressed with the effort Mrs Kearney put into developing herself for board roles.
''Clare brings a strong suite of skills to the board table, developed through a conscious focus on governance. Not only has she undertaken mentoring and professional development, but she has also gained practical experience in the boardroom.''
Mrs Kearney receives a year's complimentary membership of the institute, $1500 towards institute director development courses, complimentary attendance at four Otago Southland events and mentoring from an experienced director.
Crowe Horwath principal Paul Moodie was runner-up and would also receive mentoring from an experienced director.
Mr Moodie is a board member of the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust, Otago Rescue Helicopter Ltd and the Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust.