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Inaugural Wanaka Business Awards launched alongside rebranded Chamber of Commerce

Inaugural Wanaka Business Awards launched alongside rebranded Chamber of Commerce

29 August 2016. For immediate release

Wanaka’s thriving business community has the chance to celebrate its success with the launch of the inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards.

With entries open from today, the awards coincide with the unveiling of the Wanaka Chamber of Commerce’s fresh new rebrand. The Chamber is now known as Ignite Wanaka: Driven by the Chamber of Commerce.

The rebrand is the result of several months’ work by the Ignite Wanaka board, which undertook a strategic review over the past 12 months. As part of the review, one of the goals was to initiate business excellence awards.

“Wanaka has hundreds of businesses from all sectors achieving incredible things in their field. We want to recognise Wanaka’s most outstanding businesses and individuals at the awards gala dinner,” Ignite Wanaka chair Alistair King says. “It’s exciting to be able to launch the business awards at the same time as revealing our new logo and brand identity.”

Entries will undergo a robust judging process before the gala dinner at Rippon Hall on November 4, 2016.

The independent judging panel consists of four high-profile and successful businesspeople living in the Wanaka region. The panel is convened by Simon Telfer, founder of governance initiatives Appoint Better Boards and Stimulus, who serves as an independent director and advisory board member to several privately-owned companies.

Telfer is joined by Anne Urlwin, a business consultant and current director of Chorus Ltd, Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, Naylor Love and Summerset Holdings Group Ltd; Bill Day – founder of multi-million-dollar business Seaworks and a past winner of Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year; and Tarras-based director and lawyer Giselle McLachlan – General Manager of commercial and agri-business law firm Tavendale + Partners.

“We’re looking for five key things from entrants: We want to know about businesses and individuals who excel in their sector or industry, we want organisations that are growing or performing really well, we want to see  a great culture and relationships with their employees, evidence of innovation and a commitment to the Wanaka community and its environment,” Telfer says.

“Wanaka’s a great place to live but it’s also a great place to do business. By holding these awards we want to celebrate what people have achieved as well as showcase this success outside our region. I think it will give real confidence to the business community,” Telfer adds.

Categories are: Outstanding in Infrastructure/Trades, Outstanding in Professional Services, Outstanding in Tourism, Outstanding in Retail/Hospitality, Outstanding Innovators, Outstanding Individual and the Supreme Business Award. Entries close on September 21, with finalists announced on September 30.

There is no cost to enter the awards. All entries are confidential and only viewed by the independent judging panel.


About the judges

Simon Telfer (Convenor of the Judging Panel)
Simon currently serves as an independent director and advisory board member to a number of privately owned companies. He is well known in the NZ business community for his governance initiatives including Appoint Better Boards and Stimulus.  He has appointed over 70 board members to New Zealand organisations and coached over 300 aspiring directors. Simon has lived and worked in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand but now happily resides in Wanaka.

Anne Urlwin
A chartered accountant, business consultant and professional director, Anne’s current Directorships include Chorus Ltd, Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, Naylor Love and Summerset Group Holdings Ltd. Anne is also Deputy Chairman of Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd (formerly AMI Insurance). Anne has considerable business experience –  her former roles include Chairman of Lakes Environmental Ltd and the New Zealand Blood Service, and serving as a Director of Meridian Energy Ltd and Airways Corporation NZ Ltd. Anne is a Wanaka resident.

Bill Day
Bill started his multi-million dollar business, Seaworks, in 1979 as a commercial dive company. Today Bill’s marine contracting company has its own fleet of vessels. The company lays under-sea cables, runs underwater robots, salvages sunken vessels, inspects oil rigs around the world and, more recently, has managed the marine work for Steven Spielberg movies. Bill Day was chosen as Winner of Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year in September 2000 and in 2002 he returned to Monaco as one of the judges for the 2002 World Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Bill resides in Wanaka.

Giselle McLachlan
Giselle is a director and a lawyer, with business experience from a variety of perspectives. She lives in Tarras and commutes to Christchurch most weeks, where she is General Manager of commercial and agri-business law firm Tavendale + Partners.  Giselle has served on a number of boards, including the H&J Smith Group and local start up Insiteful.  She enjoys helping people and businesses to grow and succeed.


For more information, please contact:
Bridget Legnavsky, Ignite Wanaka deputy chair – 027 550 0818
Simon Telfer, Ignite Wanaka Business Awards Convenor of Judges – 021 321 901

Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.