The judges for the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards are carefully selected for their expertise and experience in each respective category. They will review the entries and score them based on the specific criteria for their category. The judges are independent and impartial, ensuring that each entry is evaluated fairly.
Additionally, there are lead judges who oversee the category judges and ensure consistency in the judging process. They bring their own expertise and experience to the table, providing valuable insights and guidance to the category judges. All judges are respected business leaders in their own right and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the judging panel. Together, they ensure that the awards process is fair, thorough, and impartial.
The judging convenor is a person who oversees and manages the judging process for the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards. They work closely with the judges to ensure the process is fair, transparent, and aligned with the award’s criteria and objectives. The judging convenor is responsible for coordinating the activities of the judges, collating and reviewing the scores, and supporting the lead judges in recommendations for finalists and winners. They also help to resolve any disputes or concerns that may arise during the judging process.
Having started his first company at the young age of 20, Mike has had the opportunity to work with some of New Zealand's and the world's leading brands and businesses. This hands-on experience has shaped his approach, prioritising practical knowledge gained through practice over mere theory.
Mike's true passion lies in coaching business leaders on achieving effortless high performance. He works closely with businesses of all sizes, assisting them in reaching their growth goals. Furthermore, Mike collaborates with corporates to explore the realms of innovation and startup-like growth, providing valuable intellectual property, connections, and expert guidance as a non-executive director or board advisor. Additionally, he invests in and supports early-stage start-ups, while also designing and validating future financial technology opportunities for the banking sector in New Zealand.
With his diverse background, Mike brings a range of business models, strategies, and industry-specific insights to the awards. His unique perspective offers invaluable guidance to businesses seeking new ideas or seeking professional validation of their current strategies. As Mike puts it, "They may know 'what' they want to achieve, but are unsure of the 'how.' This is when I am at my best."
We are privileged to have Mike as our Judging Convenor, overseeing the judging process and providing his exceptional expertise to make the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards a truly insightful and impactful experience for all participants.
Best Emerging Business
The lead judge for Best Emerging Business is responsible for overseeing and managing the judging process for this category. This includes reviewing all entries, evaluating their merits based on specific criteria, and working with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their expertise in business growth and planning, the lead judge plays a crucial role in identifying and recognising businesses that have achieved significant growth in the last one to five years through effective planning and delivery.
The judges for Best Emerging Business have extensive experience in entrepreneurship, business planning, and growth strategies. They understand the challenges that businesses face in their early stages and are experts in identifying the key factors that contribute to their success. The judges carefully evaluate each entry to determine how the business achieved significant growth and what obstacles, risks, or challenges they overcame in the process.
By recognising and celebrating the achievements of emerging businesses, these judges not only honour their hard work and dedication but also inspire and motivate other businesses to pursue growth and success. Their contributions to the awards help to create a more vibrant and prosperous business environment and support businesses that are making a significant impact in their industries and contributing to the growth of the New Zealand economy. Meet our judges for Best Emerging Business.
John Cunningham is an accomplished business leader with a track record of success in helping high-growth companies in New Zealand raise capital and negotiate strategic alliances globally. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Ignition Partner Ltd, a company that specialises in raising capital for New Zealand’s high-growth companies and negotiating strategic alliance deals internationally.
In addition to his executive roles, John is an active member of the New Zealand business community and has been a judge for Best Emerging Business in the Auckland Business Awards for 16 years, and lead judge for 8 years, as well as an expert reviewer for MBIE and Callaghan Innovation. This category under John’s leadership has seen many businesses win that are now household names. With his extensive background in corporate development and venture capital, John is highly respected for his ability to help companies develop and commercialise technologies. He is also a Director and shareholder in Resin & Wax Holdings Ltd and a Director of Cawthron Institute, and serves as Chairman of CLIM Systems Ltd and NZIMMR.
John is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Scientist, and a fellow of IChemE and Engineering NZ. He holds a BE in Chemical and Materials, an ME in environmental engineering, and a DipBIA. In addition to his impressive academic credentials, he is a past President of IPENZ, and a member of IOD. With his extensive experience and credentials, John is well-suited to lead the judging process for Best Emerging Business and provide invaluable guidance to other judges.
Anna Schubert is a seasoned distribution expert with a wealth of experience in developing and implementing innovative solutions to remove complexity and improve sales results. Her strengths in strategic planning, team development, and budget management enable her to drive tangible results for businesses. Anna has a deep understanding of regulatory principles and leverages this knowledge to ensure that her initiatives are both effective and compliant.
Anna is highly regarded for her authentic and engaging leadership style. She is a proactive and collaborative colleague who is driven to make a positive difference and get the job done. Her dedication to transparency and her commitment to achieving the best commercial outcomes for all stakeholders make her a valuable asset to any team. With her expertise in distribution and her passion for innovation, Anna is well-suited to judge the Best Emerging Business category and recognize businesses that are making a significant impact in their industries.
Dean Roucher brings a wealth of sales experience to his role as a judge for Best Emerging Business. With a background in diverse industries, including telecommunications, consumer goods, and utilities, he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in different sectors and markets. His experience working in culturally diverse environments in New Zealand, South Africa, and Qatar has given him a global perspective on business and a deep appreciation for the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of change.
Dean’s commitment to supporting small businesses is evident in his volunteer work as a judge for the Westpac Business Awards over the past three years. As an MBA graduate from the University of Auckland, he is able to bring a strategic and analytical approach to his judging role, evaluating each entry based on specific criteria and identifying businesses that have the potential for significant growth and success. His expertise in sales and marketing also enables him to assess the effectiveness of a business’s go-to-market strategy and the potential for future sales growth. Dean’s passion for supporting and recognising emerging businesses makes him a valuable asset to the Best Emerging Business judging panel.
An experienced business leader with extensive experience in management and leadership roles in various countries through several industries. Have great knowledge and understanding of international trade through my work experience in Middle East, Fiji, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Effective relationship builder who is highly regarded by key customers, suppliers and business Sameer is a Member of the Institute of Directors (NZ), Director on the board of Bank of India (NZ), Trustee on the board of Auckland Health Foundation (AHF) and Trustee on the board of Refrigerant Recovery NZ Ltd.
Mark Colley is a corporate professional with extensive experience in commercial law, banking, and digital products. As a senior manager at Red Bird Ventures Limited, the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Westpac NZ, Mark has been instrumental in working with start-ups to bring innovative financial technology experiences to life in New Zealand. His deep understanding of business strategy and emerging technologies gives him a unique perspective on how businesses can grow and succeed in a constantly evolving market.
Mark’s experience as a small business owner/operator, combined with his expertise in corporate finance, makes him an excellent judge for Best Emerging Business. He brings a wealth of knowledge and insight into the challenges that businesses face in their early stages and the strategies they can adopt to overcome them. His ability to identify potential growth opportunities and provide guidance on effective planning and delivery is invaluable in recognizing and supporting businesses that have achieved significant growth in the last one to five years.
Excellence in Innovation
The lead judge for Excellence in Innovation is responsible for overseeing and managing the judging process for the Innovation category. This includes reviewing all entries, evaluating their merits based on specific criteria, and working with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their expertise in innovation, the lead judge plays a crucial role in identifying and recognising businesses that have embraced new ideas, technologies, and/or processes to achieve success.
The judges for Excellence in Innovation are highly knowledgeable and experienced professionals who have a passion for innovation and a deep understanding of the latest trends and practices in this field. They bring a wealth of expertise and insights to the judging panel, and their guidance and input are instrumental in ensuring that the awards recognise businesses that are pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
The judges are committed to fostering a culture of innovation in New Zealand and are dedicated to identifying and celebrating the most innovative businesses in the country. Their contributions to the awards are essential to their continued success, and we are honored to have them as part of our judging panel. Meet our judges for Excellence in Innovation.
Cole Campbell is an accomplished innovation strategist whose expertise has been honed through years of experience working with a wide range of businesses, from SMEs to multinationals. She is a two-time business founder, and holds various director, trustee, and advisory positions across several companies.
Cole’s extensive knowledge and fresh thinking have earned her recognition and numerous awards for her successful work in corporate innovation. With a background in design and business advisory, she brings a unique perspective to her work and is adept at future-proofing clients’ businesses. Cole’s approach to engagements is marked by a balance of provocation and pragmatism, making her a great choice to lead the judging for excellence in innovation for the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards.
Ben Morreau is a digital innovation expert with extensive experience in helping enterprise clients to create successful digital outcomes and unlock competitive advantages. As the founder and CEO of Roam Digital, he has grown a thriving consultancy that operates across the APAC region, with studios in Singapore, Sydney, Auckland, and Wellington.
Ben’s expertise lies in his ability to design, launch, and grow exceptional digital-first businesses and products. He has a deep understanding of the latest trends and technologies in the digital space and knows how to apply them strategically to help businesses achieve their goals. This experience makes him a great judge for excellence in innovation, as he has a keen eye for identifying businesses that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital realm. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable in assessing the entries and selecting the finalists and winners in this category.
Chris Reid has over 20 years of international experience in the transport industry across London/Europe, New York, and Sydney. With a Bachelor of Law from Victoria University, Wellington, he has also spent 16 years in New Zealand working in tourism, retail, and financial services industries.
Currently, Chris manages a business consultancy and also offers his services as a mentor. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards as a category judge, drawing on his extensive experience in business and his passion for helping businesses succeed. Chris has recently published a book “Fly By Night” which covers the early days of DHL and TNT, demonstrating his commitment to sharing his knowledge and insights with others in the business community.
Charlie Drummond has a wide-ranging skillset in customer strategy, digital innovation, human-centred design, and ventures/partnerships. He has held innovation, digital and customer strategy leadership roles across banking, insurance and travel & tourism as well as consulting across not-for-profit, private and the public sector.
He enjoys helping organisations build successful products that customers will love from the word go – no matter how that experience is delivered. As the Creative Innovation Director at Gladeye, he is enjoying the chance to create for world-leading clients internationally, and in New Zealand. He also leads the Ventures Studio; created to spin up new businesses leveraging the world-leading talents of the Gladeye team.
Charlie enjoys translating between different domains – business strategy, innovation and product development, human-centred design, technical problem-solving, and creativity. He is happiest joining the dots at the big-picture level and will be looking for innovative businesses that can see opportunities where others cannot.
His experience in the practicalities of delivering these big-picture ideas will help provide a useful perspective in selecting the entries, identifying finalists and picking the winners in this category.
Excellence in Customer Service Delivery
The lead judge for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery is responsible for overseeing and managing the judging process for this category. This includes reviewing all entries, evaluating their merits based on specific criteria, and working with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their expertise in customer service, the lead judge plays a crucial role in identifying and recognising businesses that go above and beyond to provide exceptional service to their customers.
The judges for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery are highly experienced professionals who have a passion for customer service and a deep understanding of the importance of customer satisfaction. They bring a wealth of expertise and insights to the judging panel, and their guidance and input are instrumental in ensuring that the awards recognise businesses that are setting the standard for customer service excellence.
The judges are committed to fostering a culture of exceptional customer service in New Zealand and are dedicated to identifying and celebrating the businesses that are leading the way in this regard. Their contributions to the awards are essential to their continued success, and we are proud to have them as part of our judging panel. Meet our judges for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery.
As the lead judge for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, Tessa O’Rorke brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the judging panel. Her track record of championing great customer experience and driving measurable outcomes across strategy, digital, product development, and marketing makes her a valuable asset in evaluating entries in this category. With over 15 years of experience building and leading teams across multiple industries, Tessa has a deep understanding of what it takes to deliver high-quality, resource-efficient, and creative solutions that drive sustainable success.
Tessa’s passion for seeing people and brands achieve greatness is evident in her commitment to fostering a culture of excellence in customer service delivery. Her ability to lead transformations and drive results is essential in identifying and recognising businesses that are going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer experiences. The judging panel is honoured to have Tessa as the lead judge for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery and looks forward to her insights and guidance in selecting the finalists and winner.
Erika Todi’s education in international business and economics and her experience working with customers around the world has given her a unique perspective on customer service delivery. Her ability to communicate fluently in five languages has enabled her to identify and understand cultural nuances, which has helped her to provide an exceptional customer experience.
Erika’s career has spanned multiple industries, including multi-nationals, small businesses, and retail spaces. She has also been involved in volunteer work and sustainability, which has given her a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to deliver excellent customer service in a variety of contexts. Currently, as a Corporate Account Manager with Air New Zealand and a director of her own boutique online company, Erika brings a diverse range of experiences and insights to the judging panel for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery. We are honored to have her expertise and knowledge on board and look forward to her contributions in recognising and celebrating businesses that go above and beyond in delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Lindsey Rayner brings with her over two decades of experience working across a range of industries and countries, making her an expert in delivering exceptional customer service. Her understanding of customer service goes beyond merely providing a good experience, and she emphasizes building lasting relationships with customers. By communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, Lindsey has developed a profound understanding of customer behaviours and expectations.
As the co-founder of Human Experience (Humanex), Lindsey has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to delivering excellent customer service. Customer excellence is at the core of every decision that is made by this values-based organisation. Lindsey strongly believes that delivering an outstanding customer experience requires having a clear vision, understanding your customers, creating an emotional connection, and establishing a framework for the development of teams. Her expertise and strategies have helped her clients improve their customer service delivery, and she leads by example in her own organization, ensuring the delivery of the highest levels of customer experience.
Lindsey’s dedication to providing exceptional customer service is a testament to her passion for this field, and we are delighted to have her as a judge for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, where her experience and expertise will be invaluable in recognising businesses that go above and beyond to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
As an expert in design, learning, and culture, Perrin brings a unique perspective to the judging panel for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery. With a diverse background that includes teaching at New York University, working with the Neilson Norman Group, and training in design-led product delivery and inclusive facilitation, Perrin is well-equipped to assess businesses’ customer service delivery practices.
Perrin’s current role at Westpac NZ involves ensuring that customers and their journeys remain at the forefront of the company’s agile development work. She is passionate about facilitating human-centred design workshops and coaching teams to design quality customer solutions at scale. Perrin is also a change master, skilled in shifting the cultural maturity of organizations towards customer obsession and making systemic change. Her expertise and experience make her a valuable addition to the judging panel for this award, and we are honored to have her on board.
Rebecca Hunter’s extensive marketing experience and entrepreneurial spirit make her an invaluable member of the judging panel for Excellence in Customer Service Delivery. With over 10 years of experience building brands and developing eCommerce strategies, Rebecca’s expertise in digital marketing, NPD, and customer service has helped her scale a 5-figure New Zealand e-commerce brand to over 7-figures in less than twelve months.
As the Head of Marketing for ManukaRx, a natural skincare brand that harnesses the restorative powers of New Zealand’s mānuka oil, Rebecca’s ability to think creatively and make things happen has been instrumental in the brand’s success. She also volunteers her time as a Board Member for the Auckland affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide, where she oversees the marketing portfolio for the charity.
Rebecca’s passion for delivering exceptional customer service and her experience in building successful brands make her an asset to the judging panel. We are thrilled to have her on board and look forward to the insights and expertise she will bring to the table.
Mark Sweeny is a highly accomplished business professional with a wealth of experience in technology, business development, and change management. His career began in technical servicing of medical equipment and quickly progressed to sales management where he realised the potential of systems to manage sales and service processes while ensuring timely customer responses. Mark later founded his own company that specialised in selling and servicing medical equipment, operating in a competitive business environment where he leveraged technology to gain a competitive edge. The company was one of the pioneers in developing web-based reporting tools for both technical teams and customers to upload and download service reports.
Mark has since worked in various business development and change management roles in Australia, focusing on making organizations smarter by using technology. He completed an MBA at Massey University Albany during his time in Australia, and his dissertation on the use of ICT in medical equipment service organizations was published in a technical journal in the USA. Mark is a dedicated business mentor, where he derives satisfaction from seeing business owners develop and grow. His vast experience and expertise make him an invaluable addition to the judging panel for Excellence in Strategy and Planning.
As a judge for Excellence in Strategy and Planning, Mark’s extensive experience in business development and change management, as well as his expertise in technology and ICT, are invaluable in identifying and recognizing businesses that demonstrate exceptional strategic planning and execution. He is committed to fostering a culture of excellence in strategy and planning and is dedicated to identifying and celebrating businesses that are at the forefront of this endeavour. His contributions to the awards are essential to their continued success, and we are proud to have him as part of our esteemed judging panel.
Amber Scott-Harvey is a dynamic and results-driven Growth Lead at Z Energy, with extensive experience in sales and marketing, and a passion for sustainability. As the leader of the Small and Medium Enterprise segment at Z, Amber is responsible for driving growth through innovative and customer-centric initiatives, while looking at how sustainability is a the forefront. She brings a wealth of expertise to the table, having spent most of the last decade working in global markets and delivering value to customers while generating enterprise value for Z.
Amber is deeply committed to championing New Zealand SMEs and delivering world-class experiences for business customers. With her strong customer focus and experience in sales and marketing, and a drive to enable sustainable practices across all sectors Amber is well-suited to serve as a judge for Excellence in Sustainability.
Amber’s passion for sustainability, combined with her expertise in driving growth and generating value, will enable her to bring a unique perspective to the judging panel. She is committed to identifying and recognising businesses that are making significant contributions to sustainability, and she is dedicated to supporting the growth of sustainable practices in New Zealand and beyond.
Cecelia is a Doctor of Organisational Psychology with over 20 years of experience in behavioural science. Her career has been defined by an insatiable curiosity about how interconnected systems shape human experiences. As a Principal Catalyst at Qualtrics XM Institute, she collaborates with a global community of Experience Management professionals, empowering and inspiring them to radically improve employee and customer experiences.
With a track record of partnering with renowned brands for successful organisational transformations, Cecelia employs evidence-based methods to effectively tackle complex challenges and provide practical solutions that drive action and generate results. Her work is deeply rooted in a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a portfolio encompassing both theoretical contributions such as writing legislative frameworks and engaging in academic and professional research, as well as practical experience gained from leading a People Operations function at Google and establishing the experience management advisory practice at Qualtrics.
In addition to her expertise, Cecelia is known for being a captivating speaker and facilitator. You’re likely to find her engaging audiences at Experience Management conferences, masterclasses, and webinars. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with her about systems of power and the creation of human-centric organizations; she’ll quickly become your new best friend!
Excellence in Marketing
The lead judge for Excellence in Marketing is responsible for managing and overseeing the judging process for this category. This involves assessing all entries, evaluating their strengths based on specific criteria, and collaborating with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their extensive experience in marketing, the lead judge plays a critical role in identifying and recognizing businesses that demonstrate exceptional marketing strategies and tactics.
The judges for Excellence in Marketing are highly accomplished marketing professionals who possess a profound passion for the field and a deep appreciation of the significance of effective marketing. They bring a vast array of expertise and perspectives to the judging panel, and their counsel and input are essential in ensuring that the awards recognize businesses that are setting the standard for marketing excellence.
The judges are committed to cultivating a culture of outstanding marketing in New Zealand and are dedicated to identifying and celebrating the businesses that are at the forefront of this endeavor. Their contributions to the awards are indispensable to their continued success, and we are proud to have them as part of our judging panel. Meet our judges for Excellence in Marketing.
Stephanie Quantrill is the lead judge for Excellence in Marketing, responsible for overseeing and managing the judging process for this category. With her extensive background in managing some of New Zealand’s most loved brands, Stephanie brings a wealth of expertise in marketing strategy and execution to the judging panel.
As a marketing professional who believes in building strong relationships with colleagues and business partners, Stephanie understands the importance of aligning marketing efforts with the overall business strategy. She has a deep understanding of how marketing can drive growth and deliver value to customers, and is passionate about identifying and recognising businesses that are doing this exceptionally well.
Stephanie’s enthusiasm for marketing is contagious, and her commitment to fostering a culture of excellence in marketing in New Zealand is evident in her role as lead judge. Her contributions to the awards are essential to their continued success, and we are proud to have her as part of our judging panel.
Kane Stanford is a highly accomplished marketing professional with an exceptional sense of humor and a diverse career history spanning multiple industries. Currently serving as the New Zealand Country Manager for Bacardi, Kane’s expertise in sales and marketing has been honed through his experience working with leading FMCG, adTech, liquor, and communications companies both on the agency and client side.
As a creative thinker, Kane firmly believes that good ideas always start with a pun. He is passionate about transforming insights into actionable ideas and driving marketing activities that ultimately lead to increased revenue. With a deep understanding of the importance of the bottom line, Kane’s favorite part of marketing is when the money comes out of the wallet.
Kane’s significant judging experience includes evaluating speeches for primary school competitions, judging several cocktail competitions, and even serving as a judge for the NZ Air Guitar Championships. His wealth of knowledge and experience make him a valuable addition to the judging panel for Excellence in Marketing. Kane’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating innovative marketing strategies and campaigns is essential to ensuring the success of the awards.
Hannah McKee is an experienced FMCG marketing leader with a great love for brands that form genuine connections with our communities and do their bit to add a little lift to people’s lives.
Currently Head of Marketing for Griffin’s Snacks, Hannah’s career has focused on driving portfolio strategy, brand growth agendas and innovation pipelines for some of New Zealand and Australia’s most loved pantry and fridge staples. Hannah is a big believer that the greatest marketing results come from a clear plan, powerful cross functional collaboration and empowered self-starters having the room to get stuck in and execute with excellence.
Hannah is delighted to join this year’s Excellence in Marketing judging panel and the opportunity it presents to celebrate the winning strategies of Auckland’s brightest marketers and the results they have achieved through outstanding execution.
Rachel Mulhern is a senior marketing professional with 15 years’ B2C and B2B experience across fashion, FMCG and telecommunications in Auckland and London. Currently leading the Business Marketing team at 2degrees, Rachel has a passion for developing insight-led marketing strategies that are aligned with the overarching business strategy and support commercial objectives.
A career highlight has been working on the 2degrees Business Shop Local campaign over the last 4 years where she has supported 20 local businesses across New Zealand in developing bespoke marketing plans to support their growth ambitions. Rachel is excited to be a judge in the marketing category of the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards and to see the best of what Auckland business has to offer.
Troy Fuller is an experienced marketing and advertising professional with over 20 years’ experience across a range of advertising agencies in Auckland, Sydney and London. Troy is currently one of the founding partners of Multiplied, an independent creative commerce agency, TWENTY4, a brand experience agency and Fox IQ, a customer research SaaS platform. During his time in advertising, Troy has worked on everything from banks to beer, takeaways to telco and cereals to soft drink. Before establishing his own advertising agency, Troy was Managing Director of a customer experience agency within the Clemenger Group that grew from 50 people to over 100 within the space of 18 months. It’s something he is still slowly recovering from.
Troy is a believer in the power of strong brands to deliver commercial success, and that strong brands start with strong insight and strategy delivered with impact and intent. He is passionate about instilling young marketers with the knowledge and confidence to be brave and ambitious and to test and learn their way to success.
Troy is excited about the opportunity to judge the Excellence in Marketing category at this years 2degrees Auckland Business Awards as a way of identifying and rewarding those outstanding marketers that have dared to stand up and challenge the status quo in order to fuel the fire of brand and business growth.
Excellence in Strategy and Planning
The lead judge for Excellence in Strategy and Planning is responsible for overseeing and managing the judging process for this category. This involves reviewing all entries, assessing their strengths based on specific criteria, and collaborating with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their expertise in strategic planning, the lead judge plays a crucial role in identifying and recognising businesses that demonstrate outstanding strategic thinking and execution.
The judges for Excellence in Strategy and Planning are highly experienced professionals with a passion for strategic planning and a deep understanding of the importance of a well-thought-out strategy. They bring a wealth of expertise and insights to the judging panel, and their guidance and input are essential in ensuring that the awards recognise businesses that are setting the standard for strategic planning excellence.
The judges are committed to fostering a culture of exceptional strategic planning in New Zealand and are dedicated to identifying and celebrating the businesses that are leading the way in this regard. Their contributions to the awards are essential to their continued success, and we are proud to have them as part of our judging panel. Meet our judges for Excellence in Strategy and Planning.
Tim McCready is a highly experienced strategist and business advisor with a track record of success in helping companies achieve their strategic objectives. He has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that businesses face in the dynamic and rapidly evolving global marketplace. Tim’s extensive experience in working with start-ups and multinational corporations gives him a unique perspective on the strategic issues that businesses face at different stages of their development.
In addition to his work in strategic advisory and business development, Tim is a respected commentator on trade, investment, and innovation. He is a regular contributor to the New Zealand Herald’s business reports and has written extensively on topics such as international trade agreements, technology innovation, and the challenges facing the New Zealand economy. Tim’s expertise and insights into these issues make him a valuable asset to the judging panel for Excellence in Strategy and Planning. His ability to identify innovative approaches to complex problems and his deep knowledge of the business landscape make him an ideal choice to lead the judging process for this category.
Angus Davidson is a highly experienced strategist and consultant with a diverse background spanning several industries. After working in finance for several years in both New Zealand and the UK, Angus moved into roles as an export manager and then managed a large tourism company before moving on to manage a 24/7 manufacturing group with multiple factories. He then transitioned into consultancy roles, where he focused on restructuring assignments primarily in local and central government. Angus subsequently purchased a manufacturing SME in the construction sector, which allowed him to gain a firsthand understanding of the challenges that businesses face in this sector.
Over the last 25 years, Angus has continued working for himself in restructuring and strategic planning roles, and has also undertaken a number of short-term chief executive roles for companies facing challenges or going through a transition period. With his extensive experience in a variety of industries and his ability to quickly assess complex situations and provide practical solutions, Angus brings a wealth of expertise to the judging panel for Excellence in Strategy and Planning. His ability to see the big picture while also understanding the nuances of individual businesses and industries is invaluable in identifying businesses with exceptional strategies and plans that are driving growth and success.
Kathryn Thomas is a strategy and storytelling specialist with a passion for helping businesses discover creative and consumer-led solutions to commercial challenges. With a diverse range of clients, Kathryn’s projects range from engaging on-boarding and streaming experiences for companies like Spark and TVNZ, to developing insightful brand and growth strategies for Destination Fiordland in collaboration with TRA and Maverick Digital. She has also worked on exciting projects such as creating an interactive New Zealand music experience with Spark and Auckland Museum, and conducting test screenings for filmmakers to uncover audience insights with the New Zealand Film Commission.
Kathryn’s expertise extends beyond strategy and planning, as she also conducts workshops, insight and training sessions for various clients and creative agencies. Her work has included conducting audience insight and channel planning for Countdown in partnership with Stanley St, and providing brand and communications services for clients such as BNZ, Warren & Mahoney Architects, and Business North Harbour. Kathryn’s wealth of experience and unique approach to strategy and storytelling make her a valuable addition to the judging panel for Excellence in Strategy and Planning.
Melissa Wong brings a wealth of experience to the judging panel for Excellence in Strategy and Planning. With her extensive background in science innovation and business commercialization, she possesses a unique understanding of the complexities and challenges involved in developing effective strategies that drive growth and success.
Melissa has worked across a range of industries, including the New Zealand government science sector, private and public companies in New Zealand and overseas, and a life science consultancy. Her areas of specialization include agritech, sustainability, and biotechnology portfolios, reflecting her passion for environmental and social responsibility. Additionally, her expertise in intellectual property and indigenous rights highlights her commitment to ethical business practices and ensuring that businesses operate in a responsible and sustainable manner.
With Melissa’s deep understanding of the business landscape and her commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, she will be an invaluable addition to the judging panel for Excellence in Strategy and Planning, helping to identify and recognize businesses that demonstrate outstanding strategic planning and execution.
Jordan is a leader in the discipline of Net Revenue Management within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry. With his sharp focus on consumer-centricity, strategic mindset, and understanding of the dynamics of the marketplace, he has built a track record of successfully guiding businesses to increasing revenue and profitability in a sustainable way. Jordan holds extensive experience across multiple global companies and has developed a well-informed worldview, allowing him to balance best-in-class practice on one hand, and fresh thinking for the contemporary landscape on the other.
Jordan has a solid foundation in Accounting & Finance/Economics. He was a key member of a previous Finance Team of the Year Award, awarded by the Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ), winning for excellence in implementing and embedding the Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process within their business. To the judging panel, Jordan brings his wealth of knowledge in navigating the wild waters of the business and economic world, with a keen understanding of the ways in which companies today can best utilize planning and strategy to chart a course to winning with integrity.
Sean Molloy is a highly experienced entrepreneur and business executive who co-founded Avertana, a company focusing on creating chemical process technology, that creates sustainable quality of life commodities for global markets from industrial waste. He served as the CEO for six years before transitioning to the role of Founder Director. Sean’s expertise in materials science, business strategy, and entrepreneurship has made him a respected strategic advisor and mentor for startups and emerging companies in New Zealand and beyond. In addition to his work at Avertana, Sean is a director of Zincovery, a company that specializes in the sustainable production of zinc. His passion for sustainability and environmental stewardship has driven him to create positive change in the industrial sector.
Excellence in Sustainability
The lead judge for Excellence in Sustainability oversees the judging process for this category, evaluating entries based on specific criteria and collaborating with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their extensive experience in sustainability, the lead judge plays a crucial role in identifying and recognizing businesses that are making significant strides towards sustainability.
The judges for Excellence in Sustainability are accomplished professionals in sustainability-related fields, possessing a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to sustainable business practices. Their diverse expertise and perspectives ensure a comprehensive evaluation of each entry, helping to identify businesses that are demonstrating exceptional sustainability strategies and initiatives. They are committed to promoting a sustainable future for New Zealand and the world, and their contributions to the awards are essential in recognizing and celebrating the businesses leading the way in sustainability. Meet our judges for Excellence in Sustainability.
With sustainability emerging as a crosscutting issue for all New Zealand businesses, we brought together a multi-disciplinary team to judge our newest award category.
“I’ve always loved that Captain Planet line: ‘By your powers combined!’ I think of sustainability as a business superpower that can be a unifying force for good,” says our Sustainability Lead Judge Georgie Hills.
Georgie is a sustainability communications professional who has worked with some of New Zealand’s biggest household brand names, public figures and institutions, including TVNZ and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Trading in TV for life in the tropics brought her commitment to sustainability into sharper focus. Georgie was living in the Cook Islands when the pandemic hit. She worked with the Cook Islands government and the Private Sector Taskforce on economic and public health efforts to support the country’s Covid response and recovery, and was active in the successful human rights campaign to decriminalise same-sex relationships.
At Enviro NZ, Georgie champions the growing movement to address New Zealand’s throwaway culture and keep valuable resources in circulation. She has a Masters in Sustainable Development Goals from Massey University.
Rebecca Lindegger is the Head of Sustainability and Purpose at 2degrees. She has over 10 years’ experience in the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) space, spending much of her career in consulting roles. Born and raised in NZ, Rebecca started her career in Auckland then honed her skills in London for 4 years before returning home. Rebecca is passionate about making a positive impact on our community and creating a more sustainable future.
Regan Burke, an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in construction, has become a driving force in promoting sustainability. From humble beginnings as a labourer, his dedication and drive propelled him to the position of General Manager and Co-Owner. With his passion for waste reduction and efficiency led him to create the innovative app, Civilshare.
Civilshare, launched for the construction industry, facilitates resource sharing and collaboration, saving companies time, money, and reducing construction waste. Recognising its potential, 3PM, a prominent company, acquired Civilshare and appointed Regan to oversee their construction-related products.
Regan’s commitment extends beyond app development. He has actively contributed to the Civil Contractors NZ Auckland Branch Executive Committee since 2012, organising initiatives, such as excavator competitions, construction awards, promoting training and promoting sustainability and broader outcomes.
As a judge for sustainability in construction, Regan Burke’s expertise and dedication to waste reduction make him an invaluable asset. Through his visionary leadership, Regan has transformed construction practices, fostering environmentally conscious approaches and driving positive change within the industry. His efforts inspire companies and communities alike to embrace sustainability for a better future.
Tony is an industry leader in the field of Precast Concrete and has been actively supporting New Zealand’s Design and Construction industry on many of New Zealand’s award winning projects for over 15 years.
His solid background in FMCG, Convenience and Design has helped in his current role as Marketing Manager for Nauhria Precast. As former entrants and Supreme ‘Best of the Best’ Auckland Business Excellence Award Winners, Tony has experienced first-hand the significant benefits that can be attained through entering the awards. In continued support of the awards Tony enjoys giving back to the community and helping businesses grow and celebrate their wins upon their own journeys of success.
Employer of the Year
The lead judge for Employer of the Year is responsible for managing and overseeing the judging process for this category. They carefully assess all entries, evaluate their strengths based on specific criteria, and collaborate with category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With their expertise in HR and talent management, the lead judge plays a critical role in identifying and recognising businesses that demonstrate exceptional employer-employee relationships and effective human resource management.
The judges for Employer of the Year are highly accomplished HR professionals who possess a deep passion for talent management and employee engagement. They bring a vast array of expertise and perspectives to the judging panel, and their guidance and input are vital in ensuring that the awards recognise businesses that are setting the standard for HR excellence.
The judges are committed to fostering a culture of outstanding HR practices in the New Zealand and are dedicated to identifying and celebrating the businesses that are at the forefront of this endeavour. Their contributions to the awards are indispensable to their continued success, and we are proud to have them as part of our judging panel. Meet our judges for Employer of the Year.
Des Flynn is the Lead Judge for Employer of the Year, responsible for overseeing and managing the judging process for this prestigious category. With over 50 years of experience in the retail sector, Des is a highly respected figure in the industry and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the panel.
In his current role as Corporate Affairs Partner at The Warehouse Group, Des represents the company’s interests and acts as Chair of the Board of Directors for Retail New Zealand, advocating for the retail sector as a whole. Des is also actively engaged with various government agencies, including the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Commission, Ministry for Social Development, and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, providing a valuable retail perspective on proposed legislative changes and sustainability issues.
With his extensive experience and deep understanding of the industry, Des is dedicated to identifying and celebrating the businesses that excel in creating exceptional workplaces and fostering a culture of innovation and excellence. His contributions to the awards are invaluable, and we are proud to have him as the Lead Judge for Employer of the Year.
Rahu Rai brings a wealth of experience in leadership and personal development to the judging panel for Employer of the Year. With a passion for mentoring and coaching individuals for personal and business growth, he is inspired by companies that prioritize the well-being of their employees. As a seasoned hotel manager with 35 years of global experience, Rahu has a deep understanding of the importance of creating a positive and supportive work environment. His commitment to personal growth and development, combined with his passion for health and fitness, make him a valuable addition to the judging panel.
Rahu’s enthusiasm for living an abundant life and his love for outdoor activities such as cycling, SUP boarding, kayaking, mountain biking, and trekking demonstrate his dedication to promoting a healthy work-life balance. He is the creator of www.thankyouhealthcare.co.nz, a platform that celebrates and supports healthcare workers in New Zealand. He is also the author of several books, including the Compilation Best Seller “Living an Abundant Life”, Buy and Hold for all that Gold, Buy and hold- Simple steps to real estate investment, and “Repurpose me,” which is currently with the publisher. With over 35 years of experience managing and leading hotels around the world, Rahu has developed a deep understanding of what it takes to build and sustain high-performing teams. He is a dedicated mentor and coach, committed to helping individuals and businesses achieve their full potential. We are confident that his expertise will help us identify the most deserving businesses in the Employer of the Year category.
Deen Dayal is a highly accomplished Leadership Coach and Business Mentor with extensive experience in managing relationships with various international brands and handling nationwide business operations. As a previous lead judge for eight years for Employer of the Year, Deen has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in recognizing exceptional employers who prioritize their employees’ well-being.
With over 40 years of experience, Deen has coached company leaders on how to analyse performance metrics and identify performance gaps, patterns, and trends. He has a particular focus on performance outliers, which has led to his success in implementing performance, productivity, and quality improvements in various businesses and organizations. His strong leadership capabilities and proven success in identifying and implementing these improvements make him a valuable addition to the judging panel for Employer of the Year. We are honored to have him as part of our team, and we are confident that his insights and guidance will help us recognize the best of the best in employer excellence.
Sue Ironside is a seasoned legal professional with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of commercial and intellectual property law. As a Director of Ironside McDonald Intellectual Property, Sue brings her expertise in trademark and branding to her clients in New Zealand, Australia, and overseas. Prior to her current role, Sue worked as an in-house attorney, providing her with a unique perspective on the challenges faced by businesses.
Sue was previously the lead judge for Excellence in International Trade, but now focuses her attention on judging the Employer of the Year category. With her deep knowledge of various industries, Sue is passionate about identifying businesses that prioritise employee support, growth initiatives, health, and wellbeing. She believes that a company’s success is closely tied to its ability to provide an excellent working environment for its employees, and is excited to recognise those companies that are doing just that. With her impressive legal background and experience, Sue is an asset to the judging panel for Employer of the Year.
Jason McMenamin is a seasoned retailer, with international experience, who has led large teams in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Jason joins the Auckland Business Chamber judging panel for the first time in 2023. Across all the roles Jason has had in his career, and more latterly as CEO at Tank Juice, Jason has been, and is, responsible for delivering safe, reliable, and profitable operations to the Tank Juice Board. However, he knows that this is totally dependant on the team of people he works with and supports. Jason is a new judge at the Auckland Business Chamber, joining the Employer of the Year judging panel this year. With his deep understanding of what it takes to build and lead successful Teams across several industries, Jason knows what it takes to be successful. Jason is passionate about identifying talent and helping to support individuals reach their goals, while building a track record of success. Jason is also extremely interested in understanding how companies develop their culture, their working environment, and how a company ensures that every member of the team is included, understands how they contribute and that they feel valued by the business. We are looking forward to Jason adding his perspectives and opinions to the Employer of the Year panel.
Excellence in Community Contribution
The Excellence in Community Contribution category is led by a knowledgeable and experienced lead judge who oversees the judging process and works closely with the category judges to determine the finalists and winner. With a deep understanding of the importance of community contribution, the lead judge plays a critical role in identifying and recognising businesses that are making a positive impact on their local communities.
The judges for Excellence in Community Contribution are professionals who are passionate about making a difference in their communities. They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in community engagement, social responsibility, and philanthropy, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of each entry. By recognising businesses that are making significant contributions to their communities, the judges aim to inspire others to follow suit and make a positive impact. Their dedication to recognising and celebrating businesses that are committed to improving their communities makes them invaluable members of the judging panel for the Excellence in Community Contribution category. Meet our judges for Excellence in Community Contribution.
Rachel McDonald’s expertise in intellectual property and experience working with clients across various industries make her an excellent judge for the Excellence in Community Contribution category. As a Co-Founder and Director of Ironside McDonald Intellectual Property, she has a deep understanding of the importance of protecting and leveraging intellectual property in achieving business success.
With over 18 years of experience providing senior-level IP advice to her clients, Rachel has developed a keen eye for identifying innovative and impactful community contributions. Her appreciation for diverse industries in New Zealand allows her to bring a well-rounded perspective to the judging process, ensuring that all entries are evaluated fairly and thoroughly. We are fortunate to have Rachel as a judge for the Excellence in Community Contribution category, and her contributions will be invaluable in recognising and celebrating businesses that are making a positive impact in their communities.
Will Cooper brings a wealth of experience in digital strategy and business consulting to the judging panel for Excellence in Community Contribution. As the lead judge for this category, Will plays a critical role in evaluating entries based on specific criteria and working collaboratively with category judges to determine the finalists and winner.
With his extensive background in working with some of New Zealand’s largest companies and navigating the ever-changing digital landscape, Will is well-positioned to assess how businesses are contributing to their communities in meaningful and sustainable ways. In recent years, Will’s passion has shifted to working with small Kiwi businesses to help them achieve long-term growth and success. His commitment to supporting local businesses and promoting community contribution make him a valuable addition to the judging panel. Will’s insights and guidance will be instrumental in identifying and recognising businesses that are making a positive impact on their communities, and we are proud to have him as the lead judge for Excellence in Community Contribution.
With her background in sales and marketing, and passion for community contribution Jo Austin is a valuable addition to the judging panel for Excellence in Community Contribution. As the Sales & Marketing Manager for Skydive Auckland and New Zealand Skydiving School, Jo has a wealth of experience in developing brands and building relationships. She has a particular passion for community contribution, and in her role at Skydive, she has spearheaded several community involvement initiatives and supported various local organizations through sponsorships and donations.
Jo’s dedication to community contribution stems from her belief that businesses have a responsibility to make a positive impact on their communities. Her experience in marketing and branding has given her insights into how businesses can use their resources to benefit their communities and inspire others to do the same. Her contributions to the awards as a judge for Excellence in Community Contribution will help to identify and recognize businesses that are making meaningful contributions to their communities and inspire others
Anna Gorman is an accomplished marketer, specialising in sponsorship and events. Anna has worked in the not-for-profit, corporate and media industry and is passionate about delivering on brand, purpose and community objectives.
Anna has been the driving force behind 2degrees’ support of sport, and in particular their sponsorship of all four Super Rugby Aupiki teams. With a focus on 2degrees purpose of Fighting for Fair, the Super Rugby Aupiki partnership has seen 2degrees support young school girls on their path to professional rugby.
With passion for the community Anna is excited to be a judge in the community category of the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards.