24 June 2017
Well, the party of the year sure lived up to it's reputation! What a night, divas, dancing and far too many dubious jokes.
Congratulations to all finalists, and most importantly to our winners.
Thanks also to our judges for generously donating their time and expertise, and to our sponsors for making the event a reality. To Zespri, our principal sponsor, we could not do it without you.
Our thanks must also go to all of our exporting community. We are here because of you and we look forward to supporting your success now and into the future.
For those unable to be with us last night, here are the winners who took trophies home:
George & Willy are a group of creative young individuals who start work at 7.30am every morning in their workshop/warehouse/design studio near the airport in Mount Maunganui. During the day you will find them designing or marketing products. They have realised this is their strength and because of this have outsourced the majority of their manufacturing. All of the team work in the same office and talk to customers around the world every day, leading to 65% of their sales being attributable to exports. They are passionate about what they do and take real pride in sending product that they have designed to customers all around the world.
“George and Willy’s entrepreneurial spirit is second to none. With dedication and determination they have developed a well-respected brand with a true New Zealand quality focus. Their structured design development protocols and clever use of digital platforms has also enabled them to create a unique team environment to optimise the passion, skills and enthusiasm of their valued team around them.”
Steens® Honey is New Zealand's leading producer of high grade UMF Manuka honey. Steens began with a desire to bring a better-quality Manuka to market; one that is raw, unpasteurised and minimally processed - just as nature intended. Subjecting Manuka to high temperatures just isn't in their thinking. They don’t crank up the heat to 70°C and cream their honey like most producers do. Studies have shown that the flavonoids and enzymes which give Manuka its unique qualities are damaged through these heating processes. Our honey is raw & unpasteurised which means all the natural goodness and natural crystals are retained. It’s like dipping your finger straight into the honeycomb!
“From thorough market research Steens® Honey has translated innovations into digital stories that capture the minds of their consumers.
Track and trace capability has been positioned to enable every consumer to identify where in NZ their pack of honey has come from.
Raw unprocessed honey has been set up as a point of difference and a sustainable and profitable growth business has ensued.”
Felipe has been with Oasis Engineering for 9 years and was originally employed on a short term contract to translate a promotional video into Spanish. It was soon discovered that he had an engineering background and his contract was extended to promote Oasis products to Spanish speaking companies in Central and South America. His talents became apparent very quickly and it was clear that he was too good to let go, so he was offered a full time position and has been with Oasis ever since. Felipe does a tremendous role supporting the company’s agents in over a dozen countries while also developing new business in new and existing markets.
“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a phrase that doesn’t fit the winner of this category. The winner is a master of many skills.
Felipe Aguilera is recognised as an important cog in the Oasis Engineering business credited with playing a strong part in driving volume and value growth, while achieving long term client satisfaction growth within a declining market. Responsible for customers throughout South America, Felipe has recently taken over relationship management in Korea, India and China where he “continues to shine”.
Bringing a unique mix of language skills, relationship building strengths, engineering expertise, and integrity to his role the judges were impressed with the extent of Felipe’s involvement in all aspects of the business as diverse as engineering, innovation, technical sales and customer service, and after-sales support.
Congratulations Felipe on the win amongst very deserving peers this year!”
Since the beginning of time, salt has been a critical part of man's life.
Founded by George Skellerup in 1942, Dominion Salt harvest and refine natural sea-salt into high value, high quality products for their national and global customers in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, food and industrial sectors.
Known as a world leading manufacturer and supplier of salt products, Dominion Salt’s facilities at Mount Maunganui and Lake Grassmere in Marlborough have seen them expand from agricultural roots, now exporting to a global market delivering a premium product backed up by excellent customer service.
Dominion Salt’s signature “Life’s most essential mineral in the world’s safest hands” certainly holds true.
"Dominion Salt have re-invented themselves – and are taking salt from being a simple condiment to a range of agricultural, industrial and pharmaceutical applications. Their Pure Dried Vacuum salts are recognized as the worlds’ most pure, and they are achieving impressive and sustained year on year export growth, led by their high end pharmaceutical grade salt."
The eldest of four high-achieving siblings, Andy Cameron was born and raised in Taupo to father David, a local dentist and mother Ros.
Having always been interested in the planet, geology, nature and the solar system, when it came time to study it was the mining industry that attracted Andy. This, coupled with the fact that as a youngster his family travelled a lot added to the appeal of life as an ex-pat in the mining industry and so his journey began.
With great enthusiasm the gumboot wearing guy from Taupo, headed off to Otago University where he completed a Double major in Mining & Metallurgy at the Otago School of Mines. It was during his student days that Andy swooned on future wife Jane.
After University, Andy headed for the mines of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia where he gained his underground ticket. After a year of letters and phone calls Andy returned to New Zealand and proposed to Jane before the two crossed the ditch to be closer to each other.
The couple returned to New Zealand and were married in February 1986 when Andy started working at Waihi Gold. It has been said that his innovativeness and team focussed attitude saw the mine extract gold at an unprecedented rate that hasn’t been achieved since.
In 1998 with four children in the Cameron brood, Hamish, Mark, Katie and Lucy (the youngest of whom was only 3 months old), Andy’s mining work took the family to the jungles of Sumatra where they lived until 2000. From there it was Mali, West Africa that called them before they headed for a stint in Ghana. His travels even took him to Timbuktu. In 2002 Andy and Jane decided it was time to bring their family back to set up roots in New Zealand.
Andy used the move back to the motherland as an opportunity for a career change and so the couple set out on finding businesses for sale. From retirement villages to chicken farms, orchards to grass seed businesses the couple finally settled on a small engineering business specialising in dairy valves; and so Andy’s life at Oasis Engineering began.
Today Oasis employs 20 staff, specialising in Compressed Natural Gas products servicing a range of industries with a global reputation. It has gone from a handful of product lines to hundreds, exporting to over 40 countries and touching every continent except Antarctica. The company never sits still and are always looking to further grow their footprint and expand into new countries.
It’s Andy’s patience, tolerance and ability to be a lateral, creative, big picture thinker that has got Oasis where it is today. A company renowned for its innovation, product development & customisation.
Since Andy took over the helm, the company has been awarded the Sustainable Business Productivity Award, ExportNZ Emerging Exporter of the Year Award, the ExportNZ Exporter of the Year Award and the Sustainable Business Health & Safety Award to name a few.
However, it’s not all about business for Andy. A family man, who loves spending time with wife Jane and their four children, Andy has a real zest for life. A love of the ocean, a whiz in the kitchen and always keen for a good dress-up party. Andy is also passionate about giving back and is heavily involved in various facets of our community including Rotary, TIDA, the ACORN Foundation and NGV Global, as well as fundraising for the annual Daffodil Day, a charity close to Andy’s heart having lost his father to the disease.
Comments about the winner:
“Andy has an amazing community spirit and we have been fortunate to have him involved with Rotary here in Tauranga for over 12 years. During this time he has been Director of International Committee (working with projects from as far as Africa to our local South Pacific Islands) as well as Director of Community Services. Incredibly pragmatic, entertaining and with great character, Andy has a tendency to exude happiness on others. The community and Rotarians alike are all the better off for having someone of his calibre involved in our community.”
- Wayne Shadbolt, Sunshine Rotary, Tauranga
“With high integrity and great values, Andy joined the ACORN Foundation in 2012 as a board member. The foundation is an organisation that connects generous people who care, with causes that matter in your local community – forever. In this role Andy adds real value and brings an interesting and fresh perspective to the table. He’s also a great guy to have a beer with.”
– Matt Tustin, ACORN Foundation
“Congratulations Andy. You are a very worthy recipient of this award. With your intellect, integrity and tenacity you were always going to be a success in business, but it is nice to see you publicly acknowledged for all you have achieved.”
- John Gordon, Sharp Tudhope Lawyers
A special thanks to all sponsors and event supporters.