Entries to the Ignite Wanaka Business Awards in partnership with Milford Asset Management open today, alongside the announcement of two new categories and a new convenor of the independent judging panel.
The 2017 awards follow on from the hugely successful inaugural awards and gala dinner, which took place November last year at Rippon Hall. After the 2017 awards, the event will be held every two years.
Wanaka resident Bill Day – founder of multi-million-dollar business Seaworks and a past winner of Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year – is the new convenor of judges.
Day says he’s excited to lead the independent judging panel for the 2017 awards and looks forward to reading entries packed with inspiration and innovation.
“What’s so special about this place is that people want to live in Wanaka because it’s the best place in the world – and because they’re so determined to be here, they actively search for ways to enable them to stay here. That means they come up with some amazing solutions and translate that into business,” he explains.
Judges will be looking for businesses demonstrating passion as well as proving they’re doing something different to their competitors in a way that creates value.
“Entrepreneurship is a tough game and the thing that gets you up in the morning is the fact that you love what you’re doing and you really, really want success. We’re looking for examples of businesses delivering the quality of the experience for consumers. That can come through doing something ordinary in an extraordinary way, or sheer innovation to deliver a better result,” Day adds.
The independent judging panel consists of five high-profile and successful businesspeople living in the Wanaka region. Day 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; Tarras-based director and lawyer Giselle McLachlan – CEO of local business Landpro Ltd and director of the H&J Smith Group; Mark Verbiest – an experienced company director and winner of the inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards Outstanding Individual category; and legal consultant Wayne Hudson, who has spent the past 30 years in the technology business sector.
Also new for this year is the Outstanding in Sustainability category, sponsored by Queenstown and Wanaka Airports, plus a People’s Choice Award – an award voted for by the entire Wanaka community. Details about the People’s Choice Award will be released in the coming weeks.
Ignite Wanaka chairman Alistair King says the Chamber is excited to facilitate such an important occasion for the local business community.
“We were overwhelmed by the great feedback from last year. Celebrating success of businesses in Wanaka is a key part of what Ignite Wanaka does. Seeing people from all walks of business at the Awards night was testimony to the interest the awards gained in just a short space of time.
“We want to continue the excitement and momentum gained from last year and give the many other businesses who couldn’t enter last year the opportunity to enter again. After this year the Awards will be held every two years, so this is people’s last chance to enter until 2019,” King says.
Categories are: Outstanding in Infrastructure/Trades, Outstanding in Professional Services, Outstanding in Tourism, Outstanding in Retail/Hospitality, Outstanding Innovators, Outstanding in Sustainability, People’s Choice Award, Outstanding Individual and the Supreme Business Award. Entries close on September 28 at 4pm, with finalists announced on October 11. The Awards Gala Dinner takes place at Rippon Hall on November 10.
There is no cost to enter the awards. All entries are confidential and only viewed by the independent judging panel. Further details are available here.