Westpac Northland Business Excellence Awards

The Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame Award

 

 

 

The Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame Award Presented at the Awards Presentation and Celebration evening.

In New Zealand we see great profiling sporting heroes and public servants.

However, business people – in particular successful business people – often go without the recognition they deserve and in some cases, receive negative stigma as a result of their efforts and achievements.

 

The Northern Advocate and NZ Chambers of Commerce Northland recognise that the efforts of individual business people are actually the fuel that keeps the economy running.  Business people through their individual efforts risk capital, provide jobs, and oil the wheels of the economy.

The Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame is therefore designed to recognise those who have, during their business career, demonstrated service both to their industry and to the greater Northland community.

Nominations

Any member of the public can nominate someone for  The Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame. Self-nominations and posthumous nominations may also be accepted. To nominate please contact us with  your  name and contact details, who you are  nominating and why.

Past Inductees

2017 – The Hundertwasser Art Centre Project Team

To learn more about The Hundertwasser Art Centre Project Team click here

 2016 – Jack Guy

A successful businessman Mr Guy, aged 89, started out as an apprentice carpenter with Ted Guy, his father, in 1944. In 1952 he went out on his own, and began a career that would encompass local body politics, philanthropy and extensive civic duties.

Jack Guy Ltd’s first contract was working on the Ruatangata West School. The business grew in the
1950s and 60s, sometimes building homes at a rate of one per week. But schools and light commercial buildings were the firm’s forte. Into the late 60s and early 70s, building gangs operated in Auckland and Northland.

In the 80s Jack Guy Ltd ran the largest commercial construction company in Northland, employing 124 staff at its peak, and completed contracts from Te Kao to Point Chevalier. It built schools, supermarkets, hospitals, factories, including the Kauri Dairy factory, apartments and office buildings in virtually every town and district in Northland and Rodney.

Attention shifted to property development, building, in partnerships, more than 70 retail premises and office spaces in Kerikeri and Whangarei. He also invested in the self-storage industry and still retains a significant interest in property in the Whangarei CBD.

Along the way Mr Guy became involved in the community. He joined the Whangarei Lions Club in 1961 and was still a member 35 years later. In 1974 Mr Guy rose to occupy the top position in NZ as
chairman of the council of governors. Mr Guy has also been a huge supporter of St John. In 1970 he bought an ambulance and donated it to the Whangarei branch. A long-time St John committee
member, he was awarded a Life Membership of the Order of St John in 1993.

In 1986 Mr Guy was elected to the Northland Regional Council (NRC) and remained for nine years. In 1989 he was appointed to the Board of Northland Port Corporation and was on the board for 10
years, much of the time as chairman. Mr Guy has supported numerous committees and charitable causes throughout his life. Thirty years ago he founded the Jack Guy Charitable Trust. The trust granted numerous scholarships to Northland students attending university.

2015 – Jeroen Jongejans

Jeroen Jongejans is a director of Dive! Tutukaka, which employs eight fulltime staff and 30 returning seasonal staff. With a drive for innovation, Jeroen is highly visible as a tourism leader and has showed strong principles – sitting on numerous regional boards and groups.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Jeroen is a director on the Northland Inc board. As well as Northland Chamber of Commerce involvement, he has championed the Hundertwasser Arts Centre project since 2010, is a Tourism Industry Association New Zealand Board member since 2011 and a NZ Tourism Trust trustee since 2012. He was a member of the Northland Conservation Board from 2003 to 2011 and a member of the Northland Tourism Development Group from 2002 to 2014, serving the last four years as the chairman. He was also chairman of the Northland Sustainable Tourism Charter (2004-2007) and a Whangarei district councillor from 2010 to 2013.

Jongejans has received more than 12 awards in recent years, the most recent being the Tourism Industry Champion Award at the Tourism Industry Awards in October 2015.

2014 – Wayne Cowley

Wayne Cowley, of Cowley’s Hire Centre, started his career in the family business by cleaning concrete mixers and caravans and to this day is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.

The company was started by Wayne’s dad Ted in the early 1950s. Wayne came into the business picture when he was just 13, cleaning concrete mixers and caravans. Wayne and Bev have owned Cowley’s Hire Centre since 1988, after Ted died in 1985.

In 1990, they moved from Manse St to their Commerce St base and now the next generation, Lucretia and Trent (Cowley’s Party Hire manager) are involved in the business. And as well as the Commerce St headquarters, the business has expanded to include depots in Ruakaka, Kamo, Kerikeri, and a party hire depot in Kioreroa Rd, Whangarei.

The Kamo business is moving from Clark Rd to Great North Rd as part of the ongoing changes that have helped make Cowley’s Northland’s number one locally owned hire company. (Source: The Northern Advocate)

2013 – Michael Springford

Michael Springford was a successful businessman, philanthropist, a community champion and sports lover. He owned LJ hooker Whangarei —and under his leadership —they achieved numerous national and international awards. LJ Hooker Whangarei was awarded the top NZ LJ Hooker Office for the last three consecutively years- an outstanding achievement in the competitive real estate market.

Earlier in 2013 they were placed 2nd for total transactions and 4th top office overall, out of the 700 LJ Hooker offices internationally. No one did it better than Michael and his team. Michael also had several other business interests including several directorships.

He was also a person who put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the community. Sometimes publicly, with a shrewd eye for the potential marketing benefit that sponsorship brings; and sometimes very privately, with a caring eye for the benefactor of his generosity, often a person not as lucky in life as he has been.

Arguably, our inductee is the greatest community champion to enter the Business Hall of Fame. And sadly, he is the first person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, posthumously.

2012 Mike Simm

Mike Simm chairs the board of Competenz the New Zealand Industry Training Organisation for engineering, manufacturing, baking and food and beverage manufacturing industries, the Brightwater Group, a Nelson-based engineering contracting company with strong commitment to youth training and providing opportunities for school-leavers.

An accountant, he worked at Rheem in New Zealand and Aus­tralia and at McConnell Group before becoming executive direc­tor and shareholder of Fullers Bay of Islands in 1989.

After selling Fullers in 2001, the following year he became a professional director and con­tinued to be active in the tourism industry, serving as a director for the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association and as deputy chairman of Jason Travel Media. He has also served on the board of Enterprise North­land.

He is deputy chairman of Far North electricity lines company Top Energy, which was named New Zealand 2012 Lines Com­pany of the Year in August; and a trustee of the Northland Youth Development Trust and of train­ing sailing ship R Tucker Thomp­son. The vessel runs courses to develop confidence, teamwork, new skills and leadership in young people.

The trust has also co­ordinated a number of one-off projects during the years, such as the Northland Enterprising Teachers Conference, The Great Education Property Auckland, and the E4E (education for enter­prise) Awards.

Simm is also a committee member for the Northland branch of the New Zealand Insti­tute of Directors, which works to encourage the appointment of Northlanders to boards rather than people brought in from outside the region, and to im­prove the standard of governance skills in New Zealand business.

2011 Dave Culham

Dave Culham began Culham Engineering in 1958. It was originally a three man business on a labour-only contract to the AFFCO Freezing Works at Moerewa. Today, Culham Engineering is one of the largest fabrication facilities in New Zealand employing around 150 staff (over 200 at its peak). It specialises in the Heavy Engineering and Marine Industry and enjoys an enduring reputation of quality workmanship.

Dave has been the heart and soul of Culham Engineering. He built its reputation through sheer hard work and a commitment to overcoming challenges, of which there have been a few over the years. His catchphrase was ’Illegitimum non carborundum’ (never let them get you down) and the success of Culham Engineering is testatment to this principle.

Culham Engineering has provided stable employment for many tradespeople for over 50 years. In an area of fluctuating employment, the flow on benefits to Northland are significant. Dave’s continued success as a businessman has been recognised through awards and his appointments to various organisations. He is considered a leader in our city and a role model for Northland businesses. (Photo Northern Advocate)

2010 Monty Knight

Monty gained employment firstly in the sign writing business, but quickly became Kaitaia’s first entertainment agent, and opened the first nightclub in town – Sgt Peppers. Monty’s Disc Inn followed, sating the towns appetite for the music of the day, on vinyl of course, and then came Retravision, which is now 100% Monty Knight. Not content with all of this he also dabbled in video hire, and took over the family jewellery business.

1984 saw Monty embark on what many had thought to be a foolhardy and almost impossible venture in planting vines at Okahu estate and becoming a wine producer. However, once again Monty proved his calibre and those sceptics were forced to admit defeat when Okahu’s Kaz Shiraz 1994 won gold and the trophy for other reds at the 1996 Auckland Royal Easter show. Since that success the vineyard has gone onto have great success with countless awards and produces wine from their own estate, and contract grown fruit from around the country.

2009 – Michael Hill

From humble beginnings Michael Hill built one of the most recognised brands in Australasia, and left behind them a trail of success and inspiration. From a single store in Whangarei in 1979 they now boast over 1700 staff and 250 stores across New Zealand and Australia, and more recently, in the USA and Canada.

2008 – Tom McKay

Tom established McKay Electrical in 1936 and this company has operated throughout NZ and the Pacific. He was active in business continuously apart from 4 years war service and did so for over 70 years. Tom was a distinct individual was well known in Northland for his business acumen and community participation. His business provided growth and economic benefit for Dargaville, Whangarei and Northland. Tom passed away in 2010 aged 103 years.

 

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