THE JUDGES

The Judges


The 2017 Central Otago Awards are judged by a selection panel of well-respected and impartial adjudicators; one for the Community Service and Youth Awards and another for the Business Excellence, Tourism and Apprentice Awards. Each panelist is profiled below.

Business Excellence, Tourism and Apprentice Awards Panel

Anne Pullar
Dr Helen Darling
Vyv Hodgkins
Cam Dykes

Community Service and Youth Awards

Tony Lepper
Glen Christiansen
Greg Becker
Brigitte Paterson
Carole Gillons

Dr Helen Darling


Helen is experienced in supply chain issues, food related strategy, food security and maintenance of food integrity for producers, regulators and consumers.

She was a founder of Oritain Global Limited and recently established the Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity which provides strategic support around food supply chain issues.

Helen is regularly asked to speak at national and international conferences and events, providing expertise and experience on a systems approach to food safety. With extensive strategic planning expertise and relationship management, Helen has developed national and international alliances to address integrity issues across a range of products and territories.

Cam Dykes


Cam is a chartered accountant and director of ICL Chartered Accountants, Alexandra. During his 25 year career he was worked in a range of accounting and financial management roles allowing him to get a good understanding of what makes a successful and sustainable business. He works with a range of farming and commercial clients throughout Otago and also assists with business start-ups.

Out of work involvements include the management and coaching of high school rugby and cricket teams, also charitable work including the Dunstan High School Board of trustees.

Anne Pullar


Anne has had a deep involvement with economic development and tourism throughout her career.

Currently Anne is the General Manager of Tourism Central Otago and is responsible for developing the strategic direction of tourism in Central Otago. She is also Manager Community Services at the Central Otago District Council and is responsible for the management of community development, encompassing regional identity, the Central Otago Visitor Centres, Libraries and Parks and Recreation.

Anne has run her own consultancy company focusing on business development, and marketing for a range of industry sectors including, tourism, education, publishing, forestry, engineering, tourism and health.

Vyv Hodgkin


Vyv has held a number of roles over the years including teaching in the Hawkes Bay, a teacher of the Deaf in Gore, also Adviser on Deaf Children in the Hawkes Bay. She was sheep farming in West Otago, and now Vyv and husband Neil have moved to a lifestyle block at North Taieri.

Vyv holds a number of roles with Primary ITO including Training Adviser, Modern Apprentice National Coordinator, Literacy and Numeracy Coordinator and Member of Primary ITO Quality team

Her interests include tramping, music and Toastmasters.

Glen Christiansen.


Glen Christiansen’s affiliation with Central Otago started in 1991 when his family moved from Nelson.
He attended Roxburgh Area School, went on to study Adventure Tourism in at Otago Polytechnic then moved to Auckland and then returning with his wife Sarah. They have 3 children, Molly 10, Sophie 9 and Baxter 6.

Glen now general manager of Golden Gate Lodge considers the most positive aspects of Central Otago is the buy-in communities and businesses have on ideas and concepts. It is a characteristic that links back to the early pioneers and he personally finds this invigorating.

Brigitte Paterson


A “true blue Teviot Valley local" Brigitte is a descendant from an early gold mining family. She is passionate about the heritage, lifestyle and future of the Teviot Valley and freely admits to “loving living here and never wanting to live anywhere else”.

Brigitte enjoys her involvement in community promotional projects and is always keen to assist with a celebration! In her work life Brigitte is currently working in real estate which is the perfect job for her as she loves showcasing a stunningly beautiful corner of the world, sharing the local vibe and being a hard-out small town enthusiast!

Carole Gillons


Carol and her husband moved to Central Otago in 2002, where they have since raised their family.
As Manager of the Alexandra Community House, Carol gets to see organisations and individuals making a difference to Alexandra and districts. She is also involved with Central Otago Budget Advise, Clyde Primary School Board of Trustees, Roxburgh Playcentre and Alexandra BMX Club and enjoys being part of the vision these groups bring to our community.
Carol believes that the health of a community is a direct reflection on all the volunteer effort and passion that comes from the people who live here.

Greg Becker


Greg Becker is Maniototo born and bred. Along with wife Tina, parents Barry and Joy run a sheep and beef farm in the Oturehua -Wedderburn area along with a small farm stay business.

Greg has always had a strong community involvement playing and coaching sport. At the moment he is in his third term on the Maniototo Area School board of trustees and is chair/president of the Oturehua Working Group and Winter Sports Club. He is very passionate about the Maniototo and the wider Central area and can’t think of a better place to live and bring up a family.

Tony Lepper (Central Otago Mayor)


Tony is the manager of the Earnscleugh Irrigation Company and a Director on a number of related companies, as well as having been a councillor for more than 20 years and now in his second term as Mayor.
He has always been involved in horticultural and has an extensive background in sports administration.

He is pleased to see young people choosing to stay and work in our local area