Our Best 2015

Business Excellence Award – Winner – The Fridge, Alexandra

Renowned Central Otago gourmet food paradise, The Fridge butchery and delicatessen, is this year’s winner of the Business Excellence Award.

“When it comes to brand values, The Fridge has absolutely made a difference in our community. They’re passionate about Central Otago, they embrace diversity and add value. They’ve made a professional statement and their reputation is huge,” the judges said.

Synonymous with tantalising and delectable food, The Fridge’s down-to-earth success –nurtured over 10 years - has been carved out from hard work, an expert knowledge and love of fine produce, and an honest desire to share their splendid bounty with all.

A compelling story of business achievement, they lead by example; putting the customer first and listening to their needs, actively seeking out new food trends, and operating in synergy with local businesses and their community.

Above all, they’re hugely passionate about their visionary business proposition - sourcing and delivering fresh, top-quality produce that creates a point of difference. It’s a philosophy that makes them a premier regional destination for home cooks and high-end foodies alike.

As one judge commented ‘The Fridge is a beautiful compliment to that whole food and wine thing that Central Otago has.’
Apprentice Award – Winner – Jonathan Bates

Thinking with a manager’s hat on – that’s Jonathan Bates. The Apprentice Award winner is described by the judges as `a leader amongst apprentices’.

Jonathan’s passion for the apple-growing industry, strong self-motivation and exceptional communication skills make him inspirational. ‘He could be the poster boy for the horticultural industry,’ one judge commented.

A horticulture apprentice at Hollandia Orchard, Earnscleugh, Jonathan’s diverse skillset – including his leadership abilities to engage with staff he supervises and his willingness to listen, and freely help or mentor others – make him a star.

With plans to manage an orchard one day, Jonathan has an excellent knowledge of industry practice, including work safety, and is hugely dedicated to his chosen career.

Jonathan’s commitment to the industry, thirst for knowledge and initiative to learn from every opportunity, together with fantastic team work, are a leading combination and the foundation for his achievements.

A dynamic young leader who shows maturity and professionalism, Jonathan’s outstanding mix of qualities make him a fantastic brand ambassador as a winning Central Otago apprentice.
Apprentice Award – Highly Commended – Keelan Baird

Keelan Baird’s energy, initiative, maturity and work ethic impressed the judges so much they awarded him a highly commended placing in the Apprentice Award category.

The apprentice carpenter’s fantastic skills and commitment to excellent customer service make him stand out.

Keelan quickly masters new skills and takes responsibility for managing onsite projects. Using his outstanding problem-solving skills, he creates the best solutions for clients always giving 100% and consequently gaining plenty of repeat business. He readily goes above and beyond to help his workmates.

‘He has a great attitude and shows real pride in being part of a team working on a project. Keelan knows what he’s about and he’s excelled in his apprenticeship,’ the judges commented.

Keelan won a scholarship to enter the carpentry trade and has received a special Apprenticeship Scholarship Trust Award for his skills.

In true Central Otago spirit, beyond the everyday and practical, Keelan appreciates and values that the projects he works on have longevity for future generations to enjoy.
Youth Award – Winner – Emily Boud

Wonderful compassion and a heartfelt commitment to serve others set Emily Boud apart to win the Youth Award.

The judges were wowed by 17-year-old Emily’s remarkably selfless qualities, her inner strength and personal dignity. ‘Priceless’ was the way they described her empathetic nature, extraordinary presence and steadfastness as a friend to the vulnerable and elderly.

‘This wonderful girl is making a real difference in people’s lives,’ they said.
A Dunstan High School year 12 student, Emily’s determination, enthusiasm and remarkable sense of humanity and kindness beyond her years, make her an exceptional community leader.

Emily has graciously represented both Students Against Dangerous Driving and the Sticks n’ Stones anti-cyber bullying group at national events. She also volunteers at a local rest home and is a mentor and support to others in the community.

Emily works tirelessly for what she believes in, while also guiding others and celebrating their contributions. She truly epitomises the Central Otago spirit of inspiring others with a special point of difference.
Community Service Award Recipient - Dennis Cronin

Denis Cronin’s enthusiastic and committed service to Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful (KACB) and to sport for nearly 50 years makes him a legend. An inaugural member of KACB including chair for 15 years, Denis’s knowledge of and passion for the local environs has been integral to the success of countless local environmental and beautification projects over three decades.

In 2008 he was honoured with the Keep NZ Beautiful Chairman’s Excellence award and in 2013 recognised as a life member of Keep New Zealand Beautiful. He was secretary of the Central Otago golf sub-association for 24 years, an executive member of the RSA Bowling Club, and served three terms in local government.

He is a life member of the Otago Eagles Golfing Society. As one judge commented `you’re in there for your community making it a better place to be.’
Community Service Award Recipient - Doug Dance

The judges were `blown away’ by Doug Dance’s relentless and extraordinary contribution to a multitude of Roxburgh organisations, which spans more than half a century.

The longevity of his community involvement and leadership has had a fundamental impact on health service provision in the Teviot Valley – both in his governance roles with St John and with the Roxburgh Hospital Committee.

Doug’s influence has also been important in the areas of music and film – through his longstanding service to the brass band community and his commitment to the Roxburgh Entertainment Centre improvement project.

Also a charter member of Roxburgh Rotary, a Jaycee for 20 years, Roxburgh Borough councillor and a life member of the Roxburgh Badminton Club, Doug’s enduring and exceptional dedication to his community over time is truly remarkable.
Community Service Award Recipient - Stuart Hore

‘Son of Naseby’ and quiet achiever, Stuart Hore, was described by the judges as `a get in there and do it character whose massive contribution has helped put Naseby on the map.’

For many decades Stuart has shared his skills with the Naseby community wherever they’ve been needed, in his trademark affable and obliging way.

His astonishing and far-reaching involvement has spanned innumerable projects, clubs and activities and has been honoured in life memberships of Naseby’s bowling, golf and curling clubs, and the volunteer fire brigade.

Decades of service with the Naseby Borough Council, the Naseby Volunteer Fire Brigade, the Naseby Curling Club, local school committees, and the Naseby Bowling Club, not to mention Naseby Vision, demonstrate the extraordinary passion that Stuart has as a true champion for his community.
Community Service Award Recipient - Jocelyn (Joss) Leyser

A `can-do’ attitude mixed with modesty and the gift to inspire and encourage others are hallmarks of Joss Leyser’s three decades of generous and selfless service to the Cromwell community.

Through her significant contributions to netball and tennis, and her wide-ranging and tireless voluntary service in committee and executive roles in the early childhood and primary education sectors, Joss’s energy to serve is boundless.

In recent years, her enthusiasm and organisational skills were crucial to the success of the Cromwell Rugby Club 125th Jubilee and the Cromwell and District Schools 150th Jubilee.

She is currently president of the Cromwell branch of Rural Women New Zealand and a life member of the Cromwell Netball Club.

The judges described her as ‘a true rural woman involved in everything. If you haven’t got her, you haven’t got a community.’